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Kara Sevda

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Chuuya had been in the Mafia for almost four months now. He’d quickly made a name for himself as the best up and coming martial artist. He was feared and respected by underlings and subordinates, and the Black Lizard squad often requested his assistance on jobs. Officially his partner was the youngest Mafia Executive in history, the demon prodigy Dazai. They didn’t necessarily get along well but their combined work ethic yielded incredible results.

Their verbal interactions were laced with barbed wire, but Chuuya had been recently getting vibes from his body language that were telling a different story. It was subtle, a sharp inhale here and there, averting his gaze, the soft thrum of his fingertips to his desk, to the nervous chewing on his pen. These were things he only did when Chuuya was around, the older was sure of it. Though he didn’t really know what it meant.

They were on an international assignment; St. Petersburg, Russia. They were surveilling a meeting between a Port Mafia representative and a rival corporation’s CEO. It was a high profile arms deal, heavily anticipated, and thoroughly guarded. Dazai, being an executive himself, was in the conference room, keeping an eye on the exchange. Chuuya was posted outside the room’s only entrance, looking down on the corp’s goons with guns from his position on the ceiling.

They had earpieces with mics, but Dazai hadn’t given him any updates for almost three minutes.

He presses the button on his piece. “All good?”

“About to close out. Clear out there?” Dazai’s calm voice comes through.

“So far.” Chuuya informs him.

Then in a moment of perfect irony, explosions go off somewhere on a floor below them.

“Come get the rep, and take him out of the window. I’ll make my way down and we’ll rendezvous at the маска.” Dazai is collected but his calm is gone.

The goons with guns position themselves around the door at the end of the hall so Chuuya is free to waltz into the conference room.

He drops down from the ceiling next to the Mafia rep.

“это было весело. надеюсь, ты разберешься.” Dazai bids his farewell to the CEO before drawing his gun, shooting out the windows, and heading out the door.

Chuuya grabs their ambassador and jumps.

“What’s the plan?” He asks Chuuya.

“You have a date with a helicopter to Kotka. Once there you’ll have a first class flight back to Narita. Call Mori to check in when landing from both.”

The rep nods and Chuuya takes him to the helipad.

After ensuring that he’s well on his way to Finland he heads to the masquerade-themed nightclub Dazai and he had agreed upon.

It’s an exclusive venue, complete with VIP roped off areas, and rooms. Chuuya had a fake French ID, and must’ve seemed high class enough because the doormen let him right in. When you enter there’s a long hallway lined with tables on both sides. The tables are stocked with a wide variety of masks, though there are a lot of plain ones that look exactly the same. Chuuya is wearing all black today, but in a split second decision he grabs a basic white mask. He puts it on just as he enters the first floor of the club, an open dance floor with a bar in the center.

He scans the room for Dazai and finds nothing, no sign of him. He decides he might as well get a drink and relax while he waits. His eyes are peeled for any suspicious activity as he makes his way to the bar. There’s a singular open seat on his side, as it’s a rectangular bar that is wrapped around by bar stools. It’s crowded, lots of men and women, drinking, dancing, and placing orders to the several on the clock bartenders.

He sits down and waves the closest bartender over.

“Что будешь пить?”

“Не русский. Французский?” Chuuya doesn’t speak Russian, so he tries to see if the guy knows French.

He doesn’t, if the scoff is any tell.

“Поторопись.” Chuuya doesn’t know what that means but the guy is getting impatient.

He holds up a gloved hand, 1 finger, 5 fingers, and 1 again.

The guys nods and turns around to make Chuuya a drink with Bacardi.

Chuuya isn’t one for carrying small bills, and he doesn’t know how much he’s going to get to drink before Dazai arrives so he puts a 5,000₽ bill on the bar. The barkeep hardly bats an eye as he takes the bill and replaces it with Chuuya’s drink.

Chuuya takes it and sips as he turns around to crowd watch from his seat.

The building has multiple stories and looking up Chuuya can see that the second floor overlooks the dance floor. He makes a mental note of the locations of all the doors and emergency exits, then trains his eyes to the entrance, waiting for Dazai to come in.

That’s when he feels it.

Eyes are on him.

Not just fleeting glances but it feels like at least two people are staring at him.

He glances from side to side, but doesn’t see anything suspicious. Then he feels movement to his left and turns his body to face the threat.

“ты один сегодня вечером?” It’s a man, wearing a simple gray mask. Chuuya is aware he asked him a question but has no idea what he asked.

“Не русский. Французский?” Chuuya repeats the only Russian he knows.

“attendre quelqu'un?” He’s asking if Chuuya is waiting on someone.

His French is bad, but now Chuuya doesn’t have an excuse not to talk to him.

“Qu'est-ce que cela vous importe?” He wonders why the man cares what he’s doing.

He smiles at Chuuya before responding “Je peux vous tenir compagnie.”

Oh. Chuuya realizes then the guy must be flirting with him.

“Je vais bien. Non, merci.” He denies him right away, hoping he’ll go bother someone else.

“Quel est le problème?” He asks, evidently offended.

“Je ne suis pas intéressé.” Chuuya says, clearly and with no hesitation.

What a creep, not taking no for an answer like this.

He reaches out for Chuuya then, like he’s going to touch his hair or something. Chuuya is about to knee him in the dick and headbutt him when a bandaged hand catches the man’s wrist.

“Отойди, если только ты не хочешь потерять зубы.” Dazai smiles while he says this but from the way the guy gulps Chuuya knows it a threat.

“Сколько?” The guy tries something. Chuuya doesn’t know what.

“Тебе должно быть действительно не нравится своя улыбка. Не продаётся.” Dazai sounds much colder, doing little to hide his distaste.

He throws the guys arm into his chest and stares him down. The stranger concedes and disappears into the crowd.

Chuuya can feel his cheeks heating up and is thankful for the mask. He doesn’t say anything and calmly finishes his drink.

Dazai orders something next to him and Chuuya doesn’t know what to say to him. Maybe thank him for making sure he didn’t get kicked out of such a nice establishment?

“And I thought the KGB were dicks. That guy must not hear ‘no’ often.” Dazai says soft enough only he can hear, not that it matters much because he doubts anyone here speaks Japanese.

“What did you say to each other?” Chuuya questions, his curiosity getting the better of him.

“I told him to back off, or he’d lose his teeth. Then he tried to buy you from me. I told him he must not like his smile very much and said you weren’t for sale.” Dazai glances at him, reading his expression, before thanking the bartender and taking his drink.

He sips it calmly, leaving Chuuya to his thoughts.

What a prick! Did he think Dazai was his pimp or something? Or could he tell they were traveling together and was offering to buy his silence? Now Chuuya had half a mind to find him in the crowd and lure him away to stomp his skull into the pavement.

“Get better at hiding your animosity. Order another drink and then we’ll go back to the hotel.” Dazai issues his commands and informs him of the plan at the same time.

“Can you get something for me? It’s weird not being able to tell them what I want.” Chuuya asks of him.

Dazai’s uncovered eye blinks at him slowly before he nods.

“Yeah. What are you thinking?”

“Wine.” Chuuya says with no hesitation.

Dazai chuckles at him. “Yeah I should’ve known. Have you ever tried Massandra?”

Chuuya shakes his head no, but he has heard of it. It’s famous port wine and the oldest kind in the region.

Dazai turns back to the bar and presumably orders it for him.

While he’s turned around someone else approaches Chuuya. Another man, this time wearing a white mask with gold trimming.

“Привет. Почему бы нам не провести вечер вместе?” The man reaches for Chuuya’s hand to try and pull him to the dance floor, but Chuuya hurriedly gets out of his reach.

“Не русский. Je ne suis pas intéressé.” Chuuya’s back hits the corner of the bar. Jesus Buddha creeps wouldn’t leave him alone today.

“Он здесь со мной и в тебе не заинтересован. Тронешь его ещё раз и тебя найдут в балтийском море. По частям.” Dazai speaks cheerfully but from the way the man stutters before giving up on a response and walking away Chuuya assumes he didn’t say anything nice.

Chuuya turns to him and he hands him his glass of wine.

He sits up on the barstool again and faces the crowd. Dazai sort of hovers closer to him than before, but it doesn’t put Chuuya off. He actually assumes Dazai’s trying to make him look unavailable.

He takes a sip of his wine.

“Wow that’s sweet.”

Dazai drinks his own drink before responding. “Is it good though?”

Chuuya nods. “I think so. Do you want to try for yourself?” He offers him his drink.

Dazai blinks before taking the glass from his hand. He takes a small sip, just a taste really, before handing it back to him.

“It’s alright. Too sweet for me.”

Chuuya shrugs and continues drinking it.

“Someone’s looking at you again.” Dazai says lowly.

“I don’t get it! What about me today is holding up a sign saying ‘Please bother me, creeps!’?” Chuuya says exasperatedly.

Dazai laughs and puts his hand on Chuuya’s thigh. The redhead tenses unconsciously, and Dazai smooths his thumb over his leg.

“I know I’m not your first choice, but at least I speak your language.” Dazai teases him.

Chuuya reaches his unoccupied hand into Dazai’s black overcoat and settles it on his side.

“Who said anything about choices? There’s no list.” Chuuya informs him as he sips his drink.

Dazai downs the rest of his glass and sets it on the bar behind Chuuya’s head.

“Then we understand each other?” Dazai asks him for clarification.

Chuuya squeezes his side. “I’m well aware you’re just looking out for me.”

Dazai shifts him so he’s standing between his knees.

It’s a little hard to breathe normally this close. Dazai’s face is mostly hidden by the mask so it’s hard to discern the expression he’s making. Chuuya hopes the same applies to him.

He takes another drink of his wine, and mourns a little that it’s almost gone. His fingers gently tap Dazai’s side rhythmically, and he recalls Dazai’s previous caution around him. It’s missing in action right about now.

“Have you been anxious lately?” Chuuya questions him, attempting passivity.

Dazai runs his hand up and down Chuuya’s thigh, almost like he’s enjoying the feel of it.

“Distracted is a better word.” His voice is deep and candid.

“I can see that.” Chuuya nods before finishing off his glass.

Dazai takes it from him and sets it on the bar.

A rather sultry sounding song starts booming through the speakers above the dance floor. People start grinding on each other a lot closer than they were before.

“Do you know how to dance?” Dazai asks him.

“Like that?” Chuuya pointedly tilts his head in the direction of the dance floor.

“It’s not hard. Let’s dance before we go. It’ll seem inconspicuous and we’ll less likely be followed.”

Chuuya feels his mouth open in shock.

“You can say no.” Dazai gives him an out, expressing that he’s not going to force Chuuya to dance with him if he’s uncomfortable with it.

Chuuya shakes his head, mostly to clear it. Then he grabs Dazai’s bandaged wrist and leads them into the crowd.

The music is hypnotic and it’s easy enough to follow what everyone else is doing. Dazai is right that this type of dancing doesn’t seem difficult.

So, with his back to the taller Chuuya guides his hand to his waist and starts swaying his hips to the music, grinding back into him.

They dance like that for a moment before he hears Dazai’s voice again, breathless. “As I thought, there’s nothing you can’t do.”

Chuuya shows off a bit by pressing into him harder and running a hand through his hair. Keeping tempo and moving his body to the song.
It’s thrilling and sort of a head rush. He’s a little loosened up from the drinks but it’s hard to be tense when Dazai’s body pressed up against his feels so right.

He doesn’t even mind when Dazai’s lips brush against the side of his neck. Well he does mind, but not negatively. It sends a shudder through him that he thinks he might actually like.

The song ends and Chuuya can’t help but feel it was too soon.

Dazai’s fingers interlock with his own and they leave the club.

Their hotel is just a few blocks away, but Dazai’s too impatient to stop himself from pushing Chuuya into an alleyway and up against a brick wall.

Chuuya wants to ask him what he’s doing..what he’s about to do, but he gets his answer soon enough.

Dazai leans down and tilts Chuuya’s head up.

He doesn’t know what to say or do, but his silence must be some kind of answer because Dazai starts sucking on his neck just below his jaw.

Chuuya gasps at the contact. This kind of situation entirely foreign to him. This sensation completely brand new. He doesn’t make any effort to protest or stop him.

Dazai sinks his teeth in and that’s when Chuuya regains his senses.

“W-wait!”

Dazai pulls back immediately.

They’re still wearing the masks. Dazai’s was a basic black.

Chuuya reaches up and takes it off of him. Finally he can see his face. His brows are furrowed in concentration and internal debate, his eye is heavy lidded, and his cheeks are dusted pink. That’s really all Chuuya can tell from the dim street light illuminating the alley.

Dazai takes his off too. He’s gentle about it and brushes his hair out of his face after. It’s strange, seeing him be so tender.

“You want to wait until we get back?” Dazai whispers, which is kind of silly because no one is around to hear them.

“But you haven’t done the report yet.”

Dazai chuckles. “Distract me.”

Chuuya nods, confirming he’s down for the attention.

Dazai backs away from him and runs a hand through his hair. He breathes deeply, gathering himself a bit. Chuuya peels himself off the wall and tries to steady his feet. He’s not drunk, but he’s definitely nervous. Not nervous in a bad way though, more like .. anticipatingly.

There’s no need for words as they make their way back to the hotel.

They had adjoining rooms, but Dazai shoves Chuuya into his own before the redhead can think about protesting.

As soon as the door is shut behind them Dazai is locking it and Chuuya doesn’t know what to do.

Or what to even expect.

His normally record-breaking reaction time is stalled as his lips are attacked by Dazai’s own.

He tastes like brandy and gunpowder, but there’s something else too. He can’t quite describe. His brain stutters to try and respond, but he ends up only able to gasp when one of Dazai’s hands start pulling at his hair and the other squeezes his waist. This is an invitation because Dazai’s tongue invades him enthusiastically.

Chuuya can’t help but whimper at the force. The tug on his scalp is sending shockwaves through him. Dazai does something unexpected then, and grips him just under his ass. Hands lift him up by his thighs, and he’s carried to the bed.

There’s an undeniable haste to his actions, but he puts Chuuya down gently enough. He may be rushing but he’s being somewhat careful with him. Chuuya barely has time to think about what that means when he’s unbuttoning his dress shirt and pulling him out of his matching black overcoat.

Chuuya undoes his own harness and Dazai takes that as an opportunity to get out of his own layers.

Soon they are both bare chested, aside from Dazai’s vast array of bandages. They’re looking at each other in the low light of the room, studying each other’s bodies intently. Chuuya doesn’t know what possesses him to reach out and brush his fingers over the bandages covering his chest, but he does.

Dazai lets him before taking his hand in his own and pushing Chuuya’s back to the bed. Their lips lock again and there’s no equivocation to their tongues colliding in Chuuya’s mouth. He starts to understand that Dazai has a need for control. And truthfully? He doesn’t even entertain the thought of fighting him for it.

Dazai pulls back from him and runs his hands down his body. Fingertips sinking into taut abdominal muscle, palms caressing the soft flesh of his sides, Chuuya blames the alcohol for the trembling.

“You taste sweet.” Dazai tells him seductively before he starts on his chest.

He’s kissing him, sucking bruises, and biting his pale flesh. Chuuya is thankful that it’s a place that won’t be seen, but embarrassed by the reactions he’s having. He’s biting his lower lip harshly but whines, gasps, and even a single quiet moan have escaped his lips. All to embolden Dazai with encouragement.

His mind was unable to focus and his mouth was unable to protest. He may have been confused but he didn’t want to stop. Chuuya was unsure of where he stood, what this meant, if it meant anything at all. He found himself unable to care about consequences.

They were sober enough that they couldn’t blame their actions on drinking. They were well aware of the implications behind what they were doing. Chuuya came to terms with being a distraction. Who cares if this is a one time thing?

He voices no concerns. He offers up no qualms.

He submits completely and irrevocably to Dazai’s whims.

Chapter Text

As try to convince himself he might, Dazai knew what he and Chuuya had done would never be a one night stand. He knew the second their hips became flush against each other that this was the first thing he’d ever wanted more than death. St. Petersburg would always hold a revisited place in his memories.

Returning to Yokohama hadn’t been as awkward as he’d thought it would be. Chuuya and he bantered as usual as he wrote the report on the plane. It was a long flight and the redhead ended up falling asleep during the last hours. Dazai was still distracted by the tranquility of his peaceful sleeping face. He even noticed Chuuya shifting unconsciously from the soreness of the previous night. Studying Chuuya was becoming something of a habit.

He took his pen out of his mouth and focused on completing the report.

They hadn’t slept together. Chuuya had gotten somewhat dressed after they finished and said something about needing to stretch out because he was sore. Dazai hadn’t tried to stop him. He wondered about what it’d be like to pull Chuuya close to his chest. Maybe he’d actually fall asleep? Or maybe not. He hadn’t been able to close his eyes after the door adjoining their rooms shut, so maybe that was just wishful thinking.

Dazai was one to always think through his actions, but this was a rare occasion where he acted entirely on impulse. He kept expecting Chuuya to deny him, protest, push him away. When he asked him just how far he would go Chuuya put up no defenses or even set any hard limits. So Dazai just did what felt right in the moment.

And now that he had a taste of paradise he couldn’t get him off his mind.

*

After a particularly successful raid operation Chuuya’s squad invited him out for drinks at a high end club that was on the top floor of one of the best hotels in Yokohama. He’d sent a text to Dazai encouraging him to meet them there if he wanted to.

So that’s how Dazai ended up sitting at a bar while watching his subordinates get drunk and snobby. Seriously just because the club was classy didn't mean they had something to prove. They were Mafia for fuck’s sake.

Tachihara was the worst of the bunch to be frank. He was being brazen and acting like he owned the place. The bartenders were women here and he kept outright cat-calling them. Dazai was getting more annoyed and fed up by the second and it didn’t help that Chuuya was ignoring him.

What’s the point of inviting him out if he wasn’t even going to talk to him?

Then as if he had overheard him thinking Chuuya locked eyes with Dazai.

The azure irises glimmered mischievously and that was before he even winked. He flashed Dazai a small knowing smile before returning his attention to the group.

Dazai drank his drink slowly, savoring the taste. There were unanswered questions bouncing around his brain. Why had Chuuya invited him out here? Why was he being coy? What was the glance and wink supposed to accomplish? Was there any merit for the anticipation swirling in his stomach?

His eyes scanned down the bar and he realized Chuuya was still on his first drink as well. This was uncharacteristic because Chuuya loves having an excuse to get wasted. Maybe there really was something to look forward to.

His phone pinged with a message.

Slug:
‘If you’re getting impatient walk to the back of the room.’

Dazai decides to pretend he didn’t see it at first. Not wanting to seem too eager. After a few moments he finishes his drink and glances at his phone for a long moment, like he’s reading the message for the first time.

He looks across the bar and finds Chuuya watching him. He smirks at him and gets up, making his way to the back of the club leisurely.

He’s not alone for long before Chuuya makes his way out of the crowd and up to him.

Dazai considers speaking but is more curious about what Chuuya wants to say.

The smaller glances around and when he determines no one they know is looking their way he slips his hand in Dazai’s coat pocket.

“I want to try something. If you’re in use that. I’ll follow after you leave.” His voice is soft but confident.

Dazai can’t help but want to find out what Chuuya has in mind.

He doubts he could resist if he tried.

Instead he just nods to him before making his way back through the crowd.

He makes a stop at the bar and bids farewell to Hirotsu. He ignores Tachihara, not that the hoodlum noticed because he was too busy trying to get the attention of a bar staff.

“Behave responsibly.” Hirotsu reminds him like the old man he is.

Dazai raises his hand in acknowledgment as he disappears into the crowd in front of the exit.

Soon he’s free from the tightly packed bodies, annoying people, and loud music in the hallway leading to the elevator. He puts his hand in his pocket and pulls out a room key. It’s for a suite only two floors below. It seems Chuuya had prepared a pleasant surprise.

Dazai’s mind wandered curiously as he made his way to the suite. What was Chuuya planning? He had said it was something new. This whole exchange was new to them though. So Dazai was coming up with lots of ideas, and had quite a few detailed thoughts in mind.

After turning a corner Dazai’s eye caught the suite number. He pulled out the key and double checked, it was the right room. He surveyed the hallway, checked behind himself, and it was empty, so he unlocked the door and went inside.

It was classy, being a luxury hotel and all. The whole side of the room was a glass window overlooking the city. It was late so the neon lights of the red light district were on full display, as well as the skyscrapers sparkling in the distance. It reminded Dazai of his home, oddly enough. Just the view.

He just stood there, looking down at the lights below. Thinking and pondering what was in store. Considering how far Chuuya let them go last time, pretty much anything was fair game. He wondered if there even was something he could deny Chuuya. After finding no such thought he sighed.

The door opened and shut behind him and he didn’t even turn to look. Instantly recognizing the footsteps crossing the room to him. He tensed unconsciously in preparation for being touched.

When no hands find him he can’t help but feel slight disappointment.

He looks to the side and finds Chuuya observing the view alongside him. His porcelain complexion glows in the city’s night lights. His eyes shine a brilliant deep blue that would put the countryside’s late evening sky to shame. His lips are pursed as if he’s in thought, and Dazai wants to kiss them. He wants to stop the thinking before it’s started. Get ahead of the storm they were chasing.

He’d waited long enough right?

“I wasn’t sure you’d come tonight.” Chuuya tells him.

“I didn’t have any plans. Evidently you do though so care to enlighten me?” Dazai smirks at him but Chuuya is still looking out the window.

“I want to do it again but switch places this time.” Chuuya intends on topping him then? Okay, Dazai could roll with that. But that didn’t mean he was going to give him an easy time about it.

“You want to top me?” Dazai half heartedly scoffs. “Think you’re up for it? I’m a bit hard to handle.”

“Tell me something I don’t know. What’s wrong? Not sure if you’ll be able to take it?” Chuuya teases right back.

Dazai chuckles softly at that jab. He steps towards Chuuya and tangles his fingers in silky red tresses. He tilts his head up towards himself.

Chuuya looks up at him expectantly, a challenge in his eyes.

“I have no doubts in my own capabilities. No matter what position I’m put in.” Dazai assures him with a grin.

Chuuya wraps his arms around his neck and pulls him down into a searing kiss. Their lips meet like waves crashing into the shoreline. Powerful and breathtaking, but also familiar and steady.

They’re both impatient though. Youth and excitement are equally to blame. Chuuya releases his grip and shoves him towards the bed. Dazai chuckles breathlessly and does as he’s directed.

The back of his knees hit the bed and he sits down. Chuuya takes this as an opportunity to take off his hat and jacket. Dazai shrugs out of his matching one simultaneously.

Soon they’re back to kissing distractedly as they fondle each other and unbutton each other’s clothes.

Chuuya doesn’t taste as sweet as the last time because of the lack of Massandra, but he’s still saccharine. Dazai finds himself likening him to candy, and deciding Chuuya was his new favorite flavor.

He distantly wonders what kind of lover Chuuya would present to be. Was he the slow and giving type? Or perhaps rough or needy? Was he going to make Dazai lose control completely? Was he the type to try and make him beg for release?

Dazai is so lost in his thoughts that he barely registers being pushed back on the bed so Chuuya can tug his slacks off.

But that’s exactly what’s happening.

“I know you have a control thing, but I’m taking care of everything tonight. You can stop thinking so much already.” Chuuya taunts him, pointing out he’s aware of Dazai’s dominating tendencies.

Dazai protests anyway. “If I had a control issue would I be letting you do this?”

Chuuya laughs at him. “Letting me?” He palms Dazai through his briefs, finding him half hard and waiting. Dazai inhales sharply but bites his tongue. “You seem like you want to go along with this. You want to know what it’s like to give someone else control, right?”

Chuuya sinks his teeth into the sensitive skin above Dazai’s hipbone. One of the few areas not covered by bandages. Dazai gasps at the contact. Chuuya strokes him measuredly through the fabric.

“Yeah that might not be so bad.” Dazai agrees with him but it feels more like his dick is talking.

Chuuya releases the flesh from his teeth and kisses it. A red mark blooms in its wake. Dazai can’t recall a time where he liked the sight of his own skin other than this.

Chuuya hooks his fingers into the waistband of Dazai’s briefs and asks a silent question. He gives Dazai plenty of time to stop him or reject the proposition, but Dazai’s done playing around.

He wants to know how Chuuya takes control.

There are questions of his own that need answering. Desires of his own that need fulfilled. His curiosity always got the better of him after all.

So did his impulsivity and lust, but today was more about anticipation.

Chuuya had trusted him with his body, so the least Dazai could do was give his own in return. After this they’d be even.. or something along those lines.

Or maybe not because now the head of his cock was between Chuuya’s lips. From the way he swiped his tongue over the slit it seemed he knew what he was doing.

Dazai’s thoughts clouded, only to be replaced by burning desire. Chuuya’s mouth was hot and wet around him. He sunk a little lower still and sucked.

Dazai couldn’t halt the moan that escaped him.

Chuuya only gave him a few more seconds before pulling back. He was still halfway dressed, Dazai noticed through hazy vision. He moved away and opened the bedside drawer. He pulled out a small bottle and observed Dazai’s sprawled out form for a moment before coming to an apparent decision.

“I want you on your knees.” Chuuya’s hand caresses Dazai’s knee and travels up his thigh as he makes this request.

Dazai’s chest tightens. That sounded really exposed. When he and Chuuya had done it he kept him on his back and even put a pillow under his lower back for comfort. This was very authoritative positioning, as Dazai wouldn’t be able to do much but take it. Maybe he didn’t want to see his face? Dazai could get that. They weren’t exactly doing this because they liked each other or anything. They were just bearable enough to fuck.

Chuuya’s hand reaches out to him, cradling his face.

“You’re thinking too much again, aren’t you? I’ll make this good for you too. Besides I’m sure you look good spread open.” Chuuya reassures him as his thumb brushes his cheekbone.

Dazai smirks at him, but it’s a genuine lopsided grin.

“I’m not quick to relinquish control, but I always look good.” Dazai feigns confidence as usual before complying with Chuuya’s request.

He turns over and grabs a pillow, using it to brace his arms and chest. He settles on his knees and widens the gap between his legs until it’s comfortable.

Dazai hears the cap open and after a few seconds he hears it close.

One of Chuuya’s hands starts groping his ass cheek. Squeezing the flesh before spreading him open. It’s maddening and Dazai has never felt so flustered.

“Have you done this before?” Chuuya echoes the question Dazai had asked him.

Chuuya’s answer had been pleasantly surprising. A soft ‘yes’ and quick nod. Followed by a ‘but not often’.

“No.” Dazai answers honestly.

“I’ll be careful then. Say something if you need to.” Chuuya assures him before letting him know that he can still back out, that he can still ask of him if he needs to.

“I’m good.” Dazai relaxes the tension in his back and lets his breathlessness flee from his chest.

He had a ridiculously high pain tolerance as much as he didn’t like it. This was supposed to feel good. He’s sure he can handle it.

Two of Chuuya’s fingers slick up his entrance. The sensation is foreign, but kind of heady. It was different, but felt a little good. A single digit slowly works its way past the first ring of muscle and Dazai sighs as the last of the tightness dissipates from his shoulders.

This is nothing, and at the same time, it’s a lot.

There’s no pain involved, hardly discomfort either. Just a steadily building intensity as it sinks further and further into him. Soon Chuuya’s knuckle becomes flush against him.

“Still good?” Chuuya asks as he squeezes him with the other hand.

“Yeah.” Dazai confirms with an exhale.

Chuuya presses into him then. Shifting angles, massaging carefully, and pushing deep.

Dazai just breathes through it, hardly making any noise except for his breaths.

Chuuya moves the digit in and out of him slowly for a long couple of seconds, and that causes a low whine in Dazai’s throat. It’s starting to feel enjoyable and a bit satisfying. But also not enough.

“Keep going.” Dazai encourages him airily.

Chuuya doesn’t say anything, as much as Dazai expects him to tease him about being impatient or needy. Instead he just eases in a second finger alongside the first. He takes his time, going slow and allowing Dazai’s body to adjust.

It’s really starting to feel gratifying now. The heat of a flame starting to flicker in his stomach. He didn’t give much thought to this previously but he’s starting to wish he had.

Then Chuuya’s fingertips brush against that sweet spot within him.

He’s definitely wishing he had thought of this sooner.

Chuuya hums an acknowledgement of his find before giving it undivided attention.

Dazai’s gripping the pillow and breathing harshly now. His thighs tremble slightly and he presses his face into the pillow in his grasp. Not wanting to be loud about his pleasure. Not wanting to be overcome by his desire.

Chuuya doesn’t take too well to that though. The unoccupied hand threads its way into Dazai’s hair and forces him to lift his face up. He’s not too rough about it, but it gets Dazai riled up regardless. He lets out a pitched moan and rolls his hips back into Chuuya’s hand.

“I want to hear you. How else will I know you feel that good?” Chuuya’s voice is low and alluring. Full of conviction and seduction.

“Okay. Okay.” Dazai concedes.

Chuuya scissors his fingers then and presses right around the edges. Dazai sees stars.

He couldn’t hear himself but he’s sure he made an embarrassing noise.

Chuuya pulls his fingers out of him and just before Dazai can ask why or protest he starts pressing against him again. This time with three.

Dazai’s chest shudders a little with his deep intake of breath. Chuuya is considerate and still permits him a lengthy adjustment period, and is seemingly focused on Dazai’s sounds. Presumably looking out for him.

It takes a bit longer than before, but finally Dazai’s fuller than he’s ever been. It still doesn’t hurt, but the stretch is a bit intense. Not enough for Dazai to voice discomfort though, and not enough to stop his hips from pushing back against Chuuya.

“I was right.” Chuuya proclaims sounding way too wrecked for someone who hasn’t even been touched yet.

“Hm?” Dazai questions.

“You look even better than I thought you would like this.” Chuuya praises as he twists his wrist, causing those digits to curl and spread him from within.

Dazai moans unabashedly, unable to tell if it was from the praise or the sensations. Both maybe? Who cares?

“You sound so fucking hot too. I can’t wait to be inside you.”

Gone was the quiet, demure Chuuya from St. Petersburg. The one who gasped and trembled and gave into Dazai’s touches. That side of him was nowhere to be found.

He had been replaced by a confident, imposing, willful person who spoke with surety and seduction lacing his tongue.

Dazai could see both sides of him had his merits.

“Go ahead.” Dazai encourages him.

He shifts his hips back into the fingers again, indicating he really is ready. He really does want this.

Chuuya spreads his fingers and presses into him a bit more excessively. It seems like he’s trying to be harsh, but Dazai can only moan. His cock actually starts leaking at that treatment. He must really enjoy it rough.

Chuuya takes his hand away soon enough. Dazai feels empty and open. Unfamiliar feelings entirely. Emptiness was something he was used to feeling mentally and emotionally, this was physical. Openness was something he never experienced at all. Right now he was on full display.

He wanted to know how Chuuya would fuck him. He wanted to etch that sensation into his memory. He had to know. But he refused to beg for him out of pride.

After far too many seconds of delay Chuuya was finally lined up against him.

Chuuya took a breath like he was about to say something. Reassure him again? Comfort him maybe? Dazai didn’t need to hear it. He was already perfectly prepared and relaxed.

So he pushed himself back and onto Chuuya’s cock.

The tip breached him and Chuuya grabbed his hips to stop him.

That’s when Dazai laughed instead of whining petulantly.

“Sorry. I can’t wait any longer.” Dazai tries to inch himself further back without a hint of remorse.

Chuuya sighs at this before his fingers sink into the flesh of Dazai’s hips. His grip stern and unyielding.

“If you want something you can ask for it.” Chuuya scolds him with a shallow, fluid motion of penetrating him slightly before pulling out to just the tip of his cock.

Goosebumps scatter across Dazai’s skin and he’s actually thankful for the bandages covering the majority of his body.

His pride is a lump in his throat that he refuses to swallow.

Instead he laughs again.

“Chuuya goes through all that trouble and wants me to beg for him?”

Chuuya sinks into him then. Slow and pointedly. The grip on his hips keeping Dazai from interfering with the pace.

When he bottoms out Dazai chuckles softly.

“So much for trying to ask you how you wanted it. I suppose I’ll just do what feels good for me then.” Chuuya’s tone is scolding yet again, but this time he’s so much more aroused. His voice is thick with lust.

Dazai rolls his hips on the intrusion. His insides giving a warm welcome. It’s thick and heavy within him and he can’t help but feel fulfilled. The intensity could only stand to become more so.

“Do your worst, Chuuya.” Dazai says softly, content with how his decision turned out.

“Shut up.” Chuuya rolled his hips causing Dazai to moan. “Don’t project your masochistic shit onto me.”

He pulls out and snaps his hips forward again. It’s exhilarating.

“Doesn’t hurt.” Dazai moans out those simple words at the contact.

Chuuya groans before responding “If you say so.”

He starts off with no rhythm whatsoever. He’s just experimenting with different types of thrusts, angles, and feelings. Dazai lets him know when something feels especially good and everything is going smoothly for the most part. Ultimately he decides to set a deep but slow pace. He reaches that end within Dazai over and over, heightening that aforementioned intensity with every slow drag of his cock along his walls. It becomes agony of the most blissful kind. Leaving Dazai to do nothing but shudder beneath him as his pride won’t allow him to ask for more.

One of Chuuya’s hands stop gripping him so hard and instead starts tracing soothing circles into his back.

The magnitude unravels him and he’s pressing his cheek into the pillow trying to hold on.

He feels like he might drown, or free fall, or that something within him might break.

He wants to.

“Can you even hear yourself? Fuck Dazai.” Chuuya swears through clenched teeth.

No Dazai cannot hear himself but he sincerely hopes it’s not words he’s saying.

Chuuya presses his palm flat against Dazai’s lower back and pushes him down further. His thighs spread even more and more of his upper body is supported by the pillow he can’t stop holding onto. Then Chuuya picks up the pace. It’s rougher, faster, and impassioned.

Dazai can faintly hear himself now, but it’s become entirely nonsense. Just moans, gasps, and whines with a repetitive calling of Chuuya’s name. Broken or choked off at times too.

Chuuya’s hand is in his hair again, tugging the chestnut strands. The slight sting in his scalp only serving to intensify the crescendo of bliss enrapturing him currently.

“Yeah that’s good. Tell me how you really feel.” Chuuya’s gruff voice is raw with passion.

Dazai realizes he’s been speaking for a little while now but he doesn’t know much of what he’s said other than the past few “yes, yes, yes.” Seriously what was he even agreeing to?

The tip of Chuuya’s cock slammed right into that place within him, forcing a loud cry from his throat.

Chuuya starts to slow, like he’s afraid he had hurt him.

“Right there!” Dazai tries to inform him that this was the good place, that he shouldn’t slow down.

He gets the message.

Soon every thrust is hitting it, pressing hard and roughly into him.

Dazai’s knees feel like they’ll give at any second, and his vision whites out around the edges.

Chuuya gives him one last harsh pull on his hair before his strong grip holds him up by his hips.

He’s using both his arms to bring Dazai back onto him fervently.

He can barely support himself at this point, feeling everything and at the same time numb to a lot. His insides were hot, wet, and shuddering violently, while his limbs were numb and boneless. His brain was racked by impending rapture but has devolved to white-noise.

He was so close he thought he might black out. No one, ever, has made him lose himself like this before.

He must’ve said something because finally Chuuya’s hand is wrapped around him and with a few flicks of his wrist Dazai is gone.

There’s no light but he sees vivid technicolor for a brief second before everything fades to black.

He’s conscious, because he can hear Chuuya breathing heavily and soon he feels warm liquid land on the top of his ass and lower back.

He can’t move though and he can’t be bothered to open his eyes.

He realizes way too belatedly that he’s collapsed and that Chuuya must’ve pulled out of him a while ago. He registers the smaller getting off the bed and leaves his brain on autopilot to listen to the footsteps fade away.

Who would’ve guessed it’d only take getting fucked to make his mind go quiet?

Chuuya returns soon enough and cleans off his back with a warm cloth.

“You didn’t actually pass out did you?” Chuuya whispers.

“No.” Dazai lies, because he’s now a little aware that there was some lost time.

If Chuuya had caught his lie he didn’t call him out on it. Instead he presses a kiss between Dazai’s shoulder blades before moving away.

Dazai assumes he’s getting dressed and prepared to leave. Slowly but surely feeling is returning to him anyway. He pushes himself up on unsteady arms and turns over to sit up. He’d rather die than meet Chuuya’s eyes so he fixes his gaze to the window.

He’s sticky and sweaty and gross. Everything aches slightly, especially his thighs. It’s not helping that his heart is beating out of his chest.

Without saying anything he gathers his clothes and locks himself in the bathroom.

As he turns on the water he’s already unwrapping his bandages and his mind is starting to resume its racing pace.

He didn’t have to wonder anymore.

Apparently Chuuya could take him over and shatter his breaking point without so much as a hitch. Dazai can’t recall any scenario where blacking out like that had happened before. Seriously, when he’d been shot he stayed awake despite going into shock from the blood loss. When he’d lost his eye he’d stayed conscious when others would’ve passed out from the pain. He really can’t think of anything that should impact him enough to warrant falling unconscious.

Yet Chuuya did.

He stayed under the flow of the water for a really long time. Attempting to regain his senses and clarity. His mind running in circles as he scrubbed his scarred body.

He really didn’t know what to say to him at this point, so he hoped he wasn’t there when he was finished.

Dazai got out and dried off before rewrapping his bandages. He took his time getting dressed too. He dragged out his solitude for as long as he could deem it acceptable. Hoping that when he opened the door Chuuya wouldn’t be on the other side.

Despite his silent prayers, there he was.

Chuuya was somewhat dressed, in his boxer briefs and undershirt, lounging on the bed. He had discarded the top layer of the blankets, and was sprawled out lazily on the sheets. He looked up from his phone nonchalantly when Dazai opened the door.

“You can leave if you need, but you can stay if you want.” Chuuya offers.

Dazai hesitates, not trusting himself to speak any more than he trusts Chuuya’s invitation.

“It’s probably not very good to keep all your thoughts bottled up inside. I can tell you’ve got something on your mind. We might be bad at communicating but that just means we should work on it.” Chuuya reads him like a book before encouraging him to turn the page. Open up, with words instead of actions.

Dazai crosses the room and lies next to him on the bed. Leaving plenty of space between their bodies.

“I’m just tired.” He lies to him again.

Truthfulness was not a quality he possessed. This was a story better left untold. There were words on the pages of his mind better left unread.

Dazai stared at the ceiling unseeingly. Chuuya sighed.

“You know what’s strange? Normally I can never get you to shut up, but after this you get all quiet and absorbed in your own head.”

Dazai chuckles at his complaint but doesn’t have anything to say.

“I can’t tell which is more annoying.” Chuuya’s tone is teasing but Dazai can tell he means what he says.

So he just sighs and closes his eyes.

“If something was wrong, would you tell me?” Chuuya asks him, suddenly vulnerable and sincere.

Dazai thinks about this for a moment. As of right now, nothing was wrong. But he can’t guarantee that he’d say anything in the future if that were to change.

“I’ll let you know.” Dazai told him anyway, sure that Chuuya would be able to pick up on it when the time comes.

That answer seemed to satisfy him momentarily.

It might’ve been the exhaustion from being fucked, but Dazai found it so much easier to fall asleep when he could listen to Chuuya breathe.

Chapter Text

Chuuya had finally found something not tangible that he wanted. Honestly it seemed unattainable, but he couldn’t push it aside. He couldn’t lock it away. He couldn’t ignore it any longer.

He cared for someone, in the raw emotional way that desired their touch and yearned for their presence. To know he was safe was to feel safe himself. To hear his voice was to be reassured. To hold onto him was to drown out his inhibitions.

So why were they always at each other’s throats?

It seems these days Dazai had been more argumentative, touchy, and uptight. Not that Chuuya has been much better, always quick to retort with words or physical jabs. Dazai always predicted his reactions and was generally good at evading his blows.

These last few instances though, when he’d said something especially mean spirited, he made zero effort to get out of Chuuya’s way.

As much as Chuuya mentally claimed to care for him he should have realized sooner that something was off.

So he here was, locking the door to Dazai’s office, steeling himself for whatever lies ahead.

“Why are you doing that?” Dazai questions his actions sharply.

Chuuya turns to face him and leans against the door.

“I’m not letting you out of here until you talk to me.” Chuuya crosses his arms and stakes his claim clearly.

“I have nothing to say, but I have work to do. Go pick on someone your own size.” Dazai rejects him and insults him at the same time.

Chuuya isn’t to be deterred. “You are nothing but trouble. Trying to get you to be honest is harder than pulling teeth.”

“Pulling teeth is easy. All you need is a pair of pliers and a strong grip.” Dazai remarks off handedly as his eyes scan documents.

Chuuya crosses the room to him. He pushes his chair back and shoves his papers aside to sit on his desk, deliberately in the way of his progress.

“I’m not going anywhere until you tell me what’s wrong.” Chuuya asserts again.

Dazai blocks his view of him by holding up papers to his face. Chuuya snatches them out of his grip to find him nervously chewing on his pen.

“What the hell is your problem? Don’t you have literally anything else to do?” Dazai is getting agitated.

“There is someone I’d like to do. But he’s too busy being easily offended and mopey to focus on much else. He didn’t think I’d notice that he’s actually letting me hit him. I can’t tell if he’s doing that so he has an excuse to be pissed or if this is one of his self-immolation tactics. I don’t know what he’s thinking or how he’s feeling but I want to.” Chuuya tells him honestly.

“Funny, I didn’t ask.” Dazai sneers and Chuuya reflexively moves to backhand him.

He stops himself, centimeters from his cheek.

He sees it then clearly. Dazai’s briefly disappointed, before masking it with indifference.

“You want me to hit you.” Chuuya says aloud and the surprise on Dazai’s face says it all.

“That’s not true.” Dazai defends himself.

Chuuya knows that his argument must’ve sounded weak to his own ears because he’s averting his gaze again.

“Why? Does it turn you on or something?” Chuuya questions him.

Dazai thrums his fingers on the arm of his chair as he shakes his head.

“No. That’s not it.” This time it doesn’t sound like he’s lying.

“So tell me then. What’s with your current dedication to pissing me off? Why are you going out of your way to make me get violent?” Chuuya demands of him.

Dazai’s eyes train on Chuuya’s feet. Hesitation clear in his voice.

“So you can hate me.”

“Why do you want that?” Chuuya’s tone is instantly kinder. He hadn’t known what to expect, if he would even get an answer at all. It certainly wasn’t this.

“It’ll be easier. I’ll be able to get you off my mind if you hate me.” Dazai’s quiet but uncharacteristically sincere.

“That’s stupid. Nothing is ever easy. You know that better than anyone else. Even if we don’t get along, even if we put a stop to this, there’s nothing that can insure that you’ll be able to focus again. You’ve been like this since you met me, and even if I despise you that won’t mean you’ll suddenly not be attracted to me. If anything, knowing your self-hating ass, you’ll probably want more of what you can’t have. So give up. Give in. Stop pushing away what you want.” Chuuya punctuates the last few sentences accordingly, first by hopping off his desk, then by straddling him in his seat, then by whispering the final demand in his ear.

Dazai’s hands grip his waist for the first time in too long.

Chuuya can feel he’s about to attempt to deceive him before the words even leave his lips.

“I don’t know what you’re going on about.” Dazai deflects.

Chuuya figures he made him honest enough for one day and is content to let him lie.

“Shut me up then.” Chuuya pulls back to meet him eye to eyes.

Dazai doesn’t hesitate anymore.

Their lips collide with the fervity and desire of two people unwilling to think any longer. They both want to drown out their insecurities in each other’s mouths. They both attempt to bury their uncertainty under the other’s skin. Vulnerability has no place here. Not with passionate tongues, deceitful lips, and wandering hands. Eyes shut tight as to be blind to weakness. Fingernails sharp into shoulders.

‘Who needs oxygen when Chuuya tastes more refreshing than any air?’ Dazai mentally laments when Chuuya pulls away to gasp for breath.

“I’m glad we solved this before our important mission. How’s your strategy coming along?” Chuuya asks him casually about work, like he’s not sitting in his lap.

Dazai chuckles at his subject change. “Surprisingly well considering. You should probably go though so I can finish up. I’m sure Kouyou or someone is missing you by now.”

Chuuya shrugs. Slipping away had been easy enough and this was a good place to hide. No one would suspect he’d be with Dazai willingly.

“There’s still a significant chance we might die though, so if you’re feeling sentimental go check in with everybody and when I get done come home with me tonight.” Dazai’s blunt and audacious presenting this information.

He has never invited Chuuya over before, so the smaller takes him seriously. There was always a chance that any mission could be their last. Chuuya was a little taken aback by Dazai’s admission of his own mortality. He had always mentally likened him to a cockroach because try as he might he couldn’t even die on purpose. This testimony of the sizable risk they were undertaking did not go ignored.

“Okay. I’ll see you later then.” Chuuya gets off him and starts to walk away.

Dazai grabs his wrist and pulls him back.

Chuuya knows what he wants without even looking at him. He turns back to him and leans down.

He brushes his lips against his teasingly before pulling away.

“Well that wasn’t fair at all.” Dazai complains but releases him regardless. Chuuya walks away.

“Haven’t you read Euphues?” Chuuya turns back to wink at him before unlocking the door and leaving the office.

If they’re meant to perish in the near future Chuuya is content with that being as close as he gets to saying those three words.

Chapter Text

Dazai holds up a small pocket mirror and checks around the corner of the storage container he and Chuuya are currently hiding behind.

“Yeah. That’s the leader. The tip was good. This is definitely the meeting place.” Dazai whispers to him softly. He turns the mirror and observes as much of the room as he can angle.

“It seems like everyone of importance is present. Only issue is we’re completely surrounded. I didn’t expect their security to be this tight so there’s no way out of here without making a mess.” Dazai laments quietly. “I’m confident in our survival rate, but there’s a chance the leadership could escape.

“We can’t let that happen.” Chuuya decides that it’s time. He has to do only what he can do.

“You’re right. Give me a second. I’m thinking.” Dazai tries to stall for time to come up with a plan, but Chuuya has other ideas.

“Dazai.”

There must have been something in his tone, because Dazai’s eye snaps to him. His gaze is intent and unwavering.

“I’m going to do this. Stop me before it’s too late.” Chuuya takes off one glove and stands.

Dazai is quick to his feet beside him.

“What? What do you mean?” Dazai’s anxiety is palpable. He’s not used to anyone going off script. Certainly not Chuuya, as he generally preferred to take orders and avoid direct responsibility.

“You’ll understand when you see.” Chuuya takes off his remaining glove and hands them, along with his hat to Dazai.

He steps out from the cover and speaks clearly and without equivocation.

“Oh Grantors of Dark Disgrace, Do Not Wake Me Again.”

Dazai watches in a combination of awe and fear as Chuuya decimates thirty percent of the enemy in one blow. His hands have become black holes that he can apparently manipulate and projectile at will. His skin is marred by strange red markings. His voice is foreign and fills him with unease as he cackles delightedly at his destruction.

The organization hardly puts up a fight.

Dazai sees reinforcements start coming out of the woodwork and decides to take mercy on them by shooting a few of them down before they can be ripped apart.

A few lowly goons try to escape, but this Chuuya shows no mercy.

No member of the opposition makes it out alive.

Dazai is overcome with dread and horror as he witnesses Chuuya showing no signs of registering they had won. Dazai rushes to get close to him, knowing that he has to reach him. He has to stop this. Chuuya had warned him not to be too late.

This close, he could finally see why.

Chuuya was bleeding from his eyes, nose, ears, and mouth. His ability was not only destroying his surroundings, but was ruining his own body. Dazai realized this was Arahabaki, and the full power of the god could not be mortally contained. Chuuya was a human vessel, prone to fragility and weak to devastation.

Dazai’s fingers threaded through his hair, both hands cradled his head.

“Rest, Chuuya.” Dazai comforted him as he nullified the carnage-inducing form of this ability.

He decided right then that this form was Corruption. It degraded the integrity of everything that was Chuuya. It was perverse and made him dangerous to himself.

Chuuya collapsed into him. Heavy and off balance. Dazai caught him, and held onto him tightly.

The lights flickered before the whole building blacked out. Chuuya must have damaged the electrical grid in his rampage. It was pitch black now, and tonight was a new moon, so no light came through the glass ceiling.

“Dazai..” Chuuya’s voice is hoarse and quiet.

“I’ve got you.” Dazai is supporting pretty much all of his weight at this point. Chuuya is getting weaker and weaker by the second. Dazai hates this power, as it made Chuuya something he’s not.

He’s not unreasonable. He’s not weak. He’s not a monster.

“Thanks.. for stopping me.” Chuuya crumples then, going entirely limp in his arms.

Dazai gently eases them down, cradling Chuuya’s head against his shoulder. He wipes the blood under his nose with his sleeve, and uses his thumb to rub the blood from below his eyes. The markings are faded from his skin, faint traces of red beneath the blood.

He pulls out his cell and makes a call.

“Mission successful. Send an extraction team.”

*

Word of what they had accomplished in a single night spread like wildfire before Chuuya even woke up.

Dazai didn’t want to leave his side in the infirmary, but after the 18 hour mark Mori demands an in-person report.

So here Dazai was knocking on Mori’s office door in his signature beat.

“Come in.” Is Mori’s stoic response on the other side.

Dazai enters the excessively luxurious office space.

Elise is twirling in place, but stops when she notices Dazai. Meanwhile Mori is just observing her from his desk, but when she looks to Dazai he follows her gaze.

“Ah Dazai-kun! So nice to finally see you! You weren’t injured I heard but you’ve spent the last night and day in the infirmary. Care to explain along with your report?” Mori is cold and suspicious of him like usual.

“The information was reliable, but we were vastly outnumbered. Their security was so reinforced I assume that the entire organization was present at this meeting place. Nakahara took initiative and used a form of his ability that was previously unknown to us. It’s activated by a key phrase, and it essentially turns him berserk. He has no control over himself whatsoever and decimates everything in his surroundings. He wiped out thirty percent of the enemy’s forces in a single blow. I backed him up and when everyone was dead he didn’t stop. He couldn’t stop. He had said, before he said the activation phrase “Stop me before it’s too late.” If you were wondering why I haven’t left the infirmary it’s because I’m not sure I did.” Dazai tells him everything and expresses the closest thing to concern he’s ever admitted in front of Mori.

“Have you heard what they’re saying about you two?” Mori asks him.

“Some of it. Yes.” Dazai confirms that he had heard some things that had been said.

Their reputations had skyrocketed. They went from being feared and respected to fearsome and revered. The entire Port Mafia was gossiping about the events of the previous night.

Eradicating an entire organization in one night was no small feat.

Considering everything Chuuya has sacrificed for this victory Dazai wouldn’t accept anything less than the praise he’d been receiving.

“I knew all along that your partnership would be beneficial to the success of the Mafia. I want more information about this hidden ability he’s kept from us. If he survives two things are going to happen; He’s going to have to use that ability again and you two will live up to your new moniker: Sōkoku.”

Double Black.

That wasn’t the first time Dazai had heard that phrase today but it sounded so much more legitimate coming from Mori’s mouth.

“I’ll write a full, detailed statement describing the activation sequence, the extent of it’s capacity, and it’s effects on Nakahara’s physical condition.
I understand that we will have to utilize it again, but I must stress a matter of importance. He cannot use that form without me present. It will kill him if I don’t nullify it.” Dazai stresses this as calmly as possible. He can’t let Mori know he actually cares about Chuuya, but he can’t chance the ruthless boss doing something to endanger his life.

So he tacks on “It would be a waste.”

Mori hums for moment and looks at Elise for a long second.

“I agree. Tactically it would be pointless to squander such an asset. You can go. Notify me when he wakes up.” Mori dismisses him but Dazai is grateful he saw reason.

“Yes, sir.” Dazai turns to leave.

“Dazai-kun.” Mori delays him.

Dazai turns back to him.

“You referred to it as an altered form. Does it have a name?” Mori questions.

Dazai thinks of it as the destructive god within him taking him over, so he calls it how he sees it.

“Corruption.” Dazai answers before his hand finds the doorknob.

He pauses, ensuring he’s permitted to leave.

“Interesting. You’re dismissed.” Mori finally allows him to return to Chuuya.

Dazai doesn’t hesitate. He doesn’t even hear the office door shut behind him he’s so far down the hall.

Is it strange he wants to be in the room the moment Chuuya wakes up?

Is it wrong to want to be the first thing he sees?

Does he want to prove to Chuuya or himself that he wasn’t too late?

Everything about the infirmary was wrong and inherently opposed who they were. Dazai hated doctors, hospitals, the medical industry, and healthcare in general. He preferred to patch himself up and Chuuya was similar but not as averse as Dazai.

What he was specifically referring to right now were the bright fluorescent lights, and the white room they put Chuuya in. White walls. White sheets. White pillow.

His red hair was tangled and matted. His normally creamy, porcelain complexion took on a sickly pallor. His eyes were dark and sunken in.

He’d recently broken his fever. It had made his hair greasy, and coated him in a cold sweat. Dazai had wanted to climb into that stupid hospital cot and hold him, and in any other situation he’d rather die than get in a hospital bed. He obviously held back, because he’d also rather die than let anyone find out about how he really feels about Chuuya.

Shit. He’d rather die than let Chuuya know how he feels about Chuuya.

So here he is. Sitting back in a crappy infirmary chair, waiting, anticipating, hoping for him to wake up. Thinking about various things he would rather die than do, and he’s glad he’s distracting himself with such a long list.

A few minutes past the twenty first hour Chuuya awoke with a start. He jolted as if he were jerking himself awake from a nightmare. His body didn’t take too kindly to the sudden movement as he winced and hissed in pain.

Dazai was on his feet and leaning over him. He begrudgingly kept his hands to himself. He sighed deeply with relief.

“I wasn’t sure you’d wake up.” Dazai voices his concern. Comfortable enough to do so in the privacy of Chuuya’s room.

“Me either.” Chuuya’s voice is a croaky whisper.

“How are you feeling?” Dazai asks him.

“Shitty.” Chuuya says bluntly.

“Power that strong is not meant to be condensed that way for long. It corrupts you and ruins you from the inside out.”

“When I use it..feels like I’m being melted. Disintegrated. Can’t see. Can’t hear. Can’t feel anything. Like with the sense of touch I mean. It’s almost like I’m not there at all except for the heat.”

“Its Arahabaki.”

Chuuya glares at him when he says that name.

“I named it; Corruption. It’s the complete form of Tainted. When you activate it you’re not you anymore. You could liken it to a full possession in a sense. The point is that it’s incredibly volatile and dangerous. I talked to Mori and he agreed that you can’t use it if I’m not with you.”

Chuuya looks betrayed. “You told him?”

“Chuuya I had to. Besides the fact that it’s literally my job, I had to explain how we strong armed an entire organization in one night, and I had to tell him why I hadn’t left the infirmary in eighteen hours despite not being injured. How could I consider telling him a betrayal to you if I didn’t even know if you’d wake up?”

Chuuya looks away from him. “You’re right.”

“I always am.” Dazai reminds him with a smirk.

“We really did it?” Chuuya asks him, like he’s disbelieving.

“Decimated that entire group in one night? Oh yeah. We certainly did. I’ve been receiving most of the praise despite that the majority of the credit goes to you.”

“What’s this? The Demon Prodigy giving credit where it’s due? Did hell freeze over? Or am I actually dead?” Chuuya teases him.

“I’m allowed to be honest every once in a while, alright? I have to keep it interesting.” Dazai taunts right back.

“Guns. Blood. Murder. Corruption. Your partner almost dying. You trying to say I’m not interesting enough for you?” Chuuya ponders.

Dazai chuckles. “You’ve been unconscious for twenty one hours. I’ve been getting bored here.”

“That’s a long time. No wonder you’re acting weird.” Chuuya stretches, well more like tries to. His body seizes up in pain before he sinks back into the cot.

“Try to psychoanalyze me and I’ll suffocate you.” Dazai threatens cheerfully. “Take into account your condition. Fighting back will be hard.”

“You have a tough enough time keeping me out of your head already. You wouldn’t chance me haunting you until the day you die.” Chuuya mocks him.

“Bold of you to assume I’m above murder-suicide.” Dazai says with a smile.

Chuuya groans. “Why’d you wait to take me out until I was conscious? You couldn’t put me out of my misery any sooner?”

Dazai laughs at him before finally allowing himself to touch him. He threads his fingers through tangled red hair.

Chuuya seems taken aback by this gesture as he opens his mouth to speak but can’t find his words.

“Is it that miserable?” Dazai asks him. “Waking up to me?”

“Dazai..” Chuuya calls his name so similarly to the way he did yesterday. Gruff. Feeble. Faint hearted. “No. There’s no one else I’d rather see.”

Dazai doesn’t let his face show his satisfaction with that answer, but his fingers give everything away with the way they tenderly run through his locks.

“We’ve made quite a name for ourselves, you and me.” Dazai informs him.

“What are they calling us?” Chuuya asks curiously.

“Sōkoku.”

Chuuya hums. “Fitting.”

“I thought the same.” Dazai agrees with him.

“A name like that is a lot to live up to.” Chuuya states.

“Good thing we have my plan of murder-suicide to fall back on.” Dazai smirks at him again.

“You literally can’t be serious for five seconds.” Chuuya complains.

“Not true. My record is two and a half minutes.” Dazai gives a gentle tug on Chuuya’s hair before letting go of him.

Chuuya laughs at that, but it causes him more pain than joy.

“Eh, I’ve gotten you to act right longer than that.”

“I get that you’re groggy and injured but make up your mind. Am I a dick or not?” Dazai asks him teasingly.

“Oh you’re always a dick. It’s just every once in a while you use it correctly.” Chuuya reminds him.

“Is Chuuya acknowledging my skills in bed?” Dazai feigns shock. “This is hardly the time or place.”

“I’ve always been vocal about that aspect of you. Dumb of me, considering your head is big enough.” Chuuya tells him.

“Let’s save some time and agree we both have massive egos.” Dazai smiles at him as he presents his compromise.

“Hm. Alright. You staying here proves you’re not a complete narcissist after all.” Chuuya relents with a slight insult.

“Get some rest. I’m going to call the doctor in and let Mori know you’re alive.” Dazai pulls out his cell and starts heading towards the door.

“Wait.” Chuuya calls after him.

Dazai couldn’t resist him if he tried.

“What is it?” He turns back and examines the small form on the bed.

Color is starting to come back to Chuuya’s face and the darkness around his eyes is still present but less intense.

“You’ll come back, right?” Chuuya asks him, but Dazai can tell he’s holding back from saying what he really wants to.

‘Don’t go.’

Dazai crosses the small room and takes Chuuya’s hand in his own.

“I’ll be just outside that door. It’ll be more like I never left.” Dazai reassures him with a squeeze.

Chuuya relaxes at this. His eyes are getting heavy again. Maybe Dazai shouldn’t have wasted all his energy bantering without letting the doctor know he was awake.

But he doesn’t regret it. Not at all.

He slips from Chuuya’s grasp and out the door.

Chapter Text

Dazai doesn’t sleep. That’s normal. It’s not that he doesn’t try to either. He’s currently laying in bed with his eyes closed, breathing deeply and smoothly so that if someone were to break into his penthouse to assassinate him they’d think he was asleep. He’s gotten rather good at faking it, because try as he might all he gets is a lot of practice.

When his phone rings his eyes open. It’s late. Early morning hours. Who could be trying to get ahold of him right now?

He grabs his phone off his nightstand and ‘Slug’ is across the screen. The time is 3:52am. He answers with no hesitation.

“Hello?”

“Come get me.” Chuuya’s voice is slurred, like he’s way too drunk. He gets wasted easily sure, but never to the point that he can’t make his way home.

“Where are you?” Dazai asks him.

“No see. Blurry.” Chuuya isn’t making any sense. He couldn’t read the street signs or name the bar he’d been at?

Dazai sits up and grabs his laptop.

“Stay on the phone. I’m going to track you down.” Dazai tells him as he plugs his phone into it and turns it on.

He’s got a trap and trace program that will triangulate whatever cell towers Chuuya is in between. The longer he stays on the line the more clear his location will be.

“Hurry. Bloods all o’er me.” Chuuya tells him.

Dazai’s blood ran cold as he booted up the program.

“Where are you bleeding?”

Drunk and injured Chuuya did not sound like a good combination.

“Not me’s.” Chuuya relieves quite a bit of tension from Dazai’s shoulders with those slurred words.

Still though. It wasn’t like him to kill someone when he was drunk. Dazai was concerned.

The cell towers lit up and Dazai saw he was only two to three miles away.

“Who was it?” Dazai knew the person couldn’t have survived if they made drunk Chuuya attack them.

“Dunno. Followin’ me around the bar, then I can’t see, and dragged me ousside.”

Dazai didn’t like the way this sounded. He was starting to realize Chuuya wasn’t just drunk. The location pinged and Dazai already had his keys in his hand.

“I know where you are. Stay right there I’m coming to get you.” Dazai tells him urgently. The last thing he needs is for him to wander away in the five minutes it will take him to get there.

“Can’t to pick up my feet.” Chuuya whines at him.

Yeah. He’d been drugged.

“Stay on the phone with me. I’ll only be a few more minutes.”

“Had to kill ‘em.” Chuuya confesses. Dazai had been right that the bastard didn’t survive.

“He deserved it.” Dazai attempts to comfort him.

Dazai’s always been a shitty driver, but his lack of focus and warranted haste made him even worse today. He hit two curbs. Thankfully there was nobody on the street.

He turns onto the dimly lit street where Chuuya’s location had pinged. He drives slowly until he sees a shadow of a person, their outline avoiding the streetlight. He’s leaning heavily against a building. Dazai parks close to him and gets out to help him.

“Can you walk?” Dazai asks him when he gets close.

Chuuya stumbles forward a little, the low lamplight catches him.

There’s blood in his hair, and all over his clothes. It’s smeared on his face like he tried to wipe it off to little avail. His eyes are droopy, and his eyelashes are caked with blood. He looks like a nightmare and Dazai is thankful all that blood is not his.

Dazai catches him regardless. Not caring about the state of his own clothes, or the interior of his car. All that mattered right now was getting Chuuya somewhere safe.

He supports his weight by throwing his arm over his shoulder and takes him to the car.

“With you.” Chuuya slurs.

“Yeah I’ve got you.” Dazai says as he opens the passenger side door and helps him into the seat.

Chuuya shakes his head and it looks like it takes way too much effort to do such a simple gesture.

“Take me.” Chuuya demands.

Dazai doesn’t need any more clarification. It’s plain to see that Chuuya doesn’t want to be alone right now. That he needs Dazai. In an intoxicated, weakened way Dazai is not used to being needed. Chuuya was unsteady, barely able to communicate, and lost. Yet the only thing he asked for was Dazai to be with him.

Who was Dazai to deny him?

“Sure, Chuuya. Whatever you say.” He buckles his seatbelt as a precaution against both his driving and Chuuya’s state. Then he shuts the door and gets in on the other side.

He whips a U-turn and takes them back to his penthouse.

“Dazai where am I?” Chuuya asks him.

“You were a couple blocks from the bars. Right now you’re in my car. We are almost back to my place.” Dazai tells him this nonchalantly. Like he doesn’t care. In reality his heart is clenching in his chest.

Chuuya can take care of himself. The stranger’s blood all over him was proof of that. Dazai can’t help but think of what could’ve happened. He can’t help but consider how much worse this could have been. What if Chuuya had lost consciousness? What if he had never got the chance to make that call? What if Chuuya had woken up the next day somewhere unfamiliar with no recollection of what happened? What if the guy had killed him?

Dazai’s anxiety morphed to anger when he wondered who had been accompanying Chuuya out drinking. Dazai’s morbid curiosity wanted to know what happened after the man dragged him out of the bar.

Chuuya rubs his face with his sleeve. His movements are sluggish and disoriented. He’s not doing much good either, more just smudging the existing blood streaks.

“Please,” Chuuya’s voice is distressed and pleading. “Get it off me.”

Dazai pulls into his buildings parking garage right then.

“I will. We’re here.” Dazai parks sloppily before hurriedly unbuckling Chuuya and getting out of the car.

He can’t walk anymore. His knees buckle as soon as his feet touch the ground. Dazai picks him up easily and slams the car door with his back. There’s so much blood. It’s staining everything and dripping on the ground of the parking garage. Dazai rushes them to the service elevator.

Now there’s a very prominent and suspicious blood trail leading right to Dazai’s front door. He knows he’s going to have to order somebody to do something about that, but carrying Chuuya to the bathroom is top priority. Once they’re inside Chuuya starts weakly pulling at his sticky clothes. Dazai sets him down on the counter and turns on the light.

That’s when he notices.

Chuuya’s shirt is torn. The top buttons are missing.

He steps back. Mostly to gather himself but in somewhat shock. Chuuya looks up at him. Bleary eyes unfocused and unseeingly.

“I’ll be right back. Hold on just a minute, okay?”

Chuuya squints at him. His eyes seemingly trying to adjust to the brightness. He doesn’t respond.

Dazai leaves the bathroom and pulls out his cell phone. He calls the subordinates who are in charge of security at his building.

“Yes, sir?” A voice answers him questioning and concerned.

“There’s a mess starting in the parking garage. Send a cleanup crew to clear the trail. And have someone take my car to the cleaners. I want this place immaculate before the sun rises.”

“Yes sir. Should we send a doctor up, sir? Or do you need to go to the hospital?” The subordinate is evidently worried.

It irritates Dazai.

“No. You should follow orders and not be fucking nosy.” Dazai snaps before ending the call.

He goes to his bedroom and grabs a change of clothes for himself and a shirt and shorts for Chuuya. He doubts anything else of his will fit his small frame. Then he rushes back to the bathroom.

Chuuya is right where he left him, but is rubbing his face again with his hands. Much more aggressively this time though.

Dazai grabs his wrists to try and stop him, but he flinches in his grasp and jerks away from him.

He quickly lets him go.

“Chuuya it’s me. It’s okay. You’re safe.” Dazai reminds him.

Chuuya’s glassy eyes try to focus on him. He looks frightened and distraught. What the hell made him look like that?

“Hurts me.” Chuuya slurs.

Dazai slowly reaches out and takes his hand. Then he gently rolls up his sleeve. There’s a handprint-shaped bruise encircling his wrist. Fresh and obviously still tender.

“I didn’t mean to.” Dazai says, soft and regretful. He hadn’t meant to hurt or scare him.

“Grabbed me. Dark. Couldn’t see. Pushes me down.” Chuuya tries to explain.

“Legs wouldn’t work, I can’t kick him.” Chuuya looks both infuriated and terrified. “Rips my shirt and I so angry. Then..then..”

Dazai’s hand is in his hair. Fingertips massaging into his soiled scalp.

“It’s okay. You’re safe.” Dazai reassures him. “You don’t have to say it.”

“You weren’t there. Kept hopin’ you would stop ‘em but you didn’t come.” Tears well up in Chuuya’s eyes.

Dazai hadn’t even known he was out tonight. How was he supposed to save him? Even knowing there was nothing he could have done didn’t stop the guilt he felt at hearing Chuuya say he had been waiting for him. Chuuya wasn’t making any sense but Dazai knew trauma was irrational, and that he was not really right in his mind. Drugged and scared Chuuya had probably called out for him. That thought shook Dazai to his core.

“I’m sorry. I’m sorry I wasn’t there. I’m here now. You’re safe now.”

“Then he kissed me. Gross. Awful. Wouldn’t stop.” Chuuya told him. The tears don’t fall.

Dazai’s stomach sunk to his toes.

“Did he..-“

“No, crushed him. Popped like a balloon all o’er me.” Chuuya shows no remorse. Dazai concurs, they’ve killed for far less before. Dazai’s only lament is that he wishes the guy had suffered more.

“Let’s get you cleaned up.” Dazai releases him and turns away to turn the shower on.

When he ensures the temperature is sufficient he turns back to Chuuya. The redhead is fighting to keep his eyes open, adrenaline no longer coursing through him. Drug starting to take its more serious effect. Dazai shrugs him out of his jacket and starts taking off his clothes.

He doesn’t help, but he doesn’t protest. The complete trust he’s putting in Dazai now making the taller’s head dizzy. Chuuya had been through some bullshit tonight, but Dazai felt he was too good for him. He didn’t deserve Chuuya’s good faith. He hadn’t been there when he needed him most.

Dazai never blamed himself for other people’s misfortune, but Chuuya made him into an utter fool.

He guided him to sit heavily on the bench along the wall of his shower. Chuuya’s eyes finally closed as Dazai rinsed him off under the warm water.

The water drained red for a long while before fading to a soft pink. Chuuya relaxes completely as Dazai’s thumb helps the water scrub the blood off his face.

“Keep your eyes closed.” Dazai warns him as he lightly wipes the blood from his lashes.

He moves to his hair next. The water darkens dramatically as he separates the matted locks with his fingers. Slowly but surely, the crimson is replaced by his vibrant dark orange, and the water runs pink again.

He sets the showerhead back and pours some shampoo into his hand.

“I’m going to wash your hair now. So keep your eyes closed.” Dazai offers another warning, but Chuuya doesn’t show any sign of stirring. Let alone opening his eyes.

It takes some creative maneuvering, but Dazai’s hands manage to lather up all of Chuuya’s hair well. He’s slow and cautious about it. Fingers untangling knots, fingertips massaging his scalp.

At the massage treatment Chuuya let’s out a pleased mewl.

Dazai is glad his eyes are closed, because he’s sure his usual indifference is entirely replaced by fondness.

“Dazai..” Chuuya slurs his name.

“I’ve got you.” Dazai reminds him, not letting up on his task.

The suds had turned a dark pink, but he was finally beginning to be clean. Dazai was glad to have been able to help recalling the way Chuuya had pleaded for him to get the bastard’s remains off him. He couldn’t imagine the horror of being stuck with someone in such a vile manner.

Dazai rinsed off his hands and retrieved the shower head. He shielded Chuuya’s closed eyes with one hand as he rinsed the soap out of his hair. Chuuya presses his forehead into Dazai’s touch.

“I knew’d you come fo’ me.” Chuuya slurs, sounding finally secure. Closer to content.

Dazai tilts his head back and runs his hand through his wet curls, getting the last of the pink bubbles from his hair.

“Anytime.” Dazai assures him. He means it too. If it were Chuuya asking he has no doubt he’d drop everything to save him. “That’s what partners are for.”

Chuuya hums at this before opening clouded eyes. He looks at Dazai’s face, though it’s impossible to tell how much he’s really seeing.

“Careful.” Chuuya slurs. Dazai fears he may have hurt him.

“What? Did I do something?”

Chuuya nods, which scares Dazai, and takes too much of Chuuya’s energy.

“Made me fall in love with you.” Chuuya confesses with a heavy tongue that Dazai knows all too intimately.

Dazai’s first instinct is to run. He can’t do that now though, so he settles on his second instinct; Denial.

“Chuuya you’ve been drugged. You don’t know what you’re saying.” Dazai denies him.

Chuuya smiles, but it’s half-hearted and uneasy.

“Thought that’s makes it easier to say back.”

“Nothing is ever easy.” Dazai echoes Chuuya’s own words.

Chuuya closes his eyes again and Dazai washes his face. His touch is lighter than before, as if this way Chuuya won’t remember his touches. He gets a washcloth and cleanses Chuuya’s neck and upper body. As that’s where the majority of the blood pooled. He works his way down slowly and faintly. Not wanting to spook Chuuya with more than a fleeting brush of the cloth.

When Chuuya speaks again it’s a genuine surprise. Dazai had really thought he’d finally succumbed to unconsciousness.

“Don’t have to say it.” Chuuya mumbles, barely coherently. “I can tell.”

Dazai tells himself he doesn’t care that he’s been figured out. He doesn’t fucking care. At all.

Chapter Text

Chuuya had finally achieved his sought after promotion. After two long years of being partners with the youngest Mafia executive in history he had earned an almost equal title. Port Mafia Executive Nakahara Chuuya had a pleasant ring to it. The title itself was only outmatched by the privileges that came with it.

Becoming official equals with Dazai had been a gratifying aspect of this.

Now though there was a more pressing matter at hand.

Chuuya had waited patiently for this day. Ever since he’d left the Sheep and promised himself he would rise through the ranks of the Port Mafia. He had to know the truth. With this official title came the most valuable asset in his line of work: Information.

Particularly, he now finally had access to his own file. He could discover the origins of himself and Arabahaki.

A key had been given to him. This key unlocks a door on a quiet, dark, guarded floor of the Mori Corporation tower. Behind that door was a room full of shelves, they extended from floor to ceiling, and were tightly compacted with folders, books, files, and documents.

Chuuya set to work looking for his file.

It took about seven minutes for him to locate what he had been searching for.

He pulled the file from its place, and made a mental note of its previous position on the shelf.

Then crossed the room to the other side, where a bay window was. He sat on the ledge, crossed his legs, and opened to the first page of the documents.

‘Ability User A5158’

There was a single photograph. Of himself as a child, of his body floating in some kind of glass case. There were wires and tubes hooked up to him as he was suspended in some sort of liquid.

He stared at the picture for a long time before turning the page.

It was a military dossier. Labeled: Classified. The seal of Japan’s armed forces stamped on the page. His eyes poured over the information, reading every word carefully as to ascertain the full meaning.

Chuuya was labeled as a Biological Weapon Experiment. He had a serial number. There were several lab technicians, high ranking military officials, biochemists, and metaphysicists mentioned in this document. It described their roles in his .. creation. With more accurate terminology Chuuya had been bioengineered into existence.

Arahabaki was a god of calamity that had been captured and contained by the Japanese Special Ability Forces. The driving theory behind the experiment on Chuuya was that Arahabaki could be sealed within a vessel and that this vessel would be child turned weapon, easy to control.

There was extensive research and documentation on the sealing process. The jargon of the metaphysics and biochemistry was not completely lost on Chuuya, but was a little hard to follow. Essentially he and Arahabaki had been artificially conjoined. The recurring thematics described Chuuya as anything but human. The term ‘vessel’ was used in place of ‘child’, and Arahabaki was the only entity between the two of them mentioned by name.

Did Chuuya even have a name?

Who was he before they put him in the glass?

There were no answers regarding who Chuuya was, but there were swells of information about what Arahabaki had been.

Chuuya’s heart grew heavy, and his mind grew to doubt his own humanity. Was he ever someone? Was there only Arahabaki? A lab experiment that was released?

Did Chuuya count as a real person?

Or was he just a sheath for a sword?

A shell?

Or was he the beast itself?

He reached the end of the document and closed the folder with more questions than answers, and more doubts than sureties.

He stared at the floor for a long while, lost in thought. Then he turned and looked out the window behind him. The sun was low in the sky, signaling it was still early in the day. The streets below were as busy as usual around Headquarters.

None of the people below ever questioned if they were people.

Humanity was determined by the circumstances of one’s birth. As far as Chuuya knew he had never been born at all.

What if they would never subject a human child to that experimentation? What if he had been artificially grown in a test tube before Arahabaki was ever sealed inside him?

Confusion. Doubt. Anger. Anguish.

Those emotions swirled in his mind.

Emotions. He thought. What a funny word. Was he ever designed to feel at all?

There was someone he cared for though. Someone who pressed all his buttons, irritated and infuriated him. Someone who knew just what he was thinking without words exchanged. Someone who held him back when he went too far, someone who stopped him before it was too late, someone who would always have his back and come to save him.

Who knew just how he liked to be touched, without Chuuya ever having to tell him.

Chuuya’s curiosity was starting to get the better of him.

Pushing the previous negative thoughts from his mind temporarily, he got up.

He put back his own file before beginning his search.

There was someone else he could look into, since he was here and all.

He wandered around, scanning labels and checking shelf identifications.

Then he heard the door open.

He hadn’t found what he was looking for yet. As it was rather embarrassing he froze.

Familiar footsteps crossed the room towards him and a familiar face peeked around the corner of the shelves at him.

His face lit up and he greeted him with a smile and choice words.

“I thought I’d find you here.” Dazai informed him of his predictability.

Chuuya wasn’t exactly in the most chipper of moods. First there was the information he read. Now he couldn’t even stalk the person in front of him in peace.

“You found what you were looking for.” Dazai states more than asks. It must be written all over Chuuya’s face.

“Did you know?” Chuuya demands. Had Dazai read his file? Did he keep the truth from him all this time?

Dazai blinks at him. With two eyes he manages expressions like surprise better.

“I’ve never read your file, so I don’t know what you’re referring to.” Dazai doesn’t sound like he’s lying.

“You never looked into it?” Chuuya finds this a little hard to believe. Dazai had taken up things like installing an alarm at Chuuya’s home, putting a different passcode on everything Chuuya owned, and even bugging his phone. He said he didn’t listen to his calls or read his information, but was ‘simply’ tracking his location. Over the last year he’d become fiercely protective and using the word ‘stalker’ wasn’t exaggerating.

Chuuya still wasn’t sure what had made him change like that. He doesn’t remember any particular exchange that would’ve warranted this change over night. He hadn’t complained though, as those gestures were the closest thing Chuuya had gotten him to admitting he cared.

“That wouldn’t have been fair to you. It’s not for me to know.” Dazai says simply.

Chuuya instantly feels guilty that he had been looking for Dazai’s file. Dazai had respected him enough not to look into Arahabaki, and here he had been. Scouring these shelves for Dazai’s past. Chuuya didn’t deserve to know. It wasn’t his story to read.

“You’re so easy to read.” Dazai informs him with a knowing smile.

Chuuya knows he’s been caught. His silence had been deafening in the quiet room.

“I hardly need a file.”

Oh. He was teasing him. It takes everything in him not to sigh in relief.

Chuuya huffs instead, feigning his usual annoyance.

“What are you looking for now? Perhaps I can help you find it.” Dazai offers.

Chuuya feels like shit. All that anger and doubt now has regret and guilt added to the mix.

“There’s no need.” Chuuya relents. “Nothing I find will make me feel better about what I’ve already found.”

He turns away from Dazai and heads towards the back of the room to look out the bay window again.

Familiar footsteps follow him.

Chuuya sits and focuses his eyes on Yokohama’s morning skyline.

After reading about how Arahabaki has destroyed it so, he wonders if he has any right to call it home.

“Let me sit with you.” Dazai asks of him.

Chuuya doesn’t hide his surprise. “Aren’t there cameras in here?” He glances up at the ceiling and around the walls.

“Ah yes. The room where we keep our most sensitive information that’s only accessible to five executives and one boss is heavily surveillanced by live video feed. How did you know?” Dazai taunts him when Chuuya doesn’t find anything.

Chuuya rolls his eyes and scoots over. Dazai takes the non-verbal invitation.

It’s not a big space, but they can sit comfortably without touching.

“It’s none of my business, so I won’t ask. Just know that if you need anything I’ll do what I can.” Dazai tells him.

He won’t ask where Chuuya came from. Chuuya is remorseful that he didn’t grant him the same grace. Now though, he knew he wouldn’t ask Dazai either and that he wouldn’t look into his past on his own. If Dazai wanted him to know he would tell him.

“I’m just..” Chuuya pauses, unsure how to articulate this line of thought. “coming to terms with not being a real person.”

Dazai’s brows furrow. “Chuuya, you are not Arahabaki. You’re your own person, an individual with a personality and his own thoughts.”

It feels so good to hear him say that, but it does little to ease Chuuya’s doubt.

“It’s unclear whether I was born or not.” Chuuya tells him what hadn’t been in the file rather than what had.

“Lots of people don’t have a birth certificate. You’re still real. You’re still a person.” Dazai attempts to reassure him.

Chuuya shakes his head. “People are weak. People are fragile. And people die. I’m not the same. In the way I fight, in the way I think, there are things inherently inhuman about me. I think I am more like ..”

“Have I ever explained to you why I named Corruption?” Dazai asks him.

Chuuya looks up at him quizzically. “I thought it was self explanatory. It’s the complete form of Tainted.”

Dazai finds Chuuya’s hand on his lap and holds it tightly.

“Do you remember how I described it?” Dazai questions him.

Chuuya nods at this, faintly remembering. He had only just woken from it when they had that conversation after all.

“Yeah. I think you compared it to possession.” Chuuya recalls.

“You and Arahabaki are not the same. Your life forces may be tightly intertwined or even codependent, but you are separate beings. I named Corruption, because of the definition of the word itself. When Arahabaki takes over it degrades the integrity of everything that is Chuuya. You are not without morals. You are not depraved. You do not delight in destruction. Chuuya is human. He is strong and coldly ferocious, but there are times where he is weak and fragile too. As there is always a risk he may die.” Dazai lifts his hand and kisses the small space of exposed skin on his wrist.

Chuuya had never really thought of the meaning of the word itself. He just thought of it as a more ‘complete’ or ‘literal’ form of Tainted. He guessed Dazai would probably have had a deeper reasoning behind the choice. The way Dazai had explained himself did wonders drowning out the doubts and questions plaguing his mind.

Before he could think too much about it he was grabbing Dazai by the collar and pulling him down to kiss.

It was sensual and searching. Like Chuuya had lost something he knew he’d find within him.

He just wanted to feel like real people do.

Chapter Text

It was hot. A suffocating night in June. Chuuya was lounging around his apartment with the air conditioner on full blast. He had tied his hair up and back to try and cool down his neck and face.

His phone goes off with a custom text tone, so he knows who it is before even reading the message.

Mackerel:
Put on some casual clothes. I’ll be there in ten minutes.

Chuuya blinked at the message. Surprised by the ordering tone and strange request.

He texted back a one word reply. ‘Why?’

There was no response. That could only mean he was already on his way. Because he doesn’t text and drive.

Chuuya put on some shorts and a T-shirt and after a bit of searching he found his one pair of casual tennis shoes. A pair of Chuck taylors that hadn’t been worn in quite some time, and were hardly used.

He phone went off again.

Mackerel:
I’m outside.

Chuuya huffed. He wasn’t even going to come to the door? Whatever.

He grabbed his keys and wallet, shoving everything in his pockets, before heading for the door. He set the alarm and locked up before leaving. Then he made his way through the building to the street outside.

Sure enough Dazai was parked there. The tinted windows of his car were even more dark because of the night. It was still humid and Chuuya had just redid his hair so he hurriedly got in the car.

As soon as he shut the door he put on his seatbelt.

“Where are we going?” He questions him.

Dazai is checking him out. Anything but subtle, as per usual when they were alone.

“Nowhere in particular.” Dazai tells him.

Chuuya reviews him in return.

He didn’t wear anything short even on the hottest of days. He was wearing a long-sleeved, dark blue shirt, and jeans. Chuuya can’t remember ever seeing him in jeans. The shirt had a wide neck, so more of his bandages were exposed than usual. Chuuya can’t think of any time he’s worn something like this.

Satisfied with his view Chuuya faces forward and leans back.

He can sense Dazai smiling as they pull away from the curb.

“It’s been a while since you’ve randomly abducted me.” Chuuya comments.

“It’s not abduction if you consent. It’s just Tuesday.” Dazai says cheerfully.

Chuuya laughs. His anxiety melting away.

“As long as you don’t get us lost or kill us I guess I’ll be fine.”

Dazai pouts. “There goes my plans for the evening.”

Chuuya giggles. “What was on the itinerary? Find a secluded area and fulfill your murder-suicide scheme?”

Dazai laughs at that. He must be in a good mood, because he doesn’t usually laugh at Chuuya’s jokes so easily.

“Wow Chuuya! You always see right through me!”

Chuuya playfully punches his shoulder. “Maybe old age is making you predictable.”

Dazai puts a hand over his heart dramatically.

“And you always hit me where it hurts!”

“Eighteen isn’t that old. Besides you still act like you’re five so it’s not that much of a change.” Chuuya taunts him.

Dazai side glances at Chuuya before focusing back on the road.

“I’m not eighteen yet.” Dazai informs him, kind of softly.

Chuuya is surprised. He doesn't know Dazai’s exact birth date, as that’s something he’s never shared, but he’d always assumed he was a Gemini.

He’s intelligent, adaptable, funny, but also flighty, aloof, lacking direction, and inconsistent. You can never tell what he’s thinking, he’s two-faced, and it’s hard to tell if he’s lying to you.

“Really?” Chuuya hums. “All this time I thought you were a Gemini.”

Dazai takes an exit and now they’re on the freeway. Chuuya wonders what's going on in his mind.

“You assumed my Zodiac Sign?” Dazai sounds like he’s poking fun at him, but Chuuya can tell he’s curious about how he came to that conclusion.

“You have a lot of the traits.” Chuuya tells him as he looks out the window. It’s dark but the moon is full. It illuminates the dark water of the port, and Chuuya gazes at the city they’re leaving behind.

“I guess that makes sense.” Dazai concurs.

“You’re an intelligent airhead. Witty, curious, and you hate being bored. You have the attention span of a fish, you exaggerate a lot, and you’re cunning.” Chuuya explains his reasoning. “I’m okay with being wrong though. Considering your moodiness and sexuality my next guess is Scorpio.”

Now that makes Dazai laugh. He jerks the wheel a little bit he’s laughing so hard. Chuuya grabs it to steady it.

“Dumbass! Learn how to fucking drive!” Chuuya snaps at him.

“Sorry sorry.” Dazai doesn’t sound ‘sorry’ at all as he wipes at his eyes. What a drama queen.

“Scorpios are the jealous and possessive types. That goes along with being secretive and manipulative. The more I think about it the more you sound like one.”

“Now you’re just bullying me. I’m not a Scorpio!” Dazai protests.

Now Chuuya is really shocked. He runs through what he knows in his head. He’s not an Aries or Aquarius, though those are the next fitting, because he’s younger than Chuuya. He’s not a Leo because he doesn’t really like himself all that much, and he’s not a Libra because he has very few friends (let alone people who tolerate him). He’s not dreamy enough to be a Sagittarius or Pisces. Chuuya is positive he’s not an Earth Sign either, because they’d get along a lot better if he were.

Chuuya was starting to doubt his astrological skills. He wasn’t serious about it or anything, but it was a fun hobby. It’s application to Jungian theory was interesting and he liked the historical aspect of such a long going practice.

“I give up! What’s your sign then?” Chuuya demands.

Dazai chuckles. “I don’t have one.”

Chuuya scoffs. “Everyone has a sign. Do you not even know yours or something?”

“No. I really don’t have one. I have two.” Dazai grins mischievously as he says this.

Chuuya’s eyes widen. “Cusps are cool. I don’t think I know of anybody else who’s a Cusp.”

Dazai hums. It’s his stupid suicide song. Chuuya recognizes the tune immediately.

He realizes then he was probably right. Dazai is a Gemini. They were in the Gemini-Cancer cusp right now, and Dazai mysteriously dragged him out of the house tonight. The puzzle pieces fit together and it was actually logical.

He had a hard time trusting people, not that this could be avoided in their line of work, but he didn’t open himself up even to those closest to him. He was protective, jealous, intense, and moody. Self-destructive behavior was his trademark despite him being incredibly selfish. The cycle of thinking too highly of himself only to cut himself down made a little more sense. Then there’s the flirtatiousness that masks his loyalty. Chuuya knows where his allegiances lie. Dazai definitely qualifies as an ambivert as well, because he’s not as social as most Gemini but not nearly as domestic and homebound as a Cancer. Although Dazai never uses emotional words, his actions display his affections.

Chuuya felt a little lucky to have such an enigma for a partner.

But he wasn’t about to listen to him repeatedly hum that stupid fucking song.

He turns on the radio and shuffles through the stations until he finds a song he likes.

He’s looking out the window at the dark sky, humming along to the beat of the song, when a reflection of light catches his eye.

He turns to look at Dazai’s lap, where he’s hurriedly locking the screen on his phone.

Chuuya reaches for it, but Dazai is closer so he quickly grabs it and puts it under his opposite leg. Effectively out of Chuuya’s reach.

“Being secretive are we? Thought you didn’t text and drive.” Chuuya scolds him.

“I’m not texting.” Dazai defends himself.

“What were you using your phone for then?”

“In 0.6 kilometers take the exit on your right towards Zushi.” A robotic voice coming from under Dazai’s thigh answered his question.

Dazai frowns and looks behind him before changing lanes.

“You said we weren’t going anywhere in particular.” Chuuya reminds him.

Dazai takes the exit and adjusts so he can unlock his phone and look at it on his side without Chuuya seeing it. “We’re not.”

“GPSes don’t give directions without a destination in mind.” Chuuya points out.

Dazai huffs. “We still have a ways to go. Can we talk about literally anything else?”

“Sure.” Chuuya agrees. “So what’s in Zushi?”

Dazai makes an exasperated noise. “Just.. somewhere I haven’t been.”

Chuuya tilts his head at this. “Zushi isn’t that far from home. Why the sudden interest?”

“We’re not even stopping in Zushi! We just have to drive through it!” Dazai is annoyed now.

“So there is a particular destination in mind. Hm. It's somewhere you haven’t gone before. We have to drive through Zushi to get there. These are good clues. I’ll be able to figure this out.” Chuuya’s deductive skills weren’t on the same level as Dazai’s but he had faith in his ability to eventually figure it out.

“Knock yourself out.” Dazai relents before checking his phone again and flicking eyes back up to the road.

If they were just going through the city then there would be the coastal countryside on the other side. He better not be taking them to a cliff or otherwise available suicide spot.. Chuuya shakes his head at the thought, remembering Google Maps probably didn’t have popular suicide locations logged as options.

Maybe there was a place over here that does a late night program? Though Dazai didn’t seem like one to sit through a movie or live production. Chuuya hadn’t heard of anything big or important going on in the area either, like a concert or event.

He thinks for a while before it hits him. Honestly he’s such a dumb ass.

“Oh!” He startles Dazai who winces at his volume.

“Took you long enough.” He taunts.

“You’ve never been to the beach?” It’s more of a question than a statement.

“I’m not exactly beach body material.” Dazai jokes but Chuuya catches his sincerity.

He understands why he chose to do this at night.

“It’s late. No one will be around to see us.” Chuuya assures him.

Dazai chuckles. “I was counting on that.”

It not long before Chuuya starts seeing signs directing them to Zushi Beach. Dazai follows them easily, hardly needing the GPS anymore. Chuuya is grateful for that because he’s not taking his eyes off the road.

They reach their destination soon enough. It’s already past eleven and there’s no cars in the lot. They get out and Chuuya stretches. He hears Dazai open a door and shut it again. He walks around the car to meet him.

He’s wearing a backpack. The moonlight illuminated him just enough that Chuuya can appreciate the view. He looks like a university student. Like he could be a normal kid.

In most cases he found pretending to be something he’s not a waste of time. Though he could hardly consider time spent with Dazai wasted. Chuuya supposes that for tonight they can fake it.

Dazai leads the way and they head towards the sound of the ocean. Asphalt gives way to grassland, then there’s sand beneath their feet. The water is in sight now. It’s dark and the air smells crisp and salty.

They get a bit closer and Dazai stops in his tracks.

“This should be far enough back, right?” Dazai asks him.

“What? Why?” Chuuya questions.

“I don’t want Chuuya to get swept away by the tide if it comes further in!” Dazai teases him and voices his concern at the same time.

“I don’t know how the tides work here but sure. This should be okay.” Chuuya agrees with his choice.

Dazai is already unzipping the backpack. He pulls out a huge blanket, and he’s being careful about it. When he slides out the bottles Chuuya understands why.

He holds out his hands, offering to hold them while Dazai does whatever he’s planning on doing.

Dazai hands him the two bottles of alcohol. Chuuya activates his ability to hold them up while he checks the labels with the flashlight on his phone. The first one is a Suntory Yamazaki sake and the second is Massandra Rose Muscat. Both are obviously expensive. Chuuya recalls a fond memory of the first time he tried Massandra. St. Petersburg really seemed so long ago.

Dazai spreads out the blanket over the sand. He takes off his shoes and gets on the blanket to smooth out the edges. When he’s satisfied he sets his backpack on the corner of it and sits back.

Chuuya takes off his own shoes and joins him. He hands him his malt whiskey as he sits down. Dazai takes it from him wordlessly. His face is towards the ocean, and the waves have captured his attention. It’s strange seeing him be so quiet and attentive. Chuuya guesses it goes to show he doesn’t get much time to appreciate the scenery or new experiences often enough.

Chuuya scoots closer to him and leans against him. Content to watch the moonlight catch the waves with him. Chuuya assumes there must be a reason Dazai chose to bring him tonight. He could’ve probably convinced Oda or Ango to come get drunk with him on the beach, but he chose Chuuya. That had to count for something right?

“It’s pretty out here I guess. The waves sound nice.” Dazai comments lightly. It’s the first time he’s spoke in a while and he’s the one who broke the silence.

“I think so too. And yeah the water sounds relaxing.” Chuuya agrees with him.

“You can go swim if you want. I brought a towel.” Dazai offers him.

“Why only one? I don’t want to if you don’t join me.” Chuuya pouts.

Dazai stiffens against him.

“I don’t swim.” Dazai tells him plainly.

“You mean you don’t know how?” Chuuya tries to clarify.

“No, I do. It’s just.. I’m not comfortable with it.” Dazai tries to explain.

“You’re afraid of the ocean?” Chuuya presses.

Dazai chuckles at that. “No. I’m not afraid of anything. I’m just not taking my bandages off.”

Chuuya’s eyes widen in realization. “I mean I won’t force you to. But it’s dark and I’m the only one here. I won’t judge you either way.” Chuuya attempts to reassure him.

“That’s plenty enough reason to keep them on.” Dazai opens his bottle then and takes a big swig.

Chuuya feels a little defeated. They’ve been ..whatever this is.. for a long time now. Dazai still had never been comfortable with him enough to take his bandages off.

He knows though that Dazai’s actions speak louder than his words. He didn’t want to be with anyone else tonight and Chuuya wanted him to have a good time. Even if he had limits like these.

“Okay.” Chuuya hums his agreement before opening his own bottle. Well, trying to. Why the hell was this sealed so tight?

Dazai chuckles at his struggle before extending his hand. Chuuya reluctantly hands him his bottle, and Dazai has him hold his own. He got it open a few seconds later after adjusting his grip a few times. He hands it back to Chuuya.

“I loosened it up.” Chuuya states petulantly.

“Oh yeah. Definitely.” Dazai mocks him.

Chuuya smells the wine before taking his first drink. It smells amazing, rich, and sweet.

“Is it-“

“No. I can’t find that brand anywhere. I tried importing it but I think it was limited edition or discontinued or something. I read online that one is good though.” Dazai cuts him off, knowing exactly what he was about to ask.

Chuuya hums before taking a drink. It tastes even better than it smelled. The sweetness similar to but much more poignant than pink moscatos he had tried before.

He pressed the back of his hand to his upper lip, discreetly drying it.

“It’s really good.” Chuuya expresses his delight.

Dazai hums and takes another drink of his own.

Chuuya checks his phone.

12:02a.m. 19 June

He was confident about this.

“Hey Dazai.” Chuuya puts the cap on his drink.

“Huh?” He replies as he sets down his own bottle.

Chuuya stands and offers his hand.

“Let’s just put our feet in.”

Dazai nods and takes his hand.

Chuuya doesn’t let go.

The sand between his toes and Dazai’s hand in his make this entirely too surreal. This wasn’t like them. They didn’t do things like this. Chuuya found himself wishing that these were moments they shared more often.

He pushed that thought from his mind and focused on enjoying the here and now.

Dazai pauses when the sand becomes damp and lets go of Chuuya’s hand to roll up his jeans. Chuuya walks ahead and soon the foam is lapping at his toes. It’s cool and feels nice against his skin in contrast to the humid night air.

Dazai soon follows. Chuuya reaches out for him and catches his shirt. He uses it as leverage to pull him out a little further. The waves are washing just a bit above his ankles. It’s soothing.

Dazai tucks a strand of Chuuya’s bangs that’s too short to tie back behind his ear. They step closer to each other. Chuuya’s chest brushes against his.

Dazai leans down, obscuring Chuuya’s view of his expressions in the moonlight. Chuuya closes the distance and kisses him.

It’s different from their usual. Which is heated, passionate, and has a point. Instead it’s tranquil, soft, and there’s no real expectations behind it. Chuuya really likes kissing him like this.

It’s also rather short in comparison to their lengthy make out sessions. Chuuya misses him before he’s even standing up straight. A good word for that kiss would be ‘bittersweet’.

“Happy birthday.” Chuuya congratulates him.

He’s glad he doesn’t miss the shock on his face under the light of the moon.

“How did you-“

“We’re in the Gemini-Cancer Cusp right now, dummy. Then there’s this entire adventure. You wanting to do something new. The ridiculously expensive liquor. I’m not as smart as you but I’m not stupid.” Chuuya teases him.

He looks uncomfortable. Chuuya doesn’t want to see that. So he hugs him and buries his face in his chest.

“Wish you would’ve told me. I would’ve gotten you something.” Chuuya grumbles.

“I didn’t really want anything.” Dazai says quietly, the waves almost drowning him out.

“I would have liked to do something for you though. It’s your birthday and you did everything. You got all of the stuff, did all of the planning, and you even drove.” Chuuya complains.

“I went overboard. Should’ve kept it on the downlow and you wouldn’t have figured it out.” Dazai sighs. “I just wanted to try doing something for once. To see if ..”

He trails off. Chuuya wants to know what he was about to say.

“To see what?” Chuuya urges him to continue.

“It’s stupid. It’s not like it would work.” Dazai mumbles, sounding defeated.

“Just tell me. Tell me and I’ll try to make it work.” Chuuya offers, entirely not knowing what he was getting himself into.

Dazai chuckles. “Why do you always go so far for me? It’s not like I have anything to offer you in return.”

Chuuya wants to tell him that’s a lie. He gave Chuuya so much. He kept him safe, he looked out for him, he stayed by his side, and he did things for Chuuya no one else ever could. He’d basically ruined the idea of anyone else in Chuuya’s mind. He never said it but Chuuya knew he slept easier by his side. He never used those words but Chuuya knew he cared for him.

But he didn’t want to confront him with this and scare him away. So he turned a blind eye. Between them there was no such thing as spoken truth and weakness.

“It’s your birthday. Let me do something nice for you at least. What did you want to accomplish with tonight?” Chuuya presses him.

There’s a long beat of silence between them, lulled by the crashing of the waves.

“I just knew if I was alone, I wouldn’t make it through the night. I thought maybe being here, being with you, would change things. That if I could make one good memory it would make me hate this day a little less.” Dazai confesses. His voice is tight and low. Chuuya has to strain his ears but he doesn’t think he missed anything.

He holds him tighter. It wasn’t news that Dazai was severely suicidal, as it was practically his defining personality trait. The resentment he held for his anniversary of being alive was not unpredictable. What wasn’t foreseeable? That he actually made an effort today of all days.

Chuuya didn’t know if this was progress or a sign that things were really bad.

He didn’t have anything he thought might help to say, and he didn’t have anything to give him. Well that wasn’t necessarily true.. He’s probably going to regret this, but it was good to reinforce positive behavior. He needed to reward Dazai for his honesty, so maybe he would be so more often.

“You have until sunrise.” Chuuya regrets the words as soon as the leave his tongue. But he already decided. There was no going back.

“What?” Dazai pulls away from him, holds him at arm's length. Chuuya can see the confusion in his features plain as day.

“You’re not allowed to humiliate me. Or make me do anything unsafe.” Chuuya lays down the ground rules.

“What are you talking about?” Dazai questions him, still not understanding.

“I’ll do whatever you want. For the rest of the night whatever you want from me is yours. That’s your gift. Me.”

Dazai is evidently startled by his proposal. If the way his jaw dropped is any tell. He steps back a bit, wetting Chuuya’s shins with the splash.

“You-you’re not funny. That’s a cruel joke, Chuuya.” Dazai actually stammered. Chuuya has never witnessed that before. His heart sinks a little at the notion Dazai thinks he’s playing a trick on him though. Especially after it had taken him so much nerve to offer this in the first place.

“I’m not kidding. Didn’t anyone ever tell you it’s rude to reject a present?” Chuuya tries to reassure him and be light hearted at the same time.

“Who are you and what have you done with Chuuya? He knows me well enough that he would never say something like that.” Dazai protests.

“Oh trust me. He regretted it before he even said it. But that’s why he established rules and a time limit. Why don’t you test it out and ask for something? The clock is ticking.” Chuuya giggles at his accusation but extends the offer nonetheless.

Dazai flounders. His hands twitch at his side and he rocks back on his feet. Had Chuuya overwhelmed him? Was this idea just too much?

It was kind of endearing that he didn’t jump at the opportunity though. His disbelief was dejected at first. Now it’s more like he knows it’s in his hands and doesn’t know what he wants to ask.

“I’m not drunk enough for this.” Dazai concludes before marching out of the ocean.

Chuuya laughs as he follows.

Dazai throws himself onto the blanket in a heap. Sand is not soft enough for that, but that idiot doesn’t register light pain. Chuuya calmly takes a seat next to him. Dazai rolls over and gazed up at the sky. He decides he’s not going to get too lit tonight, so that he’s aware enough to remember Dazai’s requests the next day. But he doesn’t need to let Dazai know he’s doing that.

So Chuuya pretends to take a long drink of his Massandra, unbeknownst to Dazai it was just a sip.

Dazai sits up and follows suit, but from the way his throat bobs Chuuya knows he’s actually drinking.

When he pulls his lips off the bottle he screws the cap back on.

“Okay so explain the rules again.” Dazai demands.

Chuuya supposes that’s a start. “I won’t do anything humiliating. I won’t do anything unsafe. I’m done when the sun comes up. You can ask for me to do whatever.”

“So does it have to be like actions? Or will you say things too?” Dazai asks.

What a weird question. Chuuya thinks about it for a second.

“I’ll say things. As long as they’re not demeaning or bad I guess.”

Dazai nods before taking another drink.

“Will you be truthful if I ask you things?” Dazai questions.

Why was he beating around the bush?

“Dazai I said I’ll do whatever you want. Just ask your questions and say ‘tell me the truth’. Essentially that means I have to comply.” Chuuya expresses to him.

“Why do you always go along with my antics? Tell me the truth.” Now he’s finally getting to the point.

“Because I trust you and sometimes you’re more fun than annoying.” Chuuya takes a real drink after that. This was going to get embarrassing fast, wasn’t it? Maybe he didn’t want to remember.

“Let’s say that you feel towards me one hundred percent, what percentage of that is negative? Tell me the truth.” Dazai asks a complicated question.

“Define negative.” Chuuya tells him.

“Stress. Hatred. Annoyance. Anger. Anxiety.” Dazai lists.

“Forty-five percent but hatred isn’t on the list.” Chuuya tells him.

“So the good things you feel towards me outweigh the bad? Tell the truth.” Dazai asks.

“The scale is tipped slightly in your favor.” Chuuya doesn’t tell him a good twenty of that aforementioned percentage is anxiety. He doesn’t say that he’s nervous about Dazai walking away from what they had. He doesn’t tell him he stresses about the very real idea of finding his body. He doesn’t tell him that in some ways, those negatives are how he cares.

Dazai chuckles at his response and takes another drink.

Chuuya can tell he’s pretty enebriated by now.

“Is there anything physically appealing about me? Tell me the truth.” Dazai asks.

“Yes.” Chuuya replies easily. Dazai always talked about how he looks good. What kind of question was that?

“Other than my dick? Tell the truth.”

Chuuya is about to respond when he tacks on.

“And other than my ass.” Dazai laughs.

Was he actually insecure? He always seemed to hold his physicality in high esteem. He often joked about his irresistibility. Was that just a mask? Did he actually think of himself more along the lines of sexual objectification?

“There’s lots of things about you that are appealing. Physically.” Chuuya tells him honestly.

Now Dazai’s really laughing. Like the idea was absurd or he was in disbelief.

“Like what? Only say what you really mean.” Dazai phrases that weirdly but Chuuya had agreed to comply.

“You’re tall. It’s nice that between the two of us people assume you’re more intimidating so I get to surprise them. You’re handsome. I like your jawline and your smile, even when I can tell it’s fake. Your eyes are nice. Mahogany suits you even framed by your dark circles from not sleeping. Your laugh, the real one not the forced ones, like when you actually think what I said was funny. Those are really good. Is that enough?” Chuuya asks.

Dazai has been listening intently and expectantly this whole time. It’s making Chuuya nervous about saying the wrong thing so he tries to find a stopping point.

“Are there other things? Answer honestly.” Dazai questions.

“Yes.” Chuuya confirms.

“Then no. Continue.”

Chuuya supposes there are worse things he could be making him do. Showering him with compliments wasn’t all that bad. Though embarrassing.

“I like your voice. All the time except when you’re whining or insulting me. I have faint memories of you speaking to me softly and reassuring me. Maybe from after Corruption or when I was drunk but your voice when you’re being kind is really nice. I like your shoulders and I’m not going to explain that. I also think you have elegant hands. I think they fit nicely in mine and I like that they’re slightly smaller. You’re dexterous.” Chuuya finishes by saying “There are other things too but they’re more sexual and you’re not looking for that.”

Dazai stops looking at him and focuses attention on his hands.

“They are not smaller than yours.” Dazai protests disbelievingly.

Chuuya lifts his hand up to him and Dazai puts his palm against his. Chuuya curves his fingertips over the tops of Dazai’s. Effectively proving his claim.

Dazai gasps and pulls his hand away before staring at it like it betrayed him.

Chuuya giggles.

“Tell me the sexual things you like about me! Honestly please!” Dazai sing-songs this request. He doesn’t often say please and there’s the prior agreement, so Chuuya indulges him.

“I like your hips. And your thighs. And your lips. Also your hair is soft and fun to pull.”

Dazai puts a hand in his hair. “You think my hair is soft?” He runs his own fingers through it, as if he’s never noticed himself.

“Yes.” Chuuya chuckles with his response.

“That’s a really nice compliment coming from you. Your hair is the softest.” Dazai turns the tables just like that.

“I’ve noticed you like my hair. I still think it’s funny you won’t pull on it when we fuck like I do yours.” Chuuya tells him with a shy laugh.

Dazai lies back and looks up at the stars before replying.

“I don’t like being rough with Chuuya. He’s delicate.”

Chuuya scoffs at the notion. “I am not delicate. Have you been holding back on me all this time thinking that?”

“It’s not like you’ve been complaining~” Dazai reminds him. “In fact Chuuya always says I’m good at it. I know how he likes to be touched.”

Chuuya knows his face is red. Suddenly the humidity isn’t the only thing making him hot. He’s glad the darkness hides his blush.

“What’s your favorite position when you’re topping and what’s your favorite when you’re bottoming? Tell me honestly.” Dazai asks him such a dirty question Chuuya feels like his ears have been burnt off.

He swallows his pride. “When I’m fucking you I like doing it from behind. On your knees or from the side, it’s a tie. When you’re doing me I .. like the way we did it the first time.” Chuuya confesses.

“Is there a reason you don’t like seeing my face?” Dazai asks. Conveniently forgetting to remind him to be honest. Chuuya tells him the truth anyway.

“Dazai do you have any idea how you sound? It’s hard enough to hold off from that. When I see your face I cum too quick. Dumbass bandage wasting bastard making me say shit like this.” Chuuya punches his shoulder lightly.

Dazai sits up and stares at him. “Are you lying to me? Tell me the truth.”

“God! No! You’re insufferable!” Chuuya is embarrassed beyond measure.

“I thought Chuuya didn’t want to look at me because I’m ugly when I’m bottoming. Since we’ve only done it that way a few times and I thought he didn’t like it.” Dazai tells him.

“That’s the farthest thing from the truth. It’s just because you look so..” Chuuya stops himself just in time. He hadn’t even asked and he here was just spilling it all.

“Tell me.” Dazai commands. Technically he’s not violating any rules so Chuuya has to comply.

“You fucking melt Dazai. Your lips part and I can see every sound you make right as it leaves you. Your cheeks get all pink and flushed and when you’re really close it goes across your nose. Your eyes cloud and glass over and I can see that you’re not thinking. That’s the best part. You stop thinking. You stop registering your own voice and you instinctively react to everything. I can watch you unravel and know that you’re not thinking about anything else. That all of you is right beneath me, your head isn’t in the clouds and your thoughts aren’t far away and concealed.”

Chuuya sighs. “Plus you say the craziest shit. It’s really hard to look you in the face when you say the things you do.”

Dazai blinks at him, stunned. He covers his mouth with his hand, blissfully unaware of just how bad it has betrayed him. When Chuuya is fucking Dazai it’s the only time he can make him 100% honest. Can you blame him for finding it hard to look such honesty in his usually deceiving eyes?

“Chuuya can you do me a favor?” Dazai asks of him.

“What is it?” Chuuya questions curiously.

“Gag me from now on.”

Chuuya laughs at him. “No.”

“Rude! I didn’t want to know that!” Dazai complains.

“Too bad. You asked me to be honest.” Chuuya teases him.

There’s a long few moments of drinking and listening to the ocean.

“Is there anything that I do that you like about me? Like I know I’m annoying and insufferable, but are there any quirks of mine that you like?” Dazai breaks the silence.

“I like that when we walk on the sidewalk you always take the side closest to the street. I pretend that you’re looking out for me instead of hoping you get hit by a car. I like your possessiveness and overprotective tendencies. I even like that you stalk me. Bugging my phone and all just showed you care. I know before I said it was annoying but I’ve come to enjoy the quiet times after sex. You’re almost peaceful then and it’s kinda sweet. You also make me laugh. More than anyone else ever has. Something I really enjoy that you do though is when you play with my hair.”

“If I were to die or disappear, would you miss me?” Dazai asks, voice much softer than before.

“Yes.” Chuuya tells him the truth.

“What would you miss the most?”

Chuuya thinks about this for a long moment before settling on his answer.

“You.”

Dazai’s surprise does not go unnoticed.

“Chuuya,” Dazai starts.

“Hm?” Chuuya encourages him. He’s speaking softly now, and has become uncertain.

“A long time ago something bad happened to you and it made you say something to me that you otherwise wouldn’t have said. I want to know if you meant it.” Dazai tells him.

Chuuya can’t recall anything like that occurring. Something bad happened to him? When Dazai was there? What did he say?

“What did I say? And what happened to me?” Chuuya asks him.

Dazai shakes his head. “If you don’t remember it’s not important. Forget I said anything.”

“Dazai that’s not fair. You should tell me.” Chuuya urges him.

“You have to do whatever I want and I want you to forget I said that.” Dazai doesn’t relent, and commands him clearly.

“Fine.” Chuuya huffs.

“I also want you to never bring it up or ask about it again.” Dazai states clearly.

“Whatever.” Chuuya sighs. It was something he had said and was a situation he had been in. It’s rather unfair that Dazai was being secretive about it and even more unfair that Chuuya couldn’t remember what he was referring to.

Had he said something dumb when he was drunk? Was it mean? Or had he said something embarrassing?

“Can we just do some things I want to try?” Dazai changes the subject.

“As long as nothing is against the rules sure.” Chuuya agrees.

“You’re not allowed to judge me.” Dazai proclaims.

“Okay. I won’t.” Chuuya has no idea if he’ll be able to stick to that agreement but he won’t say anything to Dazai so he supposes that counts.

Dazai takes another huge drink of his sake before closing the lid and setting it aside. Chuuya follows his lead though his drink is much smaller. He decided does actually want to remember this night.

As he swallows he puts the Massandra out of his reach, then he turns to face Dazai.

Mentally he attempts to prepare himself for whatever is to come.

Dazai shifts to close the space between them before his hand finds its way into Chuuya’s hair. He relaxes into the familiar touch. Dazai uses his relaxed state to pull him in.

Chuuya tries to kiss him but Dazai dodges him. Moving past his lips and brushing his cheek against his. Chuuya pouts and doesn’t realize what he’s doing until it’s too late.

Dazai nibbles on his earlobe and he jumps away slightly. Dazai chuckles softly close to his ear before pulling him back towards him by his hair. Dazai’s tongue darts over the shell of his ear and Chuuya involuntarily shudders. A chill runs down his spine. Dazai doesn’t relent and bites him softly again. Chuuya’s fingers grasp into his shirt, and he’s fighting everything in himself not to push him away. It’s not that he hates it, it’s just that the sensation is strange. Then Dazai sticks his tongue in his ear and Chuuya legitimately just keels over back onto the blanket. He gasped as he jerked away and covered his ear in shock.

Dazai laughs at him before climbing over top of him. He grabs his wrists and pushes them above Chuuya’s head, sinking him slightly into the sand.
Chuuya doesn’t fight back, and doesn’t protest. Instead he’s curious about what Dazai wants from him.

“What are you most afraid of?” Dazai asks him.

Losing you.

“Corruption.” Chuuya lies, because Dazai hadn’t commanded him to be truthful.

“I will always bring you back.” Dazai claims.

Chuuya doesn’t know what to say.

Dazai’s hands grip his wrists tightly and he leans down to sink his teeth into Chuuya’s neck.

“Wait!” Chuuya resists him, his hands struggle against Dazai’s grip on wrists uselessly.

He takes mercy on him though and releases him and sits back. His eyes are wide and questioning, but he doesn’t look mad or offended.

Chuuya follows him and sits up.

In a moment of confidence and weakness he takes off his shirt.

“Just not in places people can see.” Chuuya asks of him, and expects him to comply. It’s an agreement they’ve followed before. He doesn’t see any reason for Dazai to turn him down.

He doesn’t say anything, so Chuuya grabs his shoulder and pulls him over himself as he lies back down. Dazai follows his lead. Soon enough he’s kissing his chest before biting his collarbone harshly. It’s different from his usual light and playful touches, but it’s not bad. He had said he wanted to try new things so Chuuya was content to let him. He gasped at the contact regardless, finding it more breathtaking than painful.

Dazai began sucking and biting bruises into his chest. Much more rough with him than he’d ever been. His hands are squeezing and kneading into the flesh of Chuuya’s sides. Fingertips bruising his rib cage. Dazai’s palms are hot and heavy against his skin and Chuuya can hardly feel much over between his sharp teeth and deceitful lips.

“Are you ashamed of me?” Dazai whispers into his sternum.

“If I were why would I waste all my time with you?” Chuuya asks him.

“You’ve never told anybody about this, right?”

What did Dazai want him to say? They couldn’t tell anyone about this arrangement. They didn’t even call it anything between themselves! How were they supposed to describe it to someone else?

“That doesn’t mean I’m ashamed of you. I’m okay with the way things are. We’ve never put a word to this so how would I explain it to anyone else?” Chuuya tries to sit up, to look at him. Dazai pushes him back down.

“I told someone. I didn’t use any labels or even mention you by name. I just needed to confide to someone about what we’re doing.” Dazai puts his hands on Chuuya’s shoulders, effectively pinning him to the ground.

“Did that make you feel better? I thought you liked keeping secrets.” Chuuya questions him.

“I don’t know. I just felt like I shouldn’t be hiding your existence. Not from him at least.” Dazai confesses.

“Ango or Oda?” Chuuya asks him.

“It doesn’t matter.”

“It does if he likes you. That’s why you said something right? Because he expressed an interest in you?” Chuuya’s stomach feels hot and tight and not in a good way. He doesn’t know if he’s prepared for his answer. He doesn’t even know if he’ll be honest with him.

Dazai releases him and sits back. Chuuya sits up and follows him. He didn’t expect this from him. He didn’t think he had any competition for Dazai’s limited affections. He hates this sick feeling in his stomach.

“How far did you go?” Chuuya asks him. Sure that Dazai was keeping something from him.

“Chuuya it’s not like that. He’s my best friend. We didn’t do anything. I only told him about you.” Dazai reassures him but sounds off. Like something akin to concern.

“I just told you that I needed to talk to someone about this and you get jealous? You’re making less sense than usual.”

Oh. So that’s what that feeling was. Jealousy.

“I don’t like the idea of you talking about me behind my back.” Chuuya gets defensive even though he has no excuse for it.

He knows now that he’s being bratty but can’t bring himself to stop.

“Have it your way. I won’t do it again and you’ll never know what was said.” His tone is flat and cold.

Chuuya instantly regrets his words. This was probably the closest he was ever going to get to Dazai acknowledging their relationship and he shot it down so fast with his envy and insecurity. He wants to take back his accusations and rudeness. He wants Dazai to forget he ever said those things.

“I’m sorry.” Chuuya apologizes before tackling Dazai in his embrace. He settles himself in his lap and decides he’s going to do whatever it takes to be honest with him. “I shouldn’t have said that. I don’t know why I accused you and got all defensive. I just..wanted you to keep me to yourself for a little while longer.” Chuuya discloses while looking him in the eyes.

His eyes are dark and his gaze is intense under the light of the moon. He doesn’t say anything. He offers no reply.

“I lied to you. Earlier. I lied.” Chuuya confesses.

This gets a response. “About what?” Dazai demands. He actually sounds a little angry and Chuuya can’t blame him. Not after he promised everything tonight.

Chuuya hides his face in his chest. “You asked me what I’m most afraid of. The truth is..the reason that I don’t want to make this real is because it would mean there’s something to lose.”

He pulls back and looks Dazai in the eyes. His expression has changed to one of wonder and inquiry. His gaze is unwavering as he observes Chuuya’s face.

“I’m terrified of losing you.” Chuuya means it. He meant every word.

Dazai’s hands are in his hair again and he’s pulling him down to meet his lips. It’s everything Chuuya knows and adores. The heat and intensity and there’s a point to it. They don’t need to define anything aloud when they can write their intentions in each other’s mouths. This way Dazai can be honest and Chuuya won’t have to guess what he means.

This kiss is the unspoken acknowledgment of Chuuya’s fears. Dazai is saying ‘I hear you’ but he’s also saying ‘There will be no promises’. Chuuya accepts him greedily and resigns himself to this fate. He never expected words of comfort to begin with.

It’s a long time before he has to pull away to breathe and it takes even longer for him to register the sound of the waves again. Dazai lets him go reluctantly.

“Can I ask something else of you?” Dazai whispers to the small space between their lips.

“Do you see the sun?” Chuuya teases him. The moon is starting to fade in brightness so there should only be a couple more hours until sunrise.

“It’s something new. You might consider it humiliating.” Dazai warns him.

“There’s hardly anything I could deny you right now.” Chuuya means that too, although he shouldn’t have been so upfront about it.

“I want you to ride me.” Dazai tells him and Chuuya feels his whole body tense in his lap.

Now that he’s hyper aware of their proximity like this he can feel Dazai is half hard under his thigh. Oops.

“If someone sees us they’ll know exactly what we’re doing!” Chuuya points out.

“Nobody is out here. It’s like three in the morning. Even if somebody did see something it’s very unlikely that they would get close to us. And if they did you have my full permission to chuck them into the ocean.” Dazai makes a good argument. But public sex? It was pushing it as far as the ‘humiliating’ standard goes.

He already knew he was going to do as he asked. Before he even said what he wanted. Chuuya knew in his mind he had already agreed.
He agreed the second he didn’t immediately respond with ‘no’.

Dazai knew this too, judging from the smirk on his face.

“Okay.” Chuuya has never done this before so he doesn’t even know if it will be that good. Maybe Dazai will get bored of it quickly and flip them over. He holds onto that thought.

“Wow. Okay I didn’t think I’d get this far, but now I have another request.” Dazai pinches his side as he says this. It doesn’t hurt or anything but Chuuya sighs at his antics.

“You’re killing me. What is it now?”

Dazai laughs at his dismay. “We agreed already on no murder-suicide tonight. Unless Chuuya wants to go back on his word?”

“You better just tell me before I tell you no without hearing you out.” Chuuya warns him.

“Do you know what sixty-nine is?” Dazai asks him.

Chuuya tilts his head and sits back further on his legs. “Why are we talking about math right now?”

Dazai laughs wholeheartedly at him. Chuuya doesn’t get what's so funny. What the hell is he talking about?

Dazai presses his face into Chuuya’s shoulder to muffle his laughter. It does little to help his cause.

“Idiot! Why are you laughing at me?” Chuuya pushes against him.

Dazai perks up and puts his lips close to Chuuya’s ear. Close enough Chuuya worries he’s going to bite him again. He doesn’t.

“It’s a sex position.” He whispers playfully.

“Well it can’t be more embarrassing than riding you so hurry up and explain.”

Dazai giggles. Chuuya has never heard him make such a mischievously ominous sound.

“Sure Chuuya~ let's go with that assumption.”

What the fuck did Chuuya just sign himself up for?

Dazai whispers in his ear again. “You’re smaller so you’ll be on top of me. Basically your thighs go on either side of my ears and then you lean down and over me so you can reach my cock, and we give each other head. Understand now why it’s named that way?”

Chuuya shoves him back, utterly mortified that he described such a thing. Even more so that he suggested he and Chuuya do it in public!

“I’m going to fucking dismember you and no one will ever find all the pieces.” Chuuya threatens.

“Ah~ Chuuya hadn’t threatened my life yet today so now everything feels complete. Please, if you’re going to kill me violently at least crush my skull with your thighs as the killing blow.” Dazai taunts him.

“We are not doing that. I .. I don’t think I’ll ever do that. You’re a goddamn idiot for even suggesting that.”

“Doesn’t Chuuya want to know how it would feel to fuck my face? I wouldn’t have any control in that position. I thought you liked when I let you take charge.”

“We are on a public beach! Stop talking before I actually follow through!” Chuuya reminds him.

“Yay~ I would love for my C.O.D. to be Chuuya’s thighs!” Dazai chirps cheerfully.

“Shut the fuck up! Haven’t you embarrassed me enough for one night?! If you keep going, I won’t do what I already agreed to!” Chuuya warns him, completely ready to take what he previously said was okay off the table.

Dazai shuts up at that threat. “Okay I’ll be good.”

“I doubt that but you better try.” Chuuya chastises him.

Dazai nods before moving away to get into the backpack he had brought. He searches around for just a few seconds before finding what he was looking for. He returns to Chuuya soon enough and presses a small plastic bottle into his hands.

Chuuya takes it from him hesitantly. Dazai doesn’t miss that.

“I can still prep you if you want. I don’t know I’m not really thinking.” Dazai reaches out to take it back but Chuuya shakes his head.

“It’s fine. Just lie back. Try not to say or do anything stupid.” Chuuya orders him.

He takes off his shirt and obeys. Dazai adjusts himself on the blanket accordingly and slides off his jeans. They’re sort of tight fitting so they take his boxers with them.

He’s already almost completely hard. Chuuya had only been sitting on his lap, and they’d barely been kissing! Maybe that bantering did more for him than Chuuya thought. What a pervert.

Chuuya tries to forget about how scandalous this is by focusing his hearing on the waves and his eyes to the tasks in front of him. It doesn’t help.

He discards his shorts and briefs in a single motion. The pinprick sensation of shame heating up his shoulders. He just reminds himself that if anyone bothers them he can drown them without remorse and that he can beat Dazai’s ass for it afterwards.

He pours the lube into his hand and reaches beneath himself to coat his entrance generously. He’s still loose from earlier yesterday evening so he figures he’ll skip the tedious process altogether. He pours a little more in his hand and starts on Dazai.

Dazai is shocked and catches his wrist in the middle of him stroking him.

“Chuuya what are you doing? You can’t be ready yet.” Dazai questions his actions.

“I had a headache earlier in the evening. I’m still good.” Chuuya explains without going into detail before twisting his fist around him. He lets go.

“You finger yourself when you get headaches? That’s hot. Does it work?” Dazai asks breathily as Chuuya strokes him.

“It does the trick but it’s not as good as getting fucked.” Chuuya sees no reason to lie.

“Hm. Maybe I’ll try that next time.” Dazai hums.

He doesn’t know which thing he’s referring to trying and doesn’t want to right now. So Chuuya squeezes him a little roughly and he gasps. He’s satisfied with his work and positions himself. It’s a little odd having Dazai’s hips under his thighs. He sees that this is going to give him a different kind of control. He lines himself up and sinks down slowly. His body isn’t freshly prepared so it takes a little extra time to adjust. He’s thankful he’s the one controlling the pace.

Dazai groans before he’s even halfway. His hands find Chuuya’s hips but he’s only squeezing, considerate enough not to rush him down. Chuuya braces his hands against Dazai’s stomach and he feels it twitch beneath his palms. It’s enticing that he can make him react like that.

Ultimately he bottoms out and has to grant himself a moment to get used to this. It feels so much fuller and deeper than usual which could be from the lack of preparation or the new position, in equal measure.

“It’s a sin that you’re this tight.” Dazai proclaims breathlessly.

“I don’t think you’ve ever been this deep.” Chuuya admits to the night air that’s finally cool against his hot skin.

Dazai’s cock twitches at that. Chuuya gasps softly, barely audible over the sound of the waves.

He circles his hips carefully, allowing himself the full opportunity of savoring this feeling. It’s a heady, profound control. He distantly wonders why they hadn’t tried this sooner.

“You took the words right out of my mouth.” Dazai moans as Chuuya experiments with rolling his hips.

Had he really spoken aloud? Fuck. He did not need to become like Dazai. He may feel impeccable but he would not permit himself to lose that kind of self control.

Chuuya bites his bottom lip as he lifts his hips. He can feel every centimeter leave him as he rises up on his knees. This power was unnerving and simultaneously exhilarating.

He squeezes Dazai’s skin as he sinks back down, drawing moans from both their lips.

He works himself up into a steady pace. Hips rising and falling as Dazai makes his delightful impassioned sounds and holds him tighter. It’s everything Chuuya wants without having to think of Dazai’s needs. Because he can tell that he’s enjoying seeing Chuuya enjoy himself.

Dazai had always been the pleaser between the two of them. Always ensuring Chuuya is satisfied and hardly asking for anything himself. He was content to just take him how he comes, or to make him come undone first. Chuuya was glad he asked for this because he made sure it was good for the both of them. Dazai seemed to like getting Chuuya off more than himself at times. As odd as that was, Chuuya found it sexy.

He was serious about his actions speaking louder than his words.

“You’re so deep.” Chuuya moans as he roughly comes down. Dazai’s hands finally act then, and they grip him even more tightly and press him down harder.

“Fuck Chuuya.” Dazai thrusts upwards into him and it’s entirely too much. He’s never been this full.

He chases that heat fervently, moving so fast and hard it’s difficult to discern if there’s a pace to it at all. Dazai helps though, raising his hips to meet him. Thrust for thrust.

Then he presses so roughly against that sweet space Chuuya cries out. Pleasured tears prick at his eyelids. He had closed his eyes at some point apparently. No telling when though. Dazai was the only thing he’d seen and he’d mapped his body so easily he basically had a picture of him in his mind’s eye. Dazai was the only thing he could feel.

He can’t lose this. He can’t let up for a second. His body trembles as he fucks himself right against that place again and again. It feels so good it starts to hurt. He leans over him and his fingers claw uselessly the bandages around his shoulders. He can’t keep the tempo anymore, but he doesn’t have to say anything. Dazai always knows exactly what he wants. Exactly what he needs.

Dazai pounds into him as he pushes him down by his hips. This angle is heavenly. Chuuya’s whiny keens tell him as much.

Chuuya is so close, every rough thrust and hot drag of Dazai’s cock against his prostate threatens to send him over the edge.

Dazai’s being vocal in his own way too. It’s not the same wild babbling as when he’s the one on the receiving end. It’s the feverish sounds of his bliss taking form of breathy puffs of air and low moans. He sounds beautiful with the ocean in the background. Chuuya lets himself admit that silently.

“Chuuya~” He's calling for him now. Trying to get his attention? He already has his entire focus.

“Yes?” Chuuya’s inquiry is choked off, but Dazai gets the point.

“Say my name.”

Whoa. He didn’t usually ask for that. He called Chuuya’s name all the time sure, and Chuuya knows he’s had his fair share of it in return. He was being more needy and intimate than usual tonight by a long shot.

“Dazai~” Chuuya moans his name airily, caressing it with his lips and tongue.

Dazai fucks him a little more rougher and more desirous than usual. It catches Chuuya by surprise so he calls out his name again, without being told this time.

“Dazai!”

“No. My name.” Dazai is gruff and ardent in his tone.

He defies all expectations by asking this. Chuuya shudders at the intensity and rawness of the situation. His thighs tremble as Dazai pounds into him relentlessly. His hands shake as he cradles his face.

“Osamu.” Chuuya indulges him and can’t help but fall in love with the name on his tongue. It’s so gratifying to finally say. It’s so enrapturing to have this desire fulfilled.

Dazai is zealous as he forces Chuuya’s hips down and it makes him cry a little. No tears fall but they well in his eyes.

“Can I cum in you?” Dazai has the courtesy to ask as he wraps his hand around Chuuya, timing his strokes with his thrusts perfectly. Just like every time.

Chuuya’s voice is watery and wavers in his response. “Yes. Osamu I’m so close.”

He pushes himself back onto him and rolls his hips in earnest. That peak is almost reached, everything has become blurry in his sight, he knows it’s almost over, but he never wants this moment to end.

He tugs at Dazai’s hair, hardly registering how hard he’s pulling. Then he’s right there and it’s too much. He won’t be able to hold on.

“Osamu, cum in me. Please.” Chuuya begs him.

Osamu’s final thrust slams against his sweet spot before burying deep within him. Chuuya can’t breathe as he cums right as he’s filled. It’s excessively disorienting. Dazai’s hand works him through it expertly, stopping right before it becomes oversensitive and painful. He knows Chuuya’s body and limits so well. It’s like he was made for him. Perfectly boundless and absolutely riveting.

The thought of ever being with anyone else is truly ruined in Chuuya’s mind.

They tremor in the aftershocks. Minds numb and chests heaving. Well, Dazai’s is.

Dazai speaks first. “Chuuya breathe. You’re holding your breath.”

Chuuya realizes he’s right and gasps a little before exhaling the breath he’d been holding.

Embarrassment and shame start flooding him. Dazai’s still inside of him too. His arms are shaking as he clambers off of him. Wincing at the discomfort of sudden emptiness.

Dazai sits up and reaches behind them. He pulls the towel out of the book bag and cleans himself off before handing it to Chuuya. There’s not much he can really do until it starts leaking out of him so he just puts it underneath himself. Cheeks burning. Dazai had came so deep. This was such a weird feeling. He had always pulled out before, or they used condoms. Agh! Why did he agree to that?

Better yet! Why did he beg for it?!

It felt good in the moment. It had really intensified things at the time. Now though it was mortifying and inconvenient.

Dazai pulls his pants back on. Chuuya looks down at himself and accesses the damage. Even in the fading moonlight he can see the purpling marks on his skin. He hurriedly grabs his shirt and pulls it over his head.

Dazai lies back on the blanket and looks up at the moon. His eyes are shining and he looks stupidly at peace. His gaze locks with Chuuya’s noticing him observing him. He pats the space beside himself and Chuuya accepts the unspoken invitation.

Uncharacteristically, Dazai extends his arm and wraps it around Chuuya, pulling him close to his side.

Fucking Chuuya didn’t know what to think anymore. Maybe he was better off not trying.

“I’m sorry.” Dazai says, and he sounds sincere. Chuuya can’t recall ever receiving a genuine apology from him before. Today was batshit crazy. For all he knew Dazai could do or say literally anything. It was like he nullified the dynamic between them and was showing a whole new side to himself.

“What for?” Chuuya has to satisfy his curiosity with his behavior somehow.

“Everything. Tonight. Just now. Being too rough with you. Cumming inside of you.”

That’s a lot of things to be apologizing for. Chuuya can’t accept any of them. He hadn’t done anything he didn’t want to do. He hadn’t hurt him or upset him in any way.

“I don’t accept that. Unless you regret it. Unless it wasn’t good for you. There’s nothing you have to be sorry for.” Chuuya expresses his thoughts honestly.

Dazai’s arm tightens around him and his hand finds its way to Chuuya’s hair. He pets him tenderly, affection clear and true.

“I..” Dazai trails off. “It feels like I took advantage of you. I made you do and say things you would normally never do or say.”

Chuuya is baffled. Dazai’s concern, care, and consideration of his feelings were never this prominent. While it was always there, it was generally subdued and limited to his actions.

He turns to look at his face, and he’s staring at the sky. Expressionless and blank faced.

“Osamu.” Chuuya calls for him, by his given name.

He instantly turns his head towards him.

Their faces are almost touching. He waits with bated breath.

“Out of all things, that is the most asinine shit you’ve ever said. And you’ve said some remarkably foolish things.”

“Chuuya-“

“I’m not finished.” That shuts him up. “You have never, ever made me do anything I didn’t want to do. Sure admitting some of those things was embarrassing but I’m not hung up about it. And yeah the sex was really intense. But I’m not a pushover. If you had taken things too far I would’ve stopped you. You did nothing close to taking advantage of me. You always ask and reassure and you’re very intuitive. You’re the most considerate lover anyone could dream of.”

Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit.

That was a word. That was a label. That was defining.

Dazai’s taken aback completely. Evidently he also found Chuuya’s words unexpected. That made two of them.

“I didn’t mean to say it like that but you know what I meant.” Chuuya says, much more softly. All the confidence gone from his tone.

“We can never go back from this. We can only do our best to make sure we don’t regret the mistakes we’ve made.” Dazai whispers into the night solemnly.

Chuuya kisses him. It’s just the right thing to do.

When he pulls away he leaves Dazai wanting. He doesn’t leave him waiting for long.

“I don’t consider you or this a mistake.”

Chapter Text

There’s so much blood. Dazai is putting as much pressure on the wound as he can but it’s doing no good. There’s nothing that can save him. There’s nothing that can stop this.

“You’re lucky in some ways, but so unfortunate in others, Dazai..” Odasaku informs him. “There’s nothing that will calm the storm of your mind permanently, and there’s nothing that will lighten the darkness of your heart forever. Despite your best efforts and violent lifestyle you’re still alive. I’m glad you found someone in this mess to care for, but when are you going to care for yourself? If you ever want to forgive yourself for living such a wretched life you should try to do the right thing for once. You will never be able to wash the blood off your hands, but if you could save one life more than you’ve taken then perhaps.. Your existence won’t be for nothing.”

“You’re cruel, Odasaku. Who’s to say what has value or not?” Blood gushes between Dazai’s fingers.

“You don’t care much for the human notion of value either way. Your mind has never made such discrepancies. You can’t be a demon forever or you will end up in hell.” Odasaku proclaims.

Maybe he was right. Seeing the way the Port Mafia threw lives away time and time again was starting to weigh Dazai down. Right now, with his best friend bleeding out in his arms, he was having one hell of a wake up call.

“Listen. You told me that you might find a reason to live if you lived in a world of violence and bloodshed. You won't find it. You must know that already. Whether you're on the side who kills people or the side who saves people, nothing beyond what you would expect will appear. Nothing in this world can fill that lonely hole you have. You will wander the darkness for eternity. Be on the side that saves people. If both sides are the same, become a good man. Save the weak, and protect the orphans. Neither good nor evil means much to you, I know... but that'd make you at least a little bit better.”

“How do you know?” Dazai demands.

“Of course I know. I know better than anyone. Because... I am your friend."

His head falls back and he goes limp in Dazai’s arms. His chest sinks, never to rise again. Dazai’s distraught but knows he’s right. He has to desert the Port Mafia.

He has to abide by Oda’s dying wish.

He has to leave Chuuya behind.

He doesn’t take care to rid himself of his bloody clothes as he makes his way to a familiar rooftop. He wants to take a good look at Yokohama while he hears his voice. It may be the last chance he has to do so. For either of those things.

He dials a number he’s known by heart for a while now. ‘Calling Slug..’ glows on the screen. He puts the phone to his ear and takes a long look at the skyline before him.

It rings.

The skyscrapers sparkle.

It rings.

The port’s water glistens.

It rings.

The neon glow of the red light district has never looked so serene.

It rings.

It clicks.

“You’ve reached Nakahara. If it’s important leave a message and I’ll get back to you at my convenience.”

There’s a beep.

That’s right. He was on a solo assignment in Hong Kong.

“I’m tired, Chuuya. There’s nothing left that can keep me here. The last year I’ve had a headache. The only thing that’s made this job bearable was you. I thought if there was a constant risk of death I’d feel inclined to live but for the past few years all that’s kept me going was having you by my side. Fuck I’ll probably never get you out of my head. I have to go and you’re the only thing that’s hard about this. I’m actually glad you didn’t answer because your words were probably the only thing that could have changed my mind. It’s now or never and I have to get out. I’m s-“

“If you are satisfied with your message, press 1 to send.” The robotic voicemail chimes.

Dazai ends the call. Deciding it was better to say nothing at all.

There didn’t need to be recorded evidence of his betrayal.

Chuuya would find out he was gone when he returned to the country.

He left the rooftop and prepared himself for an indeterminate amount of running.

Dazai funneled his money to one of his offshore Canary Islands accounts. He takes some basic things from his penthouse but leaves a lot untouched. He didn’t have the luxury of sentimentality as much as he didn’t have the luxury of time.

He wastes a little of it by placing a bomb under Chuuya’s car.

He made his way to a private airport that took cash and paid in full yen for a one-way ticket to Manila. He knew he could easily conceal himself on any of the islands in the Philippines, and his Tagalog was proficient enough that he could probably blend okay with the locals. His tenacity for survival was unparalleled given by all this time he’d spent testing it.

Once he’s boarded the plane he presses the detonator that he disguised as a garage door opener.

He’s not sorry.

The only way out was down.

This path.

This road.

This flight.

Reminiscing his conversation about Chuuya with Oda is how he spends the rest of the night.

*

“Is it love?” Odasaku asks him bluntly.

Dazai takes a drink to steady his nerves before responding.

“I don’t think I have the capacity for that. I’ve never said anything along those lines either.”

“Have they said they love you?”

Dazai tenses at the memory. “Sort of.”

“Explain.” Oda encourages.

“They hadn’t been right in their mind at the time. They don’t even know they said it.” Dazai tells him vaguely.

“Like they were drunk or high? People tend to be more honest when their inhibitions are freed by substances.” Odasaku points out.

“It wasn’t really that simple. They had been drugged and I was taking care of them. Then they said something that made me think I hurt them. I asked if I had done something and they responded that I had made them fall in love with me.” Dazai recalls that night with a nervous knot in his stomach.

“That sounds like something you would run from.” Odasaku predicts.

“I couldn’t. So I just denied it.” Dazai is appalled that Oda had known exactly how he felt in that moment. They knew each other too well after all.

“Maybe that’s worse than running away.”

“They took it in stride. They know how I am.” Dazai reassures himself more than Odasaku.

“They must if they were able to fall in love with you. You strike me as a difficult person to have a romantic relationship with.”

“We’re not like that. Our arrangement isn’t based on such things.” Dazai denies the implication of romance right away.

“More difficult than I thought I see. You said this has been ongoing for years? I feel bad for them. If you don’t define your relationship by those standards what do you define it by?” Oda pressures him to put words to what they shared.

Things with Chuuya were not that cut and dry.

“It’s a mutual understanding and a lot of trust.” Dazai sighs and is audaciously straightforward.
“And there’s an absurd amount of mind blowing sex.”

Odasaku chuckles at his bluntness. “Are you mutually exclusive?”

Dazai side glances at him, not sure if he means what he thinks he means.

“If it’s been several years, and they’ve fallen in love with you even though you’ve never given them proper acknowledgment; I can almost guarantee they haven’t been seeing anyone else. Does the same go for you?” Oda questions him clearly.

When Chuuya was all he could focus on he could hardly consider anyone else. It felt good to be reassured by his friend that Chuuya was probably only his. The suggestion that he’d been the only one to touch him weighed heavily on his mind. He wanted things to stay that way.

Possessing Chuuya completely was the only thing that felt right.

He joked about him being his dog before, but this desire to own him had never been so explicit.

“I’ve never wanted anyone else.” Dazai admits.

“Have you told them that?” Odasaku asks.

“They know.” Dazai stares blankly at the melting ice in his drink.

“Perhaps they do. But people need to hear things spoken aloud. I get that this person knows, understands, and trusts you. But it would probably mean a lot to them to hear you say that.”

“That’s not my problem. We’ve agreed that when we want things we ask, and when we don’t want to say anything we don’t. There’s a lot of limits to this. We don’t expect anything of each other, and there’s things neither of us want. I know they’d rather keep this in tandem as well. We have no desire for sentiments and no need for such words.”

“Oh I see. They’re in the Mafia as well. Predictable considering you don’t have much of a life outside of work. Just numerous suicide attempts.” Odasaku takes a drink calmly after his discovery.

Dazai doesn’t respond. He doesn’t really know how to without giving more away. Oda really knew how to read between the lines. As gullible as he could be he was truthfully perceptive. His honesty and expectations of others to be truthful with him in return were going to end up getting him in trouble.

“Regardless, if you care for someone they deserve to hear you say it. You shouldn't wait to tell them how you feel. Especially with what we do. It’s immature and fickle of you to deny them that.”

Dazai chuckles at that. “There’s no need. They already know. I am immature and I am fickle, that’s true. I don’t think they want to hear me say it anyway. I don’t think they want things to change.”

“Would things really change if you said it? Would you not understand them anymore? Would you trust them less? Would the sex not be as ‘mind blowing’?” Odasaku laughs at him. “What are you so afraid of?”

“I’m not afraid of anything.” Dazai defends himself. Though he considers Oda’s words deeply. Why wouldn’t he say that he cared for Chuuya out loud? Is it because his actions were loud enough? Or was it because he couldn’t admit it to himself?

“You’re afraid of emotional vulnerability. You’re afraid of speaking your truth. You’re afraid that once you stake your claim that you suddenly won’t deserve it any more and that you’ll lose it all.”

“I never deserved them to start with.” Dazai protests one of his claims but doesn’t have the energy or willpower to fight against everything.

“Ah so that’s it?” Odasaku hums. “You’re denying yourself more than you’re denying them. You must think that confessing that they’re what you want will make them unattainable. You’re afraid of exposing your desires for fear that you’ll never obtain them.”

“If I never say what I want, if I never ask for anything, if there are no expectations involved; there’s no chance of being disappointed.” Dazai rationalizes his thought process. Affirming Oda’s suspicions.

“There’s always risks to love, and disappointment is a risk you should come to terms with sooner rather than later. You refuse to open up because you don’t have the ambition to see it through. That’s sort of pathetic. I’m sympathetic to the one who loves you.”

*

As Dazai disappeared from anyone who ever knew him, he felt sympathy for Chuuya too.

He had driven himself in the opposite direction of his predilection.

He knew though that this was the right thing to do.

Perhaps Chuuya would be better off this way too.

Chapter Text

Six months have passed since Odasaku’s death. Dazai hates everything. If he had thought the world was awful and pointless before those feelings have multiplied tenfold. He hated sweltering heat, he hated the Sun, he hated bugs, he hated the jungle, he hated constantly looking over his shoulder, he hated sleeping with one eye open. He fucking hated the beach.

Unfortunately islands were good places to hide so he was always near sand.

Fucking sand. He doesn’t think he hates anything more than sand.

The sound of waves reminded him of Chuuya so he despises the ocean too.

He hadn’t slept in almost nine days when he knew his moment of weakness had arrived. He wanted desperately to see him again. Even if he kills him and crushes his jaw on the curb Dazai just wants to see his face one more time.

That’s not true. He wants a lot more than to just see Chuuya. But he’ll cross that bridge when he comes to it. In his texts he mentioned Dazai less and less, until he barely acknowledged him at all. Now when other people bring him up he seems flippant and uncaring. It had been half a year, and there was a real possibility Chuuya had moved on. Or that he had been replaced.

Maybe this line of thought was partially why he couldn’t close his eyes.

His paranoia had been worsening as well. He had spent a couple weeks in New Zealand and fled nine days ago. He had been reading Chuuya’s texts in a netcafe when he saw a text from Akutagawa.

‘Spotted in NZ. Flight to Auckland this afternoon.’

He was on a plane to Papua New Guinea in less than an hour. He wasn’t still there though, as he’d been island hopping around the Indonesian Gili Islands the past week.

He needed to go back to the country anyway. He had to talk to the Special Abilities Division about joining their side. He knew they wouldn’t make him into an officer or soldier, but surely there was something he could do. He was too valuable and usable to be denied a position altogether.

He had to follow Oda’s wishes. He had to become a better man. Even good men had weaknesses and even better men had desires. Seeing Chuuya wouldn’t change what he had to do and he had gone too far to turn back now.

The Mafia would have his head before they let a traitor back into their midst.

Chuuya, on the other hand, might kill him as his own vendetta in a crime of passion.

Mm. That sounded like a pleasant way to go.

If he takes mercy on Dazai, that would be fine too.

Either way he’ll finally be able to close his eyes.

*

The Armed Detective Agency offered to take him in. They said he needed to lay low for another year and a half though. He had to essentially disappear for a while longer to try and cover his tracks. His past was going to be hidden even within the Agency, because no one needed to know about his prior life of organized crime. As it would undoubtedly make trust between he and his future coworkers impossible. Dazai was used to the solitude, and he was good at running away.

The darkness of Yokohama’s late April night drew Dazai towards what he really wanted. More than a future, more than the betterment of himself, more than anything. Dazai wanted to revisit the only thing that ever made him feel at all.

He had no idea if he was even in Yokohama. He hadn’t been anywhere he could log into his bugging program in quite some time. He couldn’t risk going into places like that in the city either. There was too high of a chance he’d be recognized.

If he wasn’t home he’d just camp out until he returned.

What if he had moved?

He shakes that thought from his mind and rationalizes why he wouldn’t do that.

Chuuya wouldn’t have moved because he would want Dazai to be able to find him, right?

It’s not long before he’s picking the locks on his apartment door. The alarm is set and makes a warning beep to disarm it before it starts going off. Dazai types in the code and sighs with relief when he found he hasn’t changed it. It glows green and he walks away. Chuuya’s work shoes are missing from the collection by the door, but they’re the only pair missing. Dazai holds onto hope that he’s still in town.

It’s been so long since he’s been in Chuuya’s apartment, but nothing has really changed.

Except that his couch was in Chuuya’s living room. He couldn’t blame him for stealing it, Italian leather and all. He chuckles actually at the idea of Chuuya raiding his penthouse and taking whatever valuable shit he left behind. How long did he wait before doing that, he wonders.

Dazai makes himself at home and decides to take a quick shower before he returns. He hadn’t gotten a chance since he landed and bucket bathing on the islands was not getting it done. Hot water relaxed his tense body and being in such a familiar place allowed exhaustion to seep into his bones.

He had to be quick though so he didn’t let it last.

He bounds his body back up and changes clothes. He feels so much better already. If Chuuya decides to kill him at least he’ll die at peace.

He didn’t try to hide his presence. His shoes were by the door, in the same place he habitually would leave them. He took his duffel bag into Chuuya’s bedroom and collapsed into Chuuya’s bed.

Dazai presses his cheek into his pillow and allows himself to breathe. It smells like him. He already feels safe here. The place on Earth where he’s most at risk of death is where he finds tranquility. For him this didn’t count as irony.

He wondered what would happen if he were to close his eyes. Would he ever wake up at all?

It would be cruel of Chuuya to kill him in his sleep. Besides he probably wouldn’t want to make a mess in his bed. Dazai figures his chances of survival will hold out until he rests his eyes on Chuuya’s face once more.

Breathing deeply and surrounded by everything that reminded him of Chuuya and the life he once had, he’s able to fall asleep.

*

When he wakes there’s light behind his closed eyelids. Had Chuuya never come home after all? What time was it? He opens his eyes to find Chuuya sitting next to him on the bed, staring at him.

He’s so startled and groggy he can’t move or speak. How long had Chuuya been watching him sleep? Had he sat there awake all night?

“It’s after five in the evening. I got home last night at two. I let you sleep because you look like you haven’t in ages. You still look like shit.” Chuuya speaks to him curtly and plainly, but his concern for Dazai’s wellbeing is evident.

Shit. Dazai had slept all day too. Fuck he must’ve been exhausted. He had arrived before midnight last night so he’d probably been asleep around seventeen hours. It was needed that’s for sure. The crash had been a long time coming. Chuuya had watched over him the entire time.

Dazai is still too in shock to respond.

“You’ve lost a lot of weight. When was the last time you ate anything?” Chuuya really does sound worried now. It’s not without reason either, as Dazai can’t remember the last time he was calm enough to swallow food. These days, even chewing was hard, so he just kept himself hydrated and force fed himself when he could spare the thought.

Six months of running will do that to you, he guesses. He’s always moving, always looking behind him, and he has to stay alert. Eating took up time and it was hard to relax enough to do so.

He shrugs. Honestly not recalling the last meal he had. It might’ve been in New Zealand..or at an airport?

Chuuya sighs and pulls out his cellphone. He presses some buttons before putting it up to his ear.

A few seconds later..

“Hi. Yeah I’d like to place an order.”

Dazai can tell from the items he asks for that it’s the Thai place he and Chuuya used to get takeout from. He remembers everything that Dazai used to get and even little details about how he likes things made. He orders food for himself too and Dazai is pleasantly surprised by this entire ordeal.

He betrayed him and has given him nothing but radio silence for six months. Yet here Chuuya is, watching over him while he sleeps and ordering him food.

When Chuuya ends the call Dazai can’t help but make a joke.

“Don’t they usually let death row detainees choose their last meal?”

Chuuya glares at him, obviously not finding the humor.

“If I wanted to kill you, you’d be dead by now.” Chuuya deadpans.

Dazai is a bit taken aback. Had he been wrong to assume Chuuya would commit a crime of passion? He thought his betrayal would’ve had a more violent reaction.

Instead Chuuya was being hospitable and kind to him.

Okay, he takes that back. The fiery executive is now on top of him and throttling him angrily. His hands are tight around his throat and he lifts his head just to smack it down into the pillow repeatedly.

“That. Doesn’t. Mean. I’m. Not. Fucking. Mad.”

Dazai doesn’t fight back. Confident, in his previous words about not killing him. Deserving, of the treatment Chuuya is giving him. Plus Chuuya wouldn’t buy him food just to kill him before he can eat it.

He also adores his hands around his neck. Chuuya looks beautiful when he’s got his life in his hands. Dazai just takes the beating and appreciates the view.

Chuuya gets bored of choking him quickly when he notices he’s enjoying it.

“You’re sick. Did you come here hoping I’d put you out of your misery?” He releases his grip but doesn’t climb off him.

Dazai is reminded of the beach once more, but with Chuuya, solid and present above him, he hates the memory less.

“I was willing to accept anything just to see you again.”

Chuuya slams his fist hard into Dazai’s chest. It knocks the air from his lungs. His vision fades a little. His body weakened from starvation, exhaustion, and finally, finally, being comfortable.

Why was he so comfortable you might ask? Because Chuuya’s hand has flattened against his sternum and his fingers are pressing into his rib cage. He’s just feeling his heartbeat, faint and thready in his chest. Clear as day that he was in no condition to fight back. Not that he would want to when he deserv-expected a beating.

“I’ve always been one step behind you this entire time. I found out where you were seemingly the second you left. I spent almost a whole month tracking you through the Philippines. When you fell off that country’s radar I gave up and went home. You’re so lucky I didn’t find you there. If I had found you then I really don’t know what I would’ve done.” Chuuya admits his uncertainty with what would have happened if he found Dazai on his own.

“I’m not lucky. I’ve always been faster than you.” Dazai tells him.

Chuuya is unfazed.

“Somehow, I knew when I stopped looking, you’d come back for me. You probably lost your mind and knew the only way you’d find it was by seeing me again.” Chuuya reads Dazai like he’s a book he’s read a thousand times before.

Dazai understands now why he hadn’t been mentioning him in his texts. That’s why he had been uncaring of Akutagawa’s efforts at finding him. He’d been baiting him to come back and see if things really had changed. He wanted Dazai to check for himself whether or not he’d been replaced.

Chuuya’s hands run up his chest and settle on his shoulders. His fingers press into the prominent bone and taut flesh. His expression is unreadable, but he seems like he’s studying Dazai. Perhaps he’s attempting to become reacquainted with his body? His thumbs find his collarbone and the pads of them trace the outline.

Dazai’s silence is a confirmation of Chuuya’s suspicions.

“You’re different. That’s to be expected, since it’s been so long, but so much about you has changed.” Chuuya reveals quietly.

“You’re the same. Nothing has changed with you.” Dazai is comforted immensely by the familiarity of everything about Chuuya.

“I’m not. A lot has changed.” Chuuya is lying in Dazai’s eyes, but he doesn’t fight him on his words. Instead he opts to be as honest as his instincts allow.

“Maybe, but being here has let me relax for the first time in half a year. I haven’t felt safer than when your hands were around my neck. I still trust you with my life and that won’t change.”

Dazai reaches out for him. Allowing himself to feel the softness of his hair between his fingers again. This may as well be heaven, and he might as well have met his end long ago.

Chuuya lets him. Which says a lot more about him than it does Dazai.

“I know I’m the only reason you’re still alive.” Chuuya confirms that he knows Dazai’s been reading his texts.

“You’re responsible for multiple reasons, but if you want to limit yourself to one that’s on you.”
Dazai informs him.

“You being here, and you admitting you’re alive because of me proves I’m important to you. If I mattered to you at all, why would you run from me?” Chuuya’s voice is stern and low.

He’s making this about him when he was literally the only thing that would’ve been able to make Dazai stay. Dazai could see how he’d come to the conclusion his desertion was somehow about him. He had admitted he thought of Dazai as his lover only a few months prior. He had thought he was really running from him all along.

Dazai couldn’t tell him the truth yet either. He couldn’t admit to being both a deserter and a traitor to Chuuya right now. If he knew Dazai had left the Mafia to join the likes of the very altruistic officials who would arrest Chuuya or worse on sight.. Let’s just say he was better off keeping his true intentions to himself for now.

“It wasn’t you. It was me.”

Chuuya slaps him across the face. It only serves to make Dazai ache for his touch.

“Don’t reduce me to such an overused, meaningless cop out!” Chuuya yells at him angrily.

It’s been so long since he’s heard Chuuya shout.

He doesn’t think he’s ever made him this upset.

“That’s as forthcoming as I can be with you right now. You didn’t do anything to deserve this. My leaving was not your fault.” Dazai tries to convince him but Chuuya seems to not trust anything he says.

Not that he can blame him.

The buzzer rings, signaling their food was here.

Chuuya glares at him before getting off of him.

“Don’t move or make a sound until I tell you it’s clear.” He warns before leaving the room to answer the door.

Dazai stares at the art on Chuuya’s walls and notices he got new curtains. Or was he the kind of guy to change them with the seasons? Dazai hadn’t really taken the time to notice before as when they would get to this point they were too busy undressing each other to think of much else.

His eyes are drawn to the ceiling and he remembers one of the few times he’s been in a position to look up at it before.

Chuuya had worked him through it so well, his body physically aches at the memory of how he’d been touched. He recalls Chuuya’s hair framing his face through hazy vision. His fingers pulling at Dazai’s own locks. Of course, he has no recollection of the things he might’ve said in those moments. He remembers watching Chuuya enjoy himself though, as he had always taken full advantage of the opportunities Dazai gave him for control.

There was not a chance in hell he’d let Dazai be the one to fuck him on this occasion. He found himself more than alright with that. He would do anything for Chuuya’s rough touch.

He just hoped he’d be able to keep his mouth shut when the time comes.

“Come out here.” Chuuya calls for him.

Dazai gets up and follows the sound of his voice.

He’s seated at the dining room table and pulling out their food. Dazai sits across from him and he shoves all his stuff in front of him. It smells heavenly, but there’s so much. He doesn’t think he’ll be able to eat it all.

“You have to eat everything I got you. Your stomach has probably shrunk because of your poor eating habits so even if you have to gorge yourself eat it all.” Chuuya demands almost knowing what Dazai had been thinking.

“If you’re going to live this way at least take better care of yourself. What would you do if you randomly passed out from anemia or something?” Chuuya makes a sound argument against Dazai’s neglect of himself.

He nods in acknowledgment of his point and starts eating.

Chapter Text

Chuuya was not dense enough to think of himself as a patient man, but he’d exercised an enormous amount of restraint. When he came home to find Dazai’s shoes by his door he raced to his bedroom. He had to confirm he was really here with his own eyes before anything else.

There he had been. Fast asleep and practically dead to the world around him. He didn’t wake at Chuuya’s stomping footsteps, and he didn’t even stir when Chuuya joined him on the bed.

He sat and watched his unconscious form for several hours. For a while he was sure that this was a dream or that if he closed his eyes he wouldn’t be here when he woke up. He made a careful observation of every detail about him.

The darkness around his eyes was the worst he’d ever seen it. As if it had been weeks since he’d last closed them. His cheeks were gaunt and sunken in, and he was as pale as a ghost. If it weren’t for the rise and fall of his chest Chuuya would be sure he was looking at a corpse. His clothes were baggier than they used to be. His shirt had ridden up exposing his lower abdomen and hips. His hip bones protrude sickeningly. It would not be too much to estimate at least a ten to fifteen kilogram loss.

Seeing him this weak and worn down made Chuuya nauseous.

So he waited patiently for him to awake on his own.

*

He was hesitant in his questioning. He didn’t want Dazai to shut him out or disappear without saying anything again. It already said so much that he had showed up at all.

Dazai bullshitted him. Using that stupid “it’s not you, it’s me” line infuriated Chuuya. He really didn’t believe that he wasn’t a factor in Dazai’s decision to leave. He had practically confessed to him on his birthday and there was so much said and done between them by that point.

Dazai had always been one to run away when things got tough. He was always quick to fall back when he couldn’t take the heat of the fire. True to his brilliant tactical talent he would retreat when the opening presented itself.

Chuuya wondered what he would’ve said if he hadn’t missed that godforsaken call.

If he had made things too hard for Dazai, if his truthfulness had complicated things, if he was so against the idea of being called his lover - he should have said something! If he had faced the problem with him head on they could have changed things!

Chuuya would’ve admitted he was wrong just to reassure Dazai. If there was anything he could’ve said or done to change this outcome he would’ve done it in a heartbeat. Was there any salvaging what they had? Was there any saving this relationship?

Feeling Dazai’s heartbeat did so little to reassure him.

Could he even consider this a relationship?

Night fell fast and Dazai had given him no real answers. There was no progress on his quest to discover what his motives were for leaving. He just wishes he could be honest with him. If he had his reasons, whether or not they had to do with Chuuya, why couldn’t he just be upfront about them?

Dazai made his escape from his prying, and locked himself in the bathroom to shower.

Chuuya waited for him in the bedroom. He debated heavily on snooping through his bag and going through his laptop. He hadn’t seen Dazai’s phone since he’d arrived and is almost positive he’s pitched it. He wanted to know more about what he’d been doing all this time. He knew all along Dazai had been evading the Port Mafia’s efforts at locating him because of the bug in his phone. It was obvious that he’d been reading his texts diligently. Part of the reason he’d shown up at all was because Chuuya was pretending not to be interested in him anymore. He knew Dazai’s games and was confident in his ability to play them.

He also knew the one thing that would make him tell the truth. If Dazai wouldn’t give him a proper explanation, fine. He knew exactly how to make him say the things he really wanted to hear. He could force the truth from pleasured lips easily enough. It had been a long time coming, but some things will never change. He would always know how break Dazai down to easy to understand pieces. How to shatter him in all the right ways. He just hoped he’d stick around long enough to let Chuuya put him back together when they were done.

Well, there was a way he could insure that.

He had always wondered what it would be like to make Dazai beg for him.

He was weak now and Chuuya knew it. He recalls Dazai words about how he felt he took advantage of him. He hopes that Dazai will say something if he goes too far with this, but he doubts he will. Dazai has never once voiced a complaint or protest with the way Chuuya has treated him. Today especially he seemed like he felt he deserved Chuuya’s mistreatments.

Chuuya didn’t think that warranted enough mercy for him to go easy on him though. Dazai was never one to seek out tenderness to begin with and definitely preferred when Chuuya was harsh on him. Impassioned intensity released his more hidden thoughts and hedonistic lust freed his deeper subconscious.

After all this time apart Chuuya could only imagine the kinds of things he might say.

Dazai appeared in the doorway soon after that thought. His hair was damp and his bandages were freshly changed. He still had that weariness and fatigue about him, but he looks worlds better than before. Color had returned to his face and the darkness around his eyes was slightly less intense. Chuuya had given him a real scolding about not eating and demanded that he find time to eat at least twice a day from now on. No excuses. He needed to gain that weight back as he didn’t weigh much to start with.

He’s hesitant about joining Chuuya on the bed again. Chuuya can tell. It’s killing him that Dazai has shifted their roles so completely. He had always been the one to offer reassurance and extend consideration and invitations.

He makes a beckoning motion with his hand and Dazai heeds it.

There’s no words exchanged as Chuuya pushes him down, his back flat to the mattress. They both know what lies ahead of this. The familiarity of the exchange a bittersweet reminder of what they once had. What they still could be.

Even if that was just a fleeting dream Chuuya had to chase it.

Why would he have stuck around for so long if he didn’t want this?

Why would he stay with Chuuya?

Had he been faking everything?

So what if Chuuya couldn’t save their partnership in the Mafia?

He could at least savor this. He came back for a reason. He had to lose his mind before he could submit to this. Chuuya was essentially just rebooting his programming. This was something along the lines of; Have you tried turning it off and turning it back on again?

He kisses him and is so relieved to find the way he kisses back hasn’t changed. The fervor, the desire, and the verge of this precipice begging them to hurtle themselves over the edge, stark and forthright. He wastes no spare moment between their lip lock and ridding themselves of their clothes. They fumble, in a way they’ve gone years without doing so, because the desire is so intense and the buildup has been so long awaited. There’s also the feeling in the back of both of their minds that they are immeasurably lucky to have this opportunity again. By all accounts, at least one of them should be dead by now.

Chuuya has taken total control of the situation, and Dazai is in no position to be making demands anyway. Regardless, it seems as though he doesn’t want to. Dazai allows himself to be dominated completely, content with being reserved and withholding.

Chuuya releases him from his lips to grasp his waistband. Dazai lifts his hips in silent compliance with the unasked question. Chuuya reveals him to his desirous eyes. His hip bones are clearly visible, and his thighs are not as thick as they once were, but it’s still Dazai. Chuuya is filled with gratitude for this moment. He wants to get on with it though so he tears his eyes away and moves to grab the lube.

Dazai is well aware of which role he’s taking, but is entirely unaware of what position Chuuya intends to have him in. He moves instinctively to get on his knees. Chuuya stops him and manhandles him a little more gruffly than necessary back onto his back. He blames it on the lack of weight making him easier to push around.

Dazai’s eyes are wide and questioning, but he doesn’t voice any inquiries or concerns. He trusts Chuuya, and that’s something he’ll even say aloud. He simply lies back and spreads his legs so Chuuya can settle between them.

Chuuya opens the bottle and pours the lube into his hand. He assumes it’s been a while since he’s done this, but was well acquainted with his tolerance for slight pain. Still, he’s kind enough to warm it up on his fingers.

He circles his entrance generously before easing a fingertip inside. He doesn’t go farther yet, just massaging around the rim. Getting him used to being touched again before full on opening him up.

“How long has it been?” Chuuya asks him, the first words spoken between them in this passionate silence.

“It was you so October maybe?” Dazai pretends like he doesn’t remember exactly when he was last beneath him, but Chuuya knows he does.

He’d always been hard to forget. Being such a notable fuck was the reason Dazai came back for more. He’d lost track of the amount of times Dazai had blamed him for his inability to focus.

Chuuya hums in response before pressing forward. He takes his time, caressing his insides, and tuning in to the way he clenches and unclenches around him. He twists and pulls out just to go back in. Setting a tantalizing standard that leaves Dazai to ball his fists at his sides.

His pride never would let him ask for more.

Chuuya was too impatient himself to torment him for long. After a moment he was working him on a second finger, still going slow. He reaches knuckle deep before permitting him time to adjust. It’s time he doesn’t need.

He curls the digits up and forward, knowing exactly where to find what he was looking for. Dazai keens when he brushes it, notifying him of his discovery. Chuuya is relentless as he massages against it, and the previously contained sounds start pouring out of him. Breathy gasps, and helpless whines, then he scissors his fingers and presses on the edges and Dazai moans. It’s been so long since he’s last heard it, but the melody is recognized instantaneously. He wants even more.

There’s no adjustment period for the third, as he just wants to make him get louder. Pressing three digits into the area roughly, enveloping him in sensation, and then spreading him open really did the trick. Dazai’s moans filled the room, hot and heavy in the air around them.

Chuuya steals a glance at his face. His forearm is over his eyes, obscuring his view. He’s going to have to do something about that while he fucks him. His lips are wet and his mouth is agape, he bites his lower lip in blissful anguish and releases himself again to moan. Chuuya doesn’t let up on him, going deeper and opening him up from within. He drinks in every sound that leaves him and doesn’t take his eyes off the exposed lower half of his face. The flush of his warm cheeks threatens to spread across his nose when Chuuya ultimately takes his hand away.

Dazai whines at the loss before lowering his arm to peek at him. His eyes are shining and his pupils are blown wide. He knows what’s coming and hesitation is killing Chuuya too. He settles his hips between his thighs and coats himself liberally. He’s not going to give Dazai any reprieve so he should at least make it as comfortable as possible. Not that the masochist would complain otherwise.

Chuuya lines himself up at his entrance and Dazai wraps his thighs around his waist, pulling him closer. Chuuya takes those bony hips in his grasp, and uses them as leverage as he buries himself to the hilt inside. Dazai’s arms wrap around Chuuya and his nails dig into his shoulders. He makes a breathless whining noise that may have been painful but from the way he is trembling Chuuya knows it’s not anymore.

He can’t think about much else other than making Dazai fall apart. With the way he’s shuddering around him and holding onto him he doesn’t think it will be hard to accomplish. He sets a deep, steady pace. Never going slow enough to be called gentle, but never going fast enough to truly satisfy. Dazai is getting louder and louder with every second that passes. Chuuya has to acutely concentrate on not losing himself to his tight warmth, and faultless grasp. Dazai was holding onto him like a lifeline. In a lot of ways Chuuya could see him considering Chuuya that, but he didn’t need to get caught up in that kind of thought process now.

“Chuuya. Chuuya. Chuuya.” Dazai buries his face where Chuuya’s neck meets his shoulder and calls out his name as his fingers sink into his skin.

Chuuya takes that as his cue to get more brutal with it, and knows that this will make Dazai really start talking.

He slams into his heat, and pulls his upper body from his grasp. He wants to see everything Dazai is trying to hide from him. He wants to know what he’s thinking the moment the thought registers on his face. Dazai sinks back against the bed and his hands fall to Chuuya’s upper arms. He’s squeezing the toned muscles there and his back arches.

He feels so good Chuuya loses himself inside him, momentarily. He’s so tight and wet. Chuuya sighs in pleasure.

“Yes. Yes. Chuuya. I’ve needed this. I’ve missed this. Chuuya. I- ah~.” Now that he’s finally talking, Chuuya isn’t about to let him shut up.

He continues at the new angle and slows down fractionally. Knowing this will get a reaction. Still not knowing what he might say.

“Chuuya, you’re so good. You’re perfect. You’re killing me. This is it. I need you.” Dazai isn’t exactly making sense, but to Chuuya it’s not like he ever really does. He’s moaning so loudly that Chuuya briefly wonders if he’ll get a noise complaint, but he decides he might as well make it worth it and try to make him scream.

He pulls out almost completely. Dazai shakes and mumbles in response.

“Don’t go.”

Rich, coming from him, but Chuuya couldn’t leave him if he wanted to. Right now especially, he doesn’t.

It’s a brutal thrust, one that he’s sure if Dazai had done to him he would have sobbed.

Dazai gives him no show of anguish, instead he cries out wantonly.

“Hah~!” His insides tremor around Chuuya’s cock. “Just like that. Go ahead. Destroy me.” He basically grants Chuuya permission for what he’d been planning all along.

He has no qualms about fulfilling Dazai’s masochistic hedonism. Whereas before he had been hesitant about hurting him. Today, if he could walk after..that meant he could leave.

So he gives in to his own sadistic desires that he usually kept locked away.

It’s easier to manipulate Dazai’s body more completely now. Chuuya hadn’t been exaggerating about how he’s easier to push around. It’s hardly any strain at all to pull him down onto his cock as he’s fucking him deeper and deeper within.

“Chuuya. Chuuya. Yes. God Chuuya. You’re everything to me. I didn’t wanna leave you. I shoulda never left you.” Dazai’s arm covers his eyes again and Chuuya is not letting a moment of this pass where he can’t see Dazai’s face.

If he’s saying this now he must mean it. Chuuya might’ve been self-centered to think he was the reason. If it wasn’t him then Dazai was still hiding something.

But right now all he could control was this exchange.

Chuuya slowed his thrusts making Dazai whine. Then he pulled his arm away from his face. He looks wrecked.

“Chuuya.” He circles his hips around him petulantly.

His eyes are glassy and his eyelids are heavy.

It only serves to make Chuuya want him to lose his last semblance of control.

He grabs Dazai’s other arm and takes his wrists in his hands. He pins them above Dazai’s head and doesn’t miss the expression of wonder shining in his eyes. Then he fucks him heedlessly.

His wrists twitch and weakly attempt to get out of his hold. It’s not happening. Chuuya’s hands are probably bruising the skin there but he himself needs something to hold onto.

“Chuuya~ Chuuya~ please~ believe me! I’m sorry for leaving you behind. You’re all I’ve ever wanted!” Dazai’s head is thrashing from side to side. Chuuya is having a hard time focusing on his face but his brows are knitted together and his eyes are closed.

Though it was heavily coerced, that was a real apology. One Chuuya felt he deserved, but one he felt he couldn’t quite accept. If he was all Dazai wanted, what could’ve made him leave him?

Dazai manages to twist his wrist around enough to grab Chuuya’s own with his hand. He uses what little strength he has left to lift Chuuya’s hand up enough that he’s no longer pinned. So Chuuya supposes he’ll find out what he’s planning to do with it.

He stops fighting him. He lets go of that wrist.

Dazai guides his hand to his throat and presses his palm down on his Adam’s apple. His eyes are clouded and his gaze is pleading. The flush has totally smothered his face. His lips part and he speaks to Chuuya with clarity that is completely unlike him in these instances.

“Please.. I don’t want to say these things.” He begs in a choked whisper.

Chuuya has never considered himself a good person by any means, but with Dazai being the one to press his hand into the bandages wrapped around his neck .. he’s having a minor moral crisis. There’s a chance he could really hurt him like this. As much as he wants Dazai to fall apart ..or not walk properly.. he doesn’t like the idea of accidentally collapsing his esophagus or crushing his hyoid bone. He knows all too well how comfortable Dazai is with the idea of dying by his hand.

On one hand Dazai is finally begging him for something, which he had wanted from the very beginning. On the other Chuuya needed to hear what he was really thinking. He wanted more than anything for Dazai to be honest with him now. He supposes he could compromise with him slightly.

He adjusts his grip so that his palm isn’t pushing down on his larynx, but instead that his fingers and thumb are squeezing the main arteries on the sides of his throat. He knew the difference between air choking and blood choking and thought .. while both are dangerous blood is less so.

This is probably more than Dazai thought he’d get out of him anyway. Chuuya is inclined to think so at least from the way his eyes roll back into his head and he groans softly. He grinds down his hips inherently, desperate for Chuuya. In all his totality.

Chuuya slows down marginally. He’s being more careful and focused now that there’s risk involved. Dazai doesn’t seem to even notice as he’s just gasping and gyrating his hips.

Dazai’s hand falls away while his other one twitches in Chuuya’s grip. For all the control and effort he’s exerting trying not to kill him; Chuuya’s brutalizing the flesh of his wrist. He lets up on his throat and Dazai whines as the blood rushes back into his brain. His eyes shut tight and he’s shaking.

“You okay?” Chuuya asks as he stalls his thrusts.

“Yes. Yes. Chuuya don’t stop!” Dazai has the nerve to sound irritated with him for voicing concern. His voice is whiny and his tone is one of complaint.

Chuuya tries not to let anger overtake him as he increases the pressure of his fingers and thrusts into him again. He’s a little tougher than he’d like to be, but Dazai is doing the opposite of complaining.

“Harder! More! Please Chuuya~ I don’t fucking care if you-“

Chuuya doesn’t need to hear whatever /that’s/ about to be. So he fucks him exponentially more unkindly than he should have. Dazai’s thighs tighten around his hips and he’s fucking loud.

It’s an incredibly beautiful, albeit broken sound. Chuuya has never heard him make anything like it before. Dazai seems to, on some level, realize he’s being more noisy than ever. Because he starts biting down on the back of his free wrist.

If Chuuya were a better person with common decency, he would have let him shut himself up.

But he was a selfish, greedy man. Through and through.

He doesn’t relent on his pace but he takes his hand off his throat to pry his wrist from his teeth. He goes back to pinning him down like he had previously. Dazai’s taking it harder than before, in more than one way.

“Chuuya~ Chuuya~ please~ stop me. I can’t~ I can’t~”

“No. I want to hear you.” Chuuya finally voices his own desires.

Dazai’s eyes are unfocused and bleary as he looks up at him. He looks like he’s the one who was betrayed and not Chuuya. Like he has any right to be offended that Chuuya wishes for his honesty.

Admittedly, it makes Chuuya a little mad.

He pins him and fucks him even more harshly. This time Dazai doesn’t cry out. This time Dazai doesn’t speak.

“Osamu.” Chuuya calls for him. “For once be fucking honest with me.”

He trembles and gasps hoarsely. Before ultimately granting Chuuya’s request.

“I hate that you make it so I can’t think. I hate that you’re the only good thing that’s ever happened to me. I hate how much I push you away. I hate myself. I hate that I need you. I hate how much I miss this. I hate that I’ll do anything for you. I hate that you were the only hard thing about leaving. I hate that every time I look back you’re the only one I see. I hate that you’re the only thing I look forward to. I hate that you mean everything to me. I hate that no matter how far I run-no matter where I hide- ah~ I can’t escape this. I’m scared that I don’t really want to.”

Chuuya refuses to let up on him. As much as he would like to address such a confession he knows that if he stopped right now the moment would be lost and Dazai would probably try to kill him for it. Even if he had, there’s no guarantee that Dazai would even remember saying those things. Times like this he failed to recall the words he said so freely. His head was really in another place, but his heart is on his sleeve.

Dazai had never, ever, in all the years Chuuya has known him, admitted to being afraid of anything.

Sure there were things he didn’t like, didn’t want to do, and things he would rather not experience.

But nothing scared him.

Except, apparently, his own feelings.

Perhaps he truly had lost his mind. Chuuya must have utterly fractured him to make him confess something like that. He felt like he really had taken advantage of his weakness. Then again, Dazai had been gone all this time and given him absolutely nothing to go off of for six months. He wasted half a year of their lives that could’ve been spent in moments like this. So Chuuya felt entitled to some of his true feelings.

“Chuuya~ please~” Dazai’s long gone. Chuuya can clearly see it across his face. There’s nothing left of the cold, rational, distant Demon Prodigy Chuuya once knew. This was someone else. A man, tired and lost, who was seeking the only thing that had ever made him feel human to start with.

“Chuuya~ Chuuya~ I’m- please Chuuya~ let me!”

Chuuya hums in consideration, but grants him no reprieve. He’s right on the edge of climax and that’s how he had been able to say those things. His hands are above his head and feebly resisting him. Chuuya knows it wouldn’t take much to make him completely come undone.

“God Chuuya! I’m sorry! Please please touch me! I will do anything! Just please let me cum!” Dazai outright sobs at the denial of his release. It’s such a sublime sight Chuuya can’t fathom giving in now. He had come this far in full intention to make Dazai do everything he would otherwise not.

As of now that includes coming untouched.

“Go ahead.” Chuuya grants him permission before groaning as Dazai tightens around him with those words.

His wrists struggle so pitifully in his grip.

“Chuuya! I can’t! Please Chuuya! Not like this~” he cries out again. His voice pitched and needy in a way entirely new to Chuuya’s ears.

His cock throbs inside of him because of it.

“You can. Stop fighting it and focus on how good you feel.” Chuuya reassures and encourages him.

Dazai, to his credit, actually listens. His wrists stop striving to get free. His bowed shoulders unwind. His brow unfurrows and his eyes focus unseeingly on the ceiling. His legs loosen their hold around Chuuya’s waist. His insides become incomparably relaxed and pliant. High moans and airy gasps fall from his lips with no vacillation. He’s abandoned his last stronghold in this battle against his own pride.

It’s an ethereal sight. Chuuya has never experienced such a heady sensation of control. It was hard enough to play Dazai’s mind games, to decipher true intents and motives from his sparse words and inconclusive explanations, but getting him here, to this point, where he’d .. give in to him. Chuuya didn’t have words. Dazai had taken everything.

“This can’t be real. Chuuya I~ can’t be real. I’m so close I’m going to die. Chuuya you’re perfect. Thank you for killing me.” Dazai’s back to not making sense. It’s similar to things he’s said in the past, but different in that he’s never thanked Chuuya before. He references death and dying way too often while he’s getting fucked but it’s strange that he’s expressing gratitude along with it.

“You’re not going to die from this, idiot. As if I’d let you leave me so permanently.” Chuuya chastises him breathily.

He feels so amazing unwound like this. It’s so blissfully captivating to have him so soft and needy beneath him. His expression is lascivious and every sound he makes and breath he takes is indecently lewd.

“You’re the best like this. Entirely submitting to me. I’d bet anything that when you’re completely under my control that’s when you’re the most free.”

Dazai’s dick twitches between them. Signaling he’s getting off on Chuuya’s words. Or more tellingly, that Chuuya was right on the money with that wager.

His thighs squeeze Chuuya’s waist and he arches in Chuuya’s hold.

“I don't deserve this.”

At first Chuuya thinks he’s back to protesting.

But he follows with:

“I don’t deserve you Chuuya.”

Damn. That took the air right out of his lungs.

Combined with the single tear streaking down Dazai’s cheek..

If Chuuya wasn’t already going to Hell, he most certainly is now.

There had to be something truly corrupt about him What with how pretty he found Dazai to be while he cries.

He’s just never witnessed such raw vulnerability.

Never from Dazai of all people.

That’s not a plausible excuse for how wrong of him it is though.

His guilt is not heavy enough to hold him back from kissing him.

Dazai moans into his mouth. His tongue spells out the remaining things he has left unsaid and reiterates a lot of his previous words. Chuuya aches and hungers for him, alone and wholly.

He feels undeserving of this. He can’t claim Chuuya for himself. He can’t allow himself to have expectations or entertain emotional honesty. He’s still holding back. He’s still being untruthful. He hasn’t changed. He’s lying by omission. He really does hate that Chuuya takes away his self-control. He thinks he’s asking for too much. The kiss turns tender and heart aching, and Chuuya knows deep down, this is another apology.

He accepts this one.

Dazai shudders and their lips part as he calls out Chuuya’s name once more.

His body jolts and spasms violently as he meets his end hot and sticky between them.

He’s clenching around Chuuya harder than ever before. It’s impossible to think clearly, and as much as Chuuya does care about him.. he’s not about to waste such an enticing opportunity. Dazai’s fragile and shaking in the aftershocks of a dry orgasm. Chuuya would be foolish to throw away this chance to overwhelm him so thoroughly.

He had good reason to anyway seeing as he hadn’t come yet himself. So he continues, ardent and hard, steadfast and resolute. Single-mindedly chasing his own relief.

Dazai’s finished now so Chuuya releases his wrists. He can’t see the damage because of the bandages in the way, but from how little he flexes them.. Chuuya knows it’s extensive. He doesn’t have the capacity for remorse at the moment though. His hands find their way to angular hips and slender sides.

There’s no equivocation. There’s no evading Chuuya’s grip. There’s nothing left for Dazai to do as he surrenders to Chuuya’s whims. It’s easy for Chuuya to bounce him up and down on his cock. He’s light and yielding in his hands.

Dazai Osamu, once a formidable rival, and blood soaked Executive, known for his cold, lifeless eyes, reduced to such a timid, meek display.

He stares at Chuuya’s gratification with eyes that don’t see. He listens to Chuuya’s pleasured gasps and groans with ears that don’t hear. His hands lay uselessly on either side of his head, unfeeling or perhaps even numb. His mind is just static between his ears.

His silence is both uncharacteristic and worrisome. If Chuuya weren’t so far gone he might’ve considered stopping. Instead he slows to a deeper and more gradual pace. Dazai was hard to make quiet, except in the aftermath of these moments.

Well, Chuuya faintly registers that this is the aftermath for him.

“Dazai.” Chuuya moans his name gruffly.

Dazai exhales, and his chest heaves. He’s fairly expressionless, but Chuuya can tell he’s exhausted. His eyelids are heavier than before and it’s obviously from fatigue. He raises his hand and caresses Chuuya’s face. His fingers are feather light as they brush against his cheek.

Chuuya trembles at the first real contact Dazai has initiated since this started. It’s so unreal and gentle.

“I’m not asking you to stop or anything at all. This does hurt though.” Dazai voices his pain evenly and this is the first time he’s ever done so.

He has an abnormally high pain tolerance so for him to say something, despite being so stoic, Chuuya believes him. He takes back his thinking of him as timid and meek. It took a lot of resilience to keep a blank face during what Chuuya could imagine was excruciatingly hypersensitive.

“Are you sure?” Chuuya asks him, slowing even more.

“I’m not too worried.” Dazai sighs, his thumb presses into Chuuya’s lips. “You don’t need to hold back for me. I’ll stay present for this.”

Fuck. He’s … Chuuya guesses that the word he’s looking for is similar to sober? He’s come down from that euphoria and was no longer hazy in the heady, intoxicated way Chuuya expected him to be.

It’s so surreal to be reassured by him again.

“I hope you find a way to be true to yourself someday. Whether you’re fighting alongside me or not. I know that change can be a good thing.” As Chuuya speaks he steadily finds his rhythm again.

Dazai’s thighs give out and Chuuya spreads him open and presses them up towards his chest.

Dazai’s eyelids flutter and a new flush darkens high in his cheeks. He gasps at the vulgar positioning and the raw sensitivity.

“I pray for the best for you. For me I just need you breathing,” Chuuya huffs. He’s so close. He’s never had him like this before. “And occasionally underneath me.”

“I must be truly blessed to have a god on my side.” Dazai’s breathless and forthright.

His words sent a chill down Chuuya’s spine.

Both of his hands cradle Chuuya’s face in a gesture that’s so familiar but foreign at the same time.

In this position its implausible to kiss him, as much as Chuuya wants to. The angle is too good though. His grip on the backs of his thighs is probably painful, but true to his nature Dazai doesn’t complain.

“Chuuya, do you still think of me as your only devotee?” Dazai is speaking in metaphorical, whimsical terms but Chuuya does understand.

He’s asking if he’s still the only one. He’s asking if he had been replaced. He’s asking if Chuuya is seeing anyone else.

He’s right on the edge. Threatening to spill within him.

“You’re not as smart as you think you are if you ever believed otherwise.” Chuuya can’t resist being teasing in his attempt to assure him that his devotion was not misplaced.

“Then just cum in me already for fuck’s sake.” Dazai demands forcefully.

It would be something that rude and whiny that sends Chuuya toppling over the cliff that is his release. He heedlessly loses himself in uncharted territory. His hips stutter and he’s uncontrollably harsh with him as he grasps Dazai’s thighs. Coming inside of him is .. truthfully there’s not a word in any language he knows that could adequately describe it.

“Fucking-“ Dazai hisses. “Chuuya you’re hurting me.”

Chuuya inhales to settle himself down and pulls out of him. Dazai winces at that. Then Chuuya notices he’s still holding onto him tightly. When he releases his grip he really does feel guilty. There’s purple handprints on the backs of Dazai’s thighs. They look painful. Chuuya really did go too far with this. He eases Dazai’s legs down and doesn’t miss his eye twitch like he’s in pain.

“I’m sorry. I went too far.” Chuuya’s voice shakes as he takes in the damage he’s ensued.

Dazai’s hips are bruised too. He’s still shaking and Chuuya is filled with regret. He should’ve been cherishing this time with him instead of doing his best to push him past his limits. If he had been kinder and less forceful Dazai wouldn’t be so battered.

“Don’t be. You didn’t.” Dazai chuckles softly.

Chuuya goes to the bathroom to clean himself off. He hurriedly warms a washcloth and grabs a towel, and goes back to Dazai.

His eyes are closed and he’s breathing deep and evenly when he returns. He joins him back on the bed and lays the towel down. He tries to be as kind as can be as he adjusts his aching, bruised body so that the towel is under his hips. Dazai’s brow furrows but he makes no verbal complaints of discomfort nor do his eyes open. Then Chuuya sets to cleaning him up.

When there’s nothing left that he can do as an excuse to touch him he sits back on his heels and stares. He’s so quiet and peaceful, in the same way as he’s always been. In the finality of these moments he’s always been passive and silent.

When his eyes blearily open and attempt to focus on Chuuya the smaller is at a loss. He doesn’t know what he should say or do. He doesn’t know what’s expected from him now of all times.

Was there really no going back to the natural dynamic of before?

“Do you still want to touch me?” Dazai asks him.

Chuuya only nods.

“Hm.” Dazai’s hands run over the tops of his thighs. It’s sensual and his expression exudes that this is a sore, tender place. “Here would be nice.”

Chuuya’s hands are replacing his before they’ve even moved. He’s soft, but full of conviction as he circles his fingertips into such a place. The muscles there are tight and evidently strained. He doesn’t miss the quiet sighs and muted whimpers falling from Dazai’s lips. After how roughly he’d treated him, the least he could do was give him some aftercare to relieve the pain he’d caused.

He’d made Dazai say and do things he’s sure would make him angry if he had the energy and awareness to be so. Dazai had admitted so many of his true feelings and apologized and begged him. Chuuya felt immensely guilty that he had to go so far for this. He felt he had exploited both Dazai’s current and past weaknesses to get here.

So he tries to be thoughtful now. He tries to illustrate his true care and consideration that had been lacking from the harshness of their exchange. He wonders if Dazai is upset with him, but just doesn’t have the willpower to protest the way he’d been handled.

“Do you feel better now?” Dazai’s voice shocks him out of his thoughts.

He doesn’t sound malcontent at all but really just tired and curious.

“What do you mean?” Chuuya asks him.

“You wanted something from me. That’s why you were so hard on me and lasted so long. I get why you did what you did. You didn’t want me to hide from you anymore. I’m trying to find out if you’re satisfied with what you found.” He gasps as Chuuya’s thumbs put pressure on a sore tendon.

Chuuya massages the area more gently and he sighs.

“I wanted a lot from you. Too much even. At first I just wanted you to be honest with me and then .. it was too easy to impose my will. I kept taking and taking with no regard for the consequences or proper empathy for your comfort. I got to hear a lot of things I needed to hear, and learned a lot of stuff I wanted to know. I don’t think I was fair to you about it though. I should not have hurt you like this.”

“I came here entirely expecting you would kill me. I don’t have the confidence or ambition to explain myself right now but one day I will be forced to tell you the truth about why I left. One thing I can assure you I’m not lying about is that it was not your fault. I was unfair to you first and I have no reservations about that. I have no room to judge you for the way you went about venting your frustrations. Whether you were trying to punish me or gain insight into my thoughts or a combination of both doesn’t really bother me. I get where you’re coming from, but can’t really tell if I overestimated you or underestimated you.” Dazai sighs as Chuuya reaches a tender spot.

“I wasn’t thinking clearly enough to realize that I was trying to punish you but I can see how you’d draw that conclusion. I’m still upset that you left me alone. I’m still mad you never reached out until now. It would be easier to be understanding if I knew your motivations and plans. In weakness or in strength I’m sure that you will do something important. I know that you realize between the two of us I’m the one who wants you alive the most. Don’t waste your energy overanalyzing me and just get better at communicating with me instead. I don’t want to have to have to fuck you out of your head to get you to tell the truth every time I need to hear it.”

Dazai inhales sharply as Chuuya increases the pressure a bit more.

“I’ll do what you said. I’ll find a way to be true to myself someday. I’ll make an effort to be better to you in all the ways you’ve asked of me. We can remain friends even if we’re not Double Black anymore. Who knows? Maybe a day will come where we’ll fight side by side again.”

“I could care less about fighting with you, Dazai. We were never friends to start with so I don’t know if I can believe anything you just said.”

“I accept that. I’ve never given you anything to have faith in to begin with. Even so, I predict that I’ll prove myself to you one day.” Dazai’s voice is soft as he places his wager.

Chuuya kisses him. It’s as fleeting and sweet as a dream or a memory. Dazai’s blushing when he pulls away.

“I guess we’ll see about that then.”

Chapter Text

‘How did we get to this point?’ Chuuya’s mind is a haze of confusion and wonder.

Dazai’s tongue is twisting and sliding against his and while it’s not experienced or even certain, it makes his head spin. His stomach is a bundle of nerves and his chest is tight with anxiety. This doesn’t make him want to stop. While he’s inexperienced and unsure of where he stands with him, where this might lead, and if this is a one time occurrence; he wants to find out. Dazai’s hands are steady and his touches are captivating. He’s squeezing Chuuya’s sides gently. His knees caging him in by his hips. Chuuya can’t say he’s thought about this moment happening but he’s sure if he had he would’ve never pictured Dazai this gentle.

His hands move to his top buttons on his dress shirt. He breaks the kiss and his lips brush against Chuuya’s as he silently asks for permission.

Chuuya nods quickly.

Dazai’s long fingers are graceful despite their rush. He kisses Chuuya again and it’s heated. It breaks again too soon for Chuuya’s liking so he can shrug him out of his top layers of clothing.

Chuuya undoes his harness.

Dazai smiles at him and it’s not snarky or mocking at all. He pulls off his black coat and Chuuya starts on his white shirt’s buttons. His fingers shake a little, but Dazai doesn’t tease him like he expects him to. Instead he just starts on the opposite end and they meet on the way.

Soon they are bare chested aside from Dazai's bandages, and staring at each other in the low light of the room.

The taste on Chuuya’s lips, along with the brandy and gunpowder, the one he couldn’t discern before.. it’s blood. He must’ve gotten knocked around a bit while running from the KGB.

..The KGB?

His hand reaches out and his fingertips brush against the bandages around his torso.

Dazai’s hand wraps around his. His other hand pushes him back against the bed by his shoulder. Their lips collide again and Chuuya is startled by how visceral and lucid it feels.

When Dazai pulls back his fingers trace his skin. Lightly pressing against him. He speaks to him ever so softly. “You taste sweet.”

St. Petersburg?!

*

Chuuya jolts awake at the sound of a door closing. He sits up and with one glance he knows Dazai’s gone. He just left. Again. Without a goddamn word.

Chuuya is too tired to be angry, and the irritation in his chest simmers as he registers faint warmth on his lips. His fingers press into his lips and he knows. Dazai is awful.

He’s still not worth enough consideration for a proper goodbye, but the last kiss in his dream had been real. Why does Dazai pretend that there’s no way out unless he runs when Chuuya’s not looking? It’s not like he would have tried to stop him. He should have never let him back in his head. This was just another game to him and Chuuya needed to get used to it. Correction, he should be used to it by now.

He’s so childish and flighty. He just ran away again without looking back. Those promises and predictions were going to go unfulfilled, weren’t they? Chuuya wishes, not for the first time, that he and Dazai never started this in the first place.

It’s still Dazai. Chuuya is not in so much denial that he can’t admit that he’s with him. Against all odds, foes, and common sense he still will never truly leave Dazai’s side.

Chuuya settles back down and tilts his head to the side. He stares out the window, resigning to his gullibility and admitting he’s been naïve. Then he notices. There’s an unfamiliar shadow on his bedside table.

He sits up and turns on the light. There’s a bulky satellite phone and a folded note. He snatches the note and opens it.

“3 Rules:
No texting
Keep it hidden at home
Don’t get carried away with calling. Emergencies, planning, and sparingly without reason is fine

This is the way things have to be. The number is preprogrammed in the phone but my device’s coordinates are constantly jumping so abandon trying to track me from it before you think about it.

Take it easy, Slug”

So this was his effort to do right by him?

Chuuya’s heart fluttered in his chest and he had to be honest with himself. This was a start. Opening a line for communication was a huge risk too. He must really have a lot of faith in Chuuya. He knows he wouldn’t do anything that would put him in danger.

He’d showed up uninvited, and Chuuya put him through hell for his mistakes. This was hard to believe in, even staring at the note in his handwriting outlining the rules. But Chuuya did believe in him. For the first time he truly had faith in one of Dazai’s promises. This gesture has changed his mind.

Chuuya picks up the phone and goes to it’s contacts. There’s only one number on the list and the contact name is ‘The Worst’. That’s a title that suits him if there ever was one. It makes Chuuya laugh for the first time in so long. Dazai knows what he’s done to him. He knows he was wrong.

The validation was long overdue. Better late than never, right?

Chuuya opens the bedside drawer and hides the phone and note in the back of it. Then he lies back down and closes his eyes again. He hopes Dazai makes it out of the city safely, but doesn’t doubt he will. Then he falls back asleep.

*

Autumn is such a lonesome season. The Earth is becoming colder and colder with each passing day. All the green fades and falls away. It’s like being surrounded by death and reminds Chuuya of someone who always feels like Fall. Lonely, cold, and craving eternal slumber.

It’s early October. Chuuya has only seen Dazai twice in the almost full year he’s been gone. He randomly received a round-trip plane ticket to Montreal in July that was dated for August. He knew it was from Dazai because the time before that occurred when they spoke he told him “Soon.” Chuuya had asked when they could plan on seeing each other again. Dazai hadn’t let him be apart of the process, but he wasn’t going to complain.

It went well, all things considered. They couldn’t be spotted anywhere together so when he landed Dazai called him and gave him an address. They ended up hiding out in a cabin two hours from the city. The cab fare had been ridiculous, but Chuuya didn’t care. He understood that desperate times called for desperate measures and was grateful for the chance to see him at all.

Lying awake at night is becoming all too regular an occurrence. He doesn’t go out much anymore, because when he gets drunk he gets sentimental. More often than he’d like to he ends up drunk dialing Dazai.

Every time he looks at ‘The Worst’ on that ugly backlit phone’s screen, every time he pulls the antenna out, all he can think is how badly he wants to hear his voice.

He really does try to not call him so often. He’s waiting for Dazai to say it’s become too much. He is always anticipating the next call being the one where he cuts him off.

Guilt can only make Dazai tolerate so much.

The last time he heard his voice was particularly disheartening.

He answered and before Chuuya could say anything he said “Another time.” Then hung up.

He hadn’t called back. It had been sixteen days since then. Chuuya hadn’t heard anything from the Port Mafia about him. To that end it seemed like he was still alive. Chuuya wanted to know what could have been going on for him to be so curt and what could have happened between now and then that would have prevented him from getting back to him.

Chuuya set his own limit with this. He attempted to limit his calls to twice a month. Alcohol got the better of him more times than he would have liked.

Even knowing that he was in this situation now.

Sixteen days and he hadn’t heard from Dazai.

He needed a goddamn drink.

Or five.. maybe six. Counting was hard. The bottle was almost empty.

His hand found a clunky phone and he was letting anger control his actions.

It rang for so long he thought Dazai was ignoring him.

Then it clicked.

“Hmm?” He sounded more than half asleep.

It was only 10:30pm in Japan, but Chuuya forgets he’s consistently hopping time zones. He could also be jet lagged.

“You never got back to me.” Chuuya can’t keep agitation out of his voice.

“Been busy.” Dazai mumbles barely coherently.

“Where are you right now?”

“Adak Island. It’s the worst.” Dazai groans.

“Never heard of it.” Chuuya tells him.

“Lesser known territory of interest between the Japanese and States side of World War Two. The U.S. had a base and airfield here so the airport is sophisticated in comparison to surrounding islands. I thought I hated sand but I took it for granted. The tundra is much, much worse.”

“Alaska? There’s nothing there, why haven’t you contacted me?” Chuuya was annoyed by the unasked for history lesson.

“You’re right, but I wasn’t lying. I’m staying with a local and they’re working me to the bone. I’m always cold and tired. It’s always foggy and miserable. I got knocked overboard and got hypothermia last week. Believe it or not it wasn’t on purpose, but I wish they’d have let me drown. Something about ‘he doesn’t have his green card! we’re not insured! we could lose our business!’ So because of legalities and bare minimum American moral standards I’m still alive.”

“You’re not serious. You can’t be working as a fisherman.” Chuuya is in such disbelief he’s not even angry anymore.

“You have no idea how much I wish I was joking.” Dazai chuckles tiredly.

“How long are you planning on staying there? The fishing season should be over soon right?”

“Commercial fishing is year-round here. As much as I hate it, it's very hard to get out here and there’s no surveillance systems at all. Plus being paid USD off the books is no joke. I’m leaving before November for sure though because it’s impossible to get out during the wettest month of the year and the winters here are too brutal.”

“I’m sorry I woke you up. I didn’t realize you’d been working.” Chuuya feels bad about his behavior.

He had no idea that Dazai had actually been doing something with his life these past few weeks. He feels inexplicably proud that he’s working hard and staying out of trouble. He never pictured Dazai as an honest work kind of man, but he realizes he doesn’t have a lot of options.

Besides it wasn’t all that honest as far as legalities go.

But it was still noteworthy.

“S’fine. I have to head to the dock in an hour so I would be waking up soon anyway. Stay on the phone with me until I have to get ready.”

“Okay. Are they compensating you for almost dying on their watch?” Chuuya is curious to know the answer to this.

Dazai laughs softly. “They let me have the rest of the day off and paid for a doctor to see me. I stay with the boss without paying rent for the room so I guess he takes it out of my cut and doesn’t tell me. I hadn’t been seen by a doctor in so long, Chuuya. My bandages were frozen stuck to me and he had to cut them off. It was so embarrassing I just pretended I didn’t understand English.”

“You speak English?” Chuuya asks him before rethinking his line of questioning. “What did he say to you?”

“Not well or anything. Business, food, transportation, and basic conversational skills is all I have down. I understand a lot more though. He was an old guy and he looked horrified. He kept calling me ‘son’ and asked the basics. What happened, how it happened, who did this to you, stuff like that. Then he asked me if I was ever imprisoned in North Korea.” Dazai chuckles dryly at the memory. “I think that tops the list of ‘Most Offensive Thing Ever Said To Me’.”

Chuuya’s heart twists in his chest. He had never seen Dazai’s skin himself, but hearing the things that American doctor said to him..hurt his heart.

“Then he asked if I was ‘on the run’ from whoever’s responsible and internally I was like ‘okay, drag me why don’t you?’ But I didn’t tell him shit. He could tell that a lot was self-inflicted too but he didn’t say anything about those. In that way he was kind.”

Dazai’s bandages covered up things done to him by others and himself. Chuuya didn’t know what else he was expecting to be beneath them, but that did make a lot of sense to him. He had been wrong to think he’d been through worse things than he had. Chuuya felt like an asshole for ever entertaining the thought. A doctor asked him if he was ever a North Korean prisoner for god’s sake!

He understands a lot better why Dazai never takes off his bandages.

“Do you wear them more for other people or yourself?” Chuuya must be drunk as hell if he’s got this much audacity.

“Hm. Probably more for me. I prefer covering myself up and the constant pressure is comforting. It’s for everyone else too though because children and weaklings would get nightmares if I walked around without them. The only upside of the whole doctor’s visit was that I cleaned out his whole supply of gauze. I was running low out here so you can’t blame me.”

“I don’t blame you but I hope nobody needs them if he’s the only doctor around.”

“I think there’s like two or three on the whole island. They can share.” Dazai hums.

“How long do you have until you need to get ready?” Chuuya asks him.

“Mm fifteen maybe twenty minutes. Why? Getting antsy to get rid of me?”

“No. I don’t need to talk to you, but I want to.” Chuuya tells him.

“Chuuya misses me~” Dazai taunts him.

“Shut up. You miss me too.”

“Body heat would be nice. I’m glad I took your advice and started eating more otherwise I would’ve died of exposure by now.”

“I’ll only cuddle you if you admit you miss me.”

“Are you drunk right now, Chuuya?”

“If you were real with me you wouldn’t be fighting this.”

“I’ll take that as a yes.” Dazai yawns.

“You should admit that you wish you were with me right now instead of freezing your ass off in the Arctic Ocean.”

“I’m in the Bering Sea actually.”

“I think your pride is just in the way.”

“I think you’re just drunk and lonely.”

“You’re the worst.” Getting Dazai to be honest about his feelings was still harder than pulling teeth.

He can hear his smile through the phone. “I know.”

“How long are you going to keep running away?” Chuuya sighs.

“Another year.”

He hadn’t expected such a straightforward or timely answer.

“Really?”

“Yes.”

“Then where are you going to go?” Chuuya asks him. Genuinely needing to know the answer.

“Home.” Dazai simply replies.

“Yokohama?” Chuuya presses for clarification.

“That’s where you’ll be.” Dazai sounds drowsy as he responds but Chuuya’s intoxicated mind drowns itself in hope.

Is Dazai calling him home?

“Are you homesick?” Chuuya questions him.

“Terribly.”

The sincerity behind that eased all of Chuuya’s woes. Dazai did miss him, and care for him. He considered him home. He would still never voice such sentiments clearly, but after being Dazai’s for so long he picked up on these things.

Wait. Did he just consider himself ‘Dazai’s’?

Chuuya is taken aback by his own thoughts. He doesn’t depend on anything or anyone. Dazai was the only person he ever had any faith in and he’d ruined that by leaving and abandoning their partnership. So why would he ever consider himself Dazai’s?

Had he been Dazai’s in his mind all this time?

Would another year be long enough for the Mafia to not kill him if he came back to the city?

“I obviously want you back and close, but will another year be long enough?”

“You really are drunk. You don’t have to worry about me. I wouldn’t come back unless I was sure they wouldn’t be able to get me.”

“Dazai, you know how they are. I’m not worried I’m just cautious.”

“Chuuya, you just referred to them as ‘they’.” Dazai sounds wary. “Shouldn’t that be a ‘we’?”

“I’m with them on everything except you. Are you sure that a year from now will be fine to return?”

“I already have a plan in motion. You know I don’t do anything without thinking everything through and weighing my options.”

“Don’t take this personal, but you never think anything through when it comes to me.” Chuuya let’s him know that he knows their entire arrangement started, continued, and would end up being nothing but Dazai’s impulsivity.

Dazai makes a soft exasperated noise. “Why you gotta call me out like that?”

Chuuya picks up the bottle he’d set aside and presses it to his lips to finish it off.

His mind may be fuzzy, his vision may be impaired, but he knows himself too well to doubt his own feelings.

“I don’t mean to, but I love you.” Chuuya finally confesses and it feels like all the gravity in the solar system has been lifted off his chest.

There’s a long stretch of silence but the call hasn’t ended.

“You don’t mean that. You’re just fucking wasted.”

Chuuya has a faint notion that he’s been here before. That this isn’t the first time Dazai has denied his feelings. That an identical or incredibly similar moment has occurred at some point in time.

“Why am I having deja-vu?” Chuuya wonders out loud.

“Chuuya. We agreed to never mention this again.” Dazai is trying to sound stern but Chuuya can hear the waver in his voice.

“I made no such agreement, but you just confirmed this has happened before. When did I say that? What other time did I tell you ‘I love you’?”

“You’ve said it in different ways. Just now was the first time you said it so .. We shouldn’t be having this conversation. You don’t feel what you think you feel for me. I’ve just confused you.”

That does it. Chuuya is angry again. Dazai has no right to tell Chuuya how he feels!

“You don’t get to tell me how I feel, Dazai! If I didn’t feel that way why would I go through all of this just to hear your voice? Why would I say something I didn’t mean when it’s absolutely no benefit to me? There’s no reason to lie anymore! There’s nothing left for me to hide. Why would I spell it out for you time and time again? Why would I care so much and say and feel and do everything that I do for you if I was just confused?! Do you really think you have that much power over me that you could manipulate me into loving you? If you actually did that to me you wouldn’t keep pushing me away!”

“Chuuya I-“

“You’re unfair to me! What good does it do to deny my sincerity?”

“‘All is fair in love and war.’”

He read ‘Euphues’? Chuuya remembers a long time ago, referencing that very line to him. It was right before they became Double Black, and that night was the first night they spent together at Dazai’s penthouse.

Chuuya recalls how tenderly he’d been treated that night. How he almost imagined Dazai was giving him everything that night just in case there was never another like it. Dazai must have known, must have understood, must have read the book.

“Dazai, you deserted the battlefield a long time ago. You must know by now you can’t escape from me. When are you going to surrender?” Chuuya genuinely needs to know the answer to this too. Knowing how much longer he’s going to run from the Mafia is one thing, but he really needs to know how much longer he’s going to run from him.

“Don’t count me out of the fight just yet.”

Of course, Dazai is the absolute worst.

Chuuya can only guess, can only speculate what that means.

Chapter Text

The wind is powerful this high up. A hand holds on to the metal grating for dear life. Literally, but not dearly. Dazai wants to let go and take a nosedive into the concrete plaza below. Suicide was always a good solution. No matter the problem, large or small, killing yourself quickly and painlessly was a proper answer.

Splattering on the pavement in the most beautiful city on Earth was a lovely way to go. He picked this place because of its significance to the person he cares for. It’s somewhere he’d always wanted an excuse to go. It’s the place he learned an entire language for in anticipation of one day exploring it. The cold metal in his hands was of (arguably) the world’s most famous architectural landmark.

The climb had taken quite some time. Now that he was finally in proper position he was taking his time. Really thinking about what drove him to this edge. Weighing and considering the many, many pros of ending it all.

He needed to escape permanently. He needed to let go before it was too late. Too soon for his liking there was going to be no going back. Close at hand was the point of no return. In a few short weeks he was to be returning to Yokohama. As some would think this was something to look forward to, Dazai dreaded the thought in far greater measure.

After being alone. After all this running and hiding. After all this time. The next step was on course to be taken. Dazai was getting cold feet.

That was literal too. Being so high up gave him a bit of a chill. He looks down and is comforted by how easy it will be to die from this height. He breathes in the cool night air and his fingers slip a little. He grabs on tighter and realizes then .. he’s afraid of letting go.

He doesn’t want to go back though.

Then his phone starts ringing.

He uses his free hand to fish it from his pocket and answers.

“Hello Chuuya~ I’m not sure if you have really good luck or really bad luck because you seem to have caught me at an interesting time.” Dazai tries to fake cheer and casualty in his greeting.

“Get down right now.” Chuuya wastes no time on pleasantries.

Dazai looks at the ground below and it doesn’t appear that anyone has noticed him. He had cut quite a few wires so the tower wouldn’t light up tonight. He didn’t want anyone to see him until his body hit the ground.

“How does Chuuya know what I may or may not be doing?”

“Did you not hear yourself, moron? I can hear the wind. I also saw an article saying the Eiffel Tower hasn’t glowed tonight. I had a hunch you’d have something to do with it.”

“Just because you hear about something odd or ominous happening on the other side of the world doesn’t mean I automatically have something to do with it.” Dazai complains.

“Río De Janeiro. Istanbul. Sydney. New York City. Rabat.”

“I told you that incident in Casablanca Port had nothing to do with me!” Dazai protests the only one of the claims that can’t be proven by witness testimony or surveillance footage.

“Please just get down. I’ll never be able to go to Paris again if I go to claim your body.” Chuuya pleads with him.

“Again? I thought you’d never been before.” Dazai is confused by his phrasing.

“My plane just landed. I was in Copenhagen and that’s how I saw the news so fast. I just got through customs and I’m on my way to you now. Please Dazai don’t fucking jump.”

He knew exactly where Dazai was and what he was doing without words between them. He had hopped on a plane without a second thought to get to him. Why did Chuuya always go so far for him? How did he know? Dazai had given him everything of himself physically, but tried desperately to hold on to his emotions and words.

Yet Chuuya took his heart and left him lonely.

Dazai doesn’t want to fix this, he’d rather weep. He’s sad and he wants to die. He’s out of his mind because he doesn’t know himself anymore and he’s not ready to change. He’s done running. He’s tired of being lost. He’s not right in his head, he has no control over his own heart, and the only tangible solution he sees is to make it stop beating.

“Dazai, when you’re feeling like this you have to let me know. You can’t let it get to this point over and over or one day you’re really going to succeed. You need to decide whether or not you’re going to count on me. You’re so close to coming home. Why now? What are you trying to escape from this time?”

“It’s torture.” Dazai whines.

Dazai can’t let himself be Chuuya’s. He can’t allow that to happen. Chuuya loves him and wants him to come back. When he goes back to Yokohama he knows Chuuya will stop at nothing to make Dazai his and his alone.

When?

Fuck.

“No one has touched you in at least two years. I know that for sure.”

“You have.” Dazai tells him, in a voice that is much more broken and despairing than intended.

“You want me to.” Chuuya agrees but calls him out simultaneously.

Dazai’s fingers are growing numb against the cold metal.

He’s afraid of letting go.

“Who am I, Chuuya?” Dazai asks him, not really expecting an answer.

“Dazai Osamu, please get back inside that tower and get down. Please don’t do this to me. Please don’t.” Chuuya begs him and before he’s even done speaking Dazai knows he’s not going to jump.

Being alive is torture, sure. But being in love? Far, far worse.

“I have to get off the phone to climb back inside. I’ll call you back when I’ve snuck out of the area, okay?” Dazai concedes and Chuuya has won against him once more. He’s glad he’s not keeping score.

“Be careful. Don’t slip, don’t die, and don’t get arrested.” Chuuya reminds him and as much as Dazai doesn’t need to be reminded it feels nice to hear him say it.

He appreciated that Chuuya was always looking out for him.

He hangs up and puts the phone in his pocket before starting his climb. It’s not slippery and he assumes he’ll survive, but then he notices ..

There’s a growing police presence. Dazai easily can point out the plain clothes officers around the perimeter of the plaza. Getting out of here is going to be a bitch.

*

He finally calls Chuuya back when he makes it to a side street. He’d almost been tased, but was able to knock the policeman unconscious. He had been a young guy, possibly new on the job, so that made Dazai’s unwanted life a little more easy.

“I made it out of there.” Dazai tells him when he hears the phone click as it’s answered.

“That’s a miracle. Traffic is awful. Everyone is in a panic because they think there’s going to be a terrorist attack. God. What were you thinking?” Chuuya expresses that Dazai has put the capital of his favorite foreign country on edge, but he’s still thankful Dazai didn’t get caught.

“Something self-absorbed and self-destructive at the same time. You know. The usual.”

Chuuya groans as if he has a headache. “I can’t believe you’ve added terrorism to your list of egregious offenses. Actually yes I can. You’ve done worse shit in other countries before. Meet me at Place Dauphine. With traffic in this state you’ll probably get there faster on foot.”

“I’d hardly call cutting a few wires terrorism. You make me sound like some kind of international crime lord. You wound me, Chuuya.” Dazai knows he’s in no position to be arguing but it’s in his nature.

“You caused a panic. An internationally recognized disturbance. You are so, so, incredibly lucky you did not get caught. You are a terrorist.” Chuuya is so mean. Dazai pouts as he takes the scolding.

“Don’t even think about skipping out on me. If you aren’t at the location I specified I’ll turn you in to the French. They’re nice here so they’ll probably just throw your ass in a loony bin. But I guarantee if you try to run you won’t make it out of the country.”

“Hey. It’s been too long since you’ve threatened me and now it’s not even with physical violence. You’re depriving me, Chuuya. I can’t go on unless I have reassurance that you’ll take my ass out if I do you wrong.” Dazai complains.

“You’d like it too much if I killed you so I’m using threats that will actually work. I know how much you hate hospitals and I know how much you’d love to be murdered by me.”

“You’re a bully!” Dazai accuses.

“And you’re a suicidal bastard. The only thing that works on you is tough love. Suck it up and be where I told you to be or I’ll have you thrown in a psych ward.” Chuuya is relentless today and Dazai can’t really blame him.

“Fine. You finally got your excuse to come to Paris so I suppose I’ll be on my best behavior for you.”

“That’s the least you could do. I know you. You’re selfish and conniving and wanted to do it here, of all places, because of me.”

Damn. He’s not letting up for a second.

“Chuuya~ you don’t have to be so hard on me. If I couldn’t die with you, why not do it here? I was trying to be romantic.” Dazai is only half-joking and hopes it angers Chuuya enough to kill him over it.

“Now you’re being a total asshole. What happened to being on your best behavior?” Chuuya actually sounds a little sad but he’s still chastising him.

Dazai feels a twinge of guilt before deciding he should probably put some effort in to not be as intolerable as usual.

“Yeah you’re right. Let’s start over, okay?” Dazai let’s Chuuya win, yet again, but he doubts he feels like he’s won.

“That’s good with me. Where are you now?” Chuuya asks.

Dazai looks at the street sign and makes an attempt. “Quai Malaquais.”

Chuuya laughs at him. “I forgot how god awful your French is. Oh it’s great.” He sighs. “You’re making good time though. Your walk was supposed to be about an hour, but you’ve always walked fast. And you have stupid long legs.”

“What about you?” Dazai asks.

“Excusez-moi. Combien de temps jusqu'à notre arrivée?” Chuuya presumably asks his taxi driver.

There’s a pause before Chuuya speaks again.

“Je comprends. Merci beaucoup.”

“He says on account of traffic it could be twenty to thirty minutes.” Chuuya relays to Dazai.

“You’re fortunate I know my way around. What would you do if I were to get lost here?” Dazai asks him.

“I wouldn’t worry. You’d turn up alive even if someone threw you in shark infested waters. You’ve always been good with directions and unreasonably fortunate. I don’t think you’ve ever been lost in the physical sense of the word.”

“Are you implying I’m so unappetizing not even sharks would eat me?” Dazai is a little offended, and elects not to mention how he feels lost all the time.

“No. I’m implying that even if all the conditions were met that would kill anyone else; you would make it out alive. I’m saying there is no situation that you can’t snake your way out of. Unless of course, you’re dealing with me.”

“You’re essentially saying I’m Superman and you’re my kryptonite then.”

“If kryptonite were the only thing that kept Superman alive then sure.” Chuuya is lighthearted as he makes this claim, but Dazai knows he’s right. If it weren’t for Chuuya he’d have been dead long ago.

“No. I’m pretty sure it poisons him.” Dazai guesses.

“It causes radiation actually.” Chuuya corrects him.

“I never pictured you as a DC kind of guy.” Dazai muses.

“I’m not. Dark Horse is way better.” Chuuya defends himself.

“I can see Chuuya now twirling his hair and saying ‘I’m not like other girls’.” Dazai mocks him.

“I have never once twirled my hair and I am not a damn girl. You are so rude.”

“Now Chuuya is going ‘Why are you picking on me? I’m not different I’m unique!’” Dazai continues to taunt him.

“I bet you’re just salty because you like Marvel.” Chuuya teases him.

“I do not! I don’t care about superheroes at all! They’re all a bunch of stuck up, goody two-shoes, copy and pasted wannabes.”

“You sound like you take the idea of being a hero awfully personal, Dazai. Who hurt you?”

Dazai briefly reminiscences his childhood. The better question was ‘Who didn’t save him?’

“There are good people and there are bad people. Good people do bad things just as much as bad people do good. The real world isn't black and white like a comic strip. People live in shades of grey, some darker than others, but that doesn’t make them irredeemable. Good people have taken lives just as bad people have saved them.” Dazai is walking a thin line with this route of thinking, but he has to think he’s right otherwise he himself would be irredeemable.

“Eh. That’s an interesting take. In my opinion; Who cares about good or bad? Just do what benefits you as long as you’re comfortable with where you are. Take advantage of opportunities you are given and stay honest with yourself. Regrets, remorse, and contrition are useless. As long as you acknowledge your actions and abide by your limitations you won’t become too full of yourself.”

Dazai knows Chuuya. This line of thought from him is not unexpected or shocking. Chuuya has never been on the flip side of the moral debate of right and wrong. He just thinks about what he can do in each moment and how to make it work to his favor. Dazai is not put off by his cold me-first rationality. All along he’s known Chuuya to stay truthful to himself, and that already makes him better off than Dazai.

“There’s just no such thing as a truly good person. People can live to their ideals to the best of their abilities but they are still bound to do wrong. That’s why I hate the concept of heroes. On the other side of that I think that there is such a thing as truly evil people. I’ve met quite a few.”

“Isn’t that a little contradictory? Surely if there are truly evil people in the world, there has to be good enough ones to balance it out.”

“If I ever meet anyone good enough to outweigh the horrible people I’ve met, you’ll be the first to know.”

“You’re sounding less cynical already.” Chuuya is smiling and Dazai can hear it in his voice.

His heart feels a little less dead, but it’s still not in the right place. He thinks Chuuya must have stowed it away somewhere and even with all his wit and intellect he has no idea where he’s hiding it. Let alone how he’ll ever get it back. He knows though, that he can never tell Chuuya that he’s taken it.

“You’ll still hold the record though. No matter how many people you kill or how much immoral shit you do.”

“The record for what?” Chuuya asks him.

“You’re the best in my book. Nobody, no matter how good of a person they may be, will be able to put up with my shit like you do.” Dazai admits softly to the Parisian night air.

That makes Chuuya laugh. It’s a genuine and heartwarming sound. If Dazai had a heart to warm anyway.

“You can say that again.” Chuuya says with a giggle. It’s such an adorable sound, and so unlike him.

“I’d rather die.” Dazai isn’t going to be repeating that any time soon.

“Wouldn’t you always?”

“You would know.” Dazai teases him.

“Fucking wouldn’t I?” Chuuya sighs.

Dazai looks up and takes in his surroundings. He’s made it to the square. There’s cafes surrounding an area of green. Even in the dark Dazai can discern exactly what kind of trees these are.

“I think I’m here. Chestnut trees?” Dazai asks him.

“That’s the spot. Is anyone around?” Chuuya questions.

Dazai takes a careful observation of the area. There’s a few people sitting in the outside areas of the cafes, but not many. There’s no foot traffic in the area either. Dazai sees exactly one couple sitting on the far side of the greenery, they’re close together on a bench, and obviously very absorbed in each other’s presence.

“At the restaurants, yes. There’s a pair on the opposite end from me too. But other than that no one is really out and I don’t see any officers. Plain clothes or otherwise.”

Chuuya sighs with relief. “Okay. Take a seat. I’m almost there.”

Dazai follows his instructions and finds a bench between the trees. He sits and stays alert to any possibly suspicious activity. The phone is still pressed to his ear and he hears someone faintly speaking in French to Chuuya. Dazai hears the sound of a car approaching and turns his head. A cab pulls into the square and he hears Chuuya speak again.

“Ici. Je vous remercie.”

The car door opens and Chuuya steps out and slings a duffle bag over his shoulder. The lamp light hits him perfectly and gives him a soft glow.
He’s wearing casual clothing, like he’s a tourist or traveler. There’s something different about him too. Something off.. Something .. Asymmetrical?

He scans the perimeter as the taxi pulls off and easily spots Dazai.

He crosses the area easily and before Dazai knows what he’s doing he’s standing to greet him. As soon as he’s closed the distance he drops his bag and grabs Dazai by his collar. The taller’s hands find their way into his hair and he lets himself be pulled down to kiss him.

As before he’d been lost, Dazai is found.

It’s been so long since their lips last collided. Roughly four months to be more specific, but still. Too long.

There are so many things being said through this kiss but the thing that’s being said the loudest is

‘I’m so glad you’re alive.’

Dazai’s response is the same that it’s always been.

‘Only because of you.’

He knows now, from touching him, what’s different. His hair.. his bangs are shorter on one side. It’s been cut.

Chuuya lets him go and breathes as he presses his face into his chest.

“Thanks for listening to me.” Chuuya thanks him and Dazai has let him tell him what to do a lot tonight so he doesn’t know if he’s referring to something specific.

He chooses not to acknowledge his inevitable losses against Chuuya.

“You cut your hair.” He points out instead.

Chuuya pulls back from the embrace to squint at him. Giving Dazai a better look. It’s ..unique, choppy, and makes him look bad ass. Not that Dazai would ever say that to his face.

“You think I did this?” Chuuya scoffs at the thought. “I would never cut it like this on purpose. A jackass with a katana did this.”

“Oh.. well I like it.” Dazai runs his fingers through the much shorter bangs.

Chuuya looks surprised. “You do?”

“I do.” Dazai confirms.

“I can’t tie it up anymore. I thought it looked weird.” Chuuya admits.

Dazai knows how much Chuuya liked being able to put his hair up. He would do it when it was hot, when he was sparring, before fucking Dazai senseless. It was a good look, don’t get Dazai wrong, but the asymmetry frames him in a new, but better way.

“It doesn’t. It looks cool.” Dazai compliments him and enjoys the shocked blush spreading across his face.

Chuuya pulls away from him and picks up his bag. He sits down on the bench and puts it by his feet. Dazai joins him. Chuuya leans into him and presses his head into his shoulder.

“Do you know why I picked here?” Chuuya asks him.

“The trees.” Dazai knew the moment he saw them. They provided sufficient cover, and of course the meaning behind them.

“I knew you’d understand the symbolism.” Chuuya hums.

“This is a rather romantic setting as well.” Dazai acknowledges.

“I couldn’t visit the most romantic city on Earth and not pick a place like this for our rendezvous.” Chuuya tells him and Dazai knows he’s sincere.

“Rendezvous?” Dazai smirks. “That’s a French word isn’t it?”

“It is.” Chuuya verifies.

“Speak French to me.” Dazai asks of him.

“J'aime quand tu es dans les alentours
Mais je déteste quand tu t'en vas.” The language never sounds more beautiful than when it rolls off Chuuya’s tongue.

“What did you say?” Dazai asks, only catching ‘I love’ and ‘I hate’ respectively.

“Nothing you don’t already know.” Chuuya says as he lifts his head to look at him.

Dazai turns and meets his gaze. Chuuya really has changed over these years. He’s gone from being unsure, shy, demure, to willful and imposing. He’s been through horrors that rival Dazai’s own, and they both have so much blood on their hands. He’s opened up, in ways Dazai never could, exposing his true feelings and being sincere and vulnerable with Dazai. In these last two years they’ve spent the majority of apart Chuuya has only grown closer to him, and has only become more important. He isn’t afraid of letting Dazai know what he really thinks and feels. He sees no reason to lie anymore.

Dazai has still never granted him the same grace.

Dazai won’t tell him that he’s lost without him.

Dazai can’t put words to what Chuuya makes him feel.

Dazai hasn’t yet told him that when he returns to Yokohama it will be as his enemy.

That might be what he’s really trying to get out of doing.

He doesn’t want to see Chuuya on the opposing side.

Odasaku had said himself that “Dazai’s enemies greatest weakness is that they are Dazai’s enemies.”

And Dazai has always hated seeing Chuuya as weak.

“What’s wrong?” Chuuya is concerned as he reads Dazai’s expression.

“If you ever let go I really will succeed.” Dazai let’s him know that no matter what happens, if Chuuya were to abandon him he will commit suicide. In the most surefire, foolproof way possible. He also, without explaining it properly, informs him that he owns his heart.

Chuuya sighs. “It’s always been you we’ve had to worry about to that end. I couldn’t leave you if I wanted to, Dazai. Between the two of us it’s always been you. You would be the one to run away, you would be the one to let go, in fact you’ve tried. More than once. You always push me away. It’s hard, and frustrating, annoying, and difficult, being with you and looking out for you. I wouldn’t do this for anyone else. I’ve done everything in my power to make it so my worst fear hasn’t been realized and I’ll do whatever I have to do to keep it that way.”

It’s both reassuring and sad that Chuuya still fears losing him above all else. Dazai has no idea what he’s ever done to get Chuuya. He has never once deserved his care, consideration, protection, or love. He has never deserved him.

Dazai is a zealot who knows nothing other than how to manipulate and take.

Things like honesty, chastity, justice, and love have no place within him.

“I’m not done betraying you yet.” Dazai attempts to be truthful with him.

“I know.” Chuuya, consistently without fail surpasses Dazai’s expectations.

He kisses him. His hands find their way into Dazai’s hair and his slightly longer fingers thread through chestnut locks. He tugs and Dazai gasps at the neediness and disparity in the action. Chuuya shows no sign of backing down, despite the public display of affection. His tongue invades Dazai and he’s desperate for him. Dazai returns the intensity and gives Chuuya everything he has in this kiss. He tries, for once, not to take.

Chuuya breaks away for air and whispers into Dazai’s lips. “Where are you staying?”

“St. Christopher’s. It’s pretty lowkey. The dorms are single-sex so Chuuya can’t come in.”

He punches him in the stomach. It makes him inhale sharply.

“Stop calling me a girl or I’m aiming for your dick next time.” Chuuya warns.

“You don’t want to do that. It’s only a forty minute walk from here and I can’t carry your bag if I’m limping.”

“Is that another girl joke? I can carry my own stuff, bandage wasting device. It doesn’t weigh anything to me.”

“I was kidding about both things. I have a private room and I don’t want to carry your stuff.” Dazai relents. “I wasn’t joking about where I’m staying, how long it will take to get there, or that you don’t want to hit me in the dick.”

Chuuya huffs. “Why wouldn’t I want to do that?”

“You want your romantic evening in Paris to end with a bang don’t you?” Dazai teases.

Chuuya punches him again, this time in his lower abdomen. Dazai chuckles despite being in a bit of pain. Though Chuuya didn’t hit him as hard as he was expecting.

“That was a warning shot. You won’t get another.” Chuuya threatens.

Dazai put his hand up in a mock salute. “Yes sir.”

Chuuya sighs at his antics but doesn’t say anything. Instead he stands and offers Dazai his hand. He takes it.

He holds Chuuya’s hand only until they reach the edge of the tree line and then lets go. It’s bad enough that they’re walking side by side, if they were caught holding hands there would be hell raised. Chuuya understands this better than he does as he has now spent more time with those people.

“You’re wearing a new hat.” Dazai notices. “It’s even more ugly than the other ones.”

“That’s because I bought it at the airport. I’m tossing it as soon as I get the chance.” Chuuya agrees with him and Dazai realizes he’s being cautious. He’s walking differently than usual, his gait unfamiliar, and his head down.

“You’re being awfully audacious today. How did you know that it would have something to do with me? And how were you able to think so far ahead as to what you’d do when you got here?”

“I had a feeling and I never walk into a risky situation without taking proper precautions. Not everyone is as unfeeling and unreasonably lucky like you.”

“Something bizarre happens and you just get a feeling? What about your job in Denmark?”

“I know that missing cargo ship in Rabat was your doing. Any time something perilous occurs you are almost certainly involved. Copenhagen was an easy mission. I finished before I even saw the news.”

“If you can prove it I’ll confess. Until then I’ve never been to Casablanca Port.”

“I just want to know how you did it. It takes an enormous amount of know-how to disable a ship’s radar, incapacitate an entire crew, and then make an entire container ship disappear into the Atlantic Ocean. The Royal Moroccan Navy still hasn’t found whatever’s left of it. You cost a lot of money in search and rescue and I’m not even counting the man hours that have gone into investigating who was responsible.”

“The ‘how’ is not the important part Chuuya. If you were asking the right question, maybe I’d give you a real answer.”

“Is the ever mysterious Dazai offering to give me insight into his motives? This has never happened before. If I can learn ‘why’ I’d be ecstatic to hear it.” Chuuya is taunting him but does sound enthusiastic.

“They were human traffickers.” Dazai states simply.

Chuuya side glances at him, confusion all over his face.

“What was that to you?” Chuuya asks.

“Nothing really. Just pissed me off. Killing people is one thing because it ends suffering, but forcing people to stay alive in a state of captivity is wrong to me.” Dazai is aware that his answer may have sounded a bit too personal, so he backtracks a bit.

“Still want to know how I did it?”

“Tell me.” Chuuya demands.

“I stowed away and jammed the radar and communications as soon as we got far enough out. Then merced the crew, hijacked the ship, and turned it around. The people had been sold all over Southern Europe and Northern Africa, but were mostly Nigerian. So I brought them close to Lagos, put them on lifeboats, and then took the ship out until it ran out of fuel. Then I set explosives all over, took the emergency speedboat, and got a far enough distance away and blew that bitch to the bottom of the Atlantic. The Royal Navy was only so concerned about that container ship because of its cargo. Several rich, and influential people were involved in those purchases - including government officials. I took pictures of the customer logs and anonymously sent them to NAPTIP and ASI. More than a few careers and reputations were ruined. A couple people were even killed.” It’s kind of relieving to tell the whole story at last. It probably sounds like he’s bragging, but he doesn’t care. He feels good about what he did because it was the right thing.

“That explains why they never found it. They only looked on the ship’s original route. It probably never occurred to them to go south.” Chuuya nods in understanding. “I’m impressed. When did you start taking on vigilante justice?”

Dazai is proud that Chuuya admits he’s impressed by him. So he ponders the question before answering seriously.

“Just this past year. I’ve been testing my capabilities and keeping my senses sharp. I don’t consider myself a vigilante and I don’t consider what I do to be just. I just fuck up people who need fucking up.”

Chuuya hums. “I guess I understand your motives a little better now.”

“I grew tired of being black. One day I want to be an ash gray.” Dazai references their earlier conversation about morality, and their old moniker.

“You can’t become lighter if you die before you get there.” Chuuya reminds him, and accepts Dazai’s choices.

“I’ll forever dream of death and dying, Chuuya. No matter how this pans out for me I’ll want what I want.”

Chuuya sighs. “Want me more then.”

Dazai’s mind trails off to St. Petersburg and the moment he discovered the first thing he’d ever wanted more than death. Chuuya. He’s all Dazai has ever desired and he’s everything Dazai can’t give up. He pushes him away because if he doesn’t he knows what will happen.

The universe will decide its cosmic reckoning the moment Dazai claims him that will be the moment he loses him forever.

So Dazai holds his cards close to his chest, and puts on his most convincing poker face.

“There’s nothing worth pursuing at the cost of prolonging a life of suffering.”

Chuuya groans. “Sorry I couldn’t hear you over all that whining and self-pity. What was that?”

“I said there’s nothing more appealing than a painless, foolproof suicide. At least I’ve grown out of wanting to take you with me.”

“Yeah you’ve moved on to wanting me to be the one to kill you. Not much of an improvement I don’t think.” Chuuya huffs.

“You have such nice hands. My best dreams are the ones where they are wrapped around my throat.” Dazai isn’t joking about this, but says it in a teasing tone.

“You’re an actual monster. If I had a dream where you choked me to death I’d call it a nightmare.”

“Rude! You probably don’t dream of me at all, and it would hardly be of something violent!” Dazai has been careful with Chuuya since Day One. Physically between the two of them Dazai has always been kinder. Extending consideration and offering reassurance in intimate moments is all Dazai can do for him.

“That’s why I’m saying it would be a nightmare, dumbass. I have dreamed of you before too.” Chuuya chastised him before admitting such a pleasant surprise.

“Really?” Dazai questions.

Chuuya simply nods.

“What do you dream about?” Dazai presses.

“Mostly things that have already happened.” Chuuya confesses to him.

“Anything else?” Dazai urges.

“Just random shit. Sometimes I dream about us fighting.”

“Who wins?” Dazai asks him and zeroes in on his face.

Chuuya smirks and responds “We both do.”

“You’re implying that you dream about us having hate sex and make up sex. You’re actually telling me that you get mad at me, in your subconscious, as an excuse to hate fuck me or make up fuck me.”

Chuuya is too used to his shit to be embarrassed at this point so he just smiles.

“I’m normally mad at you so my brain fills in the blanks.” Chuuya taunts him.

“I fucking guess so.” Dazai has to seriously concentrate on thinking about literally anything else because he can’t walk down this aesthetically pleasing street with a raging hard-on.

He pictures Mori for the first time in years and that does the trick.

Dazai turns and Chuuya follows.

“Up these stairs and we’ll be there soon.” Dazai informs him.

“It’s really nice out here tonight. A little cool but not as bad as Denmark. The lights and architecture make everything so .. I’m ditching you tomorrow to explore on my own. We can’t be seen together in daylight and there’s quite a few sites I need to see before heading home.”

Dazai chuckles. “I understand. I have a few more places I need to go before I can return to Yokohama. I should be back in three or four weeks.”

“Dazai,” Chuuya starts.

“Hm?”

“Do you remember what you said to me when you were on Adak Island?”

“I try to forget literally everything about that place.” Dazai hopes he’s not about to bring up his drunken confession.

“You said not to count you out of the fight yet.” Chuuya reminds him.

Dazai swallows but maintains a passive expression.

“The whole incident in Rabat got me thinking.”

Damn. He should have been more subtle. He had revealed more than he thought. Maybe, subconsciously he was hoping Chuuya would be able to put together an idea on his own. Perhaps he thought that would make things easier when the time comes. He had told him that he would be forced to tell him the truth about why he left eventually.

“And at Place Dauphine you said you weren’t finished betraying me.” Chuuya has put together so many pieces. Dazai has known he’s not as eloquent with deductive reasoning as he, but he wasn’t stupid.

Tonight, here, and now just isn’t the time.

“We don’t want to do this right now. Think about what we’re doing here, and think about what we’re about to do. You don’t want these moments to be filled with anger, or duplicity. I told you I’d explain properly, but this is not the way you want this done.”

Chuuya exhales a long breath. “You’re right. For once I’m not mad at you for telling me what I want.”

Dazai chuckles at that. “You stay bossing me around. Nice of you to listen to me for once.”

“You need direction.” Chuuya scolds him.

Dazai supposes that’s been something he consistently lacks.

“There’s never any goals in mind. I don’t have much to look forward to or work towards.” Dazai is more candid than usual.

“Your mind needs real issues to control and manage or it turns on itself. It must have been difficult to go all this time without an array of problems to solve. Getting bored and causing trouble is such a you thing to do. That’s why I’ve been able to easily tell when things go awry whether or not you had something to do with it.”

“All this time I thought I was just depressed and all I needed to do was get a job!” Dazai can’t hold back the sarcasm.

“Don’t be a dick. I’m just saying you need a sense of purpose. You were mission oriented for so long it’s going to be hard to do anything else.”

Dazai decides against letting Chuuya know just how right he is.

Besides, he’s already got a good idea.

Chapter Text

Dreams really do come true. Memories really do get made. Hopes are not forever hopeless. The City of Light glows for him tonight. Chuuya is grateful that he gets to spend this night by Dazai’s side.

He was nothing but trouble, rude, conniving, and Chuuya had a sinking feeling that when he comes home he’s not going to be back for Chuuya. Even still, Chuuya is thankful for this experience. There is only so much he can ask of Dazai and he’s not about to tell him how to live his life.

He is just going to be glad he’s living it at all.

Chuuya is aware he’s a closet romantic. He loves romanticism, poetry, expensive wine, and even learned the most romantic language known to man. He has known that despite his violent lifestyle, and bloodied, blackened soul he has a soft side. There is something to be said for being subdued, and compassionate. It’s not something that he can indulge in often, so he has to bask in it while he can.

He is well aware of what lies ahead, at the end of this path. Dazai was going to push aside his suicidal tendencies, and sadness for Chuuya. He really does feel better when Chuuya is around, and he spirals when they’re apart. Chuuya doesn’t need Dazai in the ways Dazai needs him. He is here because he wants to be. He has the courage to seek his desires out and has no qualms about fulfilling them. Chuuya knows that he can’t fix Dazai. He acknowledges that something within him is broken, but it’s not his place to heal wounds that were there before they ever crossed paths. Chuuya does for Dazai what he will do for no one else. He extends his hand and gives him something to hold on to.

Dazai disappears, burns bridges, and runs like hell is at his heels. Even so, he falls back to Chuuya like an addict that can’t kick a habit. Like a fiend in desperation for a fix.

They’re getting older, and Dazai is going to have to grow up eventually. Chuuya knows he’s sad and lost, but one day he will find himself. Chuuya has faith in him and his promises and predictions.

His kisses remind him of where their loyalties lie.
His touch gives him hope. His tenderness in their most intimate moments illustrate his truest intentions.

He yearns for Chuuya. He cherishes having him beneath him and in his arms. He fucks him like he’s afraid of breaking him and like he’s scared of letting go. It’s a delicate balance of enduring and affection.

Chuuya treasures those moments. He holds them close to his heart. He dreams of them at night.

Dazai asked him not to let go. Despite drowning in foreboding Chuuya will persevere. Dazai could only get so close to confessing his love for Chuuya. His actions, gestures, taunts, and his undying devotion spoke volumes. Chuuya has to hold on to hope that someday Dazai will say what he’s known all along. That he will put words to his emotions and stop shutting him out.

Who cares if faith in the fickle was a stupid thing to have?

Chuuya has never been faint of heart to start with.

Between the two of them Dazai is the coward.

Chuuya is not afraid to love. Chuuya wastes no time on looking back, or having regrets. Chuuya won’t ask for forgiveness either. He may be stubborn and self-indulgent, but Dazai accepted him in spite of that. Craved him, even.

He needed someone to push back on and knock heads with just as much as he needed someone to please and give in to.

Chuuya was more than alright with his current place in Dazai’s world, because he knows no one else will be able to tie him down like he can. He is accepting of wherever Dazai’s path leads him, because he knows that he will always find his way back home. He may guard his heart, emotions, and motives carefully, but Chuuya has been an invariant infiltrator.

He loves Dazai and he’s not giving up on him, because if he ever were to; Dazai would give up on himself.

“This is it.” Dazai’s words snap him out of his contemplation.

He looks up and notices they are here. At Dazai’s inn. It looks nice. There’s an illuminated sign with the name of the hostel and the stone entrance frames the building elegantly.

Dazai leads the way, and holds the door for Chuuya as they go inside. He keeps his head down as they make their way through the lobby and Dazai directs them to a hallway, up a staircase, and through another hallway before they reach his door. He unlocks it and opens the door gesturing for Chuuya to go inside first.

He does. He quickly finds the light and sets his bag down. The room is quaint and basic. Perfect for a young person traveling alone or in a pair. It doesn’t seem like Dazai has been there very long either. He takes off the offending hat he had bought at the airport and tosses it onto the desk in the corner of the room.

Dazai locks every single lock on the door before turning around.

Chuuya appreciates the view of him in the soft light immensely.

He’s still gangly and thin, but he’s not unhealthy like he had been when he was in Yokohama a year and a half ago. He’s finally stopped growing taller, the top of Chuuya’s head reaches his collarbone now. His hair is past his ears and the waves are familiar and cute. His eyes are shining and not as lifeless as they once were, though the ever-present despair is just beneath the surface.

He smirks at Chuuya then. His eyes begin to glimmer mischievously and he truthfully looks charming. Chuuya is enamored all over again and drawn to him like a moth to an open flame.

He’s not afraid to get burned.

Dazai meets him halfway.

Chuuya jumps him and his hands hold him up under his thighs so instinctively. His arms wrap around his neck and he kisses him with a searing passion. These moments were their only reprieve from their lives of carnage and bloodshed, of crimes and running, and tonight was a night for a different kind of madness.

Dazai’s hands move to his ass and squeeze him. Chuuya bites his lower lip in return. His legs are tight around his slender waist and Dazai takes them to the bed.

He sets Chuuya down gently and breaks the kiss. Chuuya and he lock eyes and Dazai’s fingers run through the shorter side of his hair. He must really like it this way.. Chuuya decides to keep it like this from now on.

Dazai’s gaze is magnetic and captivating. He’s so much more tolerable when words aren’t being said, even though his actions are what talk the loudest. It’s these times when Chuuya can really understand him because without words there are no double meanings or hints and clues to catch on to.

Chuuya only has to focus on being present for every second of their exchange.

Dazai’s hand caresses his cheek and Chuuya presses his face into it. Nuzzling into Dazai’s palm and batting his eyelashes at him. Chuuya is tempting him as well as encouraging the sweet gestures.

Dazai’s fingers travel downwards to grip his chin and tilt him up and into another kiss.

There’s no rush or urgency like so many of their encounters over the past few years. Instead it seems like they both have been holding out on each other for a long time. Their lips linger and their hands wander. Dazai’s palms settle on the lower portion of Chuuya’s rib cage. While Chuuya’s fingertips press into his shoulder blades.

This kiss has no hidden motives and no ulterior communications. It’s not ambiguous or shrouded in secrets. They aren’t saying anything here that needs said aloud.

Chuuya is loving him. Unreservedly and utterly.

Dazai knows and accepts his dedication.

He attempts to give something of himself in return.

The kiss leaves them both breathless and thrilled. Dazai’s light but certain as he unbuttons Chuuya and eases him out of his shirt. His own hands reach for the hem of Dazai’s sweater and he sits up a bit to help him pull it over his head. His torso and arms are tightly bound, and the majority of his skin is covered. Chuuya reaches for him, but his fingertips never touch the bandages. Dazai catches his hand and intertwines their fingers. Then he guides Chuuya back to lying down.

He leans over him and Chuuya anticipates another kiss. Dazai leans back down and doesn’t disappoint. He kisses his neck. He doesn’t suck or bite, as Chuuya has expressed that he’s not allowed to leave marks where people could see. He’s just pressing his lips into the sensitive skin there. A finger slides underneath his new accessory and tugs on it just a bit.

“This is new.” Dazai points out his choker.

“Should I take it off?” Chuuya is already reaching for the buckle with his free hand. Dazai’s own catches his and brings it back down under his weight.

“No. I like this too.” Dazai whispers into his neck.

Chuuya’s heart skips in his chest. Dazai was complimenting him again. He expected to be teased about his sloppy hairstyle and his new choker. He thought Dazai would say he looks stupid or make a dog joke and refer to it as a collar. Something mean at least. He hasn’t. Even though he’d promised to be on his best behavior Chuuya could tell he wasn’t lying about what he liked. The nice words were genuine.

“Oh. Okay.” Chuuya should have thanked him but he’s still taken aback that Dazai is complimenting him at all.

Dazai pulls back to look at him more. Chuuya feels a bit scrutinized in his gaze.

“It’s hot.” Dazai concludes as he rubs his thumb over the buckle.

“Thanks.” Chuuya properly responds to that one.

Dazai hums in acknowledgment before resuming his previous ministrations. He kisses where Chuuya’s neck meets his shoulder and runs his hands down his torso. Chuuya shudders in his grasp. Dazai’s touches are venerating. They convey so much more than his words have ever spoken. Chuuya feels like he’s being worshipped with the way Dazai handles him.

Then he’s taking off his pants. Chuuya lifts his hips and Dazai succeeds in his task. Chuuya has nothing to be shy about as he’s been in this exact position countless times before. Bare, hot, and wanting beneath Dazai is a comfortable place to be in.

Dazai pulls away and moves down his body. His hand wraps around Chuuya’s hard cock and he steals a glance up at Chuuya’s face before swallowing him down. His mouth is warm and wet and his cheeks hollow around him perfectly. Chuuya’s hips stutter involuntarily and Dazai chokes a little. The combined pain and not being able to breathe properly makes him moan around Chuuya’s cock. Chuuya’s fingers thread through his hair and pull at chestnut strands. This only serves to make Dazai moan more. Chuuya himself is gasping and groaning, but somehow Dazai seems to be enjoying himself more.

He wasn’t kidding about Dazai’s worship complex. He lived to please Chuuya. Strived to satisfy. He derived his own pleasure from giving it to Chuuya.

He takes Chuuya deeper still, until the head hits the back of his throat and then he traces his tongue along the underside and swallows around him. That drags out a rather high moan from Chuuya’s lips. He pulls on Dazai’s hair fervently and he pulls off of him. Drawn out and slowly. In response.

The tip of his dick is on Dazai’s tongue when their eyes meet again. Chuuya’s face is hot as he watches him release him from his mouth. Dazai has no right to be this provocative, but Chuuya was far from complaining.

Dazai moves with grace and purpose off the bed. He doesn’t leave Chuuya waiting for long. Returning with a bottle of lube and a condom.

Chuuya spreads his legs and Dazai moves between them. Chuuya watches him pour the liquid into his hand, feigning passivity, when he is actually filled with expectation. Dazai is in no hurry and Chuuya tries to push down his impatience and just let Dazai take care of everything. He never once has left him wanting.

He aimed to please after all.

Dazai reaches between his legs at long last. Chuuya exhales as his finger circles him and coats his opening thoroughly. He eases his way within and Chuuya opens for him like a correct combination to a safe. He sighs as Dazai’s knuckle becomes flush against him and breathes evenly through Dazai’s twists, presses, and steady ins and outs. It’s not long before Dazai gives him more. The two fingers massage him open tenderly. Careful and considerate in every motion. Gentle as they part him. He spreads him easily. Chuuya’s moans are high and nasally but he’s in no discomfort. Dazai always works him through the preparation effortlessly and without fault. His mind clouds a little but he has enough consciousness to focus on Dazai’s face. His expression is one of concentration and concern. He’s focused and apprehensive. Part of what made him such a considerate lover was his hesitation. He always wanted to be sure Chuuya was ready before advancing onwards.

Dazai is a generous lover. Permitting lengthy time periods for adjustment, every move slow and purposeful, and every touch more gratifying than the last. Chuuya understands this world is not meant for them. The world was wrong about everything. The Dazai behind locked doors alone with Chuuya was not the same man the world thought it knew. Here he possessed benevolence and empathy for Chuuya alone. He did feel humaneness and attachment.

Here they learned how to dream.

Chuuya is moaning softly now. Dazai has worked him perfectly painlessly up to three fingers. There’s sparks of electricity jolting through Chuuya’s body from that place within between his hips. He feels so agape. Awestruck and dumbfounded by Dazai. Time and time again.

He’s been ready. He could’ve taken it with no preparation at all. Dazai wouldn’t do that to him though. Just like he wouldn’t let up now until Chuuya was a pliant, yielding mess of bliss.

He gave way completely then. The moment he thought about it was the moment he became loosened. All the reservations and tensions vanished into thin air. He’d been to the sky, yet Dazai managed to take him far beyond that.

“You feel so good. Hurry and fill me.” Chuuya was not above being salacious, especially tonight of all nights.

Dazai exhaled at that, but then a warm, slick hand wrapped around his cock. He began stroking him, timing both stimulations perfectly. Chuuya moaned obscenely.

“Dazai~ Dazai stop.”

“Do you mean that?” Dazai asks him sincerely and Chuuya knows he really would if he meant it.

“I don’t.. I want you.” Chuuya asserts.

“You can still have me. Cum from this first.” Dazai increases the pressure on his sweet spot and twists his fist around his cock.

Chuuya’s toes curl and he’s already fucking close.

“More than once? Ah~” he moans as Dazai pushes deeper and goes faster. “You think I can?”

“I know you can. Two or three times won’t be a problem for you.” Dazai assures him and Chuuya is a fool who wants to freefall.

After that reassurance it takes no time at all. From the top of his hair to the tips of his toes Chuuya is engulfed by pleasure. He calls out his name and twitches with no control. Dazai eases him through it perfectly, drawing out his relief extensively. He clamps down on his fingers as he tightens from the force of such an intense orgasm. It’s ..a lot. Dazai is easy on him as he helps him come back down.

When he's finished he loosens again. It’s hazy and overwhelming but Dazai’s fingers inside of him make him malleable. His touch softens him absolutely. Chuuya’s arched back and bowed shoulders sink. He really does feel like he’s freefalling. He’s sure he’s never been this docile.

“Damn. You feel amazing inside.” Dazai praises him and his chest swells with it.

There’s wet, lewd noises now. Chuuya doesn’t think his body has ever been this relaxed. Getting fucked out like this was going to be extreme.

“Please..” he pleads him.

Dazai spreads his fingers excessively. Chuuya has never been this .. He’s moaning loudly now.

Dazai pulls out of him.

He trembles at how spread open he feels even when nothing is holding him there.

He gets out of his pants quickly and tears open the condom with his teeth. He wastes no time covering himself and thoroughly lubing up. He grabs a pillow and positions it under Chuuya’s lower back and hips before settling between his thighs.

Chuuya wraps his legs around his waist and pulls him closer so that he can reach him with his arms too. His hands find his shoulders and he watches Dazai’s every expression as he lines himself up at his entrance. He melts as he presses forward.

Chuuya’s body has never yielded so entirely to Dazai’s cock. He’s been desperate for him before. He’s been satisfied immensely. This is too much. Yet it is everything he needs.

Dazai’s face is encompassed by pleasure and he gasps as Chuuya bottoms out. Their hips are flush against each other and Chuuya feels whole. Nothing could ever feel more right than Dazai deep inside.

He circles his hips so they can fully ascertain every contour of each other. So that they can imprint into their minds and bodies this total completion of what it means to be one. Chuuya falls to pieces and soars at the same time. He knows he’s breathing but it feels like he’s not getting any air.

Then Dazai slowly pulls out and if there was any oxygen in Chuuya’s lungs it’s gone now. It’s so hot he feels like he’s gone swimming in lava. He’s smoldering from the inside out.

Dazai’s hands are on his hips and they guide his lower body back down into his cock. It’s absurdly gentle and the pace he sets is heart wrenchingly sweet. He gives Chuuya his all and confesses his love through the tenderness and care he provides while fucking him.

If Dazai could say the word love, this would be making it.

Chuuya has none of those limitations. He loves Dazai. And he loves how he fucks him.

Dazai’s hand palms his dick again before stroking it back to full hardness.

“That was fast. What are you thinking about?” Dazai teases him.

“How much I love the way you fuck me.” Chuuya confesses breathily.

He’s honest, but not honest enough to bring his truest emotions into this. He doesn’t know if Dazai would be able to look at him if he were to confess his love to his face. He doesn’t want to take the chance of making him stop or run away.

Dazai’s blush darkens and so do his eyes. It’s dangerously seductive and Chuuya gasps for air as his pacing changes. He’s still careful, going faster but now not as deep.

“Yeah? I feel the same about the way you take my cock.”

Chuuya can’t help but moan at that.

His nails scratch at his bandages. His fingertips press into him. His thighs tighten their hold on his hips. He arches into him and holds on.

He doesn’t ever want to let go of him.

Dazai’s lips catch his and now he’s being wrecked from both ends. His tongue is bold in its quest to map every inch of his, outmatching him completely until he can do nothing but moan into his mouth. He doesn’t let up. He’s immersed in Chuuya and will stop at nothing to make him come undone. The last thing Chuuya wants is for him to stop.

The kiss turns lewd and sloppy fast now that Chuuya can’t keep up. Dazai always outdoes him, he’s constantly being one-upped, and he can’t catch up. He doesn’t care if he’s being strung along. He doesn’t care if he’s shut out. He has no regard for consequences. St. Petersburg then, to Paris now. Years and years of being Dazai’s; to depend on, to be pleased, and to give pleasure to amounted to this moment. It’s the culmination of all of their moments. In his wildest dreams he never imagined Dazai making love to him in his most dreamed of city of Earth. Dazai taught him how to dream. Dazai showed him it’s okay to chase your desires. Dazai holds back as much as Chuuya pushes forward. They’re long past thinking of each other as fleeting hookups or meaningless mistakes.

Dazai entrusted Chuuya with everything. Chuuya will never become like him and betray that trust. He knew how to love without reservations or conditions. He didn’t feel the need to hide behind a mask. When he was told to hold onto something for safekeeping, he protected it with his body and soul.

His thrusts become deeper and full of ardor and intent. Chuuya crumbles, shatters, and scatters into the sky. Dazai releases his lips and Chuuya’s eyes rest on him. His world has become so small. He’s been everywhere, seen everything, experienced it all. Nothing, ever, will live up to Dazai’s face when he’s lost and found inside him.

Chuuya, even in this position, has total control.

Chuuya’s dick twitches against his stomach and he knows he’s reaching his end. He’s not going to be able to withstand three, so he holds off on saying anything until he’s sure Dazai is close there with him. He rolls his hips down into him fervently. Enticing him to go deeper, get rougher, and really take him to the edge.

Dazai bites his bottom lip and he grabs Chuuya under his thighs before spreading him wide and pushing them up by his sides.

It’s a very indecent position. Chuuya is defenseless against him. He thinks to himself, that he could work this to his advantage. It’d probably force Dazai’s hand to go harder on him too.

He’s exceedingly flexible. Being the best martial artist of the Port Mafia made him more limber than anyone he knew. And he.. kind of tested this out while he was doing yoga to see if this was something he could do.

He stretches and flexes before spreading himself fully and putting his legs behind his head.

The genuine awe in Dazai’s eyes is appreciated, but not as much as when his hands grab his ankles and hold him in place.

Chuuya moans as he fucks him wide open and deeper than ever before. It’s pitched and needy to his own ears. Dazai squeezes his ankles hard and grinds into him severely. He cries out in bliss.

“Fuck. Am I hurting you?” Dazai moves like he’s about to stop, that concern and hesitation shining like a beacon in a world full of darkness.

“God no. Please please Dazai just like this.”

“How does it feel?” Dazai asks him.

“Mieux que mes fantasmes les plus fous. Plus que mes plus beaux rêves. Je t'aime sans condition.”

“I didn’t understand hardly any of that but I don’t fucking care. You are so sexy.”

Dazai fucks him unabashedly. It’s heaven. It’s divine. Chuuya is crying out with every thrust and before he knows it he’s pleading for him in French.

“aime-moi, aime-moi et n'arrête pas. n'arrête jamais.”

It’s..not his best as his head is in the clouds and his brain is lost to oblivion. Dazai doesn’t seem to have any idea what he means because his pacing doesn’t change and his expression exudes that he’s succumbed to Chuuya’s temptations. He’s steadfast but Chuuya can tell he’s reaching his limit too.

“Chuuya~” Dazai still calls his name like it’s the most important thing he can say. Chuuya watches it leave his lips through hazy vision.

The gravity of this situation is too much even though his ability is null and void. The impact and severity behind this magnified tenfold by his legs behind his head. Dazai’s acutely aiming for that place within him with every thrust. Chuuya has to bite his tongue to keep from screaming. He’s so close. The only thing in his mind clear enough to decipher is Dazai’s given name.

Dazai shudders, his cock throbs inside of him, and Chuuya stops holding back.

He meets his second release untouched, and feels like he’s been thrown from the sky. If this is what it means to be cast out of heaven, he welcomes hell. A blazing intensity courses through his whole body and he tenses and powers through it.

Dazai cums soon after. His hips stutter before he buries himself deep inside and grinds into him through his whole release. It’s overwhelming but Chuuya is too out of it to say anything at all. His body feels like a conductor for static electricity and the aftershocks are flowing through him like waves.

Dazai regains his senses soon enough. He loosens his grip on his ankles and pulls out gently and slowly. He helps ease his legs back down and kisses his thigh softly. It’s just a brush of lips against flesh. Chuuya is so hypersensitive though.

Dazai leaves him to clean up and Chuuya relaxes in the afterglow. The fog circling his mind is starting to clear up and he’s pleased to find he hadn’t strained himself and wasn’t in any discomfort. Dazai showed him tenderness and without that Chuuya is sure he wouldn’t know what love was.

If he didn’t know this Dazai, the one no one else has ever seen, he’s sure he would have never known love at all.

The City Of Light glows for him tonight.

So does Dazai’s heart that he’s holding on to for safekeeping.

Chapter Text

It would be Dazai’s luck and twist of fate to be entrusted to the most diligent, altruistic, and idealist agent in the whole Armed Detective Agency. He said his name was Bakakida Dumbo or something along those lines. Dazai knew better than to be completely useless though. The President seemed like a stand-up guy who would cut Dazai down if he were a risk to the Agency’s good name. He was aware that he was undergoing some sort of test with being assigned this investigation. Tall, blond, and naïve just didn’t seem like the type that would kill him. Except maybe if he were following orders.

The case was about a widespread issue of serial kidnappings. Travelers; tourists and businessmen alike, were disappearing from their hotels in Yokohama without a trace. There was no real connection between the victims other than that they were men, and traveling alone.

He and the agent made their way to an informant to get information on an anonymous tip the agency received.

“Kunikida, you know your ability that you used before- Doppo Poetry? Show me it again.” Dazai annoys him with his curiosity.

“I shall not. I do not reveal my ability carelessly. Moreover, it consumes a full page of my notebook each time I use it. The artisan who produces these notebooks creates no more than one hundred of these produces within a year at an exceptional price. I suppose you would use it for some cheap gag or the like, no?” Kunikida is so uptight. He checked his wristwatch and looked back over theirs shoulders.

“Never mind that now. Dazai, pick up you pace a little. We will be late to our agreed upon time at this rate.”

“All this talk of time, Kunikida, but as far as I can recall, we never agreed upon a particular time to meet our informant, correct?” Dazai has never been fond of schedules or doing anything not as his own pace. Partnering with Kunikida was annoying.

“No, we spoke over the phone and said approximately 19:00.”

“And it’s now 19:00 exactly. The place is only a five minutes’ walk form here, so we won’t be late.” Dazai informs him, without having to look at the time.

”You absolute buffoon! When I say ‘approximately 19:00’, I mean the twenty second interval from 18:59:50 to 19:00:10 by my own watch!” Kunikida snapped at him.

“You’re the one carrying the watch, Kunikida, not me…” Dazai grumbled as he walked. Trying not roll his eyes.

*

Well /this/ is suspicious. Aside from the creepy abandoned hospital. Unless a ghost the mastermind of this..

What’s the probability that she would start drowning the second they arrive here?

Very, very low.

The person responsible for this is still in the building.

Kunikida shoots the tank and Dazai helps the woman out of the water.

“I’ve got her. Keep checking the area. I think the others are here too.” Dazai tells him.

Kunikida looks like he’s about to check Dazai for giving him orders, but he must realize he’s right. He takes off down the corridor.

Dazai gives her his jacket. She’s shivering from the cold, but not trembling like she’s horrified. She latches on to him.

“Thank you! You saved me! I thought I was going to die!”

She’s a beautiful woman and her body is soft and supple as it presses against him. Dazai knows though, something about this situation is not right. Something bad is about to happen.

Then he hears his senior start yelling.

He’s really good at predicting this stuff isn’t he?

What he really needs to work on is preventing it.

*

The doctor for the Agency was a formidable woman. She vaguely reminded Dazai of another menacing doctor. Her name was Yosano Akiko, and he wasn’t going to test his luck with her yet.

“How’s the victim, Yosano-sensei?” Dazai asks her respectfully.

She looks up from her clipboard. “There’s no sign of hypothermia and it seems she’s avoided going into shock. She was dehydrated and it doesn’t seem she’s eaten while she was being held. She told me she has anemia as well. She asked for you. You’re the one who saved her right?”

“Yes. Well, Kunikida shot the tank but I pulled her out.” Dazai confirms.

“She asked for the handsome detective with the bandages. You should grant us both the same grace of introducing yourself.”

Dazai blinks. He knows she’s right. He hasn’t properly introduced himself to her, but he figured she would have read his very redacted records and learned what she needed to know.

“My name is Dazai. I’m twenty and my ability is No Longer Human. It’s the anti-ability.”

“Just Dazai?” She questions. “You don’t have two names?”

“I do. I just don’t like saying or hearing it.” Dazai tells her.

“I can respect that. So you’re the nullifier with the mysterious past. You’re not the only one around here with one of those.” Yosano-sensei gives him vibes that her background is not too different from his own. He was right to be intimidated by her.

“I’m aware.” Dazai states plainly.

She narrows her eyes at him before looking back to her clipboard.

“There’s a cafe on the bottom floor of the building. She’s well enough so you should take her there and get her to eat.”

“Is that appropriate? Or even something I should be doing?” Dazai asks her seriously.

She rolls her eyes at him. “We don’t care about that kind of thing. You met Kunikida’s charge right? The kid was orphaned when his dad died in the Azure Flag Terrorism incident. We don’t have any strict policies on victim interaction. You don’t seem like you’re stupid so don’t do anything that qualifies as that.”

Dazai sighs. “I suppose I should ask her more questions. Kunikida-san is pretty tore up about watching all those people die.”

Yosano-sensei nods. “Make yourself useful in the time it takes him to recover.”

“Yes, sensei.” Dazai nods to her before heading into the infirmary.

She’s dressed properly now and sits up as soon as she notices him.

“My name is Nobuko Sasaki. I never told you before but really thank you for saving me.”

“I’m Dazai. It’s my job. You’re fine to leave so come with me.”

She gets up to follow him.

*

“Dazai-san.” Sasaki calls for him.

“Yes?” Dazai asks her.

“I’m ..not from here and I’m scared to go to another hotel.” Sasaki has been flirting with him this whole time. He’s been trying to be straightforward with his questions and get as much information as he can, but the more she speaks the more he realizes he can’t trust her.

She’s hiding something.

Maybe he can lower her guard enough to find out.

“I just moved back here so my place isn’t really ready for guests.”

Her face falls.

“But I would never leave a vulnerable woman unattended. You can stay with me tonight.” Dazai confirms.

She perks up instantly.

He takes her to his condo on the edge of the city.

He hasn’t spent much time here himself so it hardly looks lived in. Sparse furnishings include a couch, coffee table, and a bookshelf. She sits down without waiting for an invitation and Dazai joins her.

“Do you have any alcohol? My nerves are just..”

She doesn’t actually seem nervous, but she wants to get him drunk. He can tell.

“I’m not much of a drinker, but I do have sake. Are you sure you want that?” Dazai asks her.

She nods. “Don’t make me drink alone.”

“Okay.” Dazai concedes before leaving to the kitchen.

He takes two glasses and gets some ice. He takes them and a bottle out to her.

He sets them down on the coffee table and takes a seat next to her. She watches him pour their glasses silently. He hands her one and she takes it eagerly.

She takes way too big of a drink for her first one of the night. She regrets it too from her expression. Though she doesn’t sputter or grimace.

“This is really strong.” She points out.

“I have a high tolerance.” It’s true, he’s always been able to hold his liquor.

She continues drinking it and Dazai takes a sip of his own.

He’s pretty sure this stopped being appropriate a long time ago. She’s come on to him pretty strong and now she’s here. In private with him.

He hopes that this will somehow benefit the investigation.

“I’m really glad it was you who found me, Dazai-san.”

Does she know him? Does she have information regarding his past?

“Why is that?” He asks her evenly, like he’s simply curious to hear her answer.

“You’re kind. You’ve been so sweet to me through this whole ordeal. You let me come here and you’re protecting me. I know it’s your job, but you didn’t have to go so far for me.”

She doesn’t know him. Anyone who knows him would never use ‘kind’ as a word to describe him. She’s back to playing games. She’s trying to get him to lower his guard.

“I try to do the right thing, Sasaki-san. I could hardly abandon you in your time of need.”

“Can I tell you something, Dazai-san?”

This might be useful.

“Of course. Go ahead.” Dazai encourages her.

“I’ve been so sad lately. Everything about this world has been eating away at me for quite some time now. I had thought before that I wanted to die. But when I was drowning, in that tank, I realized I was scared of it. That I didn’t want to let go yet.”

Dazai has been there before. He normally had pretty decent control over the outcome either way though. Control.. Control?

Oh, so that’s what this was.

“Are you afraid of dying, Dazai-san?” Sasaki asks him.

“No. Not at all. It’s normal to be. It’s normal to feel like you want to and change your mind too.”

She finishes off her glass. A warm flush is across her cheeks and the bridge of her nose. She sets it down on the table and turns towards him.

He passively takes another sip of his own drink and watches her.

Her eyes are tired and cold. Similar to his own. There’s a fire burning within them though. She is going to try something. Dazai wonders how far he’ll let her go.

“Dazai-san, can people really change?”

“They can. You can always do things differently, the real challenge is going against your nature.”
He sets down his glass and faces her.

She closes the distance between them and pulls him into a kiss.

Her lips are soft. She’s soft. Dazai kisses her back and he can feel the desperation and grief in her kiss. She’s done something horrible and she’s too far gone to want to right her wrongs.

He knew this was going to happen, his expectations are always on point. That doesn’t make it feel like it’s alright though. He would much rather be kissing someone else. His mind wanders to the only person who he enjoys kissing. The only person who makes him think of more than himself.

He doesn’t lift his hands to touch her. He doesn’t want to. He’s not disgusted or grossed out or anything. He simply doesn’t find her appealing.

Her hands are in his hair and on his face. She is trying to hold to something but to Dazai, she’s giving everything away.

She pulls away and looks at him like he’s not who she was expecting to see.

“You kiss like you’ve lost something.” Dazai says without thinking.

“You kiss like you’re somewhere else.” She responds.

“A lover?” Dazai questions her.

“My boyfriend, yes. This world took him from me.”

“I’m sorry for your loss, but part of living is dying. We were born to suffer along the way.” Dazai tells her. Though he knows that won’t change her mind.

That lifeless, cold in her gaze is retribution. She feels like she was personally wronged by the world. Her lover was undoubtedly the same as she.

She pulls him back in for another kiss. Dazai would rather not but he doesn’t push her away. The Azure Messenger they called themselves.

Who knew what kind of vengeance love had to prove?

What ends of the Earth would he meet or burn if something were to happen to Chuuya?

Or would he just follow him endlessly?

She pushes him away and her eyes are questioning.

“You’re thinking of someone else.” She accuses and is not wrong.

Dazai just blinks at her instead of replying.

“Is she your girlfriend?”

Dazai shakes his head no.

“What’s the problem then? Is she more beautiful than me?” She’s starting to sound offended.

“No. There isn’t really a problem. This is simply unprofessional of me and I would rather not take this any farther.”

She calms down from that. “I see.” She puts more distance between them.

“The one you were thinking of, do you love them?” She asks him.

“My bedroom is at the end of the hall. You can sleep in there. I’ll be out here and if you need anything let me know.” Dazai avoids that inquiry entirely.

She doesn’t argue or push him harder. She simply gets up, wobbles a little, and bids him goodnight.

*

He takes her to the cafe again for breakfast.

They sit across from each other and she asks him questions about his job at the agency. He embellishes quite a bit about his role there and does not mention that this is his first case. He also gives her no indication that she is his prime suspect.

“Are you sure you’re allowed to be indulging me like this? It was already kind enough of you to let me stay with you last night. Won’t your partner be missing you?”

“I don’t have any orders of business right now other than ensuring your safety and well-being. My partner will find me when he’s ready to advance the investigation. Did you sleep well? I didn’t keep you up too long did I?”

She blushes profusely. Dazai had only been joking. She was the one who started it!

He gets backhanded across the back of his skull right then. He turns around to face the threat and isn’t surprised to see Kunikida behind him. Chuuya hit a lot harder than that, but it’s comforting to have a partner willing to commit physical violence against him again.

“Good morning, Kunikida-san.” Dazai greets him cheerfully.

“You are incorrigible! How could you take advantage of a victim? A vulnerable woman, no less!” Kunikida grips him by the collar and throttles him violently.

“You’re assuming too much of me, Kunikida-san. I did nothing of the sort.” Dazai denies the implication right away. He really hasn’t done anything wrong.

“You just said she stayed with you last night! And apologized for keeping her up late!”

“She didn’t feel safe enough to be left alone, and I kept her awake by asking questions. Nothing of the ideas you have ever occurred.”

“Sasaki-san, you can answer honestly. Did this insolent ne’er-do-well take advantage of you?” Kunikida turns his focus to the woman behind him and Dazai hopes she not evil enough to accuse him of something he didn’t do.

“No. Dazai-sama did nothing to me. I asked him to protect me, Kunikida-sama.” Sasaki tells the truth about the previous night.

Dodged a bullet there didn’t he?

Looks like his luck hasn’t run out yet.

Kunikida releases him and Dazai smooths out the wrinkles in his dress shirt and jacket. He just got these! Though if it were Chuuya they’d probably be ripped.

“I see. He phrases things vulgarly and that leads to me making improper assumptions. Forgive us for our unprofessionalism.” Kunikida bows his head to her and Dazai is a little miffed he’s apologizing on his behalf. He had done nothing wrong! Also he never apologizes for anything.

Not sincerely anyway.

“It’s alright, Kunikida-sama. I’m sure I’ve been hindering your progress on the investigation by distracting him.”

Dazai has to hold himself back from rolling his eyes at that.

“Don’t worry, Sasaki-san. You’ve been very helpful and it’s my job to keep you safe. Why don’t you visit our doctor in the infirmary for a check up? Yosano-sensei needs to see you now that a day has passed since the incident.” Dazai turns to her as he speaks and when he’s finished she nods.

“Thank you again, Dazai-sama. Good luck with your case, Kunikida-sama.” She bids them farewell and leaves the cafe.

Dazai turns back to his new partner.

“I know who is responsible for this.” Kunikida states.

That’s strange. Why did he let her walk out the door then?

Whatever. Dazai decides to see what he’s going on about regardless.

Kunikida calls a cab and it’s the same driver that took them to the abandoned hospital. Kunikida directs him to drive them to the Port. He stops him in the warehouse district and Dazai is on edge. This is Mafia territory.

“You said you were on your way to apprehend whoever’s responsible for the kidnappings right? Are they here?” The cabbie nervously looks around at the buildings and storage containers.

“They are.” Kunikida asserts.

Dazai observes. More concerned about keeping his eye on their surroundings.

“You should probably be on your way then.” The driver tries to divert attention from himself but Kunikida is watching him closely.

“What was your motive?” Kunikida asks him.

That gets Dazai’s attention. He suspected the cab driver?

“Organ harvesting is my bet.” Dazai has plenty of knowledge about where people end up when they go missing. Men were most often found in pieces on the black market.

“I-I- don’t know what you’re talking about!”

Kunikida shows him the pictures of the victims from surveillance footage at their hotels.

“This is you. Your past career as a stage actor didn’t do much for you. These men all had similar heights and builds and wore hats and glasses. You disguised yourself as them and checked in to their hotels. By the time they had ‘checked in’ they had already been abducted. Why?”

“I was put up to this! I didn’t have anything to do with them being killed! I’ll tell you everything I know about those people but you have to protect me! I need witness protection! And a round the clock guard! And a safe room!”

Shit. This was going to hit the fan fast.

“Protection from who?” Dazai asks him, knowing the answer.

“One of the men I helped them get was in the Port Mafia! Please you have to protect me or they’ll kill me!”

Bingo.

Then the car windows were shot out. Machine gun rounds flying past them. Dazai ducks and Kunikida pushes the cabbie’s head down.

The shots let up for a brief moment and the driver squeals pathetically. “I don’t want to die!” And then he opens his car door and runs.

Kunikida gets out on the same side and Dazai opens the back door.

“They’re here for him. What are my orders?” Dazai demands instruction as he is the subordinate right now.

“Secure the cabbie. I’ll take care of these guys. Wait for my signal.” Kunikida pulls out his notebook and Dazai is excited to see his ability in action.

He jots something down and there’s a bright blue light as his ability activates. Then he has a flash grenade in his hand. He pulls it and tosses it towards the Mafia grunts.

Well, that’s a little underwhelming. Dazai sees it being practical and useful though.

It flashes.

“Go!” Kunikida yells and Dazai takes off after the man without looking back. He’s got to find him before someone from the Port Mafia does.

He runs through the open warehouse and reaches the other side. He looks right, then left, then right again before heading straight. He would probably be heading for the main streets.

He hears a scream similar to the squeal from earlier, and rushes towards the sound. He turns a corner and all his misgivings have come to fruition. Chuuya looks good even as he is about to kill an important piece of this investigation.

“Chuuya stop!” Dazai calls out to him.

Red hair flies as he whips his head toward the sound of Dazai’s voice.

“Dazai?” Chuuya is startled, telling of his expression and the way he says his name.

“Please save me! He’s going to kill me!” The terrified driver struggles in Chuuya’s grip. He’s lifted off the ground by his shirt and no doubt Chuuya’s gravity is keeping him there.

Chuuya looks back at the begging cabbie then back at Dazai.

“You’ve got to be fucking kidding me.” Chuuya swears.

“Don’t kill him.” Dazai comes closer and Chuuya’s face contorts with disgust and fury.

“He killed one of my men.” Chuuya snarls.

“He has information I need.” Dazai doesn’t even know if that’s true. He already knows who’s responsible for the killings. This guy was just involved in the cover-up. There was a strong possibility that there was a larger plot about to be in play though. They needed to cover their bases.

Chuuya’s eyes narrow and he makes a move so fast Dazai’s eyes could barely follow. The cab driver slumps in his grip but he’s still breathing. Chuuya drops him mercilessly before turning to face Dazai.

“What do you care about ‘information’?” Chuuya demands.

Dazai reaches into his pocket and pulls out the the Agency issued ID he had been given. He tosses it to Chuuya. He catches it one handedly and gracefully. He reads it.

His expression gives nothing away. He’s completely devoid of rage and emotion in general. Then he drops it and stomps it under the heel of his shoe.

“It’s my job.” Dazai says so unnecessarily.

Chuuya launches himself at Dazai with an excessive burst of gravity. Dazai braces for the impact and nullifies his force on contact. Chuuya throws a punch at his head and Dazai easily evades it. It’s been a long time since they’ve exchanged blows, but Chuuya uses his hands on him. He always starts off with a vicious left hook.

“Stupid vagabond.”

His knee comes up aiming for Dazai’s abdomen. He backs up and catches him under his thigh and tosses him back.

“Insufferable bastard.”

Chuuya’s other foot kicks off his chest and he back flips off him.

“Hey! This is new!” Dazai complains.

“Explanation. Now. Or I kill your information.” Chuuya threatens and Dazai’s knows he means it.

This has been a long time coming.

“Do you know what happened while you were in Hong Kong?”

“A bloodbath. A missed call. And my car blew up.” Chuuya is being short with him. It’s a warning that he better get to the point.

“Do you know who died in that bloodbath?” Dazai asks him.

Chuuya’s eyes widen. “You were there. You weren’t assigned to that but you were there. What happened?”

“Odasaku died. We spoke as he was bleeding out because we both knew he was not going to make it.” Dazai’s chest feels like a sinkhole has formed within it. Even after all this time it’s so hard to talk about what happened that night.

“He was your best friend. That’s horrible. I should have been there for you. I wish I had answered your call.”

“It’s a good thing you weren’t and it’s a good thing you didn’t. I wouldn’t have been able to do what he asked of me if you had been around to stop me.”

Chuuya stares him down. “What did he ask of you?”

“He told me to become a better man. He said I won’t find meaning or reason in a life of darkness and carnage. He said I should save lives instead of taking them. That if I did that I’d be a little bit better.” Dazai’s resolve to follow through is concrete.

“Only a person with nothing to live for lives his life the way a dead man told him to.”

Chuuya has always been able to demolish everything in his path. If he was out to hurt Dazai, that’s fine. Two could play that game.

“I never belonged to you either, Chuuya.”

“You don’t even belong to yourself.”

His words are knives. Dazai won’t let him tear apart his determination. He refuses to fall apart from cruel words. He has something to prove now. He has the willpower to change his ways.

His heart is pounding in his chest.

“I don’t have any right to pursue ideals, or possess courage I know. But he called me his friend and he meant it. I have to want the best for me like he did. I have to try doing the right thing.”

“You really think you’re the kind of person to dole out justice?” Chuuya asks him.

“Justice is a weapon. It can be used to cause harm but it cannot protect or save anyone.”

“And you can?” Chuuya knows the answer to this. It’s something Dazai has told him before.

“I have and I will. There has to be more to living than taking and destroying everything in my way. Not that you would be able to understand that.”

“Don’t you dare accuse me of being the one who lacks basic fucking empathy.” Chuuya hisses at him.

“You were just another person for me to betray. If you love me walk away.” The sinkhole in Dazai’s chest has become a collapsed star. He makes a final demand and destroys the obstacle in his path.

Chuuya’s face falls. The fury replaced by sadness. Dazai knows he’s finally done it. He’s hurt him and asked for too much. There was going to a massive fall out from this and the black hole inside him consumes him now too.

“If you really wanted to become a better man, you should have learned how to love.” Chuuya, without touching him, left the deepest scar.

He doesn’t look back as he walks away. Dazai is frozen in place as he watches him go. He should have expected this outcome. He should have foreseen this end. Chuuya could only put up with so much and it seems he’s met his breaking point. He walks, instead of running or flying, so Dazai rationalizes that he still loves him. Knowing that doesn’t lessen the pain.

How were they ever going to come back from this?

*

A massive bomb threat, a fishing tackle store, and a petrochemical factory later Dazai was really starting to like his new job. He got roughed up a bit by a big guy but was delighted to know his new partner could hold his own in a fist fight. He nullified the annoying ability user with no issue.

He had also gotten to meet the most impressive detective in the Agency’s arsenal. An enigmatic man by the name of Edogawa Ranpo. He was sort of like himself as in he didn’t take much seriously, but was incredibly smart. Dazai foresaw himself getting along with him well, and was already considering him a tactical rival.

Dazai told Kunikida he knew who was really responsible for the crimes of The Azure Messenger and though he seemed skeptical he followed Dazai.

He had been shocked and appalled when his charge Rokuzō Taguchi walked in.

“It can’t be you! You’re the one, Rokuzō?!”

“He’s not. He must have hacked me because he wants to know who’s responsible for himself.”

Wow. Dazai was going to have to reinforce his firewalls and encrypt quite a bit of shit. He hopes the snot nosed brat didn’t look through anything else.

“I do. It hasn’t started yet?” The teen confirmed his reasons for being there.

“You shouldn’t be here! It’s too dangerous.” Kunikida starts scolding the guy when Dazai notices movement from the door on the opposite side.

He’s sitting and doesn’t have time to move Kunikida out of the way or draw his gun.

Rokuzō sees her though. “Watch out!” He shoves Kunikida to the side and gets shot right in the chest. Dazai catches him before he hits the ground and draws his gun.

“He was a man who lived for his ideals. He sought to rid the world of its heinous crimes, and that’s why he got blood on his hands. I just wanted to grant his desires and make his ideals come true.”

“Your lover, was the Azure King.” Dazai has known this for a while now.

To what lengths would one go when Love was the means?

“Lower your gun. What good will this accomplish?” Kunikida pleads her.

“She wanted to continue his work.” Dazai explains.

“You understand. Don’t you Kunikida-san? You’re so much like him. You’re a man driven by his ideals.”

She lowers her gun and looks up at the dilapidated ceiling of the abandoned hospital they found her in.

“You have no ideals or convictions of your own. You’re just going with the flow of the wind.” Dazai’s gun is steady aimed for her.

“I’m just tired now. I’m ready to let go.” She looks at him with those same lifeless eyes. “Will you shoot me, Dazai-san? Ah, but I’ve lowered my gun. If you were to kill me it’d be an excessive use of force. Kunikida-san is watching us too.”

“That’s true.” Dazai holds his gun out in front of him and loosens his grip. “However..”

Dazai drops his gun.

Rokuzō catches it and shoots her down.

“Good riddance.” The kid becomes the second person to die in Dazai’s arms.

“Why?!” Kunikida’s shout echoed through the building.

“This was the only outcome.” Dazai attempts to comfort him despite wishing he had covered his digital tracks a little better. The kid wouldn’t be dead and he wouldn’t have this sick feeling of relief that his secrets will go unexposed.

“You could have saved her! If you knew you could have stopped her earlier!”

He’s right about the second part but she was too far gone for Dazai to reach. He wasn’t about to let her drown her grief by fucking her either. That wouldn’t have been fair to Chuuya.

When had he ever been fair to him though?

“You call this just?!” Kunikida demands.

He repeats what he told Chuuya the day before.

“Justice is a weapon. It can be used to cause harm. It cannot protect or save people.”

Kunikida grabs him again and shakes him around.

“This is your fault! Why did this have to happen?!”

“Kunikida-san, you need to rethink your ideals or they will drive you to the same extremes of the Azure King.” Dazai doesn’t think Kunikida will listen to him, but feels the need to make this warning anyway.

“Even so! I will push past it! Do not underestimate my ideal!”

Looks like he may have found the person to tell Chuuya about.

If he ever talks to him again.

Chapter Text

In the months following their altercation in the warehouse lot at the Port Chuuya thinks about him all the time. He had been harsh on him. He rejected Dazai following the wishes of his dead friend. He didn’t try to tell him what he should do, but he questioned his motives and objectives. Dazai didn’t say he was doing this for himself; he said he had to try to become a better man for his best friend.

What about for Chuuya?

Did he ever consider him?

There was no goodbye. With Dazai there would never be. If he wanted to leave, or run, or hide there were never any words. Chuuya has never been worth a proper explanation, or farewell.

Between the two of them there was no such thing as the word: closure.

It’s like their relationship was a door that never fully shuts. Never locks. It’s either open all the way from Chuuya’s side or slightly ajar from Dazai’s.

Chuuya can’t force himself in if Dazai isn’t on the other side.

Chuuya knows he had been cruel. He was prone to saying mean things and his temper had always been bad. If Dazai had talked to him about it he would have apologized. But Dazai never contacted him again.

Nine months go by. Chuuya realized Dazai has let go. He hasn’t tried to get ahold of him once. He doesn’t even think he’s stalking him anymore. It’s just like Dazai to come back just to ruin everything they built in the time they were apart. Chuuya walked away because he asked him to and because he loved him. He still does. He probably always will.

Those sleepless nights multiplied exponentially. Chuuya was suffocating and numb. Like he had fallen through a frozen lake. He was sinking and wanted desperately to feel again.

A year passes and Chuuya concludes that it’s time to try to move on. He’s tired of waiting around for something that’s never going to happen. He’s tired of being alone. He wants to be touched again. He’s so desperate to feel something.

There were only so many words. There were only so many steps one could take. How long can you hold your hand out for something irretrievable?

*

It was dark aside from the flashing lights. There is loud, raunchy music thundering on the dance floor. Three shots of 151 later and Chuuya was dancing like he had a purpose. His every move fluid, seductive, and calculated. He still had his head but it was finally dulled enough that he could relax and let loose.

It won’t be difficult to find somebody. Chuuya never had any problem with people finding him attractive. Before he just told everyone ‘no’.

He’d been dancing all night. He danced with two guys already. One of them even kept up with him nicely. They just weren’t what he was looking for though. He left them for the bar and denied them when they offered to buy him drinks.

He was now three drinks in and knew he was done drinking for the night. His standards had not lowered despite the rum. He was looking for somebody tall, with dark hair and eyes, who could show him a better time.

There had to be someone better than spending one more night alone.

A hand finds his waist in the crowd and draws him in. Chuuya just goes with the flow of the stranger’s movements and to the rhythm of the beat. He can tell this guy is tall. He moves sensually and with finesse. Chuuya already finds his vibe attractive.

His lips brush his ear and he says to him “I like the way you move.” In French, no less. How did he know Chuuya speaks that?

Chuuya runs a hand through the shorter side of his hair. He presses his body flush against the guy. He’s got a nice build. More solid and muscular like himself but still much more tall and broad. They dance closely together for another song. When it’s over Chuuya wonders if he’ll meet his other requirements.

Just as he thinks that the guy turns him around.

His hair is dark and so are his eyes. They appear dark blue though. He’s American? No. French-Canadian. He’s very handsome. Chuuya decides on him.

“Want to get out of here?” He asks Chuuya, almost as if he were reading his mind. He’s definitely Canadian. Chuuya can tell from his French dialect.

The shorter nods with a sexy smirk, and grabs his wrist to lead him off the dance floor and towards the exit. As soon as they make it outside Chuuya realizes he doesn’t want to take him to his home. He wanted to be as impersonal about this as possible. He had to establish boundaries and distance.

“We can go to my hotel.” The man offers.

Chuuya is starting to think this guy may be an ability user.

“That sounds good to me.” He responds in the same tongue.

He hails down a cab. They get in. The stranger names his hotel and Chuuya’s stomach is tied in a knot of nervous anticipation. He’s been needing this and looking forward to it. If he didn’t try he would never know. He wanted to remember what it felt like to be ..

“My name is Jean-Louis, but you can call me Jack.” He introduces himself easily.

Chuuya doesn’t want to tell him his name and debates making up a fake one.

“I won’t ask.”

“You’re an ability user, aren’t you?” Chuuya asks him. Now sure of it.

“It’s called On The Road. I can see the directions people’s minds are going. It’s not specific enough to be classified as telepathy or mind reading. It’s more like empathetic ideas of where someone’s thoughts are branching off too.” He confesses to Chuuya easily and if it hadn’t of been in French Chuuya would probably be more threatened.

This guy didn’t seem like he had any ulterior motives though. He just seemed like he found him attractive. That he wanted to give him what he wants.

“Who do you work for?” Chuuya asks him anyway, guarded and precautious.

“No one. I hate letting anyone tell me what to do and I mostly prefer to be alone.” He’s not lying.

Chuuya doesn’t trust him and doesn’t like that he can see what directions his thoughts are headed, but he doesn’t want to back down. Weren’t empaths supposed to be better in bed anyway? He already concluded he was his best option tonight. His ability wasn’t dangerous but was more of a nuisance. He could handle it.

“You’re self-employed then?” Chuuya asks him.

“I’m a writer. I explore the world and experience new things and people so that I can rehash it all in spontaneous prose.”

An empath whose writing style is consciousness streaming? Chuuya found that intriguing. This guy was sensual and moved with the surety and grace of one who could ascertain where his partner’s thoughts were going.

The car stops and Jack pays the fare. Chuuya gets out and surveys his surroundings. The hotels on this side of town weren’t luxury, but were still high end. It’s late enough that the foot traffic in the area has mostly died down. Drunken tourists and their equally drunk companions were the less than a dozen people Chuuya could see on the street. He realizes he’s really no different from them as Jack leads them into his building.

The elevator doors close behind them and Chuuya is filled with both anxieties and desperation. It’s been so long, but he wants to be touched so badly.

The light glows showing which floor they are currently passing and which floor they are heading to. The eighth floor is the destination.

5..

6..

7..

8.

Chuuya follows Jack to his room. He unlocks the door and lets Chuuya go inside first. Chuuya isn’t wearing his hat tonight, deciding to go for a classy but slightly more casual look. He’s wearing a burgundy dress shirt and a black jacket with his black gloves. He takes off his jacket as Jack turns on the light.

Jack takes it from him and hangs it on the coat rack behind him. He’s really polite, must be a Canadian thing. He crosses the room to Chuuya and Chuuya steps forward to meet him. His fingers thread through the longer side of his hair and he tilts Chuuya’s head up. Chuuya hadn’t even realized he was looking downcast. Their eyes meet and Chuuya offers a small nod.

He leans down and kisses him. Chuuya kisses back but there’s a reservation prickling in the back of his mind. He decides he’s just impatient and moves to deepen the kiss. Jack’s tongue is hot and authoritative. His other hand grips Chuuya by the waist and pulls him closer. Chuuya’s hands are on his shoulders so that gives him good leverage to push back and pull away.

He puts distance between them by sitting on the bed. He’s not really drunk, but his head is foggy. That might be a good thing if it keeps the empath out of his mind. Starting with his gloves, he takes off his clothes.

Jack is far from put off by these developments. Taking off his own jacket and unbuttoning his own shirt. When they are both bare chested Chuuya looks up at him again. Broad shoulders, prominent muscles, and smooth, clear skin greet his eyes. He is very enticing in a conventionally physical way.

Jack joins him on the bed right after that thought. Chuuya is pushed down and Jack is overtop of him. Hands caress his torso and grasp his sides.

Chuuya’s ears get hot and it’s not from embarrassment or arousal. Jack leans down to kiss his chest and Chuuya has to resist everything inside of himself to keep from throwing him into the wall.

Jack stops touching him and pulls back immediately. His dark blues wide and observant. He doesn’t look scared though like Chuuya assumes most people would be if they heard him thinking that way.

Now that he’s no longer being touched Chuuya is filled with sorrow. He needed this so badly and when he finally had it in his hands he hated it immensely. Why? How could this be?

“You’re touch-starved and you have touch aversion. I can feel your desolations and how much you want to feel and be less alone, but you really dislike skin to skin contact.” Jack explains how he feels with proper terms.

“How are you sure?” Chuuya asks him.

“Do you really want to know? I can take you down that road, but I can’t promise you’ll be happy with what I find.”

“Explain how that works and then I’ll decide.” The alcohol must really be catching up to him if he’s considering let a stranger use his ability on him.

If there’s a chance to know or understand why he hates being touched despite wanting it so badly he feels like he might have to take it.

Even if some part of him knows he has his reasons.

“I’ll have to touch you again. I put my fingers on your temples to activate it, and sift through your memories that determine the causes and effects of your emotions regarding physical contact. It will take us down the path of your deepest thoughts, insecurities, setbacks, and feelings about that subject. I won’t be able to remember your memories or secrets when it’s over, but I will have a vivid comprehension of how you feel and have felt.” Jack describes the nature of the activation of his ability very well.

“How long will it last?” Chuuya questions him.

“It’s the flow of your own consciousness. You strike me as a very fast paced person so I doubt it will be more than twenty minutes. You maintain a certain level of control so you can push through recollections faster or linger if you please.”

Chuuya nods in understanding. He is curious about this and needs to see what moments made him this way. Will it show him if he was always like this? Does it start from the past or work back from the present? Jack wouldn’t know that if it doesn’t let him see the memories. Chuuya wants to find out.

“Okay. Then please show me.” Chuuya allows someone other than ..him.. to use their ability on him.

Jack nods solemnly. They both adjust to sitting up and across from each other on the bed. Chuuya takes a deep breath and prepares himself for whatever may come. He accepts the anguish he may endure with what he’s about to relive and see.

“You really won’t be able to recall my memories?” Chuuya asks, out of concern for Jack’s safety rather than his own.

“The best teacher is experience and not from someone else’s distorted point of view. I have never known another’s memories from doing this, only how they felt throughout their own ordeals.”

“Alright. I’m ready.” Chuuya watches him reach out and place two fingers on each of his temples.

“I felt free and therefore I was free.” Jack speaks this activation phrase clearly and his eyes glow bright with yellow light before Chuuya’s eyes roll back.

Yuan? She’s .. this is her confession. She’s telling Chuuya how much she likes him and wants to be together. He’s not totally opposed to the idea until.. She reaches out and touches him. Her hand is small and soft under his jaw and slightly against his neck. She pulls him into a kiss. This is the first time someone has ever touched him in a nonviolent manner. He hates it. There’s no reason why. He feels misinterpreted and misunderstood. He doesn’t know her well enough to let her touch him like that. He’s confused. Why does he care about how much someone knows? Why does he feel he has to be completely understood? Would he rather not be touched at all? No. The hand on his thigh is protective and perceptive. Looking up to meet Dazai’s eyes he isn’t put off. No feeling is displaced. Dazai is intuitive and when he wants to know; he asks. Chuuya’s hand is around his bandaged wrist and pulling him into the crowd. There’s no hesitations in the way they move against each other. Chuuya doesn’t hate his lips against his neck. There’s flashes of every time Chuuya has caught Dazai staring at him, tapping his fingers, chewing on his pen, averting his gaze. He knows he’s been caught and Chuuya is not afraid to follow through. A welcome diversion from the jaded normalcy of their ways. Dazai reads him effortlessly and even when he veers from the path of Chuuya’s thoughts Chuuya knows he’s doing it out of consideration for his feelings. He knows him. The intimacy of their connection is what allows Chuuya to let him in. Even if there is no meaning to this Chuuya trusts him more than he has ever trusted anyone else. He goes through with Dazai’s whims and allows himself to be submissive. There’s something truly freeing about giving his power away. Nullifying Tainted makes him feel human. He permits himself vulnerability and drowns in the pleasure that being powerless provides. There’s no fighting the bliss of giving Dazai control. Dazai expresses time and time again he can always back out or change his mind. Instances of their violence pulse through Chuuya’s mind. He’s always the one hitting him, but Dazai is always the one pushing him away. Chuuya realizes why Dazai kept giving him reasons to leave him behind. Dazai’s tenderness had to be antithetical to his words. Chuuya is ready and willing to die for him. He wakes up from Corruption in Dazai’s arms and falls all over again. He loves him. He doesn’t want Dazai to leave him. He holds back from saying ‘Don’t go’ and Dazai knows exactly what he’s thinking and holds his hand to reassure him that he will come back. His touch is the only touch that takes away his strength and makes him feel safe. Then.. Chuuya is alone at a bar and something doesn’t feel right. His mind spins and he rapidly becomes unable to see. Someone grabs him tightly and pulls him out and into the darkness of the night. He can barely stay on his feet and he can’t lift his arms. He’s shoved down on the ground and the man is on top of him. He’s running his hands all over Chuuya’s body. He’s terrified. He feels sick. Everything is wrong and he can’t open his mouth to scream. His legs won’t lift up to kick him off no matter how hard he tries. The man rips open his shirt and Chuuya is so angry he may have started crying. His mind cries out for Dazai. Where is he? Why isn’t he here? Dazai has to come. Dazai has to stop this. Then he feels the revolting sensation of someone else’s tongue in his mouth. A rough hand gropes him and Chuuya’s mind frenzies with a fury he didn’t know he possessed. He isn’t fully conscious of how much power he’s exerting as he’s drenched in a shower of sweltering blood. He’s screaming in his mind and crying out loud. He rolls over, vomits, struggles to his feet, and tries to run. There’s no real telling how far he gets and he pulls out his phone and presses the speed dial. He’s calling Dazai. Dazai’s voice makes him begin to feel better but it’s not enough. He needs him. When he finally arrives he catches him before he falls. Chuuya holds back from crying with relief and instead demands that Dazai doesn’t leave him alone. His legs give out and he can’t keep going. Dazai carries him in his arms and Chuuya presses his head against his chest. Dazai takes him inside and sets him down. There’s blood in his eyelashes and all over his face and it’s making him nauseous. Dazai tries to pull his hands from his face and it hurts. Dazai hurt him. He’s distraught and horrified. Briefly reliving the way he’d been dragged along. Dazai didn’t mean to. Chuuya tries to explain what happened and Dazai’s hand is in his hair and he’s apologizing and telling him he’s safe. He’s holding him like he’s scared for him and Chuuya sees clearly that Dazai loves him too. Gently he takes off his clothes and helps him into the shower. Chuuya finally feels safe again under the warmth of the water and Dazai’s gaze. Sweet and with warning Dazai cleanses his eyelashes and the blood off his face. With the same grace he washes Chuuya’s hair and it feels so good Chuuya makes soft sounds. There was so much weakness and fragility in this memory but this was the first time he’s ever recalled it and he doesn’t want to let go. Dazai’s hand shields his eyes as he rinses his hair and Chuuya leans his forehead into his hand. Dazai is so afraid of physically hurting him it warms his whole soul and allows him to profess his love. Dazai denies him. An excuse about drugs and not knowing what he’s saying. Chuuya accepts that he has to withhold his feelings this way. Reveling in the light touches Dazai grants him for a few blissful moments. Chuuya lets him know that he’s well aware of how Dazai truly feels. He wakes up soon after that occurred in Dazai’s bed, wearing Dazai’s clothes, with Dazai’s arm around his waist. He sits up and asks him what happened regarding the change of clothes, the bruise on his wrist, and why he felt sick. Dazai lies and says he had been acting up at the bar and that he had to drag him out. He lies and says Chuuya got sick on his own clothes. He lies and says he was worried about him having alcohol poisoning so he took him home. He reassured him they didn’t have sex and then..he apologized for hurting him. Dazai lied and blamed himself to protect him. This is what made him change. This was the reason he started stalking Chuuya and doing extra things to protect him. Those words uttered in the most painful of moments were what Dazai made him swear never to speak of. His guilt made him vigilant in his devotion to make sure no one harmed him that way again. A kiss is given to Chuuya’s wrist with the promise that he is human. Eloquently chosen words, intense eye contact, and a reassuring hand convince him that he is a real person despite everything he may or may not know surrounding his origins. He’s human and Dazai makes him experience what it means to feel like real people do. Chuuya buries his flaws and insecurities inside him. Chuuya pulls him towards himself and takes all that he is willing to give. Dazai is the only person that can withstand his immensity, the only one who can weather his blows, and the sole reason he ever allowed himself to be touched to begin with. More than content with being Dazai’s secret Chuuya’s memories show him how envious he was of his friendship with Odasaku. How much he didn’t want Dazai sharing him and how much he didn’t want to share Dazai. No one else would ever recognize Chuuya for who he really was, no one would ever be able to touch him this way, and no one had ever showed him love by proving it through actions in spite of never being able to say. When he left Chuuya feels a piece of himself leave too. He aches and hungers for him and he alone. If Dazai loved him why did he have to leave? All he wants, and nothing more, are the endless repetitions of Dazai at his door. He brought out the best side of Chuuya; his human one. Making him feel and realize that he was worth feeling too. Their love was complicated, filled with altercations, excessive duplicity, and he was the only one among them who could put words to what they had. Love. Loved one. Lover. Those words only had meaning when Dazai was touching him or when he was touching Dazai. Chuuya lacked the capacity to care for anyone else. There was no alternative for casualty with sex. When Chuuya allowed someone to touch him he had a very specific and outrageous standard. Dazai Osamu. Only he, who knew him better than he knew himself, who was willing to prolong his life of suffering for him, who’s heart was just as dark and tainted as his, and he who understood him implicitly, was allowed to put his hands on him. Only he could take Chuuya’s vessel and make it believe its a real being.

His vision returns as the glow fades from Jack’s eyes. Blue focus on him with an expression of compassionate poignancy. Chuuya realizes he had been crying as Jack takes his hands away.

“I don’t know what could happen to someone to make them doubt their own humanity the way you do, but I assure you that even though you cannot feel for many you make up for that with your devotion to the one you love.” Jack asserts this unequivocally.

“I’m actually just a vessel for a god of calamity, but thanks for the kind words anyway.” Chuuya doesn’t care if Jack knows he’s not human, he doesn’t care whether he believes him or not.

“They don’t believe that. Because of them neither do you. I felt that darkness inside you and it is very vengeful and overflowing with wrath. You aren’t the same. Your thoughts branch separately from it. Your paths do not converge. It simply exists within you, and it does not impact your emotions, thoughts, or actions. Unless you allow it to it will not overpower you.”

“We’re really separate? We’re not the same?” Chuuya is in disbelief. Could Jack really feel what directions Arabahaki was thinking apart from his own?

“Yes there are two separate paths within you. They are nowhere close to the same. Your path greatly overshadows the other and has so many twists and turns. The other path has no divergence, telling of a god I suppose is to be single minded.” Jack concludes his explanation and Chuuya is greatly relieved. Dazai had been right about him.

“Thank you. For telling me that and for letting me see those things. You showed me something I had no recollection of that I really needed to see. I understand myself and him a lot better now.” Chuuya expresses his gratitude despite the heartache it brought to see those memories.

“Things are so hard to figure out when you live from day to day in this feverish and silly world. Something good will come of all things yet.” Jack comforts him in his grief.

“It’s insane of me to only want the one person who keeps running away. I can’t feel without him. He’s so fickle and yet he’s the only one in whom I have any faith.” Chuuya is just venting now but he’s kept this inside for so long. He’s never told a soul about he and Dazai’s relationship.

“You think very highly of him. I do not think your fidelity is misplaced. I wish I could find him and go on his road regarding you, but instead I’m going to take a guess. I think he feels unworthy of you. The adherence you possess is unfaltering. Some people do not know what to do with that kind of inviolability. You’re young and I assume he is too. I’m inclined to believe one day he will mature enough to properly reciprocate your love.” Jack offers Chuuya something of which he had nothing left: Hope.

“Should I let him come to me on his own? Or should I call him? Even though I don’t know what I would say?”

“Don’t use the phone. People are never ready to answer it. Use poetry. You’ll be able to say what you truly want to say when you don’t fear the audience’s response. When the time comes where he presents himself to you he’ll probably do and say those things that make you upset, but that’s because he’ll be trying to see if you still feel the same. Considering the depth of your emotions regarding him I doubt your feelings will change. If he tries to run again make it abundantly clear that he is what you want and that you’ll forgive him for his mistakes. Your feelings that he loves you too were not false. He hides from you because he denies his own truth.”

“Very few people have granted me such kindness and your help, advice, and words will not go unappreciated. He’s left me behind before, he’s hid from me many times, and he’s never stopped pushing me away. But he told me before that I was all he wanted, all he needed, and the only thing he had to look forward to. Thank you, Jack. I’m sure now that one day he’ll come back for me.”

“Hold onto your faith. All that’s lost is eventually found. He will find his way.”

Chuuya’s heart, soul, and body belong to Dazai.

He doesn’t mind however much of him he takes.

Chapter Text

Two years have come and gone and even though he and Chuuya are in the same city they have not spoken since he told him he should have learned how to love. Dazai’s life at the Agency is well established and he’s respected and valued for his skill once more. That doesn’t mean he enjoys it though..

He’s tried time and time again to kill himself. It’s become his favorite past time. He has drowned himself in booze and women. He has become a better person in some ways, as he has saved many lives and prevented many tragedies. But he has fallen from grace in others. He now fantasizes about double suicide because it would be less lonely to leave this world with a beautiful woman rather than alone. He disappears for days on end, sometimes hiding away in his bedroom too depressed to get out of bed, and sometimes wandering the streets of Yokohama’s underground at night. He lives his life like he doesn’t care if or when he loses it, but he still puts up a hell of a fight if someone tries to take him down.

He sees Chuuya in his dreams sometimes and he’s grown to hate the dark. His insomnia has intensified greatly over the past two years even though he’s no longer running. He doesn’t need to look over his shoulder as much anymore but he still can’t close his eyes.

He hadn’t been sincere, or trustworthy to Chuuya. He didn’t deserve him. He joined the opposing side. He had betrayed him completely and he understood that they were better off cutting ties. So he didn’t reach out. He didn’t seek him as much as he wanted to. He let his sex life become devoid of meaning, affections, or commitment.

Women loved him. There were many who tried to get him to stay, tried to tear down his walls, and begged for him to be theirs. Dazai could not give them something he didn’t have. Chuuya was right that he didn’t even belong to himself.

If he were to see now Chuuya he’d run the other way. Two years of pseudo-heroism had not made him any less flighty. When it came to his true emotions he would still rather die than face them head on. These days he questions if he even had real feelings to begin with. He pushed them down and buried them so deep it’s hard to tell if they were ever there to start with.

What if that .. what he felt for Chuuya .. was nothing more than a dream?

What if his heart has always been with him but was just so dead and devoid he thought it was gone?

Was this just wishful thinking?

Who had he lied to?

To Chuuya or himself?

He may not be running anymore, as he doesn’t want or need to, but he’s still hiding. He has so many secrets and all he knows how to do is manipulate and use. His prowess for influencing outcomes is a dangerous power so he tries to utilize it for good.

Even so he wants to feel again. He tries to shut it out and push it away but the memories haunt him. Everything could go wrong if Chuuya found his way back into his arms.

He feels like his life would split into two again. He craves it, but acknowledges the difficulties of going down that path. After all this time; would Chuuya even want to?

It’s been so long and as close as they are physically they’ve never been this far apart.

Dazai lets go of his life force over and over. He is disappointed every time he fails. Wanting to die has become more than his defining feature it’s become his sole motive for continuing on. A Complete Guide to Suicide was his favorite piece of literature. He wanted to try everything until something-anything worked!

Generally, women were too conceited for double suicide. Some stopped speaking to him altogether while some tried to change his mind. His heart had been set on death for over a decade now and he considered death his true love. If he were to be able to feel such a thing that cold, stop of his beating heart would be love at last.

He drowns in melancholy to submerge the dreams of Chuuya haunting his thoughts.

It’s a cool night. The sky is clouded from natural means and the pollution of the Port and artificial light. Cityscape skies are all this way. Dazai’s eye catches, barely, a shooting star.

He wishes for a sign. That what he once had was actually something of meaning. He wishes that he could know Chuuya again or at least have an idea of how he feels.

He is aware that he had only seen one star. He knows full well that he was asking for too much. He didn’t expect a sign, or knowing, or an idea to begin with.

Is it so wrong to want something?

Yes. It is. He can never let himself want, and he can never let himself have. Whatever or whoever he sought to claim would slip between his fingers the second he made them his own.

He is absorbed in his despondency, but senses that he’s being watched.

Well, he is knee-deep in Mafia territory right about now. This is to be expected. He has a reason for being here after all. Other than a suicide attempt! He needs information on who put the bounty on his new student’s head.

He took Atsushi, despite his deep-rooted weakness and many anxieties and more than likely post traumatic stress disorder, under his wing because he knew he was going to become strong. His ability was remarkable and he had a naturally do-good approach to life. He sought acceptance from others genuinely because he felt he had to be useful to be allowed to live.

Dazai could make that happen for him. The Agency had much to benefit from such a strong offensive ability user. So he couldn’t let some jerk-off offer seven billion yen for him or his corpse. The Port Mafia was after him because of that price tag so they must know who was offering to pay up. He wasn’t about to let his most promising student become a fucking rug.

Mentioning students..

Akutagawa uses Rashōmon to cut off his path and launches an offensive attack.

Dazai is already bored. He nullifies him easily. He breaks the distance between them without breaking a sweat and gut punches his worthless ex-subordinate. He’s always been useless at hand-to-hand combat.

It seems his offensive strike was just a distraction though. The back of Dazai’s neck is suddenly pierced by a needle and there’s a sharp sting before it numbs. He backs off Akutagawa and pulls it out. It’s a dart.

“Even if this is a horse tranquilizer it will do nothing to me.” Dazai asserts, though he already feels off.

A woman speaks. Higuchi. Akutagawa’s lap dog. (Dazai doesn’t like calling women bitches but would almost make an exception for her.)

“We know. That’s why it’s for elephants.”

As soon as she finishes speaking he drops to his knees. He’s not going to remain upright for long but it’s unlikely that he’ll lose consciousness. These idiots are annoying.

“This won’t be enough to knock me out.” Dazai concludes before his side hits the pavement.

He can’t feel anything anymore. Akutagawa kicks him in the ribs. He laughs at him.

“Dumb dog. I can’t feel that.”

“How is he still talking? This would have killed anyone else.” Higuchi complains in disbelief.

Dazai decides to be as annoying as all hell.

“This is Dazai we’re talking about. Not even he can kill himself.” Akutagawa and Higuchi begin abducting him. Higuchi grabs him under his arms and Akutagawa his legs.

“Just last week I gorged myself on poisonous mushrooms. I’ve swallowed at least fifty bottles worth of tranquilizers, and opioids. If you thought a little blow dart would take care of me you are dumber than previously thought.”

“Shut the fuck up.” Akutagawa hisses at him as they load him into a parked SUV.

“Aww you guys are so nice. Thanks for calling me an Uber. I can take it from here.”

Akutagawa drops him first and Higuchi makes him hit his head. Akutagawa raises his fist to hit him.

“Aim for his mouth. He might talk less.” Higuchi suggests.

Akutagawa listens to her and punches him in the mouth. Dazai tastes blood but doesn’t feel anything. His lip must be busted.

“Wow brat. Your senpai-complex is showing. Do you still cry about me abandoning you?” Dazai teases.

Akutagawa’s eyes flash with hurt and rage and Dazai feels inexplicably satisfied.

His head is starting to feel weird. He recognizes that he’s beginning to get loopy. That’s fine. He’ll just be more irritating.

“My new kohai is so much cuter than you. He actually shows potential. I grew tired of your incompetence but I predict he won’t disappoint me.”

“Just ignore him Akutagawa-senpai.” Higuchi attempts to calm him but he’s already hyperventilating.

Dazai laughs mean spiritedly. “Self-proclaimed dog, right? More like Port Mafia’s bitch.”

“Insult Akutagawa-senpai again and I will put you in a shallow grave.” The woman threatens.

“No grave can hold me down. You can’t kill me.” Dazai laughs at her.

He looks back at her from his upside down position.

“Have you fucked him yet? Maybe if he gets some pussy it’ll help his bad attitude.”

Her face turns blood red and she opens her mouth to say something but sputters instead.

Akutagawa punches him in the face again. He was still doing pointless and useless shit. Just like four years ago.

“Don’t talk to her like that.” He says this low and menacingly.

“I guess not then.” He looks back at the woman. “You should get on that soon. Otherwise he’ll die a virgin.”

Higuchi looks indignant. “Akutagawa-senpai is too strong to ever die. He’s also not a-“

“Finish that sentence and I’ll use Agito on you.” Akutagawa threatens her.

“Now that’s kinky.” Dazai laughs at them.

“That’s it. We should kill him.” Higuchi concludes.

“The orders said to bring him in alive. We’re almost there anyway and once we secure him we can dump him on someone else.”

“Oh Akutagawa-kun, I know you’re still desperate for my approval. Stick around and whine about your inferiority complex so I can have some background noise. It’s too quiet in the dungeon.”

Akutagawa’s eyes narrow and he looks like he’s debating forgoing orders. Dazai can’t die before he gets his information so he decides to change the subject.

“How’s my old partner? Still making bad fashion decisions?” Dazai asks.

“Nakahara-san always dresses stylishly. You really shouldn’t be talking shit when your accessories consist of bandages and eye bags.” Higuchi insults him and Akutagawa raises his palm.

Dazai is honestly as shocked as she is when she blushes as she gives him a high-five.

“Is he seeing anyone these days? Or is he just as lonely and miserable as always?” Dazai tries to sound rude as he makes this inquiry but he really wants to know the answer.

“Why do you care?” Higuchi asks him.

“It’s peculiar that he brings this up when we had that conversation with him a few weeks ago.” Akutagawa says to her.

“What conversation? Was he drunk and complaining about how nobody loves him?”

Higuchi shakes her head. “Quite the opposite actually. I asked him if he had any one special in his life and he got this small smile, which was really out of place because Nakahara-san never smiles.”

“Yeah. That was weird. Then he straight up admitted to being in love. They must have a really good relationship if he can proclaim his love so easily.”

Dazai’s numb physically but it feel like he just took a shotgun blast to his chest cavity. Chuuya has moved on. Chuuya is in love with someone else.

“I bet Nakahara-san is a great boyfriend. Have you ever seen the bottom shelf of his bookcase in his office?” Higuchi asks Akutagawa.

The dog nods. “It’s all poetry and classics. Do you think he’s ever written anything himself?”

“Yes! He’s the type to write a poem for his girlfriend for sure!” Higuchi gushes.

Dazai laughs loudly at that. No, Chuuya was the type to speak in French while you fuck him and be blunt about how he feels. He relied heavily on symbolism, references, and communication in love. Though Dazai doubts he would write something of his own. Also, girlfriend? He didn’t picture Chuuya as bisexual in the slightest.

“You’re the single one, aren’t you Dazai-san? I can’t picture anyone putting up with your shit for more than 5 seconds.” Akutagawa attempts to insult him.

“Only by choice. I think why have one woman when I can have several?”

Akutagawa makes a face. “That’s how people get diseases.”

Dazai rolls his eyes. “I know you’re a virgin and all but” he looks back at Higuchi. “Make sure you use condoms.”

“Can I just suffocate him until he passes out?” Higuchi asks Akutagawa.

“If you’re going to do that have the dog do it so we can avoid an awkward boner situation. Unless Akutagawa will have a similar problem. Then please refrain altogether.” Dazai can’t resist being as agitating as possible.

Akutagawa snaps at the driver “ETA now.”

“Four minutes, sir.” The subordinate responds.

“Stop obeying traffic laws and make it two.” Akutagawa commands.

“Yes sir.” The driver floors it.

Dazai chuckles. “Wow Higuchi-kun you might not have a chance if he’s that hung up on me.”

They both hit him simultaneously. It has no effect but at least they’re bonding. Abducting Daza was an entertaining date. More so than dinner or a bar at least.

“How did Nakahara-san put up with this bastard for so long?” Higuchi asks Akutagawa.

“They fought hard and often. Dazai-san is lucky to be alive after everything he put him through.”

Is Dazai really lucky to be alive?

“I think he knew being alive is torture to me so letting me live was revenge.” Dazai admits.

“I wouldn’t want to give you what you want either.” Akutagawa agrees with Chuuya’s tactics.

“You never did. I’ve never trained anyone so useless and without value. I heard through the grapevine you’re tough on your weaker subordinates. Do you know why that is? It’s because you feel like you’re looking in the mirror.”

Akutagawa looks like he’s either going to kill him or cry. Higuchi isn’t saying anything, which might be smart on her part. The car screeches to a stop and the tires squeal.

“We’re here sir.” The driver point out so unnecessarily.

The two of them get out and some grunts drag him out and into the building.

“Oh you guys like it rough don’t you?” Dazai can’t stop as he’s being drug down a flight of concrete steps.

“Too bad I can’t feel anything to properly enjoy it.”

Someone kicks him in the stomach.

“If someone hits me again I’m just going to start moaning. You’ll never be able to get it out of your head because I sound,” Dazai sighs dreamily.

“Phenomenal.”

“He’s not kidding, is he?” A goon asks.

“He’s not. Don’t do it.” Another answers.

The reach the bottom of the staircase eventually and Dazai recalls creating some of the most effective information extraction tactics in this very room.

“Do we still keep hydrochloric acid over there?” Dazai asks.

A suit hauls him up to a standing position and two others chain him to the wall.

“I think so. Why?” An idiot answers.

“I’m thirsty.” Dazai says with a grin.

Two of them groan and the youngest one out of the group goes “What the fuck is wrong with this guy?”

“That’s too long of a list. A better question is ‘what isn’t?’” Another responds as he starts patting Dazai down.

They take his gun. Then continue patting down his legs and take his other gun. He concealed his .357 Magnum on the inside of his ankle.

“This is a nice gun. Do you think anybody would say anything if I took it?”

“I would say something. You better put my shit where they tell you to put it so I won’t have to hunt you down personally to take it back. If you make me do that I’ll take your gun and kill you with it.” Dazai threatens easily and sincerely with a menacing smile.

The goon actually looks frightened. It had been a little while since Dazai has outright threatened someone’s life like that. Looks like he’s still got it.

“He’s serious. Don’t take the risk man.” The other responds.

The youngest takes his guns to lock them away. As he goes Dazai hears him mumble.

“I don’t want to be killed by my own gun.”

He laughs and they tug on his restraints to check if they’re secure.

“Let’s get out of here. This guy gives me the creeps.”

Dazai uses the last of his strength to make a fearsome expression and lunge at them.

They flinch even though he’s literally chained to the wall. The Mafia was really scraping the bottom of the barrel these days, huh?

He laughs maniacally as they nope the hell out of there.

Now he was just going to wait and see what they wanted from him. Maybe he’ll even get to see Chuuya’s face again. Then he’ll break out and get the information he needs.

*

Dazai’s eyes are closed, so that he can concentrate on his hearing. When he hears someone approach stone steps start cracking and crumbling. Chuuya was always such a show off.

He looks up as he reaches the bottom of the stairs.

He’s different. His eyes are colder and the only discernible emotion he’s displaying is unsighted rage. He has changed his hair again too. It’s still asymmetrical, but more of it is short and a smaller section is long. He still looks good though. Dazai expects he’ll start a fight.

“This is nice. This is a great view. It rivals a masterpiece worth even ten billion. Wouldn’t you agree, Dazai?” Chuuya’s voice is both menacing and sultry. Sending shivers down Dazai’s spine. Surely, he’s just messing with him.. Chuuya wouldn’t really have this kind of kink. Besides, Dazai knows he doesn’t look that good, and Chuuya has someone new.

“Why did you come here?” Dazai asks him.

“To harass you.” Chuuya states haughtily.

Dazai is glad to hear it. He looks forward to Chuuya’s harassment. If that’s all he can get he will happily take. He is fine with Chuuya’s cruelties and expects a fight will ensue. After all he was here to return the favor.

In a move almost so quick his eyes can’t follow his chains are broken. The cuffs remain around his wrist but he’s no longer attached to the wall. He decides to be a show off as well and snaps his fingers. The cuffs clang to the floor.

“You could have escaped at any time.” Chuuya asserts.

Dazai says nothing. Instead he flashes a bobby pin from his sleeve. He steps forward, biding his time, and baiting Chuuya to make the first real move. It works.

He throws off his jacket and runs up on him. Dazai evades his punches and throws one of his own. He doesn’t want to hurt him though. So he slows the force right before making contact.

“You call that a punch?!” Chuuya demands as he lands a harsh blow.

It sends Dazai flying back into the wall behind him. It crunches from his weight. The tranquilizer has worn off and goddamn that hurt.

“It doesn’t even count as a massage. Your martial arts skills are below average for the Mafia. No Longer Human is a nuisance but I don’t even have to use Tainted to take you.”

Dazai slumps against the wall. Already tired of fighting back. If Chuuya needs to hit him and get it out of his system he was going to let him.

“Get up.”

Dazai doesn’t really want to look at him anymore. He trains his eyes on the ground. When he looks at him all he can picture is Chuuya beneath someone else. He doesn’t want to fight him. He’s already lost.

“The party is just getting started.” Chuuya refers to their violent reunion almost like it’s something he looked forward to.

Could he tell Dazai was holding back?

Can he see Dazai doesn’t want to keep at it?

Can you, Chuuya?

He doesn’t look up from the ground. “You’re not the Port Mafia’s top martial artist for nothing.”

Dazai gets back to his feet and stretches.

“I thought you were going to tear my blocking arm off.”

He stands and faces him. He has to focus his energy into not running away as he meets his eyes. He’s still so breathtaking.

“We’ve known each other a long time. I’m totally familiar with your moves, pacing, and habits.” Dazai asserts that he hasn’t forgotten a thing about Chuuya. He still knows him better than he knows himself. “I wouldn’t have been a proper partner otherwise, right?”

He never had been at all. He was being cruel again and he knew it. Why even now? After all these signs.. Why was he still pushing him away?

Chuuya, like almost every time Dazai has shoved him away, chased after him. He lunges and is fucking fast.

“Then I bet you saw this coming too!”

Dazai doesn’t move. He doesn’t even try. He expected this of course, but he also felt he deserved it. Chuuya serves him a hard right hook. It knocks off his equilibrium it’s so excessive.

“This is a real punch!” Chuuya’s left is as merciless as its always been as he strikes his solar plexus.

Dazai actually thinks he’s going to throw up, but it’s been days since he’s eaten so all that comes up is clear stomach acid.

Then all his lost and buried dreams come true when Chuuya’s hand clamps down on his throat. He slams his head back into the wall.

“You thought you could beat me just because you could predict my moves?” Chuuya demands.

If Dazai had wanted to, probably yes.

He didn’t fight back for one reason.

How else would he have gotten to feel this bliss of Chuuya’s hand around his neck?

Chuuya draws his knife on him and presses the point to his throat.

Was this it?

Dazai gasps in both surprise and for air.

Was he finally going to take him down?

“Tell me before you die. Why did you let yourself get caught? What were you waiting for here?”

You. A chance to see your face. Dazai didn’t need anymore signs and he had to stop all this running and hiding.

Dazai looks at him and knows he looks dead inside. Because without him; he is.

Chuuya can see it on his face. He knows from one look that a big part of why Dazai’s throat was in his grasp is because he goddamn wanted it to be.

“Heh, the silent treatment? Fine. I’ll just have more fun torturing you.”

Dazai doesn’t think he’d be able to handle that. Every one of Chuuya’s touches felt good to him no matter how much pain it brought. Besides, despite his big talk Dazai knew that Chuuya didn’t actually want to do that to him. He was never big on torture and he had a soft spot regarding Dazai’s former life of pain and suffering.

He decides to be somewhat honest.

“The main reason.. is Atsushi-kun.”

“Atsushi?” Chuuya’s eyes narrow. He must be unfamiliar with his name.

“The weretiger you’re all obsessed with. I wanted to know who put the seven billion yen price tag on his head.” Dazai reveals his professional motive.

“You wanted to know so bad you put your own life on the line? I’d like to say that’s heartwarming, but look where you ended up.”

There is no where Dazai would rather be than in Chuuya’s hands.

He doesn’t consider this a bad outcome at all.

“Guess even geniuses end up less than average, youngest executive in Mafia history?” Chuuya attempts to insult his intellect but Dazai is right where he has been wanting to be.

Who cares what excuses and bullshit it took to get here?

“Looks like Lady Luck has finally deserted you. After all, you got caught the day I got back from settling squabbles in the West.”

Damn. His luck really hasn’t run out yet.

“It was a stroke of luck from my perspective.” Chuuya concludes.

Dazai smiles and huffs a delighted breath.

Evidently Chuuya still wanted to see him after all this time.

He feels really glad he wished on that star.

There was still something here. Not just in him, but in Chuuya too. He thought about Dazai and he wanted to see him. Knocking him around was just an excuse to touch him again in this building. Dazai understood that. He didn’t mind. His harshness, his violence, and his temper are all things Dazai appreciates. Chuuya is true in his actions, in his words, and to himself.

“What’s so funny?”

Dazai takes pity on him and reveals a few more plans he has set in motion. He knows he has this entire situation under his thumb. He doesn’t want Chuuya to do something he’ll regret.

“Let me tell you something good to know: There’s going to be a meeting tomorrow between the top five executives.”

“Impossible.” His expression completely changes. He’s in shock and he’s now well aware that Dazai has the upper hand. “That’s a meeting of critical importance that only takes place once every several years to determine what direction to take as an organization. If that were going to happen I would have been notified.”

“The reason it’s happening is because of a certain letter I sent to the upper echelons of the organization.”

He hadn’t sent Chuuya the letter because he didn’t see the need. What he didn’t know was that he’d been out of town and hadn’t heard about what he’d done until now. He didn’t think Chuuya needed a reminder not to kill him as he’s the major reason he survived his two years of evading the Mafia.

“So I’m going to predict this now.”

Dazai presses his throat into Chuuya’s hand to savor the feeling. He doesn’t know if he’ll get another chance. His gloves feel nice against his bandages and he makes a tab in his mental notes of the memory. Looking at him again he also notices his choker is different. It’s no longer the buckle one but a thick black ribbon. It’s cute.

“You’re not going to kill me. Moreover you’re going to tell me exactly where the information I need is on the weretiger bounty before you leave this room. Then, as you leave, you’re going to walk and talk like a pretty little rich girl.”

Chuuya gives him a look of disbelief and questioning. “Huh?”

“My predictions always come true. I think you know that by now.”

“What could you even hope for in this situation?” Chuuya starts to question him before his eyes widen. “A letter? You mentioned a letter?”

“The letter said this:
Should Dazai fall all of your secrets will come to light.”

“You bastard. You didn’t.” Chuuya knows he did though.

“So now you’ve caught me. An executive turned traitor. The message was clear that, if I die, all of the organization’s secrets will be disclosed.”

Dazai set this up as an insurance policy a while ago when he first returned. He didn’t tell them about it until he was sure he needed to. If he wanted to walk into their territory he needed a deterrent that would allow him back out.

“If the prosecutor's office got a hold of all that information the Port Mafia’s executives could be executed a hundred times over.”

Dazai is telling him this because he doesn’t want that to happen to him.

“That’s more than enough reason to trigger a meeting.”

“The Port Mafia isn’t so feeble that a threat like that could work. They won’t wait and see. You’ll die! There will be an execution!”

Does he almost sound concerned?

“Perhaps. But that will be the council’s decision. If you were to execute me before that decision without permission you’ll be seen as rogue or traitor. You’ll be discharged or worse, executed.”

“Even if I look past all those factors and kill you..” Chuuya admits defeat. “You’ll just be happy you managed to die.”

By your hand would be the sweetest relief.

Dazai chuckles and smiles at him.

“So yeah, go ahead if you want.” Dazai offers but he knows he won’t do it.

Chuuya would never be able to forgive himself if he truly harmed or killed Dazai.

“Come on. Hurry up.” Dazai goads him.

Chuuya’s eyes tell a story Dazai has read many times before. Anger. Pain. Betrayal. Sadness. Fury.

“Come onnn.” Dazai singsongs as he just can’t help himself. If Chuuya were to give in to Dazai’s whims and kill him he would be happy to die by his blade.

Chuuya makes a move like he’s going to stab him but Dazai doesn’t flinch. He knows it will never hit a vital target.

The blade embedded into the wall behind him and Chuuya sighs. It drew blood as it is very sharp and pressed against his jaw. Chuuya’s shoulders sink and he backs off of him. Then he turns and starts walking away.

“You’re not going to? ‘Chuuya driven out of the organization because of me’ had a nice ring to it too.” Dazai laments, meaning every word.

Chuuya leans down to pick up his jacket and pauses.

“Don’t tell me.. the second reason you came here was to force me to make that decision just now?” Chuuya realizes partially what Dazai had been truly after all along.

Dazai wanted to know if Chuuya cared enough to kill him or not. Dazai wanted to rest his eyes on him again either way. Dazai wanted a sign that what they once had meant something even after two years of avoiding him like the plague.

Even if he belongs to someone else at least Dazai knows he cares.

Dazai laughs even though it hurts that he has to walk away. Dazai laughs even though he wanted so much more than to see his face or die by his blade. Dazai laughs to hide away his true feelings and intentions. Just like every other day.

“In all actuality you were waiting to harass me.” Chuuya realized.

He was right.

Dazai has no place in Chuuya’s heart or thoughts anymore but he put himself in this position on a hope and a wish that he’d see him again and get some answers.

He found out what he was really looking for was closure.

He used to be the one Chuuya depended on. He used to be the one who held him down and caught him when he’d fall.

“This was a reunion long in the making. A surprise of this caliber is only fair.”

Because in love and war; everything is.

“I’ll have you die. Someday I really will kill you I swear.” Chuuya grumbles as he turns away and throws his jacket over his shoulder.

He’s pouting now and Dazai can’t help but find him adorable.

“You were the one who broke my chains and freed me you know. You might be suspected of aiding my escape.” Dazai points this out as this is a prime example that Chuuya really does still care about him.

“You bastard!”

“If you do what I say I can make it look like someone from the Agency came and rescued me.” Dazai offers and is sincere.

Chuuya always went so far for him. Two years later and he was still looking out for him. The least he could do is make sure he isn’t caught or implicated in his escape.

“Why should I believe you?” Chuuya is not wrong to ask this as Dazai has never given him anything to have faith in.

“I don’t lie in these types of negotiations. I think you know that.” Dazai tosses his knife back to him.

Chuuya catches it easily. “Bastard.. What do you want?”

“Everything I asked for.” Dazai wants much more than that but he’s always been afraid of asking for too much.

Besides Chuuya wasn’t .. Chuuya has someone else now. If he asked for what he truly wanted .. rejection wasn’t even the worst that could happen. He didn’t want to hear Chuuya say that he loved someone else out loud. He almost wished he didn’t even know. He almost wished he had never asked in the first place.

“Regarding the weretiger, Akutagawa is leading that operation. He should have records in the communications storage room on the second floor.”

“I see. Well I had my guesses about that.” Dazai teases him.

“Hah?” Chuuya is irritated with him instead of infuriated and it almost feels like old times.

He turns away and starts heading for the stairs.

“Just get what you came for and get out of here, you ass.”

“Why thank you. I have to confess though. My new dream is to commit double suicide with a beautiful woman, so being kicked to death by you wouldn’t make me happy in the slightest.” It’s not completely a lie, being kicked to death is too impersonal. If he were to use his knife or choke him, he’d be willing to negotiate.

“Sorry.” Dazai is apologizing for a lot more than his change in suicidal ideation.

“Uh-huh. Well then I’ll try to find a beautiful woman willing to kill herself next time.” Chuuya sounds tired as he offers this. Dazai could be imagining it but he even sounds a little disappointed.

“Chuuya!” It feels so nice to call his name again. It’s been so long since he’s let it leave his tongue. “I had no idea you were a good person!”

“It’s my way of saying ‘go to hell’, idiot.” He ascends the staircase before turning back to him.

“Let me tell you this, Dazai. Don’t think this is the end of it. You won’t get a second chance.”

Dazai wonders if that means what he thinks it might mean. Chuuya is better off without him. He already has someone else. What’s this talk about chances even mean? What does he mean that this isn’t the end?

“No, wrong! Don’t you think you’re forgetting something?”

Chuuya looks irritated again.

So Dazai singsongs. “Don’t-you-think-you’re-forgetting-something?”

Chuuya makes a face before striking a pose. He’s blushing and looks absolutely adorable.

“There will be no second chance!” He asserts in his best girly voice.

Dazai laughs wholeheartedly.

There really is meaning to this. He does still know Chuuya and he has an idea about how he feels. He could still have a chance.

A chance? People like him don’t deserve chances. After what he did to Chuuya there was no way they’d ever fall back to the same dynamic of before.

When he opens his eyes Chuuya is gone.

Dazai does what he promised of setting it up like the Agency had rescued him. Then he goes about his mission.

*

As Dazai makes his way towards the edge of town where his condo is he becomes acutely aware that he’s being followed. It’s dark as the lights become more sparse farther out from the center of the city. He can’t see them, but he thinks he knows who it is.

Nobody else knew he had even left the building. Why was he doing this? Didn’t he have someone to go home to?

Dazai reaches his block but doesn’t want to go home. He’s going to end up doing something he’ll regret. He’s going to end falling back to old habits. He’s going to end up chasing fleeting dreams.

Chuuya is behind him. Chuuya is following him. If Chuuya really finds out where he lives what will stop him from returning? Or can this be one night?

Who was Dazai kidding?

There was never a chance of this being a one time thing.

He knows if Chuuya follows him home he’ll end up in his arms.

Dazai will want more than that.

He decides he will take what he can get.

He goes up to his door and unlocks it before going inside. He shuts it behind himself and leans against it. Then he waits.

Merely seconds pass but it feels like an eternity.

A knock sounds on the door and he feels it with his back.

He hesitates to answer. He is afraid to fall. He has questions of his own and he’s sure there are more things Chuuya wants to ask of him. After all he’s done is there anything left to deny him?

“I know you’re there. Let me in. We need to talk.”
Chuuya’s voice is muffled by the wood in between them.

Dazai opens the door slightly, and walks further into his home without looking to see if Chuuya followed. He knows he will though. It’s not long before he hears his door close and lock and familiar footsteps follow him in.

“Do you live alone here?” Chuuya asks.

“The Agency has dorms but I have to be away from people. It makes avoiding work easier if no one knows where I live.”

“I’ll take that as a yes.” Chuuya supplies.

Dazai hums before pacing the room. Back and forth. He doesn’t look at Chuuya. He knows he’ll want to touch him and he doesn’t know if that’s okay anymore.

Chuuya enters his living room and sits down on his couch. He’s staring at Dazai. He doesn’t care.

“I’m not going to hit you again. You don’t have to be so nervous.”

“I’m not nervous. I’m trying to distract myself.”

“Where’s your first aid kit?” Chuuya asks him.

“In the bathroom under the sink.” Dazai doesn’t know why he needs that. He hadn’t injured him with that punch.

Chuuya gets up and goes to find it on his own.

Dazai doesn’t stop pacing even when he comes back into the room. Chuuya sets the kit on his coffee table and sits down again.

“Come here.” He says.

Oh? It was for him?

Dazai stops pacing and stares down at the carpet for a second to steady himself. Then he crosses the room and sits down next to him. He won’t look at Chuuya’s face and his eyes look unseeingly at the table.

Chuuya opens up the kit and gets a piece of gauze and pours some peroxide onto it. He grabs Dazai by the chin and turns his face towards him. It’s so light and certain it hurts.

He starts with his busted lip before disinfecting every scratch on his face. Dazai allows himself to stare at him the entire time. He’s taken aback completely. Chuuya is so concentrated on him. Dazai has his full attention. He studies him in return. He observes his every eyelash, notices the softness in his gaze, and sees he’s been getting more sun. There’s freckles on his face.

Perhaps that lover was really good to him and took him on real dates.

“Did you ever learn?” Chuuya asks him as he finishes up. He puts everything away and closes the lid on the kit.

Dazai blinks at him. The answer was so obvious there was no need to respond.

“I’m guessing you’ve lost your mind in sake, women, and suicide. Why did it take you two years before you worked up the guts to see me again? I was pissed at you sure but I didn’t expect you to hide from me for two entire years.”

Odasaku was right about him. He always denied himself. Chuuya was right about him. He didn’t belong to anyone.

Why couldn’t he stop holding back?

“I thought you wouldn’t want to see me. I thought we were better off this way.”

“You thought I was better off alone? You thought you were better off killing yourself?” Chuuya sounds like he’s trying to be patient as he attempts to clarify.

“I heard you are in a good relationship now. That someone is finally treating you right.”

Chuuya blinks at him like he’s grown an extra head. “From who?”

“Akutagawa and his chihuahua. They said you love someone and that your relationship must be really positive.”

Chuuya’s eyes widen in realization. “They’re fucking idiots who make their own assumptions. Nothing about our relationship right now is positive.”

Ours?

“You’re lying. You don’t have to lie to me. I’ve been seeing other people as well. You should be with the person who makes you smile when you think about them. If they can do that I can’t compete.”

Chuuya looks at him like he’s a ghost. He’s never, ever looked at him like this before. He looks like he’s looking at someone else.

“I have grown. I have changed. I’ve become worse in some ways and better in others. One thing about me that has never changed is that I do not lie. I’m not like you. I don’t feel the need to cover myself up or conceal my emotions and intentions. When they asked me if I had someone special in my life I remembered losing the one thing I never wanted to lose. I smiled because the memories are bittersweet. They fill my head with false hopes and ruin my sleep with ephemeral dreams. I have tried, the same as you, to see other people, but I guarantee I haven’t gone as far as you. No one can live up to my impossible standards and no one can meet my high expectations. I gave up on that a long time ago. For some reason you are the only person who feels right to me. Somehow, despite how godforsaken horrible you are, you’re the only person I have the capacity to love. You’ve ruined the idea of anyone else for me.”

Dazai doesn’t know what to say. Dazai doesn’t know what to do. He wants to touch him but he doesn’t want to fuck him. He just wants to be close enough to determine whether or not this is real.

He closes the distance and Chuuya doesn’t move away. Dazai rests his forehead on Chuuya’s shoulder and presses his face into his collarbone. For the first time in two years, he’s glad he’s breathing.

“Because of you I can’t stand letting anyone else touch me. I tried but I couldn’t do it. For some reason if it wasn’t you I would get really fucking angry.”

Chuuya was giving him reasons they should be complete. Chuuya was telling him this was far from over. Chuuya was letting him know that no one else would ever be enough for him.

Dazai doesn’t want his heart back anymore. If Chuuya wanted it this badly then he can keep it.

“I’m so tired of hiding, Chuuya.” Dazai confesses into his chest.

“Then stop.” Chuuya is blunt and simple in his demand.

“It’s all I know how to do.” Dazai knows he’s being whiny. It’s just so hard to put words to how he feels.

“That’s not true.” Chuuya sighs.

“You’re right. I run, I lie, I cheat, I manipulate, I keep secrets, I say the worst things I can think of to say, I do the worst things I could possibly do, and I keep betraying you.”

“The first step to fixing your mistakes is acknowledging they were made. I’m not giving you a second chance, Dazai. This is your final and only. From now on you have to try for me.”

All Chuuya has ever done is give him chances. He has fucked up over, and over, and over again. No matter how much time passes, or whatever horrible shit he says or does; Chuuya stays on his side. He doubts that he won’t get another chance just as much as he doubts he won’t make another mistake.

Chuuya loves him. As much as he didn’t deserve it. As much as he couldn’t say it back. Chuuya loves him unconditionally. Dazai is tired of wandering aimlessly in the dark. There has to be some sort of meaning or purpose. Chuuya wouldn’t be this way for anyone else. What made Dazai different?

“Give me reasons we should try again. Tell me why you go so far for me. If your expectations and standards are so extreme how could I possibly meet them?”

“You will never find anyone who makes you feel the way I make you feel. When it was just us against the world you told me you never even thought of anyone else. No person on this Earth will ever know or understand you as well as I do. I forgive you. For everything. For always picking fights with me, for never being honest about what you think and how you feel, for running away without saying anything, for blowing up my car, for hiding from me, and for fucking joining the goddamn Agency. I love you. Because I am the closest you’ve ever come to being human. I know you took care of me, that you watched out, and that you had my back like nobody else. I believe to this day if I ever called you because I was in trouble that you’d drop everything to come and help. I have considered deeply what means to what ends would I crush, break, or burn for you. I knowingly and willingly harbored a traitor to my organization. I fucking cherished every moment of it. You made me feel human too. You told me about my own ability and convinced me I’m not a monster. You are the only person who’s ever made me feel real. Being without you is like being in the dark. I can only stand so much, Dazai.” Chuuya wraps his arms around him tightly.

He’s so genuine. How can he so easily say these things? How is it so easy for him to tell the truth? Dazai’s been so wrong. This whole time he pushed, ran, fought, and hid from the only person who could ever show him what love is. Could he change? Could he become someone who learns how to give more than he takes?

Can he love?

Love is a word he still cannot bring himself to say.

If he’s trying to at least in an emotionally honest way.

He decides he done asking. He decides he’s going to do everything in his power not to take from Chuuya anymore. He realizes, whether or not this is his last chance, he needs to make this count.

“You were right that I don’t belong to myself.” Dazai pulls away to look him in the eyes. He’s so much more ethereal than when he appears in his dreams. Dazai’s mind and memories could not do him proper justice. That was something he truly lacked.

“I lied to you too. I belong to you. I could never say before but you knew. I never could escape being yours.”

Chuuya kisses him. His hands tangle in his hair and he presses him against his body. He’s so warm Dazai feels like he’s been tossed in a bonfire. He’s so soft Dazai feels like he’s holding a cloud. It’s so fanciful Dazai wonders if he’s actually already died. It’s dreamlike but tangible. His mind swirls in a typhoon of ecstasy and elation. If this is what it feels like to let himself be loved he had abused himself for far too long.

Chuuya pulls away to look him in the eyes again.

Just from a kiss Dazai is trembling. He hopes Chuuya won’t notice. It’s just been so long since he’s been able to feel anything.

“I’ve known. I just needed to hear you say it.”

Oda had been right all along too. People really do need to hear things said aloud. Dazai decides he’s going to try and be better about that for Chuuya. Maybe it will even help him become a better man.

Chapter Text

As with most things. Dazai turns out to be right. More often than not. Looking forward to those things was not always a given, but with this Chuuya was. A bit of banter would go a long way from their usual passionate rendezvous, and would be far from unwelcome.

“This is the worst day I’ve had in years.” Dazai complains.

“I don’t want to be here either.” Chuuya concurs.

“When I said ‘one day’ we may fight side by side again I was joking. How did it end up being true?” Dazai groans.

“Stay two meters away from me when we go inside.” Chuuya enters the small building.

Dazai follows and disobeys. “Ugh, this is getting on my nerves.”

As Chuuya was expecting. “Everything about you gets on my nerves.”

“I also hate everything about you Chuuya~ except your fashion taste in shoes.”

Chuuya looks down at his footwear. They are nice. “Oh? Really?”

“Of course not. Your shoes are the worst.”

His back is turned and Chuuya takes a cheap shot. Completely silent, and quick as lightning Dazai still manages to dodge him easily. Was Chuuya really that easy to evade?

“You jerk.”

“It’s no use.” Daza straightens back up and faces him. “I know the timings of your attacks and your breathing patterns like the back of my hand.”

That was a dirty joke with some truthfulness. Chuuya is a little embarrassed by his bluntness and decides to tease him back.

“That’s it. I’m seriously going to crush your skull with my thighs.”

“I’m so scared of having my dreams come true!” Dazai says sarcastically. “But I do know how serious you like to get.” He flirts.

Before Chuuya can reply.. They enter a room. Instantly uneasy, Chuuya knows they’re near Q.

“Look we found him. There’s the sleeping beauty waiting for rescue.” Dazai points out a massive growth that is enveloping the Mafia’s weapon. Q.

“Sleeping beauty, huh?” Chuuya deadpans. He dislikes the boy greatly. He’s volatile and dangerous. His body count was too high for someone his age and he didn’t care if his victims were friends or foes.

“We have to cut off the roots. Lend me your knife, Chuuya~” Dazai asks and says his name cheekily.

That should have been a clue.

“Huh? Okay.. Hmm..” Chuuya is looking through his jacket pockets and coming up empty. “It should be right..”

“Ah~ I’ve already swiped it just in case.” Dazai pulls his knife out of seemingly nowhere.

He must have molested him and pickpocketed him without Chuuya noticing. What a dick.

“You bastard.” Chuuya growls at him. More annoyed that he’d missed out on Dazai touching him than bothered that he took his knife. Dazai knows he’d give him anything if he asks.

“Well then let’s get to work.” Dazai is cheery as he crosses the room to Q’s suspended body.

The boy was trapped in the peculiar growth. Powerless as Dazai put Chuuya’s knife to his throat. Uncaring, Chuuya watched whatever he was about to do.

Dazai looks over his shoulder at him. “Not gonna stop me?”

Chuuya didn’t care much either way if Q were to die. Q was not someone he cared about but more of a mess to clean up after. Mori had asked for him to be brought back though.

“Boss ordered to bring him back alive, but judging from the distance you’ll kill him before I reach you.” Chuuya makes excuses for his inaction and decrees Mori’s wants. “Besides, when I look at this brat the sight of the body bags holding my subordinates who died from his curse dance in front of my eyes. Go ahead. Do it.”

“Really? Ah then I’ll help myself.” Dazai raises the knife before bringing it down only to splinter wood.

“Humph. How naïve of me. Your goody-two-shoes act always puts me off.” Chuuya forgets that Dazai doesn’t kill like he used to. He still would and has the capability, but he holds back more often than not. The Agency has really changed his ways. Though, Chuuya is sure Dazai would still kill for him if it was necessary or called for.

“When Q is alive in the Mafia’s hands my ability is indispensable. Letting him live is a good safety catch. In this case they can’t afford to kill me. It’s a logical decision.” Dazai reminds Chuuya that he still has to look out for himself regarding the organization Chuuya works for.

Understandable. Though Chuuya knows he also doesn’t like the idea of killing a child. Albeit a demented one. The ‘better person’ act Dazai now displays is not entirely a facade.

“So.. Unlike the Mafia we didn’t suffer any losses. We only had to put up with Kunikida-kun’s embarrassing yaps.” Hearing Dazai say ‘we’ when he’s not referring to Chuuya is off-putting, but these days he puts forth effort to not get jealous.

“An agent also got cursed? What happened afterwards?” Chuuya asks instead. How did they survive?

“I recorded the whole thing of course.” Eyes wild and maniacal, Dazai extends an invitation for Chuuya to witness that situation firsthand.

Even in the Detective Agency there are those constantly tormented by Dazai.

Chuuya picks up the now freed Q and Dazai takes his creepy doll.

“Hey shitty Dazai. Give me that doll.” Chuuya demands.

“No can do. I’ll be keeping it for now to be on the safe side.”

Still it seems Dazai stays protecting him. Chuuya decides against fighting him on it. Better to stay on the safe side if Dazai was the one looking out for him.

“You never listen to me, do you? Extra-stuff-That-comes-with-the-bandages.” Chuuya rushes through the weak insult.

“What did you say? I don’t want to hear that from a hat rack like you.” Dazai plays back.

“Tacky bastard.”

“Petit Mafia.”

“Social misfit.”

Dazai runs a hand through his hair and Chuuya is jealous of his fingers. “That kind of flimsy insult bounces right off me, you know.”

Chuuya pouts. “Imma send your address to every woman you’ve left crying.”

It’s a long list. Dazai has stopped returning their calls and began completely ignoring them since they got back together. Chuuya once even witnessed him pretend he didn’t know a woman who approached him while they had been out getting a drink. His jealousy was not stark enough for him to say anything to her but Dazai handled it horribly (hilariously). ‘I think you have the wrong person?’ Sure, when he’s the only handsome, chestnut-haired mummy in the whole prefecture (at least). She had to have had the wrong guy.

Dazai smiles. “Humph. That’s..” his facade falters. “Actually could you not do that?”

Chuuya wouldn’t. He’s too envious to share him. On some level Dazai probably does know that.

Chuuya steps out of the building’s door and into the night. Instantly he knows something is wrong. Dropping Q and hearing a voice complain, he turns to face the threat.

Only to be flung through the air and through a wooden wall. Dazai is standing on top of him somehow.

“As expected of a Guild ability user. Such incredible strength.” Dazai marvels.

Was he a cat? How could he land on his feet? Speaking of feet..

“Feet off!” Chuuya shouts at him. This is Armani!

Dazai let’s him up, even offering a hand. Chuuya takes it. Letting go when he’s back on his feet.

“Here it comes. What should we do?” Chuuya asks for direction because it was Dazai’s specialty to come up with plans.

“Heh. It’s nothing to sweat over. I can nullify this kind of attack with my pinkie.” Dazai’s confidence is short-lived as a tentacle knocks him back hard and fast.

That should have nullified the instant it touched him. Chuuya is worried.

“Dazai!” Manipulating gravity to broaden the force of his punch he slams his fist into the appendage. He dodges another tentacle and rushes towards him.

“Hey! Dazai!”

His back had slammed into a tree and he’s on his hands and knees, coughing. Not a good sign.

“That ability is sick. Did you get hit on the head?” Chuuya was worried about the implications behind Dazai being unable to nullify this user, and even more worried that he may be concussed.

Coughing, Dazai looks up at him, blood on his face and lips. Chuuya’s stomach sinks to his toes. It had been a long time since he’d seen him hurt like this.

“You..you’re actually badly hurt?” His face must say it all. Concern, fear, and apprehension heavy in his tone.

“Those tentacles are pretty strange. My ability is ineffective against them.” Dazai admits.

Even after witnessing it firsthand Chuuya is in disbelief. How could any ability resist the anti-ability?

“No way.. seriously?”

“No Longer Human makes no exceptions. Which can only mean one thing: That isn’t an ability.” Bloodied and stern Dazai stares behind him at the monster.

“Huh?!” Chuuya looks back at the ..not ability user.

Horrifying and ugly the humanoid’s eyes are black gaping holes. It speaks in a despondent, barely coherent voice, marred by exhaustion.

“So tired.. So sleepy.. Starving.. Must finish the job.. Then I can go back..”

“Hey that’s a hell of a joke. If that’s not an ability what else can it be?” Chuuya tries to wave that suggestion off. The only real monster in this world was him, as far as he knew. Yokohama certainly wasn’t big enough for two of them.

“Can’t be helped. Let’s use that from back then.”

Chuuya looks over to meet his eyes. Is he serious?

“Operation Shame and Toad, how does that sound?” Dazai gives him a strategy for the first time in so long Chuuya’s first instinct is to reject him.

“Huh? Shouldn’t we use Rain Falls Outside the Window Frame or The Fake Flowers Deceit?”

“Chuuya,” Smiling with that grin that’s won him over so many times Dazai asks to him “Have my battle strategies ever been wrong?”

Chuuya frowns before shaking his head. “Tsk. Damnit!”

He was right. When it came to the battlefield Dazai’s voice was the one to listen to. It has been so long since he last let Dazai be the voice of reason.

That didn’t mean he was going to be nice about it.

“You really suck people dry, don’t you!”

Dazai ignores him and advances. Chuuya stays back until the timing is right. Dazai raises his arms in mock surrender as the tentacles make to attack him. Within an instant Chuuya is behind his back and using him as a launch pad (lily pad?) to jump up and kick the tentacles off and away from them. Running along the gross appendages he closes the distance between himself and the not ability user. Delivering a blow intended to pin him to the Earth.

“Gravity manipulation.” Chuuya asserts as he jumps off him.

Falling back he speaks “My body feels heavy.”

“I have the ability to manipulate the gravity of whatever I touch.” Chuuya explains. “Stay there until the sun comes up.”

Chuuya flips back onto his feet. Only to see Dazai sitting down watching.

“Nicely done.” He compliments him.

“Sheesh. Lording over me like I’m a damn shepherd dog.” Chuuya complains.

“I would’ve used a shepherd dog if I had one but I had to settle for Chuuya.” Dazai teases him.

“You bastard! Die and be consumed by your rottenness!”

“Then you also die as your hat eats your mind.”

A millisecond of time flashes before Chuuya’s eyes as Dazai’s wounded arm is ripped clean off. A tentacle throws him away from Chuuya and slams him hard against another tree. Chuuya is so shocked and scared as he steps towards him. This was bad.. his jacket and shirt are ripped.

“Dazai.. your arm..”

“Chuuya, before I die there’s something I want to ask you..” Dazai is looking at the ground and his voice is soft.

Heart pounding in his chest, Chuuya is seconds away from panic. Losing a limb didn’t always mean death! He could get him out of here! There was no way he was going to let Dazai give up!

“What are you talking about?! You can’t possibly die in a place like-“

Dazai sticks his arm up and out of his tattered sleeve. Even the bandages are still intact.

“Ta-da!”

Chuuya grabs him by the collar. Pissed and relieved at the same time. He’s awful. The worst. How could he say that to him?

“If I’m going to fight with injuries of course I’d come prepared.” Dazai folds his arm in before stretching it back out to show he had been using the cast as a form of camouflage.

“If you have time for magic tricks, hurry up and think about what to do with that stuff of nightmares!” Chuuya points at the enormous, disgusting tentacle monster that seemed to be getting bigger and bigger across from them in the clearing.

“Oh forget it! We should just abandon ship! We only have one move left.” Dazai asserts that retreat is a favorable option in comparison to..

“One move.. You want to use Corruption?” It has been more than four years since Chuuya has last let Arahabaki take over his body. The last time Dazai had pulled him back and stayed with him after. This time they weren’t .. on the same side. They would have to go their separate ways and he wouldn’t be there when Chuuya woke up. The thought of waking from Corruption without Dazai was .. unpleasant.

He was here now though, so Chuuya knew he would do everything in his power to bring him back.

“We’ve been known as ‘Sōkoku’ since that night we annihilated that organization and destroyed that electrical grid all those years ago with ‘Corruption’.” Dazai’s eyes are smoldering and earnest as he meets Chuuya’s gaze. “However, there is a chance I could be too late and that you’ll die. It’s always up to you.”

Their shoulders are squared towards each other as they look into each other’s eyes. Implicit trust has had Chuuya following him from the very beginning. Dazai never told him what to do, only offered his insight about what he could or should do. In these situations though, where they could not get away without resorting to Arahabaki’s power, Chuuya understood that Dazai hated asking this of him. Dazai always felt he was asking for too much, but when he asked to be entrusted with Chuuya’s life it was never without cause or reason.

Never, would he ask for this if it wasn’t absolutely necessary. So never, would Chuuya deny him. He said, the night he turned eighteen, that he would always bring him back. Chuuya agrees to let him prove that he meant it.

“Up to me, you say?” Chuuya huffs. “Like I ever had a choice whenever you would say that to me.”

“I’ll remember that! Emo!” Dazai makes fun of him for his sentimentality and emotional honesty for what may be the last time, so he says he’ll remember it.

Chuuya turns away from him and starts to stomp away.

“Do your best, simpleton.” Dazai expresses a semblance of concern and wishes him luck with an insult to his intelligence. Just like old times.

“Enemy of all women.” Chuuya reminds him, envious even of the idea of Dazai moving on if he dies.

“Chibi Sōkoku!”

“Who the hell you calling ‘Chibi’?!”

Chuuya stands with his back to the only one on this Earth he would walk into Hell for. Staring up at the creature he must defeat. His home, his lover, and himself were all things worth fighting for, things worth throwing away his humanity. A sobering inhale as he removes his gloves reminds him that those same things are worth the risk of dying for.

“Oh grantors of dark disgrace… Do not wake me again!”

Vision darkens from red to black as his body boils in a river of blood and fire. Senses of sight, hearing, smell, touch, balance, and proprioception are lost to him. The only capability he has left is thermoception. As with every time he undergoes this he finds his soul drowning in the Seventh Circle of Hell.

*POV Shift*

Dazai notices the sprawled body of the not ability user’s Guild partner on the ground and gets close enough to him in time to watch him lift his head to marvel at Chuuya’s ability.

“Ugh..what is that?” He asks as he pushes himself onto his hands and knees.

Dazai reaches him just in time to answer his question and put Chuuya’s knife to his throat.

“Wanna know loser from the Guild? That is the ultimate form of Chuuya’s ability.” Dazai brags.

Corruption came with risks, dangers, and was never done unless there was no other choice. Dazai knew Chuuya hated it, and he didn’t like it either, but seeing him fight so hard, determinedly, and with unfaltering faith in him Dazai couldn’t help but be filled with pride.

He had been right that the day would come that they’d fight side by side again. Not knowing for sure whether or not they’d have to use their trump card. The Guild was a formidable enemy, and Dazai was glad that he and Chuuya were assigned to this mission. Doubting heavily that anyone else would have been capable of the job. The two of them were sent here together because there had been a sizable risk that Corruption would be necessary. As much as neither of them liked it this was something only they could do. So excuse Dazai for being a proud partner briefly! This doesn’t happen often where he can show off his formidable, and divine piece of wrath.

Chuuya’s hands have morphed into dark red claws, his eyes are wild with bloodlust, and his skin is sullied by the red marking of the disgraced god of calamity.

He fights like Heaven and Hell combined. The souls of two angels within him, one an archangel and the other cast down to hell. Destruction and ferocity ensue as he crumbles the earth beneath his feet and slashes the monster in half. He soars high into the sky above the massive monstrosity. Forming two black holes, one in each hand, raising them up, combining them, and throwing them down. An explosion of shredded space shines illogically in the darkness.

Having studied Chuuya, very intently, in a variety of ways, over many years Dazai has learned in excess about him and his ultimate form. In his Corrupted state Chuuya can manipulate surrounding gravitons and increases his own density. He can crush anything with his bare hands. The projectiles made of compressed gravitons are voids that consume all matter. However, he can’t control that ability on his own. Once he activates it he’ll keep on raging until he dies. It also came with a time limit. Dazai promised him years ago that he would always bring him back, convinced Mori not to throw Chuuya away based on ‘tactical advantage’, and told himself that he would not let him use this unless they had to.

The creature he was fighting now was showcasing an insane regenerative ability.

Dazai presses Chuuya’s knife to the younger Guild man’s throat.

“What are those? No matter how many Chuuya chops off they keep growing back. As his colleague, surely you know what that thing is?”

“Hmph. Even if I do I have no reason to tell you, do I?”

Blood was dripping from Chuuya’s mouth excessively. His eyes and ears leaking as well. He was at his limit. Therefore Dazai was about to give him a fucking reason.

He presses the serrated portion of the blade against the carotid artery.

“Is living reason enough?” Dazai threatens.

“Unfortunately for you Lovecraft can’t be destroyed from the outside.” He sounds tired but confident.

The gears in Dazai’s mind are already turning. He had planted explosives on the tentacles that had smacked him around earlier. They had to be engulfed by the new growths and closer to the center of the beast by now.

He presses his detonator.

A blinding flash of light, chunks of monster tissue, and another graviton rip through the clearing. Dazai knocks the Guild member he’d just threatened back unconscious and rushes to Chuuya.

He’s thrashing voids into the ground and laughing that horrendous laughter. Dazai has to reach him. Has to bring him back before it’s too late. Hands find their way into his hair and on the back of his neck and immediately he falls back into him. As always Dazai catches him. It’s been so long since he had the capability to use this and he hadn’t used it for so long he doesn’t say a word or regain any brief consciousness.

Easing Chuuya down so that he could sit on the ground and rest him against his chest Dazai searched his pockets. Quickly and easily finding what he was looking for. The phone glowed as he pressed the home button and asked for his password. Dazai entered the one he had originally when Dazai first made him create one.

5930

Password Incorrect.

He changed it? Shit. What would he have changed it to? Dazai takes a hopeful guess.

1906

It unlocks. His stomach may have flipped a little but he’d never admit it. He goes to his contacts and finds Akutagawa. He calls. Almost instantly he is answered.

“Yes, Nakahara-san?”

“Come pick up Mori’s demented little monster before I change my mind and kill him for all the trouble he’s caused.” Dazai threatens.

“Dazai-san! Where’s Nakahara-san?”

“All the threats in the area have been eliminated but I can’t say how long it will stay that way. I’m holding onto the doll for now so you better come retrieve him before he gets kidnapped again.” Dazai hangs up the call and puts his phone back in his pocket.

The landscape has been .. changed so looking for Chuuya’s gloves would be a waste of time. There was no telling how soon Akutagawa would be getting there anyway. Dazai adjusts so that his arms are supporting Chuuya behind his upper back and knees and lifts him up.

For someone who is only 5”3 he sure does weigh a bit. All that muscle was hot and everything, but it made carrying him around for longer than from a doorway to a bed not so fun. His arm was in rough shape too. Nevertheless, a little pain or discomfort was nothing compared to the ravaging Corruption put his body through.

Dazai presses forward and on through the forest until he reaches the road again and the car the Agency has provided him. It takes creative and skillful maneuvering to open the door and settle Chuuya to lie down in the back. Dazai drives more carefully than he ever has out of fear of breaking too hard or turning too sharply and knocking Chuuya on the floor. Too long later he arrives home. He gets out, goes, unlocks, and opens the front door before coming back for Chuuya.

He carries him inside and takes him to his room. Settling him on the bed and back against the pillows before going to lock the car and his door. Both of their clothes are a mess. There’s no competition as it’s a tie. Chuuya has a drawer of his own clothes here now, so Dazai rifles through it to find an outfit he will find offensive to wake up in. He changes Chuuya into something comfortable and is put off by the recollection of the one other time he has done this. Taking care of an unconscious, doll-like Chuuya was not a common occurrence. After Corruption back then he stayed by his side at the infirmary with the excuse of wanting to see if he was too late. Now though he knew he never had been and he never will be. Chuuya didn’t want to wake up alone in the Mafia infirmary, and Dazai didn’t want him to wake up from Corruption for the first time without being the first person he sees. Tucking him in considerately, making sure he’s warm and secure, Dazai finally relaxes. There was never anything a doctor could do for him so it’s not like Dazai was depriving him in any way.

Dazai changes his own clothes and climbs into bed next to him. He recalls how badly he had wanted to do this when Chuuya would develop fevers and tremors while he was in those infirmary beds in the aftermath of Corruption. It is both satisfying and relieving to be able to be by his side this way. Dazai pulls him close with an arm around his midsection. He knows that he’ll have to go in to the Agency in a few hours to discuss the strategy for taking down the Guild, but he’s going to put it off for as long as he can. Desperate to be here when Chuuya opens his eyes.

An emotion that Dazai rarely has the decency to feel consumes him. As much as he tried not to, and didn’t want to, he asked Chuuya for too much. Guilty, of being the worst person to love, of being the one who pushed him back at the worst of times, and guilty still of taking from him. Those feelings of being advantageous of Chuuya’s trust and devotion to him eat away at the back of his mind all the time. Now, with Chuuya unconscious in his bed from the aftermath of Corruption, it’s at the forefront of his thoughts.

It’s so much easier to say what he means when no one can hear him.

“I got away on a plane in the middle of the night. I almost killed two people tonight. I was late.. but I arrived. Doesn’t that bother you? I ran away from everything we had to somehow change and still I find myself considering and doing bad things. I was late when it came to you and coming back. I still did but it took so long I thought you would have moved on. You look at me like I’m a ghost or a heart attack. Right through me or deadly serious. I gave you something you can never give back. Don’t you mind that? The Agency is the closest I’ve ever come to understanding what words like ‘kindred’ or ‘family’ mean. I don’t want any of them to die. Q said he’d kill them just for me. I wanted to kill him and I told him I’d do it the next time I saw him. I couldn’t though. I’m tired of kicking people when they’re down. He didn’t choose to have a cursed ability any more than I chose my childhood or you chose yours. This world is so messed up, Chuuya. When did I start caring about who lives or dies? Other than you there’s never anyone in particular on my mind. My capacity to care for others is still very limited but at least I’ve gotten to the point where I care who survives. We’ve had a flair for the dramatic, exaggeration is a component of you and I. Oh Chuuya..” Dazai buries his face in his shoulder. “I think I’ve done something terrible to you again. I don’t like hurting you. I don’t like seeing you hurt. If I were to kill myself the way I think about I would be guilty. You would hate it if I were gone. I never stop fucking up, Chuuya. With everything I do and especially when it comes to you. Why didn’t my ability work on him? Why couldn’t I prevent this from happening to you? Don’t you mind? All the hardships I put you through..”

Chuuya’s cheek rests on the top of his head.

“I don’t.” Feeble and croaky Chuuya responds.

Dazai is ashamed and doesn’t know how much of that he caught. The first instinct is to run, he doesn’t. The second is to deny, he doesn’t. The third is to shut the hell up and pretend to be asleep and hope he doesn’t remember anything.

That’s exactly what he does. Not pretending for long Dazai falls asleep so much easier with Chuuya in his arms. Even though he feels unworthy of him being there.

Chapter Text

As the day had come where Chuuya and he had fought on the same side the day arrived where their organizations were at war again. Neither of them had started it, but Dazai knew who was responsible: The Rats. Dazai took initiative. Tracking Fyodor was a steep challenge, but there was nothing above or beyond Dazai’s own capabilities.

Predicting his moves and plays was as simple as asking himself ‘What would I do?’

That’s how he found himself in his hideout. Knowing he was down someone’s sight he made an ass of himself by stealing Fyodor’s hat and putting it on his head. Not long after Fyodor himself arrived.

After letting him change his shirt and search around Dazai made his presence known.

“Are you looking for this?”

Stepping out from the shadows a smile and a wave greet his long time enemy, who he was determined to stop this time around.

“So its you?” Fyodor looks over at him with a dry distaste.

“Use the masked man as a decoy for a double assassination. If I were in your shoes that’s what I would have done. So I checked all the escape routes and waited for you to show up. So what do you think? Don’t I make this look good?” Dazai points to the hat.

“Yeah sure. Give it back.”

Dazai throws it towards him onto the ground.

“Demon Dostoyevsky. This method is just like you. Tampering with the mind of the pitiable priest and turning him into an assassin to attack the heads of two organizations.” Dazai observes him carefully, anticipating a signal.

“So, how can I help you?” Fyodor asks him.

Dazai smiles wide. “Why don’t you tell me about the identity of the poison affecting the President?”

Fyodor stares him down blankly. That’s fine, Dazai knows just how much to say and not to say.

“I know what your aim is. To get the ‘Book’. It’s necessary to destroy Yokohama’s ability users. But you Rats don’t have the firepower to burn down the town like the Guild. That’s why you targeted the heads of the Port Mafia and the Agency through assassination.” Clear and certain
Dazai lets him know he’s far from unpredictable.

“And what led you to that conclusion?” Fyodor questions.

“Because it’s what I would do.” Dazai smirks at him with cold eyes.

From the moment their paths first crossed during the Dragon Head conflict Dazai has harbored a prevision regarding Dostoyevsky. Firmly, Dazai believes, that if his life had gone a different direction, he would have ended up on a path like Fyodor’s. A path riddled with blood, bodies, power plays, and leadership. Dazai has decided for himself though, that he would rather let others lead as he preferred to call the shots from the shadows. Being a leader was something that he could do if he possessed the motivation for it, but he doesn’t trust himself enough not to abuse a position of power like that yet. He and Fyodor were more alike than he was comfortable with. Determining his own fate Dazai elected to conclude he was not like Fyodor, but Fyodor just happened to be like him.

That meant only Dazai would be able to stop him.

Returning Dazai’s own he smiles at him.

“Do you mean to say that you and I are alike?”

Dazai coldly stares ahead.

“Very well. The poison I gave them assures Mutual Destruction. I won’t destroy the two organizations; you’ll destroy each other yourselves.”

That isn’t good. A gut feeling tells Dazai it’s about to get worse.

“It’s a virus-type ability held by a certain criminal friend of mine. Over 48 hours the microfauna grow and simultaneously eat away at their internal organs. However, should either host die before the 48 hour time frame the ability comes to a halt.”

“To save the President we have no choice but to kill Mori-san.” Dazai says aloud but is already thinking of ways to get around that.

“And don’t bother attempting to nullify this ability. To come into contact with virus in their organs is intentionally an act of suicide.”

Not that this sounds entirely like a bad thing considering Dostoyevsky’s audience.. Dazai realizes exactly who his mutual destruction would be. If he couldn’t nullify this both he and Chuuya could be put in the same position Fukuzawa and Mori were in right now. If he were forced to fight Chuuya seriously.. he still wouldn’t as he was too important. He couldn’t even hit him hard when Chuuya kicked the shit out of him in the dungeon. He let Chuuya attack him because the last thing Chuuya deserved was his physical brutality.

“What will you do? Talk it over with the Mafia?”

No. Dazai won’t say a word to Chuuya. That would put him at risk. He was already thinking about what he was going to do with him. This virus user and Fyodor’s head henchman Ivan are bad news. The virus user prevented Dazai from being useful in the field, as if he were infected he wouldn’t be able to nullify it. While Ivan’s ability was powerful enough that Chuuya could be pushed to the point of using Corruption and if Dazai can’t be on the field.. Chuuya’s getting benched too.

“People are sinfully stupid. Even knowing they’re being manipulated they just can’t stop killing each other.”

That’s where he’s wrong. Nobody can manipulate Dazai. Never will he do something he doesn’t want to do. Fyodor is stupid for thinking that the people he associates with are malleable to his whims.

“Someone must cleanse these sins. And that is why I’m pursuing The Book. Like this.” Fyodor raises his arms, giving the signal Dazai knew would come.

Shot through the back Dazai falls.

“A sniper. Of course you knew I’d come.” Dazai chuckles as he bleeds out.

“Your vitals weren’t hit, because I still have a part for you to play against the Mafia.”

Dazai’s eyes train against the ground, blood trickles from his mouth down his chin.

“You and I are similar, you said. We’re of the same kind but we differ in one way.” Dazai pushes himself up to his knees. “Certainly people are sinfully stupid, but what’s so wrong with that?”

Dazai is unlike Fyodor because he cares about others so much that he came here knowing full well that he was in someone’s sights. Getting sniped for those he cares for in order to get the information he needs to stop him is just something Dazai has become. A little..selfless.

“You..” the surprise in his tone says it all. “Did you know the sniper was there? And yet you purposely came here to get this information.”

“The true Book is: a single novel. A book of blank pages where anything that is written becomes the truth.” Dazai states information Fyodor already knows.

“Hm. I’d use that book to make a world without ability users.”

Oh? That’s what this was about. Fyodor’s own ability. Crime and Punishment must be similar to Q.. to some degree. Dazai pities him for more now than just being his enemy.

“Please give that a go. I’m nice enough to let you try.” Dazai struggles to sit up on his knees.

“Dazai!” Kunikida is calling for him.

“Dazai-san!” Atsushi shouts his name.

“Where are you?” Kunikida yells.

They’re getting closer.

“At any rate it will be the promised land.” Fyodor asserts before making his escape.

No longer needing to look tough Dazai collapses. His colleagues find him and once Dazai is sure he’s secure and going to survive .. in the back of an ambulance .. he allows himself to fall unconscious.

*

Waking up in a hospital bed with new scars is hauntingly mundane for Dazai at this point. Sitting up he reaches for his cell and the first person he calls is Edogawa Ranpo.

“Dazai? You’re already awake from surgery!” Ranpo greets him cheerily.

“There’s something I need you to take care of for me.”

“What can I do?”

“Are you still in contact with your fan Poe?”

“I could be if I needed to. What’s this about?”

“Nakahara Chuuya. He’s too big of an obstacle and we need to level the playing field. I’ll be able to handle the strategy and make the calls, but I need you to use Poe’s ability to ..put him in time out. I’m sure that you’ll be able to escape from his ability on your own, but all you need to do is challenge Nakahara in my name and he’ll dive right in.”

“The gravity user.. you’re right. With all the trouble he’s given us while you’ve been out he’s worth taking me out of commission temporarily. I understand the call but I am perceptive of your ulterior intentions.” Ranpo’s deductive reasoning has caught on to Dazai before. Right now he doesn’t care about that.

“After you’ve secured him..tell him I’ll let him out when I’m done.” Dazai doesn’t want Chuuya to hate him for this any more than he already will. Ranpo has been hyper aware of Dazai for years now and has caught on to the fact that he and Chuuya had a proscribed interlude in the background of their day-to-day.

“Roger.”

*POV Shift*

“They charged through the front?! Protect the boss at all costs! I’ll be right there.”

Chuuya hangs up his phone. “Damnit!” He curses before turning around to go back into the building.

“This is a bit troubling, isn’t it Mister fancy hat?” An unfamiliar voice sing songs.

Chuuya turns slightly and looks over his shoulder. Upon seeing the actual detective of the Armed Detective Agency, Chuuya faces him fully.

“By my estimates, your involvement will lower our chances of victory. So with that said, I’m here to stop you.”

“Oi, oi. Are you insane?” Chuuya resists rolling his eyes but he knows he sounds flippant enough. “I know you’re integral to the Detective Agency, but I don’t think you can put up a fight.”

His ability was non combative. Who did he think he was to challenge Chuuya? Inarguably Chuuya is the strongest ability user in Yokohama, almost certainly in the country, and arguably in the world.

“But you’ve lost to Dazai before, haven’t you?”

Gritting his teeth Tainted bursts from beneath his skin. When they had been forced to spar by Mori when they were young, Dazai couldn’t afford to lose against him, but things changed when they got older. All those times he had ‘won’ against Dazai pulse through his mind. That bastard. He really had just been letting Chuuya win.

The ground crumbles beneath his feet. Dust rises around him and he glows bright red through the cloud.

“Why don’t you try getting crushed?”

“That’d be impossible for a master detective.”

Chuuya launches himself straight at him. Fist outstretched determined to pummel this annoying, full of himself detective into the cement. He connects, but not with flesh.

“Do you like mystery novels?” He asks as he reveals a book in his cape.

Chuuya is too close to him to stop and a bright yellow light envelopes him. Trying to use gravity to pull away to no avail. He’s being sucked in so forcefully not even Tainted is working.

“I can’t get my fist out!” Chuuya shouts angrily to his subordinates.

Won’t someone help him? What’s going on?

“The cast is a thousand characters and half of them are bloodthirsty killers. If we don’t die in this fictional world where we have no abilities, let’s meet again.”

This doesn’t make any sense? Mysteries? Characters? No abilities?

Chuuya screams as he is sucked inside the light and swirling words. All he can hear is the sound of turning pages.

When his eyesight adjusts.. everything has changed. He turns on his heels to get a full view of the brick buildings, cobblestone roads, horses and buggies, and grimy residents of this fictional god knows when. This could be 1800s from the way people are dressed.

His eye catches a brown cape and he chases after it around a bend. It’s the detective. The stupid hat gives him away.

“You!” Chuuya grabs him and pulls him into a dark alley, of which there is no shortage of.

“Killing me is a bad idea. I have to solve the murders in order to get out.” ‘Master’ Detective isn’t afraid of him. Not here. Chuuya tries to lift him with gravity but nothing happens. The warning about no abilities was not a lie.

“What the fuck is this? Did Dazai put you up to this? Start talking or I won’t give a fuck about whatever you have to solve.” Chuuya draws his knife on him.

The detective hardly looks phased.

“My friend writes books that take you into the story. You have to solve the mysteries within them to be freed. Our abilities don’t work here so it’s going to take me some time to get this done, but you won’t get out without me. Dazai has a message for you.”

Chuuya withdraws his blade marginally.

“What did he say?”

“‘Tell him I’ll let him out when I’m done.’”

Chuuya drops him and backs away. Overcome with frustration and anger he kicks the brick wall behind the detective. Obviously, it has no effect. Refusing to let show just how stupid he really is he pretends to feel nothing.

What was the purpose of this? Was he afraid of Chuuya hurting any of his precious Agency friends? Was this a ploy to get at Mori?

No that wasn’t it. The way he said ‘when I’m done’.. Chuuya knew he was referring to when he’s done with..

“Dostoyevsky.” Chuuya spats bitterly.

Dazai was going to take him on without Chuuya. This was something he thought he was better off doing alone. Was he trying to protect Chuuya? Did he really thinking trapping him in a dangerous setting with no ability was a better alternative than letting him fight in the war with the Rats?

“He knew you wouldn’t like it, but he knew you’d understand why.”

“He told you about us?” Chuuya is shocked that this detective knows about he and Dazai’s relationship.

“No. You just did. I’ve had my suspicions, but Dazai has never told any of us anything about you. Never even talks about himself.” The detective is blunt and straightforward. Chuuya can tell he’s being truthful and is irritated that he just confirmed his assumption.

“He’s a bastard. Plain and simple.” Chuuya relents before turning away.

No idea of where he was going to go from here. No clue about what he’s supposed to do. How long was he going to have to wait around for someone who has only ever left him behind?

“You’re not wrong, but I’ve been able to tell.”

Chuuya looks over his shoulder. “Tell what?”

“He cares about you. So don’t die here.”

“As if any of these amateurs could kill me.” Chuuya chooses not to acknowledge that other people can apparently tell Dazai cares for him.

*

Time works differently here. So many characters here have tried to kill him they’ve all started blurring together. The air is heavy and stagnant and without his ability the pressure is too much. Captive in a fake world. Killing fake people. Cracking under the stress. Feeling like a marionette. Every move he makes and every step he takes announces that he’s someone others should try and kill. It’s exhausting mentally and physically. There’s no real estimate of how many people he’s killed here. It feels real. Their bloodlust is vicious and stark. Chuuya has come close to injury a few times. How much longer can he survive like this? Killing and attempting to be killed. Chuuya feels like he’s blending with this world. Losing his sense of identity. Losing his sense of self. Losing his sense of purpose?

What was he doing here?

Why is he so angry?

Is killing getting harder or easier? He can’t tell anymore.

He isn’t supposed to be here. This isn’t his story. This isn’t his world. How long has it been now?

Since the detective told him Dazai cares..

Had Dazai forgotten about him?

Could he see that Chuuya was losing himself here?

Or was he blissfully ignorant?

Chuuya was having a hard time remembering the last time they spoke.

What had they talked about?

Where were they?

What had they been?

Dazai and he had still never properly defined anything.

Would they ever? Could Chuuya forgive him for this?

Leaving him in this hell to rot?

Holding him captive?

Making him lose his mind?

Chuuya wishes he could still use Corruption. It would be so satisfying to rip this book to shreds and kill every character in this story. He was never a good person and he doesn’t care if he sounds psychopathic. Here killing was all he knew how to do.

How else was he to channel all of this rage?

Chapter Text

This hospital bed could not contain Dazai. All of his energy and focus was zeroed in. There was no chance he’d let Fyodor win. Trapping Chuuya had freed Dazai. Now he could fully concentrate on each task at hand, could assess all information before him and between the lines, and he could ascertain due assiduous diligence with his every move. With Chuuya off his mind and out of the picture he sense of control was renewed and tenacious.

During the commotion of the fight against the Port Mafia the President had awoken and made his own escape. Mori had done something similar, Dazai was sure of it. Vaguely, Dazai knew of their history as former allies under the guidance of the rumored strongest ability user of Yokohama : Natsume. Dazai didn’t believe that theory about him being the strongest, after all there was himself, Chuuya, and even Atsushi now. There was merit to his reputation about being able to see through all though. His ability was probably a surveillance type of sorts. Dazai understands better than most that when it comes to keeping order you’re only as secure as what you know. Information was invaluable. It was vital.

Tanizaki calls him.

“Any luck locating the President?” Dazai wastes no time with greetings.

“None. We’ve tried everything and we’re going to keep trying.”

“If he doesn’t want to be found we’re not going to find him. He’s somewhere that none of us knows exists.”

“We aren’t giving up. We have to find him.”

“If only we had him at our disposal.”

“Who?”

“Have you heard of the supposed strongest ability user; Natsume-sensei?” Dazai asks him.

“No I haven’t heard of him.”

Kids these days.

“He is the revered ability user who supported the founding of the Agency. Like a phantom his whereabouts are unknown. Even his ability is unknown. The theory is that he is able to see through all things.”

Just then Dazai looks out of his window. A feline meets his eyes, holding a dried sardine in its jaws. It stares at him.

It’s inexplicable and unexplainable but Dazai knows what he has to do.

“Miss! Can you come here please?” Dazai hangs up on Tanizaki and puts his phone under the blanket as the nurse comes in.

“Yes, Dazai-san?” She asks him.

“I know this is against the rules, but can you open the window for me? I love cats and I think that cat will cheer me up.”

“I’m sorry Dazai-san. The hospital has a strict no animals policy.”

“Did I mention I love women who like cats? Help me out here and I’ll give you my number.”

She blushes. “Really? Well I suppose it can’t hurt..”

She crosses the room and opens the window. The cat waltzes right inside. Jumping from the window ledge to Dazai’s bedside table. It sets the fish down and peers up at the nurse.

“Aww! He’s so cute.” She pets the cat.

“Do you have your phone on you? I should add my number to your contacts.”

“I’ll go get it now!” She announces before enthusiastically scampering off and closing the door behind her.

As soon as she’s gone the cat dematerializes right before Dazai’s eyes. Replaced by the legendary Natsume-sensei himself. He crosses the room and locks the door before turning back to Dazai.

“Dazai-kun. It’s been so long. I’m sure we have quite a bit to discuss.”

Dazai nods. “The President and Mafia Boss are going to kill each other. It can be prevented. There’s still time. I’m sure you will be able to figure out where they are.”

“I do have an idea.”

“First we have to find Katai. Kunikida is convinced he’s still alive and I think he knows Dostoyevsky’s whereabouts or at the very least where his hideout is.”

“The information broker? I know where he is. You’re right that he has valuable knowledge about the Rats. I’ve already brought it to you.”

The fish? Dazai is taken aback by his own intuition.

“Our healer’s ability can’t do anything for me, so I’m stuck here for the time being. Can I trust you with getting Katai to them and telling them I have a plan?” Dazai questions him urgently.

“I retired years ago, but I suppose I can do something about this. I established these systems of order in the first place, and it would be for nothing if I were to let them fall apart.”

“Thank you, Natsume-sensei.” Dazai bows his head.

“I have a question about you Dazai-kun.”

“I don’t really like talking about myself, but I’ll do my best to answer since it’s you who is asking.”

“You are the only ability user capable of performing well in either of their positions, who has been in the position to do so. Is there a reason behind your lack of ambition?”

“Capability and ambition are not the issues. I’m not against responsibility or leadership. To put it simply I never want people to believe they are entitled to my time or energy. I prefer what I’ve always done. I do the hard part, the dirty work, devising, and executing, and it’s easier to accomplish what really needs done when you aren’t the front man.”

“You hate the spotlight because you don’t want anyone to see what it will illuminate.” Natsume-sensei concludes.

“The shadows are where I belong.” Dazai agrees.

“Hm. We’ve always needed people like you. Those with minds like yours are in short supply. Without you all my hard work would be for nothing. That being said; Don’t let me down.” Natsume-sensei unlocks the door and transforms again.

The cat goes back out the window and looks back at Dazai from the ledge.

“I won’t.” Dazai affirms.

The feline blinks before leaving him.

He pulls his phone out from under the blanket and calls Atsushi.

“Dazai-san?”

“Hello Atsushi-kun. I need you to bring me my laptop, and have Kunikida come to the hospital and set up communications for me. We’ve got work to do.”

“Your laptop isn’t in the office Dazai-san. You don’t live in the dorms either. Where is it?”

“I’m going to send you the address to my house. You’re not allowed to share its location with anyone. I chose to tell you over anyone else. Don’t betray my trust.”

“I won’t, Dazai-san. It’s a security thing right? You can’t risk everyone else knowing because the Mafia still hates you.”

Well, there’s.. yeah let’s go with that.

“I’m glad you understand.”

“Of course, Dazai-san.”

“The key is hidden under the fourth brick on the left side of my porch.”

“I’ll go as soon as I get the location and I’ll call Kunikida to set up communications while I’m en route.”

Dazai sends him his address.

“Got it. See you soon.” Atsushi hung up.

Atsushi was loyal and naïve almost to a fault, but Dazai was grateful for it. If there was anyone at the Agency who trusted him blindly it would be Atsushi-kun. Dazai was the major reason he wasn’t dead, in a cell, or Fitzgerald’s rug by now, so he finds Atsushi’s blind faith in him a little deserved. He made a point to treat Atsushi better than he had treated Chuuya, Akutagawa, and even Kunikida. As far as his work and student relationships go the one he had with Atsushi was the most positive. Dazai had pitied him initially, but he’s come to respect his reason for continuing on for more than how it has benefited him.

Less than an hour passed before Kunikida is in his hospital room. Dazai has already retrieved the data stick from inside the aforementioned fish by this point. Kunikida is even more high strung than usual, and Dazai is more reassuring than he’s ever been.

“Atsushi said to bring you communications devices. What are you planning on doing? Both the President and Ranpo-san are out of our reach right now, so that makes me interim director, and you my right hand.”

Dazai holds up the data stick to show him. “Katai is alive and this is what he sent for me. I’m willing to bet this is the Rat’s hideout. We’re not going to be able to do this alone. I need you to trust me, because some old enemies are going to help.”

“I trust you. You’re right that we’re going to need all the help we can get.”

*

A knock sounds at his hospital door as Dazai is typing away on his laptop. The person he had sent for has arrived. She was like him, in a lot of ways, but she had the opportunity to be better than he ever was. So he feels a little circumspect about what he had to ask of her.

“Come in, Kyouka-chan.”

The sandals make no sound on the linoleum floor, telling of her prior life. Those footsteps are silent, though she seems wary and unsure of herself. She had no clue as to why Dazai had called for her or why they were speaking in private.

“Hello Dazai-san. I’m glad to see you doing better.”

“Thank you. I’m going to be discharged in a few hours actually. Before then though we have some pressing issues to attend to.”

“How can I help?” Kyouka-chan was really so like him. Mission-oriented.

“I have two separate missions for you actually.”

“I will carry them out. Give me my instructions please.”

“First and most importantly,” Dazai turns the laptop around to point at the face on the screen. “I need you to locate F. Scott Fitzgerald and bring him to me. When you find him, which won’t be hard as I have his company address and his personal address, you must express to him that if he wants to live in Yokohama he has a debt that needs to be paid. If he won’t come willingly then drag him, but he’s a man of common sense and should know better than to defy me. I don’t expect this mission to be difficult or time consuming. Express to him that I need to use his new business venture to save Yokohama and to facilitate his redemption in the eyes of the Agency and the Port Mafia.”

“Do I have to worry about any former Guild members attacking me?”

“I don’t think he has any combatants on his side anymore. The only person you’d have to worry about putting up a fight is him.”

“Understood. What is the other mission?”

“Regarding another former Guild member. Has Ranpo returned?”

“Yes. He’s back at the office now. Do I need him?”

“Only for information. I need you to track down his friend Poe and steal his book. The same one Ranpo just escaped from.”

“What do I do with the book once I get it?”

“Hold onto it for me and keep it safe until I give you further instructions.” Dazai tells her.

Kyouka’s eyes shine a little. Her expression is one of ponderings. She’s wondering what this means for her regarding the war.

“Kyouka-chan, locating Fitzgerald and bringing him to me is of the highest priority. We won’t win unless I use his technology to find Dostoyevsky.”

“But you have the hideout location already? And what would you need me to hold onto this book for?”

Dazai has not been questioned like this in a while. The last person to question his orders was Atsushi and he had been nice but stern with him about it. Kyouka was once Mafia and should have known better than to second guess him. The subject surrounding Chuuya was also making him uneasy.

“It’s obvious you were Akutagawa’s subordinate. You may be on the good side now, but that doesn’t permit you to question my authority. I’m sure you’re used to senseless orders and meaningless slaughter, but I never give instructions without purpose.”

Kyouka has spine, that’s evident.

“Dazai-san, I’m not meaning to be impertinent and I have no intention of defying you. I know about who you once were, and you were the person who convinced me I could become someone better too. There’s no need to be cruel to me. I understand better than most people how hard it must be to be trying to be better only for a situation like this to happen.”

“What do you mean by that? ‘A situation like this’?”

“You have to get in that mindset that you tried to reject a long time ago to fight in this war. We are all following your lead because we know you’re the only person qualified for this. You’re feeding into your former energy. These people kill children, Dazai-san. I want to beat them and save the President and Yokohama just as much as anyone. If I don’t need to know why you chose me or why my instructions are this way, I understand. Just.. try not lose sight of the people in front of you.”

“I chose you to bring me Fitzgerald because you’ll have the easiest time getting close to him. I chose you to keep the book safe for me because I don’t need you to fight The Rats. Your silent footsteps are both your blessing and your curse. I have seen value in you for your past. In times like this, people who can move without being seen are indispensable. I suppose I have lost sight of the girl you’ve become. You got out much earlier than I, and have had a good influence in Atsushi-kun. The book is none of your concern, but it is important to me. That’s all you need to know.”

“Yes, Dazai-san. I’ll bring Fitzgerald to the Agency right away and then I’ll get information about Poe from Ranpo-san and take care of the second mission.”

“Call me once he is there if you arrive before me.”

“Yes sir.” Kyouka bows her head and leaves.

Dazai didn’t have the time or energy to feel bad for Akutagawa’s former subordinate and thought he handled the situation just fine. The next move was to call Akutagawa himself. He had to deal with so many children today and drudge up so many past times. One thing he hated about war was having to dust off old pieces and the constant addition of new ones to play. People were always around and no one was impossible to find. Not to him at least.

He tapped into Chuuya’s contacts and found the dog’s number, as he obviously didn’t have it anymore. Typing the digits into his phone and holding it up to his ear, he knew exactly what he had to say.

*

“Let go of me, Dazai-san!” Atsushi-kun complains.

“No way~ If I let go, what’s to stop you two from using your abilities to fight?”

One hand on the dog and the other on the tiger, Dazai has ushered in a new era of Shin-Sōkoku. This combination was the only shot of taking down both the virus user and Ivan. They may hate each other and get along way worse than he and Chuuya, but they were both designed for combat.

“No! But- This mission is important so why.. First of all Akutagawa hates me too much! How will this mission work?”

“So it seems.” Dazai agrees with Atsushi. “What do you think?” He tugs on the dog.

“I will carry out the plan.” Akutagawa growls determinedly.

“It’s been four years since you’ve been under my direct command, hasn’t it?” Dazai reminds him, increasing the pressure. “Perhaps you can show me how much you’ve improved?

Eyes focused and at the same time unseeing Akutagawa confirms he has something to prove.

“Yes.”

Atsushi attempts to get coherent words out of his mouth to no avail. Dazai ignores them as they arrive outside the abandoned mines Dostoyevsky is using as a base of operations. Kunikida notifies them of their arrival and Dazai jumps to the front of the truck to access the situation.

“So many guards. Ahh.. They are all wearing wireless communication gear so all sounds will be picked up by headquarters. Moreover the guards vital signs are being sent back every minute. So any abnormalities will alert the enemy and we’ll never catch them again. The body temperature detector at the entrance must be a counter to Tanizaki’s illusion ability.” Dazai presents the information clearly and calmly. The kids can figure out where to go from here.

Off they go. Akutagawa in the lead unsurprisingly.

“Ah you’ve been left behind.” Dazai points out only to be antagonizing.

“Ah! I’m going too!” Atsushi rushes to catch up.

“Wait! Atsushi! How are you going to-“ Kunikida is foolish to underestimate Dazai’s most promising pupil.

“Using the strength in his legs, he was fast enough to avoid the sensor and even the guards couldn’t see him. That brat Atsushi, when did he achieve that kind of skill?” Kunikida marvels.

Sometime between saving Kyouka on that container ship in that fight between he and Akutagawa, and the big showdown to save Yokohama where he and Akutagawa teamed up to fight Fitzgerald is Dazai’s bet. Akutagawa was a catalyst to Atsushi. Instrumental to his growth.

“Well, we can't lose to them either.” Dazai smiles. The game is on. “Shall we begin?”

The truck backs up and Dazai sets up his communication hub in the back as they get into position. Putting his headset on and pressing the button he connects with their eyes in the sky.

Dazai calls Katai on videochat. He answers instantly.

“Atsushi and Akutagawa got noticed by some guards. The mainframe of the facility is hard to get into but they located the virus user and are in pursuit. I lost contact.”

“Roger.”

Dazai tried to establish a connection with Atsushi.

The videocall with Atsushi is static but it’s starting to connect. They must be getting closer to surface level.

“We have to go.” Dazai informs the driver.

“Dazai, what should I do?” Kunikida asks him.

“Meet with the President and Mori at the base of the mountain. I’ll be telling you where to go shortly.”

Kunikida blinks at him.

“I told Atsushi before that I hated fighting this guy.”

“Yeah. I don’t blame you.” Dazai was curt, knowing already exactly where he was going with this.

“I said it was because it’s like fighting you.” Kunikida tells him what he expected to hear.

“I’ve known him longer than I’ve known you. We have a lot in common that’s true. I decided I’m not like him though, and that he just happens to be like me. We see people the same way in a lot of aspects. Weak. Wrong. Stupid. But I’m different from him because of what I fight for.”

Dazai looks up from his laptop and meets his partner’s eyes.

“I don’t know when or how it happened. But one day I woke up and all of you fucking idiots mattered to me. I’ve never even mattered to myself so it came as quite a shock.” Sighing and looking back down at the laptop he issues a command. “Now get the hell out and wait for my orders. I have tea time with a couple of old friends.”

Kunikida sputters a bit at his confession before regaining his composure.

“Yes, Dazai.” He nods to him and signaled the driver to let him out.

Once he’s gone Dazai calls Fitzgerald, who is at the agency with his technology advisor, T.J. Eckleberg. They had informed him that Fyodor had been located. The phone clicks.

“I got your text. I’m guessing he’s at a cafe, getting tea, and making calls to a classics station, isn’t he?”

“We don’t know who he’s calling, but you’re right. That prediction ability of yours is remarkable. When this is over what do you think about joining the Renewed Guild?” Fitzgerald offers.

“Predictions are not my ability. Just something I know how to do. My talents are too valuable for your petty money to buy. Name the cafe and call ahead to get us a table.”

“Tea Shop La Teieru. The reservation is in my name.”

“See you soon, old sport.” Dazai mocks him before hanging up.

He gives the address to the driver just as Atsushi makes connection.

“Atsushi-kun! Have we finally managed to connect?”

“Dazai-san!” He is shouting with a metal rattling sound in the background.

“I heard from Katai that you’re chasing the virus ability user? The virus is given through open wounds. High fever and dizziness make it hard to walk. You can’t even get a light scratch! Leave the ringleader, Dostoyevsky to me. The virus user must not escape!” Dazai orders them and lets them know he has Fyodor taken care of. They need to consolidate their efforts and focus on the virus user.

The connection breaks again and Dazai assumes they’re in combat. Probably with Ivan. Briefly, he finds himself glad that Chuuya is not here.

“Tanizaki-kun, do you see anyone escaping near the abandoned mine?” Dazai asks his overhead eyes.

“Just like you said Dazai-san, I’m monitoring the exits from the air, but.. no one is here.”

“The Detective Agency and The Mafia keep watch over the city, so he had to seclude himself in this hideout.” Which is why he left before they ever closed in. “We can’t waste this chance.” Dazai asserts calmly, already en route and keeping everyone focused on task.

“Dazai-san! A car has come out of the northern side of the old mine!” Tanizaki notifies him.

“Not just one!” Kenji-kun adds. “There’s two! Three of them!”

“They’re definitely using vehicles to escape! Let the ground forces know right away to give chase.” Tanizaki attempts to advise him.

This isn’t right. The only targets of value in this hideout are the virus user and Ivan. Fyodor would hardly use something so flashy to evacuate either of them. This is a diversion.

“Ignore them.” Dazai commands.

“Eh?!”

“They’re all decoys meant to thin our numbers.”

“But the real one could be.. how do you know they’re decoys?” Tanizaki asks.

“Because if it were me, that’s what I would do.” Dazai admits.

It’s silent over the radio for a few seconds. Dazai might have scared the kids but he didn’t care. They deserved to know the truth. This is why he was in charge of strategy in the first place. This was hardly Fyodor’s game, as Dazai was the one playing him.

“Got it. I’ll stay to keep watch then.” Tanizaki concedes.

“Tanizaki-san!” Kenji-kun calls over the radio. “A covered truck just came out of the western side of the hideout! This time is it-?”

“It’s not.” Dazai answers. Vehicles are not the answer. The virus user would try to blend better than that.

“Dazai-san! We’ve got a military grade chopper of unknown nationality approaching from the east! If he escapes on it we can’t pursue with the equipment we have!”

“A chopper.. He must be thinking..” distract my sight in the sky “in other words..” don’t look at the ground below.

“Let’s call in for military support now! With their tech we can give chase-“

“Tanizaki-kun are there any people above ground right now?” Dazai cuts him off. He didn’t need him distracted or blabbing in his ear.

“Eh? Right now? No, not really..”

“There’s one!” Kenji spots them. “At the base of the mountain! A single person!”

At the base? That’s close to the ground forces. Even if it’s not the virus user; the virus user will be escaping the same way. There’s a secondary location, an extraction point that is meant to reached on foot. That’s why there’s all these vehicular distractions.

“It looks like a hiker. He’s wearing a hat so I can’t see his face. Looking to be walking casually westwards.” Kenji relays.

“That’s him.”

“Eh?”

It might not be. But it will work out regardless.

“Everyone, head for the mountain climber at top speed. Mori-san’s troops too. Move out. Right now.” Dazai orders.

“Y-Yes!”

A few moments later and Mori’s troops report back.

“Dazai-san! It’s not him! It’s a mountain climber with a crushed larynx and handcuffs on! It’s not Dostoyevsky!”

Is that really who they thought they were looking for? Dazai thought he had been pretty clear about leaving Fyodor to him. If this wasn’t the virus user though that could only mean.. he would be tracing the hiker’s steps.

Dazai calls Kunikida.

“Dazai? They said he wasn’t a target.” Kunikida almost sounds like he is disappointed in him. Almost.

“Head east from the hiker’s position. There’s another exit from this hideout. The virus ability user will be coming out from there.”

Kunikida knows better than to question him.

“Good luck with whatever you’re about to do.”

Dazai hangs up without another word. He closes his laptop. Takes off his headset. Runs his fingers through his hair and takes a deep breath. Then he stands and walks casually to sit in the passenger seat of the truck.

“Don’t park outside the building. Drop me off about half a block away.”

“Yes sir.”

Dazai makes another call. To yet another old friend.

“Dazai?” Ango answers him cautiously.

“Bring your best men to La Teieru. I have a gift for you.”

“A gift?”

“Surely you remember Dostoyevsky?”

“How?!”

“Be there in ten to make your arrest if you want to take him alive.”

Ango sighs. “Understood.”

After a few moments, filled with anticipation for the climax of Dazai’s game, he arrives at his destination. Down the block from a quaint, little Yokohama tea shop. He hops out, thanks the driver, before strolling up to the establishment.

Fitzgerald is seated at a table outside, right by the door. A perfect vantage point, really. Dazai chuckles softly as he takes his seat by him.

“He must know it’s over. I just watched him pay his bill.” Fitzgerald informs him.

“Trust me. He has no idea we are here. He must know his Rats have fallen.” Dazai proclaims.

“He’s getting up.” Fitzgerald states.

“I’m doing the greeting.” Dazai tells him.

Fitzgerald nods before covering his face by looking at a newspaper. The bell on the door jingles. Dazai heard his footsteps and turns slightly in his seat to face him. Not wanting to miss his expression.

“Hey.”

Fyodor snaps his head to the side, looking utterly bewildered. Dazai can only smile at his surprise. How did he think this was going to work out for him? Really? Truly?

“As expected. You look surprised. ‘How did you know I was here?’ You want to ask me that, right?” Dazai sighs with a lazy grin. “A lovey cafe, isn’t it? We didn’t exactly pull out all the stops.” If Dazai had wanted to, or had gone against a tougher opponent things could have gone much, much differently. Admittedly though, despite the lack of firepower, Fyodor was no small fry. “But to trick the devil, I knew an average move wouldn’t cut it.”

Fitzgerald lowers his cover. “It’s my move. It’s been a while, Rat.” He greets.

Fyodor’s eyes gleam like a wild animal’s. True to his moniker, Dazai supposed. They’re wide and bulged. This reunion was just lovely. So many old game pieces to play. It’s almost too bad it’s coming to a close so soon.

“..ah.. how wonderful. ‘The Eyes of God,’ right?” Fyodor asks.

“That’s right.” Dazai dramatically waves his hand. “The infallible ‘Eyes of God’ that can integrate the footage of every security camera in town. With that power we found you here, while you were utterly preoccupied with the events inside the hideout.”

“The price for borrowing this power was the recovery of the hidden fortune you stole from the Guild. I don’t really care about getting the money back, but I can’t stand the thought of a Rat like you getting to pocket it all.” Fitzgerald having a prior encounter and grudge against Dostoyevsky was just a bonus to Dazai. It made him all the more willing to help ensure that he’s brought down.

As Fyodor’s back was turned all of Ango’s uniformed team advance on him. Soon he is completely surrounded.

“We’ll be taking it from here.” Ango steps forward.

Dazai offers him a wave and is content to be ignored.

One of the men move to grab Fyodor, presumably to cuff him or secure him. Dazai’s previous encounters with him flash before his eyes. He remembers his strong hatred for abilities and recalls why he pitied him so.

“Don’t touch him!” Dazai orders but it’s too late.

The man was in full body armor complete with a gas mask. It did no good. As his hand touched Dostoyevsky’s shoulder he made a horrendous gurgling noise and blood splattered in his mask.

He collapsed to the ground and blood pooled from every opening in his suit.

“He’s dead.” Fitzgerald concludes.

Fyodor’s ability was an ugly one. Like Q he had no real choice over it. Crime and Punishment, caused massive hemorrhaging to anyone guilty of anything who touched him. What a lonely existence his must be, because all humans sin.

The men all trains their guns on him and he raises his arms in the universal gesture of surrender. The game is over for now. All along, from the moment Dazai knew he was facing him again, he had total control. Demon Dostoyevsky was no match for the demons that sharpen their teeth on Dazai’s bones, no competition for the villains that reside in his mind, and never could hope to overcome the cold ice of his calculations.

Dazai pities him, and resents him for being so weak.

“Make any strange movements and we’ll riddle you with holes.” Ango threatens him.

Fyodor puts his hands on his head. “Fine, lets go.”

They take him away.

“Detective, do you know that guy’s ability?”

Dazai’s eyes soften and his gaze is downcast.

“No.” Dazai lies. It’s just a desolate one, and Fitzgerald could see that for himself.

Somehow, without rhyme or reason, Dazai understands that this was just a battle and that this war is far from won. Dostoyevsky is not finished playing. There is a storm brewing in the months ahead. Someone with this kind of rage and wretchedness would not vanquish this easily.

After all, neither would he.

Who is really in control?

Chapter Text

Though no one was trying to kill him anymore Chuuya was far from right in his mind. There was no way out of this. No escaping the ringing in his ears from dreamless sleep. This world, now that it wasn’t trying to kill him in every dark alleyway or stab him while he was sleeping, was so silent it was deafening. Now that there’s no sounds of people choking on their own blood, or pleading for forgiveness for their lives everything is so quiet.

Chuuya thought before there was nothing that he hated more than solitude, but now knows that there is nothing worse than silence. Wandering aimlessly in circles as all of this illusion unravels around him he holds on to his faith. Jack told him all that is lost is eventually found. Dazai wouldn’t leave him. Someday he’ll make it out of here, even if it takes all night or a hundred years. Finding himself alone on cobblestone streets and moonless nights he feels inspired to do a bit of his own writing. Boiling beneath his surface is so much anger and betrayal. He needs to release it somehow now that he’s run out of fictional characters to kill in self defense.

Dazai is horrible. Even if he did this because he cares or to protect him there was no excuse for the lack of communication. He has always been so awful at that. Chuuya could never tell when he would do something like this. There were never any signs. Predictions were Dazai’s specialty so he made it his priority to be unpredictable. It’s not like he ever said anything, so how was Chuuya supposed to know?

How else was he supposed to feel?

This fake world has been nothing but torture. Left and right people attempted to kill him! Of course he went on a rampage! Now that no one was doing anything the story had essentially ended!

There was nothing left but the ongoing questions repeating in Chuuya’s mind.

So he had to channel it. Had to get it out. Say what he meant without fear of the audience’s response. A small leather bound notebook and a quill became his form of stress relief. How long would he have to wait for the war to be over? For Dazai to release him? He didn’t know. So he wrote down all the thoughts on his mind. In a desperate last ditch attempt at finding peace.

There arrives a time when Chuuya can’t stand the sight of this town anymore. He walks in a straight line, hoping that he’ll reach the end of it. This world may be nothing more than a creative illusion but there had to be an edge. A better place than these rotten streets and dark roads had to exist beyond.

Time doesn’t work here, so Chuuya has no idea how far or how long he has walked. These cobblestone streets never end. Was he being put through a loop? Everything looks the same so it’s impossible to tell if he’s been here before and he can’t read the streets signs because it’s like being in a dream. All the letters scramble and make no sense to him.

His head is not a pleasant place to be. The incessant ringing in his ears is giving him a migraine. The loneliness has made him bitter and uneasy. Scattered into the stale air of these musty pages.

The sound of turning pages startled him out of his thoughts. The ground beneath him glows that same bright yellow and words swirl all around him. This is it. He’s finally going back.

Vision blurs and the stone falls away. Falling and being pulled at the same time. Feet touch the ground once more and he uses gravity to keep himself upright. Blinking rapidly to adjust his eyes to the light he realizes he’s in his own apartment.

He turns around and his eyes meet Dazai’s. There are no words for what he wants to say. There is nothing he can do to express his feelings properly. He’s relieved and angry at the same time and doesn’t know how to direct either of those emotions right now.

“Hello. Welcome home.” Dazai greets him sullenly. Sheepish, wary, and solemn.

“Get out.” Chuuya demands, though he’s not sure if he means it.

“Chuuya..please.” Dazai is right before his eyes but he sounds so far away.

Chuuya wants to hit him. To beat him black and blue and raw and senseless. There’s a sinking feeling in the back of his mind telling him that if he touches him it will be too late. He’d been alone for too long. He’d lost his grasp of reality. If he hits him he’ll want to kiss him. Dazai would take both of those things as far as Chuuya pressed him. Chuuya knows that. Just how far would he allow his guilt to carry them away this time?

“Why?!” Chuuya demands. He deserves to hear his explanation from his own mouth.

“You know why.” Dazai speaks softly.

“Say it.” Chuuya commands him.

“Why else?” Dazai asks him.

Is this even real? Is he really here right now? Is Chuuya really free? Or is this just another form of captivity? No matter where he is Chuuya’s story is the same. He’s a prisoner to his own emotions.

“Chuuya stop!” Dazai’s hand catches his wrist and his other arm knocks his knife out of his grip.

What was he trying to do? His hand is outstretched and the other is raised. Was he planning on stabbing himself to see if he could feel it?

“Why would you try to hurt yourself? You can hurt me, that’s fine, but why would try to stab yourself?” Dazai asks him.

“Fuck you that’s why.”

He wants to scream. He wants to kick him around. He wants to hurt himself just to know for sure whether or not he is real again.

“You’re trying to hurt yourself to get back at me?” Dazai is gripping both of his wrists now and forcing his arms to his sides.

“Why is everything always about you?!” Chuuya shouts at him.

“That’s not.. Chuuya I-“

“No! I don’t want any more fucking excuses! I’m tired of your lies and utter lack of respect for me! If you don’t say what you mean how am I ever supposed to understand this?!” Wrenching himself from his grasp Chuuya demands a proper explanation.

Dazai opens his mouth to respond and for once he really has nothing to say. What did Chuuya really expect anyway? For him to admit that he was wrong? For to him confess that he cares?

Getting Dazai to be honest was so much harder than pulling teeth. It was like trying to breathe underwater. Chuuya was sick and tired of drowning.

“How long did you leave me there?” Chuuya demands.

“Almost 62 hours.” Dazai finally permits him a shred of human decency.

“Who died?” Chuuya asks.

“No one you know.” Dazai assures him.

“And Dostoyevsky?”

“I caught him. He’s in prison currently along with the virus user and Ivan. I don’t think this is over though. I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop.”

“What do you mean by that? He’s in custody. What could he do?”

“That’s the thing, Chuuya.. the more I think about it the more I realize how much worse this war will become.”

“What was the purpose of putting me in the book?” Chuuya can’t even look at him anymore. Eyes on the floor, he asks him again. Why did he put Chuuya away?

“I didn’t want you to fight.”

“What about what I want? Do you ever think about what I want? Why is it whenever there’s an important decision for you to make you fucking leave me out of it? Do you hate the idea of asking me for help that goddamn much?!”

“I don’t need your help, Chuuya. I need you safe.”

“Shut the fuck up! I wasn’t safe! Half the people in there tried to kill me and I lost my shit! You did this to me! Your stupid attempts at trying to protect me only make everything worse!”

“You’re alive aren’t you? If you had fought Ivan without me there there’s no guarantee you would be. If we had gotten infected with Mutual Destruction my ability would not have been able to nullify it. If you had gotten too close to Dostoyevsky-“ Dazai stops that line of thought quickly. Nausea all over his face.

The idea of Chuuya near Dostoyevsky made him physically ill. Chuuya could see it plain as day. Before now there was nothing that could make Dazai’s expression lose its composure that way.

Never once has Chuuya seen him become visibly squeamish. About anything. Ever.

If Dazai felt this strongly about it, there was something to be afraid of.

Breathing deeply and steadies himself before speaking again. “Chuuya, I know this wasn’t fair to you. You have to know my intentions were in the right place. I knew you’d make it in there, and I couldn’t take the risk of you dying out here.”

“Is it so fucking hard to say you care about me? After all this time why can’t you outright say I’m important to you? You don’t even try! I’m fed up with all your circumlocution!”

It’s been a really long time since Chuuya has witnessed it, but the chill down his spine tells all. Dazai is angry. The cold in his eyes has become dry ice. Chuuya swallows and has no inkling of what he’s about to say.

“Eight years, two months, and nine days. Roughly 71,800 hours.”

“What?” Chuuya doesn’t understand. Is he referring to how long they’ve known each other? Their first time in St. Petersburg? Or the day he realized he wanted him?

“That’s how long I’ve been saying it. You just don’t know how to listen to me.”

“Dazai.. just because I know, just because I can tell.. that doesn’t excuse you from having to tell me clearly.”

Chuuya has never understood the root cause of Dazai’s inability to be emotionally forthright. Very hyper aware of this limitation he has censored himself in the past. Now though, even after hearing him admit down to the hour how long he has harbored these feelings, Chuuya feels more unsure than before.

“How much clearer can things get? You’re the only person who knows me! You’re the only one on my mind! You’re everything I can’t escape from! You’re all that I’ve ever wanted to protect! I fuck up! I do shitty things! I’m insufferable and you have every right to hate me! I’ve given you every reason to! Do you ever think about why I push you away? Have you ever thought about my reasons for holding you at arm’s length?”

“I’ve tried to get you to be honest with me for almost a decade, Dazai. If you’re finally willing to share your motives I’m listening now.”

“No. If you were really listening to me, you’d know.” Dazai turns to leave.

Running away. Again. No. Not now. Not after all this. Chuuya is not about to let this happen before his eyes. No longer caring about drowning. Who really needs to breathe?

His hand grabs the doorknob just as Chuuya latches on to him.

“I hear you. I get it. I’m sorry. Please don’t leave.” Chuuya wraps his arms around his middle and buries his face in his jacket.

If he leaves Chuuya alone again.. there’s no telling what he’ll do.

Dazai jerks in his arms and there’s a loud bang as he headbutts Chuuya’s front door.

“Fuck.” Dazai hisses.

Then he turns around in Chuuya’s arms and hugs him back.

“Don’t fucking apologize to me. You aren’t in the wrong here. It’s me. It’s always been me.”

“Please don’t go. I can’t be alone. Not now. Not again.” Chuuya begs him, hiding his face in his chest.

“Okay.” Dazai concedes.

He feels guilty. About everything. Chuuya wants him to prove he’s really here to stay. Wants to cement their bond with a gesture more powerful than words. Something intimate..that they’ve never done before.

“Take a shower with me.” Chuuya speaks as he presses his ear over his heart.

It races and pounds in his chest.

“Wait-What?” Dazai pushes him away physically but Chuuya doesn’t want to give up.

“I want you to wash my hair again.” Pouting as he makes this request.

Dazai is evidently startled. “How do you know about that?”

“That doesn’t matter. I know that it felt good. So I want you to do it again.” Chuuya tugs on a bandaged wrist, trying to lead him towards his bathroom.

Dazai frowns. Not budging a bit. “I can’t.”

“It’s okay.” Chuuya sighs. “I just wanted you to take care of me. I don’t want to be by myself.”

“I won’t leave. I’ll wait for you in your room.” Dazai offers.

Disappointed that he was rejected, Chuuya takes what he can get.

*

Wearing nothing but a pair of shorts Chuuya dries his hair with a towel. Finally clean and free of the grime and musk of that godforsaken fictional city. Taking a few moments to brush his teeth and use mouthwash he grabs his comb, and heads to his bedroom.

Dazai isn’t wearing his jacket or slacks anymore. Lounging lazily in his boxers and a long sleeved shirt he looks up from his phone when Chuuya walks in. Crossing the room easily Chuuya joins him on the bed. Dazai sits up and Chuuya hands him the comb. Hesitantly, Dazai takes it. Chuuya turns his back to him and Dazai wordlessly starts untangling and smoothing out his damp hair.

He’s gentle and kind. Slow and working from the ends upwards. Before long he’s combing down from his scalp. He takes his time on the longer section and when he inhales Chuuya knows he’s about to speak.

“Have you thought about growing it out again?”

“You said you liked it asymmetrical.” Chuuya reminds him.

“I’d also like having more to brush..” Dazai admits.

Chuuya’s heart flutters in his chest. The care and consideration Dazai gave him was not as limited as it once was.. perhaps even it was never limited at all. All these years Dazai had been saying what Chuuya knew all along. The affection he gave Chuuya was everything Dazai could never speak out loud. There was no option to doubt him, or to give up. One day he will grow mature enough, confident enough, and certain enough to put words to their relationship. Chuuya was faithful in his prediction that he’d prove himself to him some day.

He had always been listening. The only truths Dazai ever gave him were his touches. These hands were the only real thing Chuuya has ever let himself feel.

Damn.. at some point Dazai stopped combing his hair and began alternating between massaging his scalp and running his fingers through it. It feels like heaven. Chuuya’s eyes have fallen closed and he’s humming softly whenever it feels especially nice.

“When did you remember?” Instantly knowing what he’s referring to, Chuuya lies back to rest his head in his lap.

Looking up into mahogany irises belonging to uncertain, questioning eyes.

Dazai threads his fingers through the longer section, parting the locks slowly.

“Around a year after you came back to Yokohama.”

“How? I was sure you didn’t remember. That you would never remember.”

“I didn’t. Not on my own.”

Dazai’s eyebrows raise. Their gazes hold steady as he plays with his hair. It’s a source of comfort for both of them.

“Someone else knows?”

“No. It’s pretty complicated.”

“I’ll understand.” Dazai encourages him.

“I almost hooked up with this ability user. His ability was rather weak, but not useless. He could feel the directions your mind was going. Basically like an empath. We got to his hotel room and I rushed into it because I didn’t feel right and thought I was being impatient. It turned out I have pretty severe touch aversion. He could tell I was thinking about hurting him and stopped. Then he could tell that I was fucked up about it and that I didn’t know why I couldn’t .. you know. So he asked me if I wanted to see which memories determined me becoming that way. He could only feel what I felt, and couldn’t see my memories himself so I agreed. It showed me my first kiss, what happened with that guy I killed, but mostly it was all about you. Later I looked up what it means when you can only love one person and can’t stand letting anyone else even try to get close. Apparently I’m demisexual and the same way romantically too. I have to feel implicitly understood and totally safe. I’ve only ever experienced that with you.”

“You weren’t exaggerating about your standards then, huh. I vote we refer to it as Dazai-sexual from now on.”

Chuuya understands that he’s diverting attention from the vulnerability and sincerity he displayed. That made it easy to fall back into their easygoing dynamic of before. Chuuya was grateful to Dazai despite it all. He knew when to delve deeper and when to ease up on him. When to be serious and when to tease.

“All your dreams are about to come true because I’m killing you for that.” Chuuya rolls over and presses his face into the lower portion of his bandaged thigh.

Dazai laughs at him. “May I offer some suggestions? I’d prefer something intimate, personal, and feel free to drag it out but don’t cause a lot of pain.”

His fingertips knead into the base of his skull, where his head meets his neck. It feels so good Chuuya sighs. Dazai chuckles at his relaxed state.

“I really don’t get how you feel safe with me.” Dazai confesses softly.

Chuuya sits up again to look him in the eyes.

Searching, through those listless eyes deep into that mind of stone. Did he really not know why Chuuya was able to feel secure around him?

No. That wasn’t it. Chuuya had just told him his attempts at protecting him made things worse. Which wasn’t true. He was only angry at the most recent method.

“Part of it is that I can be myself with you.”

“Oh.. so like how I don’t judge you?” Dazai asks him.

“Partially. It’s also literal too. When you touch me.. I may be powerless but that’s also when I’m the most human. I feel like myself and it’s .. freeing. My head becomes clearer and I’m not as angry, agitated, or aggressive in general.”

“That makes sense. It’s like a break from Arabahaki then.” Dazai concludes.

“You really changed after that happened to me. You had been protective before, like when people came on to me or watching over me in the infirmary after Corruption. But after that night you intensified. It became an all the time thing.”

“I hate seeing you hurt. Rationally, I know you’re strong and that you can take care of yourself. All those times I left you behind and hid from you prove that. Still I’m selfish. I keep coming back to you knowing I bring you grief and pain.”

Chuuya kisses him deeply, hands in his hair and cradling his face. Dazai’s own hands find and hold his waist tightly. His thumbs press into his hip bones and Chuuya mewls into the kiss. The message here is clear and concise. Forgiveness. For everything. Past, present, and future. Though he makes mistakes Chuuya knows he’s getting better. That he’s trying his best. The fall out is too severe if he demands more from him. There’s so much on his mind, but he admits Chuuya is the one he thinks of, and the one he wants to protect.

As they’re getting older they are becoming better at talking things through. Explaining themselves and admitting their faults. Chuuya has been better at communicating from the start, so Dazai has some(quite a bit of) catching up to do.

Pulling back Chuuya meets his eyes.

“It’s not like that’s all you give me. I wouldn’t want you this bad if you caused more damage than good.”

“I don’t believe you.” Dazai tells him.

Chuuya doesn’t lie, and Dazai knows this. This isn’t about fact or fiction. His lies or his belief. Chuuya still feels more positively than negatively about him, and the positive is only growing. The understanding was only part of the puzzle. Another piece was the unfaltering trust. That blind faith. Chuuya believes in him more than he’s ever believed in anything. The reasons not to were submerged by the reasons to hold on.

“Believe what you want. All I know is that I trust you.” Chuuya confesses easily. Staring Dazai in the eyes.

His brows raise ever so slightly. Then his eyes gleam with determination. A coiling anticipation swirls in Chuuya’s abdomen as he realizes Dazai is about to test him. What would he do? How far will they go?

Dazai shifts him so that his back is to the headboard. Chuuya doesn’t question him as he settles him onto his back. Beneath Dazai was the safest and most comfortable place to be. Those faultless hands caress his torso, and those soft lips kiss down his neck to where it meets his shoulder, teeth graze his collarbone.

Chuuya touches him back. Permitting himself to press his palms into shoulder blades. To hold him close and tight. He never wants to stop touching him. Never wants to let go.

Dazai ruins that. Grabbing his wrists and pinning them behind his head. He’s staring Chuuya down like he’s expecting something, a reaction of some kind, and when the cold metal encircles his wrists he understands why. Still, Chuuya doesn’t fight him. Not a liar, not a manipulative bastard, and not someone simple handcuffs could ever restrain; Chuuya meets his gaze evenly. Knowing and trusting Dazai would never hurt him.

Content with being imprisoned, as long as it’s by Dazai, Chuuya is cuffed to the headboard of his bed.

“I’ve given you every reason not to trust me, and still you don’t fight back. You don’t protest or even question this?”

“Fighting you is futile. You always let me win. If I protested you would stop and I don’t want that. Asking you why is useless because you don’t even know.”

Dazai smiles and huffs an amused breath. Fingers trace the muscles down Chuuya’s arms, and he runs his hands down his body as he settles between his legs. Staring into Chuuya’s eyes as his fingertips ghost the waistband of his shorts Dazai speaks again.

“What I’m about to do to you is going to make you question your faith. If you really want to stop me we need a safeword.”

Chuuya can’t help but laugh at him. “You handcuff me before establishing a safeword?”

“You can break out of those. You won’t be able to do anything about this.” Dazai informs him, completely serious.

Chuuya had been right that he was going to test him. Uncaring of the consequences, indifferent to the repercussions, and unheeding to the warning Chuuya will take everything Dazai has to give. Tired of second-guessing himself and determined to prove his point he complies with Dazai’s request.

“Zushi. If I say that you’ll know I can’t take it anymore.”

Dazai nods, approving of his choice. Then he pulls off his shorts. Being restrained isn’t exactly a turn-on for Chuuya, but the way he’s been touched and how seemingly long he’s been without it has him halfway there. Dazai discards the offending clothing to the floor of his bedroom before sitting up to get into his bedside drawer. Retrieving the lube, but no condom. Was he planning on doing him raw tonight? That’s a little cruel.

“I’m not going to fuck you. Though soon enough you’ll be begging me to.” Dazai seems to have read his mind.

What was he planning then? If he wasn’t going to fuck him.. was Chuuya going to fuck him? Dazai hasn’t let him top in quite some time and in this position that seemed unlikely. That’s also not something Chuuya would want to stop.

Chuuya is fine with being subdued. If Dazai was just going to touch him then that was perfectly okay with him. Dazai’s touches are exalting. They exceed all of Chuuya’s deepest desires. They fulfill his innermost dreams. He didn’t have the capability within to deny or reject Dazai. Ready and willing for anything he could give.

Which apparently they’re starting with head. Dazai’s mouth is wet and warm and it takes no time at all for Chuuya to be fully hard. His lips are sinking further and further, and Chuuya’s cock is already at the back of his throat. Dazai swallows around him and takes him even deeper and Chuuya’s hips stutter. He was way too good at this. Even as he choked he didn’t relent, and it was unfair how his mouth could become both the best and worst thing.

Chuuya gasps and a few soft groans escape him as Dazai begins to fuck his own face and sucks hard around him. He gives his all and his tongue presses into the vein along the underside. Then he pulls back and pays special attention to the head. Alternating between circles around it with his tongue and sucking hard for a blissful moment.

Chuuya’s wrists tug against the metal unconsciously. Wanting to touch him. To tangle his fingers through his hair. To pull on chestnut strands and push his head down just to feel his throat put up resistance.

Soon after that thought Dazai deepthroats him again. Sinking so far down his nose brushes against his pelvis. Chuuya has to physically and mentally hold back from thrusting into his perfect mouth. Dazai stays deep but moves with it, up and down, only a few inches at a time. He’s moaning softly and the vibrations are sending shocks up Chuuya’s spine.

What kind of complex would someone have to have to like getting their face fucked so much?

Chuuya barely registers that thought because the sensations are just too good. Would Dazai moan more if he got rough with him? Would he choke and stop? Would his eyes water from inability to breathe?

Fuck consequences. If he could take him this deep without problem Chuuya had to find out. Shallowly lifting his hips at first he feels the back of Dazai’s tongue twitch, but Dazai himself releases a muffled moan. This is encouraging. Chuuya continues, still shallow but a little more roughly. Dazai’s hands grip his thighs but make no move to stop him or hold him down.

Chuuya’s watching him closely. His eyes are closed and his cheeks are flushed. So concentrated. So enraptured. Realizing; Dazai doesn’t let him fuck him anymore because he fears what he would say, but with this he doesn’t have to think about that. Still allowing Chuuya these remnants of control. Also he has a thing with not being able to breathe properly..

Chuuya pushes his luck then. Thrusting up and reveling in the surprised but pleased noise Dazai makes. It’s so good. Hot and tight as his throat spasms around him. He has to try this in a more authoritative position sometime, and use his hair as leverage. Fuck. He’s close.

The thrusts lose their rhythm and he relies on Dazai to keep the pace. Eyes fall shut and Chuuya loses himself inside his deceitful mouth.

“Fuck.. Dazai. I’m about to-“

And then he’s not. Cold air meets hot flesh and his cock throbs as it falls heavy against his stomach. His eyes fly open wide and Dazai is watching him. Puffy, red lips shining and a lazy smile on his face. Drinking Chuuya’s shocked, distressed expression.

Chuuya’s own lips are parted as he attempts to come up with an indignant response but nothing comes to mind that he can say. Dazai has never denied him an orgasm before, so this was a hell of a test. He’s.. not going to do that again, is he?

Belatedly, Chuuya realizes Dazai is tapping his thigh rhythmically, to some sort of tempo. Is he expecting him to have something to say? Is he counting? Each tap has a second in between..

Eventually he hums and stops touching him, reaching to grab the lube and pour it into his hand. He warms it in his palm and Chuuya stutters. Unable to speak.

“Eight years later and I can still stun you speechless.” Dazai’s lazy smile has become a smug grin.

His free hand’s fingertips ghost down his thigh. Uncontrollably, Chuuya twitches. Wrists yanking on the chain holding the cuffs to the headboard.

Not struggling to get free, but to dig the metal into his skin and ground himself again.

“Be careful and relax. If you keep tugging like that you’ll make marks.” Dazai had taken care to make it so he wasn’t suspended. So that his arms could fall back and not be strained.

“I don’t care. Just touch me again.” Chuuya demands but listens to him anyway.

Dazai palms the inside of his thigh teasingly.

“Dazai..” Chuuya tries to sound threatening, but it’s weak to his own ears.

A slick hand grasps him. Slow and evenly, the hand strokes him. It’s all encompassing and not enough. His cock throbs and his whole body shudders at the insufficient pleasure. It was just enough to keep him in this place, there was no building up, no advancing forward. Once imminent release thoroughly delayed. He almost wants to cry at the loss. The stronger part of him wants to ask for more.

“Please.. Dazai.” Chuuya attempts to get more friction by raising his hips. There’s nothing for him. Here, Dazai has total control.

Dazai’s other hand grips him at the base and then his wet palm rubs circles over the head of his cock. It’s excruciating, hyper sensitive, it feels good but it hurts. Seeing stars and feeling electrified, Chuuya almost thinks he can’t take it.

“Hah~!” Biting his lip to keep from screaming he tries and fails to get a grip.

“Stop! Stop! Not that!” Chuuya pleads him.

Dazai lets up, encircling his fist around him again. Pumping up and down his shaft, quicker and more rough. This is what he wanted. This is it.

“Don’t stop. Don’t stop.” Mind clouding and common sense lost to oblivion Chuuya begs him.

His toes curl and he’s right there. About to fall head first over the edge. Whole body tensing and thighs quaking. Eyes starting to well with pleasured tears.

Chuuya cries out his name with a sob when he suddenly stops and grips him harshly. Effectively cutting off the sensations and stopping him from meeting his release. Again.

No tears have fallen, but they are dangerously close to. His chest is tight and his cock was throbbing painfully. Dazai has never touched him like this before and it was overwhelming. Intense. And a little frightening because Chuuya didn’t have any idea when he would stop. He holds on to hope that Dazai will take mercy on him.

While tapping his thigh rhythmically again Dazai observes him. The knot in his stomach burns and dissipates, his pleasure nullified into pain. What could he say? What could he do? The last thing he wants is for Dazai to stop again.

Meeting his eyes through watery vision Chuuya takes an attempt of a sobering breath. It’s shaky and pitiful and he hopes Dazai won’t deny him this. Prays even.

“Dazai.. please fuck me. I want you.” Chuuya begs.

The smile he gets in response makes his stomach sink to his toes.

“Please.. please.. I need you to..” Chuuya’s body sinks into his bed, exhausted already and wanting nothing more than for Dazai to fuck him out of his mind.

Losing his head, giving up on his pride, and wanting to be fulfilled more than anything he’s ever wanted before.

The tapping stops and Dazai pours even more lube. Warming it on his fingers for a few seconds before reaching between Chuuya’s legs. So aroused and having awaited this for so long his body puts up no resistance. Easily and painlessly a single digit breaches him. Sighing with it and tears almost falling in relief Chuuya speaks again.

“Yes. Yes. Dazai~”

The digit twists, presses, and he crumbles completely.

“More. Please Dazai~ I’ll do anything. Just keep going.”

The hand he had been using to stroke him returns and Chuuya moans as his whole body quakes. A second finger prods at his entrance and he pushes his hips down impatiently. Needing more, needing everything Dazai had to give.

Dazai gives in to him. The two digits cause no discomfort, only unsighted relief. Chuuya trembles and gasps as Dazai easily locates that spot within. The stimulations are perfectly timed and even. It’s disorienting how overcome he’s become. He loves Dazai and he trusts that he’ll let him through eventually. One day he’ll reciprocate his words aloud, one day he won’t ever hide again, and one day he’ll feel as safe with Chuuya as he does with him.

Holding on and holding in, Chuuya reaches that edge and knows he’s about to fall. Consciously deciding to say nothing, to keep this from Dazai, so that he won’t be able to take it away again. There was a limit being reached, and he wouldn’t be able to take it if he stopped him again. He can hardly take it now even though he’s finally giving him the touches he deserves. Dazai has gone so far with this, pushing him to his greatest extent, and still Chuuya won’t surrender his faith. Through pleasure, pain, fighting, and making love; Chuuya is his. As much as Dazai refuses to claim him Chuuya devotes himself. There’s no going back anymore.

Falling to pieces from the ecstasy between his hips Chuuya finds his sense of purpose once more.

To be Dazai’s. To show and teach him what it means to love. To recover all that’s been lost and to fix all that has been broken.

All that’s been said and done, within and between them, are reasons enough.

Extending his efforts not to tense up or give any show of Dazai’s affect on him Chuuya is an instant away from euphoria.

When the fingers leave him and the other hand tightens around his base he cries. There’s no stopping the tears now. He can’t believe this and his vision is so blurred he can no longer see his face. How had he known down to the second when to take it all away? This was so unfair. Chuuya tugs uselessly on his restraints and bites his trembling lips to keep from screaming.

“Did you really think that if you didn’t say anything I wouldn’t be able to tell? Fuck you’re cute.” Dazai swears breathlessly as he taps his thigh again.

“Please Dazai~ I can't take it anymore. Let me. Please.” Chuuya begs through his tears.

This has gone too far. Cheeks wet and eyes screwed tight he can’t go through that again. Not wanting to safeword out, but positive that he can’t withstand another denial. Chuuya pleads again.

“I really can’t, Dazai. It’s too much. I love you. Please don’t do it again.”

The tapping against his thigh stops and Dazai begins touching him again. There’s no stopping his tears. It feels so blissful, but so agonizing. Feeling like he’s falling while blazing, Chuuya moans loud. His insides are scorching and his cock is leaking. Every twist of his fingers or flick of his wrist makes him lose whatever is left of his awareness. Lava beneath his skin and fog clouding his mind has him crying out Dazai’s name with no pause. Endless repetitions of the only thing that matters to him. The only one who he lets play games with his heart and mind. It doesn’t matter that he fucks up, it makes no difference whether he was right or wrong, all that made any sense was the way he touched him and how much of himself he gave with these affections.

“Dazai you can’t deny me again. You can’t stop. You can’t leave me.” Chuuya cries as he makes this demand.

“Chuuya.”

Blearily unfocused eyes pry open to see his face.

Dazai expression is one of fondness, genuine tenderness, and his eyes are the warmest Chuuya has ever seen them.

“Do you trust me?”

“Unquestionably.”

Seconds away from release Chuuya’s head thrashes from side to side and he tries to hold back from crying out. Ultimately, Dazai lets him. He fails.

The initial rapture feels like being struck by lightning, then drowning in flames. His head is spinning and his skin is scorching. Incomparably and undeniably lost to the incandescent heat between his thighs. Torn to pieces, skin and bone. There’s no coherent thoughts to be found as he’s washed over with wave after wave of electric fire. Brain short circuiting and vision completely whiting out, he barely registers Dazai’s voice.

“You’re lovely, Chuuya.”

Everything fades away.

*

When he comes to there’s purposeful thumbs rubbing one of his wrists. Blinking to adjust his eyes to the light he finds himself and Dazai beneath his comforter lying on their sides facing each other. Dazai has his arms lifted between them and is watching him carefully as he massages the sore flesh.

He notices Chuuya is awake right away.

“Can you sit up?” He asks.

Chuuya feels exhausted but he can.

Dazai sits up and Chuuya follows his lead. Then he reaches behind him and grabs him a glass of water. He presses it into Chuuya’s hands and they shake a bit. He hopes it’s not too obvious as he drinks.

Feeling a bit better already Chuuya realizes he’s wearing his shorts again. Damn. How long had he been out? He pulls the glass from his lips and breathes.

“Finish that. You’re dehydrated.” Dazai orders.

Chuuya heeds without argument. Closing his eyes and focusing on the refreshing feeling of drinking for real again. If this is how he feels after drinking water he probably needs to eat soon.

A weight rests in his lap as he finishes his drink. He sets aside the glass and looks down to find a bowl of fruit. There’s mandarin and apple slices, along with some purple grapes. How /long/ had he been out?

“I didn’t know what you would want, but have this as a snack before you decide.” Dazai attempts to sound flippant but he seriously peeled mandarins and sliced an apple for him so Chuuya can only giggle.

“Thanks.” Chuuya expresses gratitude before eating some grapes.

Dazai shrugs before grabbing his unoccupied left hand. Chuuya snacks on his fruit passively and watches him. Those certain fingers apply just the right amount of pressure as they massage that wrist. Chuuya doesn’t say anything as he notices the purple ring adorning his flesh.

“Are you okay?” Dazai asks him, in a low voice.

Still looking down at the bruise marking his skin.

Dazai’s concern for him, this care he exudes for him alone; shines like a star in the night, gleams like a reflection on glass, and glimmers like sunshine hitting the sea. Dazai loves him. This is just how he says it.

Chuuya smiles. “Lovely, actually.”

Chapter Text

Five days have passed since Dazai released Chuuya from Poe’s novel. Dazai’s mind has become dim and doubtful since then. Chuuya said to him that he doesn’t even try, but he has been. He called his affections circumlocution. He said his efforts at protecting him made things worse. Even if he was just angry in the moment Dazai considers deeply what he accused him of. Was he really that indirect? These days he is putting forth time and energy into what they shared. Were his methods of protecting him that horrible?

Dazai hadn’t meant to make him so upset. It made him feel sick when he had to stop Chuuya from stabbing himself through his palm. Was he really questioning reality to that extent? Despite his words Dazai felt he was trying to get something out of him. The attempt of self harm seemed like a cry for help rather than a genuine desire for pain. Whether or not Chuuya can tell himself, Dazai knows the difference.

Dazai didn’t have the right to but he got angry with him. The way he spoke to him, accusing him of disrespect, and asking him why he couldn’t say.. These were things he already knew the answers to. Why should Dazai have to spell things out or confess clearly like he has? They aren’t the same person. They have different ideas about the way things should be between them. Chuuya has never expressly stated what he wants from this in the first place.

It’s not like he has ever said what he wants to define this as. Because of Dazai, Chuuya probably has no idea how relationships are even supposed to work. Essentially, Dazai has ruined Chuuya’s life. By being the worst person to love and by being the only one he can.

Listening to Chuuya explain how he tried and failed to fuck someone else had Dazai’s lungs tight in his chest. Before he had selfishly thought he wanted to own Chuuya, to keep him all to himself, and that he wanted to be the only one to ever touch him. Now he feels guilty for it. Unable to imagine what kind of anguish Chuuya had felt when he found he was averse to touch. The idea of being the only exception shattered the glass ceiling of his own greed. If he was all Chuuya had the capacity to love, what was he supposed to give him in return?

Trust. Chuuya says all he knows is that he trusts him. Contradictory to so many things he’s said in the past and present. The thing Dazai hates the most about honesty is how the truth changes. Keeping lies straight is easy for him, hiding true motives and intentions is effortless, and holding back from speaking at all is as uncomplicated as it can get.

If he keeps his desires to himself, if he never entertains expectations, and if he never voices anything; There’s no disappointment. The universe can’t take anything he doesn’t have. To claim Chuuya as his would make him something Dazai could lose.

The confirmation that Chuuya considers himself to be Dazai’s is too much.

Two nights ago he got this look in his eyes. Like Dazai was all that he could see. A kaleidoscope of grays and blues as he begged him.

“Stay with me.”

The need to run, the need to deny him, was drowned out by the weakness in his voice.

Leaving him alone now seemed like a bad idea.

So Dazai stayed with him for almost an entire week.

Guilt was indeed a powerful thing.

Down to the hour Dazai knows when Chuuya became the only person he would do anything for. Supposing he himself is full of contradictions too. All those times Dazai has run from him, all those times he has hidden himself away, and every time he has pushed Chuuya back - He was running, hiding, and pushing away from himself.

The world doesn’t seem so horrendous when Chuuya is in his arms. Breathing isn’t as unbearable when Chuuya is beneath him. Everything falls into place when their lips or hips meet. Dying still holds its appeal, but it takes a backseat when Chuuya is passenger side.

There’s a gnawing sense of dread in Dazai’s mind. After allowing himself this reprieve from the uneasiness of the Dostoyevsky situation he realizes he doesn’t have much choice but to follow his instincts. There was a larger plot about to unfold, more drudged up past problems were going to hit the fan, and Dazai didn’t want Chuuya involved.

Chuuya may hate him for this, but Dazai has to do what he thinks will protect him. As of now that meant staying away. If he ends up squandering what Chuuya called his only chance then he does. Keeping Chuuya alive was more important than letting him follow him down this path. Even if that meant sacrificing his faith and everything they had.

Dazai hasn’t been able to sleep the last two nights, but he stayed in Chuuya’s bed anyway. Holding him in his arms so that he could rest. After a long time of watching Chuuya sleep Dazai found him to be a little needy. Unconsciously he would grab Dazai’s shirt, or press his face into him. Like though he was asleep he had ensure that Dazai was still there. That may be telling of all the times Dazai has abandoned him as he slept. The need for physical reassurance was heavy in him.

In the early hours of the morning Chuuya adjusted so that he was practically crushing Dazai. His head and upper body weighing down Dazai’s chest. Fists grasping his shirt and ear pressed over his heart. Dazai wrapped his arms around his sleeping former partner in response, secretly enjoying the solid presence above him. If Chuuya were to hold him down like this more often .. he can’t say he would mind.

Chuuya stays that way as the sunrise bleeds through his curtains. Dazai stares up at his ceiling as he cards his fingers through his hair. Chuuya is so soft, yielding, and weak to Dazai alone. The world sees him so differently than the view Dazai now has. Morning light illuminates orange hair so that it shines ethereally. Though Chuuya harbors within a god of calamity, and people may only think of blood and destruction when they picture him - Dazai sees a halo. An angelic being mortal morals could never fathom. He’s beautiful and strong and immense, but he’s fragile, cute, and powerless at times too. Dazai can’t stand the idea of him getting hurt. Never wants to see the day where Chuuya …

Ultimately deciding that no matter what Chuuya thinks or wants Dazai needs him alive and breathing.

He stirs in Dazai’s arms. Sitting up and blinking drowsiness from his eyes, he releases his grip on his shoulder and shirt. Dazai stops petting him, instead tangling his fingers and holding them there.

“We need to talk.” Dazai states.

Chuuya rubs his eye before trying to focus his face.

“What is it?” Then he covers his mouth to yawn.

The sight is so adorable Dazai is briefly distracted by it.

“It’s about Dostoyevsky.” Tone low and serious, Dazai is about to offer his insight as a warning.

Chuuya’s tired eyes widen. The drowsiness vanishing into thin air. He knows already that what lies ahead of this conversation is going to be another one of Dazai’s ‘stupid attempts’ at protecting him.

“If you ever see him; get out of there as fast as you can. The ability Crime and Punishment kills anyone who touches him who is guilty of sin. Indiscriminately. It’s not like mine where it has to be direct skin or ability contact either. I watched a man in full riot gear touch his shoulder and it looked like a full body hemorrhage.”

“He’s in prison. I doubt I’ll be seeing him anytime soon, but thanks for warning me.” Chuuya tells him.

“I’m sure he has more people on the outside. I was concerned about Ivan before because his ability is opposite to yours in a way. Now I think we have much bigger problems ahead.”

“What do you mean?” Chuuya questions him.

“I mean that we are better off being cautious for now. I’m going to keep looking into this and I expect to .. get into things I’d rather not have you involved in. I’m trying, right here and right now, to give you fair warning of what I’m going to do. You are not going to be able to stop me or change my mind, and I’m not going to give you any excuse to put yourself at risk.”

Chuuya is dead silent. Watching him carefully. Hardly breathing.

“Don’t come after me. If I beat him, and if I make things okay again .. I’ll come back on my own. This is something only I can do. This is another risk I don’t want you to take.”

Those usually fiery and willful eyes have never looked so defeated. Even when Dazai told him he never belonged to him, even when he tried to stab himself, and even when he admitted he knows Dazai lets him win. He has never looked so thoroughly crushed.

It tugs on Dazai’s heartstrings and eats away the back of his mind. Seeing Chuuya become so easily conquered by just granting him a little grace had Dazai understanding why he’s never warned him before. He hates seeing Chuuya weak, and hurt, but more than anything he loathes seeing Chuuya sad.

Dazai has never troubleshooted an incident like this before, and truly has no predictions for what he might say.

Chuuya presses his face into Dazai’s chest. Clearly, Dazai can feel the pain in his shuddering breaths. He’s trying to hold back all his anger and sadness from knowing now that Dazai has stayed here this past week because he felt guilty. Immeasurably blameworthy of everything he has done and what he intends to do. Dazai informs him bluntly that he is going away again.

Another stupid attempt at protecting him. Another instance of telling him what’s good for him. Another time saying he’s not right for the job.

“This is all you've ever been; someone who runs and refuses help. When are you going to realize you’re not better off alone?” Chuuya asks into his chest. Sounding so forlorn.

“You’ve got it wrong, Chuuya. I’ve always worked best on my own or at the top. Having you as a partner held me back more than it pushed me forward. That’s not because you’re weak or a burden either. It’s because I find it difficult to focus when I’m distracted by you.” Dazai is both lying and telling the truth. Saying things that might hurt and saying things he’s said before.

Chuuya looks up at him with shiny eyes and a pout on his lips. Dazai can tell he wants to protest, and that he has things he wants to say. He hopes that Chuuya will hold back for once with his blunt honesty, because it took so much out of Dazai already to warn him and attempt to be truthful himself.

“I’m taking your warning seriously, but I’m not going to promise I’ll stay out of it altogether.” Chuuya declares.

Dazai presses his palm to his own forehead and inhaled deeply. Determined to avoid confrontation and wanting to change the subject. Though he didn’t know where to go from this point. It felt too burdensome to say ‘goodbye’.

Farewells held too much permanence. They left no room for error and provided material for judgement. Dazai has always preferred the noncommittal chicanery of silently slipping away.

“You’ve been here all week and haven’t tried to fuck me once. I should have known something was wrong. You’ve been acting different ever since you brought me back.”

Dazai snorts at his complaint. “It’s not that I haven’t wanted to. I actually can’t.”

“What? Why?” Chuuya rests his arm across Dazai’s chest and then his chin on it. Peering at him curiously.

“Stitches.” Dazai reveals vaguely.

Chuuya’s eyes bulge almost comically out of his head and he carefully gets off him. Dazai says nothing as he lifts the hem of his shirt. This reveals the new dressing over his stomach.

“How.. have I been hurting you?” Chuuya tries to ask how it happened and is apparently more concerned with this possibility that he has somehow aggravated the wound.

“Dostoyevsky had me sniped. It didn’t hit anything vital and went straight through. You’ve been good about it even though you didn’t know it was there. I was sure that you were going to beat my ass when I let you out and probably rip them open. The only time you hurt me was when you grabbed onto me when I tried to leave, but I deserved that so I didn’t say anything.” Dazai explains.

Chuuya is staring at the new addition to his bandages. The expression is indiscernible. As good as Dazai is at reading him he really can’t tell what he’s thinking at all.

“No matter what happens. If you win or lose. You have to come back to me. If you survive there’s no excuse. Actually even if you die that doesn’t excuse you. You have to come back, Dazai.” Chuuya commands him.

“We’ve never had any need for promises. I will do as I have before.”

Chuuya eyes flick back up to his face.

“You say that and yet you have promised me so many things. You have made me swear to an agreement I didn’t have full context to. You promised that I’m a real person. You said you will always bring me back from Corruption. You predicted you would prove yourself to me one day. There are other promises too. Things you never had to say aloud, but swore to all the same.”

Dazai is taken aback by his forwardness. He hadn’t expected to be called on his bluff. There were agreements and unspoken obligations between them as much as Dazai’s instincts screamed to deny him and attempt to deceive.

At a loss once again, Dazai is weighed down more than physically by the inevitability of everything about Chuuya.

“What do you want from me?” Dazai asks him softly.

Chuuya pulls his shirt back down and turns away.

Lying on his side so that Dazai can’t see his face, he sighs.

“Don’t ask questions you know the answers to.”

*

Four weeks ahead and Dazai is thinking even more. The Agency was given a case Ranpo warned them not to take. The hairs on the back of his neck stand up as he realizes he’s being followed. By a hunting dog no less. Things were looking grim.

It’s not like him to surrender, but he knew that this was the way to go. All paths must converge eventually and if the hunting dogs had sniffed him out it was time to get caught in the net. The only way out is down.

The cuff on his wrist is uncomfortable but not as much so as the way he is manhandled throughout the arrest. The snarky asshole he is makes snide comments and rude remarks. Even smiling brightly for his mugshot photo.

Prison was the answer. This way he could get close to Dostoyevsky. He heard that he had been moved the ability user prison in Meursault, Europe, and that there was no other way to get close to him without meeting him there. They somehow managed to make a cocktail of military grade tranquilizers strong enough to render him unconscious. But not entirely. His eyes were closed and he was immobile, but he could still hear what was going on around him and what was being said.

Dazai knew he’d wake up in a box on the other side of the world.

When he did, right across from Fyodor, as he had arranged, he overheard the Demon talking to himself.

He mentioned the ‘Eyes of God’ being unusable under his breath.

The blood bullet. Hawthorne’s assassination technique was the one he’d use on Fitzgerald.

Dazai has been keeping tabs on all the Agency’s troubles from within his various cells. There were those who had been apprehended. Those who were hiding under the Mafia’s protection. And his protege and the one like him were in position.

Kyouka-chan and Atsushi knew how to take initiative. Dazai knows they have made it this far on their own. The communications he had with the outside were very limited, but he had someone looking out for him. An old ‘friend’ in a high place he could trust.

By manipulating his breathing his heart spelled out Dostoyevsky’s plan. Forcing palpitations to numerical rhythm was a peculiar talent he possessed. But! It’s easy to get yourself worked up if you’re actually stressed all the time.

And the Demon’s plans were foiled once more.

Fyodor notices him soon after that and Dazai greets him cheerily.

“The assassination has been prevented, Demon-san.”

Eyes briefly reflecting surprise before he smiles at him. “Ah. I see. So you came, hm?”

“Isn’t this place so boring? Come on, let’s strike up a good conversation!” Dazai offers in an obvious ploy to get all the information he can.

“... You let yourself be caught on purpose in order to save the Detective Agency?”

“Since I had no choice but to sit down right here if I wanted to see through your plan, you know.”

“How are you going to contact your comrades on the outside?” Dostoyevsky is straight to the point, much like Dazai wishes he could be.

There’s no chance of him showing his hand.

“That is a secret of course. Just the same way yours is.”

“To be blessed with a chess partner in this basement.” Dostoyevsky muses.

Dazai accepted this challenge long ago.

“The game is on, Dostoyevsky!” A cold glare makes its home on his features and he allows the life to leave his eyes once more.

“Shall we have a super happy chit-chat about our problems?” Dostoyevsky calls to him.

Dazai gives him nothing more than a blank stare.

However his mind has much more inappropriate thoughts. It has been a long while since he’s bottomed for Chuuya. Considering how badly he craves it he realizes his mind is turning into a whore. Letting Chuuya fuck his face was just a more plausible option. From the moment Dazai acknowledged how he really thinks of Chuuya he knew that if he took him to that place again, that breaking point; there would be no stopping him from voicing it all. Evading and avoiding are some of his best talents so he hid it his best.

Clearing his head to slow the rate of his heart in case another message needed to be passed along, Dazai let the distractions fall away.

“So, it’s finally happened! I, Dostoyevsky, am the prime-time host of the first super happy problem discussion!”

This guy definitely has more screws loose than Dazai does.

“I’m going to need you to hold on for a minute.”

“What is it?” Fyodor tilts his head curiously.

The blank stare has not vacated his features.

“... what the fuck.” Dazai deadpans.

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Dostoyevsky whines.

Dazai puts a hand under his chin. Pretending to contemplate the offer. Though like with practically everything that leaves his lips; he’s going to lie.

The following exchange has Dostoyevsky acknowledging he sees Dazai as his equal. Offensive, because Dazai is without a doubt superior. Dazai agrees to his request by telling him to go first.

“My subordinates laze around all day waiting for orders without taking initiative. How do I make them into excellent autonomous subordinates?”

With Atsushi it took being human. Understanding. Being sympathetic. Encouraging him to be bold enough to accept himself and learn from his mistakes. Once Atsushi had the confidence and ability to make his own judgements watching him grow became genuinely enjoyable. Not that Dazai was about to relay any of that to the Demon though.

“Hm.. if your subordinates believe lazing around is a bad thing, they’ll start to put effort in on their own.” This has never worked in Dazai’s case and he hopes that Fyodor’s underlings are monsters similar in sloth to him.

“I see.” Dostoyevsky takes it as face value.

“I’ll go next. The cafe hostess isn’t swayed by my attempts to woo her. What should I do?” This is a blatant joke, but Dazai secretly looks forward to this maniac’s response.

“Well if you make her lose her job and house and convince her family to abandon her - She will come clinging to you!” Dostoyevsky suggests cheerfully.

Dazai almost gags. Never thinking he would see the day where he is outdone of his title ‘Enemy of All Women’. Dostoyevsky really has never been touched. Let alone been in a relationship.

“Ah I see!” Dazai plays along with his happy-go-lucky farce.

They laugh together, but in his mind Dazai is making fun of him. Must suck to be that guy.

“Then, why don’t we ask a question at the same time?” Dostoyevsky suggests.

“Sounds good.” Dazai agrees easily.

“Tell me” - “I'd like to know”

“How you’re contacting people on the outside.”

This game of chess has only just begun.

*

Five months go by, the war is won, and Dazai comes to a decision. Long and considerably he has thought about letting Chuuya go. The time had come where Dazai was forced to choose between betraying his deceased friend or letting down the person who trusted him the most. It was time to stop running. Time to face his demons, his past, his mistakes, and his foolishness. The deal had been made. It could not be undone.

After all Oda had done for him, and everything he learned following his wishes, Odasaku was yet another person he had to let down.

Ango had done a lot for him too. Covering up his crimes, being his line of communication to the outside, and relaying his orders to the Agency. In short, Ango was the reason Dazai was able to save them at all. To Dazai, he has almost broke even. Fukuzawa gave Mori the only offer worth taking; an Agency member to join the Port Mafia. For the protection of the remaining members it was a fair price to pay.

Dazai has to do the right thing, and it’s the hardest thing he’s ever had to do.

Rejoining the Port Mafia was something only he could.

Kyouka-chan deserves to live in the light. Yosano-sensei can’t relive the atrocities Mori put her through. Atsushi could never kill someone and Dazai never wants him to. Kenji is just a kid. Tanizaki has Naomi to look after. Kunikida is out of the question. The only real option for this compromise was him.

This outcome was not unforeseen. Though Dazai was dragging his feet, all roads lead back to..

It’s freezing. Still Dazai has to visit him. Feet knowing the way so well he never looks up until he finds himself below the tree covering his grave. Dazai takes a seat behind the gravestone and presses his back to it.

“Hello, old friend.” Dazai mumbles to the frigid air.

“I did what you asked of me for as long as I could. But all good things come to an end, don’t they?”

Sighing, Dazai pulls a novel out of his jacket.

“Literature is what changed your mind, right? The desire to see things through, conclude stories, and practice good morality. Wanting others to live and create their own stories is what made you stop killing. You telling me I could become a better man is what made me stop.. but I never really stopped. I just started killing people who I felt deserved it. Who do I think I am to pass judgment like that? I’m not a god like he is.. Speaking of him, before the second and third act of this mess we called a war, I trapped him in this very book.” Dazai thumps the novel against his thigh.

“I kept him out of it as much as possible, but I never told him why. I still haven’t said what you told me I shouldn’t deny him long ago. I have to go back now. To him and the Port Mafia. It’s my choice but the result of a deal I did not make. I did try, you know. To become a better person for you. He told me to my face that I must have nothing to live for if I let a dead man tell me how to live. He was right too. You both were right. In different ways. I pretend to be in control, uncaring and indifferent, but all the actions I take are for someone else’s sake or to harm myself.”

“Whenever I was asked what I wanted my first impulse was to answer ‘Nothing.’ The thought went through my mind that it didn't make any difference, that nothing was going to make me happy. You told me I deny myself and asked me when I would do something for my own sake. I thought leaving the Mafia would be a tribute to you and a chance at redemption. I guess I can’t run anymore. All paths lead back to him. I’m sorry that I’m betraying you, but I .. also believe this is another chance. For him and I.. I don’t know if I’ll ever be happy. I may just be incapable of that. With him though things are easier.. closer to content. Not quite, but unfathomably more bearable than anywhere else. Even if I commit more atrocities, kill more people, and become black again at least it will be at his side. I’d like to think that I have become better than I once was, thanks to you. In part, to him too. I have become more capable of fulfilling his needs since back then. I still wonder though .. what does he want from me? From this? Is it as simple as you said? Just acknowledgement out loud? We still .. eight years and eight months later .. have never labeled anything.”

“Now I have to go back. Leave all the good I’ve done and all the people who have come to matter to me all behind. Maybe he’s right. Maybe this is all that I can be; someone who runs and never asks for help. After all, I choose to confide in the only person who won’t answer me back.”

Dazai laughs a dry laugh.

“What if it was him? And it wasn’t me? I’ve tried to do right by him, and you, and Ango, and Atsushi. Hell, I even tried to do right by Akutagawa for like four seconds one time. It’s not like I’ve come this far from lack of effort. It’s direction, consistency, justice, and motivation that I lack..”

“Before I go back to him, and join them once more I want to have an idea of what I put him through when I held him captive in here. I’ll just read with you and hope I get hypothermia and die.”

Dazai opens the novel to the dedication page.

‘To my dear friend Edogawa Ranpo

Including a collection of Epistles to Dazai Osamu’

What?

Dazai’s fingers tremble and not from the cold as he flips through the pages. Towards the end of the story.. there are words that are clearly written in Chuuya’s handwriting. Perfectly inked into the paper, with permanence pretending it had originally been there.

‘Meaning and purpose
Such trivial things to search for
Yet they are the only reasons for being
Inhumanity brings out the human in me
Inevitably
letting me win
Falling like petals
Scattering in the wind
Time and time again
Pondering what the goal is
Where will this meet its end
When I can no longer feel?
Or when you finally can?

Recalling the easiness of times long past
Taking everything from another
To make each other laugh
Contrition is a farce
Eyes searching for the Moon
What you see in I
I have long seen in you’

Dazai swallows and reads it over again.

Then he searches for the next sign of Chuuya’s handwriting, flipping through the pages, scanning it all carefully. His eyes find another quickly.

‘He did, he said, he has done
Much to leave the other side of the door
All in his might to run
Hiding and avoiding, like someone who fears getting drenched by the rain
He speaks and it doesn’t matter if you are listening
Chances are you won’t understand
Actions antithetical to words
Hands; the promised land

He thinks of little and all there is at once
I wonder if he knows he is already gone
He knows one thing without question
That mind itself long lost
This heart belongs to me, a fate destined’

Dazai’s head is spinning. The ground feels like it’s no longer under him. What was this? Chuuya should be expressing anger or disgust or grief at being betrayed.. Both of these poems were about them and how he sees Dazai and how he knows that Dazai’s heart is his. Damn. Shit. Fuck.

Thumbing through the pages Dazai reaches the end. The final page. Chuuya’s style has changed to shūji 習字, elegant and softer edges, appearing to have been written with a brush instead of a quill like the others.

‘As wires tie us down
As emotion became thought
As memories fade from mind
As love is sought

As you ask what I want
As you already know
As the answer awaits you
As footprints mar the snow

As cold nights could be warm
As I fall into your arms
As doubts and misgivings leave us
As you stop causing harm

As all bad times must end
As all good ones will too
As always I find myself
As ever loving you’

There really was no going back anymore. All this time the only person he had deceived was himself. He was the only one who had been denied. Chuuya held onto him. In faith, in trust, in love. Yet all Dazai ever told him is that he’s the one he thinks of.

Leaning back into his best friend’s gravestone, Dazai sighs.

Though Odasaku is gone, and he has left Chuuya behind; he has never once been alone.

Chapter Text

Chuuya awakes to the sound of someone breaking into his apartment. It’s been so long he’s almost forgotten what that sounded like. A thought crosses his mind that he should really make him a key.

It has been six months since they’ve seen each other though. Dazai has gone and wasted another half year of their lives. There was a small excuse of him being in a high security prison for a portion of that time, but he has avoided Chuuya again for far too long.

Footsteps come closer and closer to his door and the familiarity of them is recognized instantly. Chuuya rests back into his pillows and keeps his eyes closed. Imagining when he opens them things will be better. Hanging onto hope that Dazai has finally gotten over himself.

That this will be the last time he comes back after a leave of absence.

That this will be the time he’s here to stay.

The footsteps reach him and still he doesn’t open his eyes. Feigning slumber in case this turns out to be another wishful dream. When chapped lips from the cold kiss his forehead he thinks there’s no way this is happening.

Blue eyes open and meet Dazai’s mahogany ones. Everything feels better. This must be real.

“Why?” Chuuya asks him referring to the forehead kiss, the timing of his arrival, and what even possessed him to come here.

Dazai joins him on the bed. Sitting at his side and looking towards the window. He sighs and shivers a little. Impossible to tell if it’s from nerves or the cold.

“I’m sorry. I haven’t been sincere or truthful to you. I am so stupid. I can’t even say I’ve been blind because I’ve been covering my eyes and pretending I couldn’t see.”

Chuuya sits up and pulls his knees to his chest. Resting his head on them, softened by his blanket, he tries to prepare himself for whatever Dazai has to say. The younger turns towards him then. Reading Dazai is a skill Chuuya has honed and nurtured for many years now, so this he can see.

The mask, the facade, right before his eyes, is breaking. Fast. The rarity that is Dazai’s vulnerability has nowhere to hide. In this moment there was only the two of them to see it.

It breaks Chuuya’s heart in the blink of an eye.

“I was immature and fickle, disloyal and untrue, to deny you was to deny myself. For so long that’s all I thought I could do. I was wrong about everything.”

“I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to get here. I’m sorry that I thought I had to hide. I’m sorry for all the heartache I have put you through. I’m sorry that this has been so hard for me to say.”

Chuuya’s broken heart stutters in his chest. It’s so hard to even breathe. Is this really happening? Is Dazai going to confess the truth Chuuya has felt through his tenderness all along?

“I’m sorry I don’t just care about you. Saying that seems hollow. Even calling you important to me is too shallow to do to you. You’re the only reason I’m alive right now and no one has saved my life more than you. I spent the first fifteen years of my life thinking the gods had forsaken me until I met you. It’s been you all along, Chuuya.”

Dazai reaches for him, tucking a lock of hair behind his ear. Chuuya has grown it out again like he suggested. The genuineness of the gesture has Chuuya falling all over again. There were things he wanted to say too, but he was determined to let Dazai go on as long as he needed. Praying that today would be the day. The hand caresses Chuuya’s cheek gently before settling under his chin.

“I was in Koi No Yokan from the instant you kicked me down on Cone Street. From the moment my eye met yours I was struck by the inevitability of everything about you. I plotted to recruit you because I felt the Sheep were using you and that they were doing so poorly. I wanted Mori to assign us as partners because I had to get closer to you. I became infatuated with you soon after that. Everything about you drew me in and made it hard to think. I had never considered myself impulsive before then. In St. Petersburg, seeing those people get too close to you, watching your eyes as they picked me apart and figured me out, and the way you didn’t turn me away-cleared up some things. I didn’t know there was anything I desired more than death until I found myself between your thighs. I wanted, craved, and needed you ever since that night. The first time I pulled you back from Corruption I was overcome with the urge to protect you. To hold you as you suffered through fevers and tremors and I never wanted to let go of your hand. How I felt about you became obvious to me while I was washing blood out of your hair. I have always hated hurting you and I have always hated seeing you as weak. More than anything I hate seeing you seriously upset. When you’re scared, unsure of yourself, or sad it crushes me. It feels like I’m consumed by a black hole and it rips me to pieces. I never knew it was possible to care for someone like this before I met you. It honestly scared me too. Pushing you away was ineffective because whether or not you chased after me there was no escaping this. I couldn’t ever stay away because I truthfully didn’t want to.”

Dazai lets go of his face and trails his fingers down his jaw and neck. Ultimately his palm rests over Chuuya’s heart. They both take a deep breath.

“I told myself that if I never admitted my true feelings, and that if I never claimed you as my own that the universe wouldn’t take you away. I have never once deserved you, Chuuya. I refused to tell the truth because I am the same as you. My worst fear is losing you. Not because I think you would run or hide or push me away. But because I believed karma hated me enough that if you were mine you would die.”

Tears fall from Chuuya’s eyes freely. There was no need to hold back here. Dazai was indeed so stupid. All those times Chuuya let him in just for him to go again were Dazai’s asinine attempts at protecting him. How could someone so intelligent be so fucking dumb?

“This is the last time, Dazai. You’re not ever going to leave me again.” Chuuya moves to pull him in. Holding him close and making his final demand.

Dazai’s tense body relaxes in Chuuya’s arms.

“You’re right. I’m done. I’m not going anywhere. I’ll never leave your side again. I promise. You’re mine and I’m never letting go.” As if to prove his point, Dazai wraps his arms around him tightly.

All of Chuuya’s truest desires and deepest dreams have been sated. Dazai was never going to disappear again. The day he longed for has arrived at last. Dazai has claimed him all for himself. After years and years of giving himself to him; Dazai has accepted him.

“This is the last time, Chuuya. I won’t hurt you anymore.
‘As all bad times must end
As all good ones will too
As always I find myself
As ever loving you’”

Chuuya pulls back to look at him. Both shocked and embarrassed. How did Dazai … the book? His poems stayed in the book!?

Dazai used Chuuya’s own words to confess. It would be his way of doing it. Reminiscent of all the times he has taken credit for Chuuya’s hard work in the past.

Somehow, though it was the roundabout way out, the indirect confession was an acceptable outcome. There were no more unanswered questions between them. No masks to conceal how they feel. Dazai knew what Chuuya wanted, and all there was left for him to do was take it.

The solution was a simple one. Resorted to when there came a time for Chuuya to hear the complete and uncensored truth. It has only been so long because Dazai couldn’t say it before. He has evaded this with so much effort that Chuuya knows for sure his assumptions were true.

Stubborn as ever, and indulgent entirely, Chuuya resolves to take Dazai as his own. Nothing if not persistent, Chuuya’s strong will has never failed to compel Dazai to speak his mind. When Dazai loses his inhibitions Chuuya hears everything he needs.

Chuuya kisses him. No ambiguity to be found within it. Explicitly and unreservedly Chuuya has to let him know he’s safe now. There would never come a time where they would be without each other again. The affirmation that they belonged to each other, with no incertitude, has Chuuya’s heart pounding, revived, and healed in his chest.

Joy and gratitude are vain and inept at describing the depth of how Chuuya feels in this moment. Vowing to himself that now and forever he won’t let Dazai doubt what they have anymore. The noncommittal, dubious thing that was their past arrangement done and gone.

Dazai is still shaking. Chuuya doesn’t think it’s from the cold anymore. Even his lips tremble against Chuuya’s. Though Chuuya is aware of Dazai’s issues with pain and risk he doesn’t want to do that to him tonight. There’s a new feeling stirring within him that Dazai might think he doesn’t deserve gentleness and that may be why he had pushed Chuuya to go hard on him before.

So he wants to prove him wrong.

Kindness and compassion would probably open him up in a different and more intimate way.

Regardless, Chuuya wants to show him, teach him, that he was capable of tenderness too.

Slipping his jacket off his shoulders Chuuya tosses it aside. Adjusting him easily to lie back in his bed Chuuya towers over him for the first time in so long it somehow feels like the first time all over again. Mahogany eyes shine through the darkness and even in this low light the uncharacteristic weakness in Dazai’s expression has the younger averting his gaze. Chuuya is reminded of that idiot teenager who used to chew on his pen and pretend he hadn’t been caught staring. In Chuuya’s eyes Dazai was all he could see. More than aware that sentiment goes both ways Chuuya isn’t about to let him look away.

Delicately taking his chin in his grip Chuuya turns his face more towards him. Those lifeless eyes don’t look as lifeless anymore. Blinking slowly, and lashes fluttering, a nervous huff of breath escapes his lips. Is he really that anxious about this?

No wonder it’s been so long.

Moving his hand to lift the bangs off his forehead Chuuya leans down and kisses him between the eyes. No effort is made on Dazai’s part to touch him back. No hands grasp his waist. No fingers trail down his sides. All of the confidence and bravado he usually maintained missing in action. Many would think of Dazai as impervious and unaffected, but Chuuya knows better. Right now exceptionally; Dazai is woundable.

Chuuya kisses his temple, his cheek, his jaw, and the small uncovered space below his chin of his neck. Hardly does Dazai move, other than to tilt his head and breathe. The intakes of air shallow and wavering.

With no haste in movement Chuuya unbuttons his shirt. The familiar outline is now even more bandaged than before. The coverings now conceal all of his stomach, meeting their end right above his hip bones. Was he hiding new wounds? Or perhaps the gunshot scar? Or was this an effort to conceal as much of himself as possible?

“Are you injured?” Fingertips ghosting over the new additions to his mummified array.

“All healed. Just more scars.” Voice just above whispering, Dazai’s response is shaky and insecure.

Chuuya’s heartbeat falters as he changes angle and bends down once again. His lips meet Dazai’s hipbone, gingerly peppering pecks to the area. No teeth, no tongue, no sucking or biting. Just soft presses of lips to the smallest amount of bare skin.

Goosebumps scatter across the exposed flesh. Chuuya kisses them anyway, hoping the warmth of his lips and breath will calm him just a bit. It doesn’t seem that’s the case.

From in between his thighs Chuuya is centered at the vantage point for observing every reaction.

Dazai is not calming down at all.

The back of his arm over his eyes is hiding the most telling piece of his expressions. The other arm has his fist clenched at his side. While his thighs tremble ever so slightly, evident he is trying to suppress his anxiety.

Relenting on the kisses Chuuya brings his hands to his waist.

“Dazai.”

“Hm?” He acknowledges, eyes still concealed by his arm.

“Look at me.” The request is soft. Not commanding or forceful at all.

Even the darkness could do nothing to hide that deep set frown. He makes an exasperated little whine. Distressed and pouting.

“Dazai, it’s okay.” Chuuya presses his palms into him lightly.

“Why are you being like this?” Dazai asks him, still hiding his eyes.

“Look at me and I’ll tell you.” Chuuya compromises.

Lowering his arm to now obscure his mouth, he peeks at Chuuya with uncertain eyes.

“You’re safe. Here. Now. With me.”

“Oh..” Not only does he sound skeptical, but he glances off to the side.

Chuuya sighs. “I’m not going to make you do anything you don't want to. There’s nothing for you to be afraid of with me.”

“It’s not that I- .. Chuuya is just being weird.” Dazai starts to protest before deflecting.

“You’re not fooling anyone. What’s got you so nervous? You’ve been real bold up until now tonight.” Chuuya’s words are harsh but his tone is soft and inquiring.

With a huff Dazai covers his eyes with his arm again.

“You. You’re treating me different. I don’t really know or get it but it feels .. I don’t know, alright?”

The unthinkable has occurred. A truly unique phenomenon. The genius Dazai is openly claiming to not know something.

Acutely aware that he is not wrong about Chuuya treating him differently, he decides to take pity on him. Caging him in, Chuuya leans back down to whisper in his ear and lovingly run his fingers through chestnut hair.

“It’s been a while since I’ve had you. I’ve decided to take my time and be good to you.”

“There’s nothing as good as when Chuuya’s cruel to me.” Dazai whines his complaint.

Sitting back to look at him Chuuya denies that. “I’m not cruel.”

“Excessively rough, mildly sadistic. Same difference.”

“Have you ever asked yourself why you like that so much?” Chuuya questions him by brushing his lips against his jaw.

Shuddering slightly Dazai’s hands come to rest on the small of Chuuya’s back. Simply holding him in place. Not pressing or trying to encourage or embolden.

“It’s what I’m used to.” Barely does Chuuya even hear him.

Well..that’s fucked up. Vivid reminders of what lies beneath those bandages pulse through Chuuya’s mind. Dazai hates pain, he hates suffering, but it’s something he’s come to expect.

Even from Chuuya. That has to change.

Chuuya kisses his jawline back to his ear.

“You deserve better.” Chuuya asserts.

Dazai laughs at him, but it’s hollow. “See? You still have cruel jokes.” Contradictory to his words Chuuya felt his fingertips sink into him. A poor attempt at digging his feet in denial, Dazai doesn’t know how to accept this.

Brushing his hair back Chuuya kisses the space below his ear. Other hand coming to rest on bandages over his heart. Muffled through the layers, and Chuuya refusing to push hard against him— it’s still racing hard enough for him to feel it.

“I don’t mind convincing you.” Chuuya let’s him know, straightforwardly, that he has no intention of allowing him to think that way.

The chuckle Dazai makes at that is authentic albeit apprehensive.

“Do your best, Chuuya.”

Heartbeat stuttering in his chest, Chuuya has to kiss him. When their lips collide it’s like Chuuya is rain and Dazai is the earth. Chuuya pours, floods, overflows, and Dazai weathers the storm. Chuuya is trying to tell him he’s far from unworthy, that he is undeniably wanted, and that Chuuya is only at his best when he’s around.

In less words than usual, Chuuya is telling him he is loved.

Dazai invites him to deepen the lip lock, parting his lips in a soft gasp. The slight intake of breath was caused by Chuuya’s hand over his heart trailing down his torso to his abdomen. Trying not to be too greedy, Chuuya takes him up on his offer.

Somehow this manages to encompass everything they’ve ever expressed in their kisses before. No lack of heat, passion, or points being made, it’s still tranquil, soft, and sweet. The way Dazai yields to him and allows Chuuya to set the rhythm lets Chuuya savor this moment. Taking full advantage of the opportunity to linger within him and give him all of himself.

Dazai is the one to break the kiss. Gasping for air and with shining eyes. Halfway between listless and soul searching Dazai stares up at him like he can’t believe his eyes.

“Is it alright if we keep going?” Chuuya asks him as his fingers meet the button on his pants.

Dazai’s shine dims then, eyes darkening before looking away again. “Please don’t ask.”

“Is something wrong?” Chuuya questions him. Slightly worried that he had done something wrong, and withdrawing his hand. Dazai almost never says ‘please’ aside from when Chuuya is already inside him.

“I have to at least pretend that you’re making me go along with this.” Dazai tries to sound annoyed and snarky, but the honesty comes out unconfident.

“It’s okay to want something, Dazai.” Chuuya tries to reassure him. Surely this was about how he tends to deny himself.

From the expression of disbelief and surprise on his face, it seems he is right.

“It’s not. Not for me.” Dazai denies once again.

“It is. But I’m not going to judge you or tell you what you should feel or how you should be..”

Dazai covers his eyes again as he speaks so Chuuya trails off for a moment.

How is it possible that Dazai feels safer when Chuuya is choking him out than when he’s touching and asking him like this?

What could make someone more comfortable with the threat of violence than acts of kindness?

“You don’t have to say anything.” Chuuya relents knowing he’ll understand.

Returning his hand to its previous position Chuuya brushes the base of his palm over him. The twitch he receives in response spurs his next question.

“Should I stop?”

Dazai shakes his head behind his arm.

For now that’s answer enough.

Chuuya undoes the button and unzips his fly. He lifts his hips and Chuuya removes his slacks. The boxer briefs leave little to the imagination. It’s clear that this is doing something for him at least. Even if he ‘prefers’ when Chuuya goes fast and rough..

The redhead moves to retrieve the lube and a condom, settling back before Dazai has a chance to miss him. Running his hands over his body, he takes in the view of the slim and lanky frame beneath him. Thighs now entirely concealed by bandages, only ending a few centimeters above his knees. The few and far between areas of exposed skin consist of his hands, his hips, and from his knees down. An insanely sappy thought crosses Chuuya’s mind that Dazai is a gift, that he has been waiting patiently to unwrap for a long time. Today is not that day, but as this day has arrived that one will come too. Tonight was a night to open him up in a completely different kind of way.

Certain fingers massage his inner thighs and observant eyes don’t miss his arousal twitch beneath the fabric. Chuuya relents a little, though Dazai has said nothing and voiced zero complaints with his pace, by palming him through his briefs. A muffled ‘mm’ lives and dies in Dazai’s throat and never leaves his mouth.

The slight tug on his waistband has Dazai lifting his hips eagerly. Though he says nothing, and offers no tender gazes with his eyes; the immediate response is a sufficient reply. Chuuya reveals him to his own eyes. He must be aching for it, as his cock lands against his pelvis, hot and heavy.

Tossing the now offending undergarment aside, Chuuya brings his lips close to the throbbing flesh. Dazai shudders when he feels Chuuya’s breath on him. Still, he asks for nothing. At least, as his dick twitches, not verbally.

Chuuya takes him in his palm and an inhale is sucked through Dazai’s teeth. He wastes no energy on stroking him and just licks from the base to his tip. The thighs on either side of him quiver but Chuuya doesn’t hesitate to take him in his mouth. There’s no need to go fast and there’s no reason to go too slow. Really Dazai wasn’t the type to ask for blowjobs, true to his theme of being the pleaser between the two of them, he didn’t get much enjoyment out of being the only one receiving. That being said, he never rejected them, letting Chuuya make him let out gasps and moans until he was ready to move on.

Chuuya lets his eyes fall closed and savors the taste and feeling of Dazai in his mouth. Low groans fall from Dazai’s lips, and then he’s way quieter than usual. Chuuya doesn’t realize why until his hair is suddenly lifted off his the back of his neck and shoulders, and pulled up and away from his face. Steadily, with one hand, Dazai is holding his hair back. Chuuya pulls back to pay attention to the head and opens his eyes to see what Dazai is doing.

That same arm over his eyes as he continues to hide his face. His lips are parted and Chuuya tongues an excessive circle around the tip just to watch a moan leave them. The hand in his hair never tugs, never pushes or pulls, and Chuuya rewards him for his restraint by taking him to the back of his throat. A breathless keen leaves Dazai’s lips and Chuuya sucks hard around him.

The full body shudder is a warning that unless he wants this to end too soon he should stop. And he’s about to, so Dazai’s words are a bit useless. Chuuya doesn’t tell him that though. Because he sounds so weak and cute.

“Hey..wait..” The helpless whine is music to Chuuya’s ears.

If he had the confidence and willpower he could have just pulled Chuuya back by his hair. In answer Chuuya grasps his base and pulls off nice and slow. Then he kisses the tip and Dazai lets his hair down all at once. A soft inhale that was too quiet but surprised enough it could qualify as a gasp leaves him.

Chuuya sits back and grabs the lube. He opens the cap and what’s visible of Dazai’s expression is devoid of emotion. Pouring it onto his fingers and warming it between them he recalls the last time he had the pleasure of fucking Dazai. The flight to Montreal had been a long one and the cab drive once he got there had been excessive, but hiding out in that cabin for four days drowning themselves in each other had made it more than worth it.

Over the course of those four days they took each other apart countless times. Chuuya has previously thought nothing compared to when he fucked Dazai the last time. The desperation canceled out his feigned indifference and he had asked Chuuya clearly to ‘fuck him like he was going to miss him’ so Chuuya complied. Little did he know that he wouldn’t do it again for nearly five years!

When they got back together after Dazai’s consensual Mafia abduction Chuuya did try.

Dazai didn’t let it happen.

That was okay though. In a way Chuuya understands that. Dazai didn’t want to put words to the way he felt and maybe he also thought similarly to Chuuya.. that nothing would be able to surpass the last time.

Is that a conceited thing to think?

That perhaps the last time was so good that it could never be lived up to again?

Chuuya pushes that idea out of mind. Determined to make this so much better than any other time. Just as he would every time after this too.

Besides, just because Chuuya hasn’t fucked him in five years that doesn’t mean Dazai hasn’t let anyone else. The jealousy and distaste Chuuya would have once felt is nowhere to be found within him. Dazai’s prior promiscuity isn’t an issue anymore. It hasn’t been since Dazai said he was Chuuya’s and it definitely isn’t now that he has claimed Chuuya as his.

Tentatively he spreads him further and circles around the rim.

“How long has it been?” Chuuya expects an honest answer.

“You don’t want to know.” Dazai tells him.

“I won’t get jealous. I’m curious is all.” Chuuya assures him with a non penetrative, but insistent press against him.

“I’ve only fucked one guy other than you and I swallowed an entire bottle of OxyContin afterwards. When I woke up it still hurt and I didn’t even bottom.” Dazai admits from behind the makeshift shield of his arm.

Chuuya doesn’t even know what to say. Dazai tried to kill himself over something like that? It hurts to hear but Chuuya is appreciative of his honesty.

“Five years, huh? I really have to be careful with you then.” Chuuya changes the subject back to the task at hand. Still just rubbing against him, getting him used to the feeling of being touched here again.

“No. Four years, five months, and ..” Dazai cuts himself off but it’s too late. Chuuya knows he has the days and maybe even hours memorized too.

He eases into him then, slow and certain. The wet tightness is suffocating and the relieved sigh he gives is almost too much. Chuuya’s knuckle reaches his rim and he himself has to sigh. This was going to be so good. For both of them.

“Lose count.” Is the simple instruction as Chuuya begins to twist his hand.

The single digit turns and shifts within him. Not applying pressure but more acquainting him with his touch again. Whether its from being fingered or Chuuya’s order or both, Dazai trembles.

After a moment Chuuya begins pressing into him. Instinctively he knows exactly where his touch is needed most. A place he has visited so many times before he could never forget its exact coordinates. He opts to push farther inside before dragging along the spot as he pulls the digit out.

The airy whine Dazai gives at that makes Chuuya’s ears hot. It would be as unkind to tease him as it would be to do him roughly, Chuuya rationalizes. Then he gives in, the pad of his finger finding the zone easily. Once Dazai’s hips are moving on their own accord Chuuya grants him a second digit.

Slow and careful he reaches that endpoint within. Despite his considerations, Daza’s chest heaves.
Chuuya doesn’t move, permitting him more time to get used to it.

“Okay?” Chuuya asks, worried he’ll put him off if he asks too much.

“Yeah.” Comes an affirmative reply.

Chuuya presses into the soft, wet heat again. Paying close attention to the way his body tightens around him, and gives way a little bit at a time. Observing every change in his breathing and tuning in to each minute movement he makes.

Dazai is far from unaffected. With his bottom lip between his teeth, his hand has moved to his hair and he’s grabbing at his bangs. Now that Chuuya can see his eyes they are screwed shut tight.

Locating that spot within him and spreading him apart gently, Dazai moans mutedly. The pads of Chuuya’s fingers fleet around the edges making whine and bite himself. When he gives in, massaging the area fully, Dazai gets louder.

To watch someone who is usually so stoic, composed, and collected fall apart at the seams like this has Chuuya wanting to take him then and there. It takes a lot of self control to just observe and give, but more than anything else Chuuya wants this to be good for him. Dazai doesn’t indulge in anything other than pleasing Chuuya, but if the older makes it clear that this is pleasurable for him too .. Perhaps that will change?

“You look so good like this.” He asserts as he scissors his fingers.

Dazai’s knuckles whiten in the moonlight signaling he’s pulling even harder on his hair.

Chuuya reaches for him with his free hand. Relishing the way his whole hand goes flush against him as he adjusts. Dazai breathes out a sigh at the touch and tenses again when Chuuya starts rubbing the back of his hand with his thumb.

“You’re really gorgeous. Stop hiding from me.” Chuuya assures before asking for more.

Dazai’s hand relaxes under his ministrations as do his insides. As Chuuya intertwines their fingers he inserts a third digit inside of him. The slightly smaller hand squeezes his tightly. Chuuya moves their hands to get a full view of his face.

Brows drawn together, lips parted, and eyes shut as tight as his grip on Chuuya’s fingers Dazai manages to look rather demigod than demonic. Handsome doesn’t begin to cover the celestial beauty that is Dazai coming apart as Chuuya holds him together. Seeing him in a whole new light Chuuya decides this is an endeavor that will be revisited again. If this is a dream he never wants to wake up.

Twisting his hand, spreading him open and apart, and massaging against that place has Dazai holding onto him with all his might. From inside and with his hand Dazai’s grip is strong. Though he hasn’t said that he wants this, his body doesn’t lie. Chuuya kisses his cheek, his jaw, and the back of his hand. Attempting to show him that he is deserving of the endless love and affection he has pushed away for so long.

Dazai’s eyes open to watch Chuuya kissing his hand. In a moment of unfettered desire Chuuya meets his gaze and lavishes undivided attention to his sweet spot. In the pale moonlight the stark red that flushes across his nose reminds Chuuya of camellias. As his eyes cloud with raw need there’s no reservations left in Chuuya’s mind.

Dazai doesn’t just /want/ this.

Chuuya finds himself jealous of the moonlight because it is able to touch so much of Dazai at once. His envy is short lived when Dazai calls for him, in such a broken, needy voice, by name. The moon doesn’t get to hear that.

“Chuuya~ mm.. please?” Hips already moving of their own volition, Dazai’s lips join them in pleading for Chuuya.

“Anything for you.” Chuuya brushes his lips against his skin as he responds.

With grace and certainty Chuuya let’s go of him to sit back and kindly pull out. Dazai’s face is still flushed but his shining eyes are focused on him. Chuuya opens the condom with his teeth and covers himself quickly. Taking a few seconds to calm himself as he lubes up, breathing Dazai in.

Is it odd he feels a little intoxicated? Mesmerized. Dizzy.

Seeing Dazai warm and wanting in the soft glow beneath him reminds Chuuya he’s glad he has fallen. In dreams, reality, heaven, hell, this life and the next, he knows that he and Dazai are constants. The only variable was time. How long it would take for Dazai to accept their shared fate.

Here and now that time has come.

Chuuya lines himself up to his entrance and feels the way he holds his breath. With his free hand that held his before he finds his again. Dazai entwined their fingers himself this time and exhales. With all the patience of four gravitational rotations around the Sun he enters him. The synchronization of their sighs of pleasure a testament to no longer being halved.

When Chuuya is as deep as this position permits Dazai moves their joined hands to his mouth. His gaze doesn’t falter as he kisses Chuuya’s knuckles. Committing the sight to memory, Chuuya cherishes the sweet gesture.

“I’m good.” Dazai whispers against his hand.

Chuuya draws back just a little bit to shallowly thrust inside. Taking his sweet time memorizing the hot, tightness that robs his lungs of oxygen. Dazai’s ankles lock around his waist and he moans as Chuuya reaches his end.

“You always have been.” Chuuya reassures him as his other hand holds his weight.

Drunk off this view of unadulterated complaisance Chuuya gives him it slow, sure, and sweetly. Dazai’s other hand tangles into Chuuya’s hair as diffident little moans escape his lips. Still it seems he is conflicted about being treated this way. Holding back even now.

Dazai takes him so well his head is spinning. There is nothing Chuuya wants more than him. There is nowhere he would rather be than right here. As he once was drowning in his love for him Dazai’s reciprocation is a breath of fresh air.

Their palms pressed against each other’s, their hips meeting in tandem, and their locked eyes drag Chuuya through their past, their present, and to the future.

“Chuuya~” Dazai calls for him. “Kiss me.”

Not a second is spared making him wait.

It’s a yearning, a deep, passionate kiss. Their bodies press flush against each other and Chuuya grinds into him. Dazai moans into his mouth and Chuuya accepts the invitation. Their tongues slide hot and desirous against each other as Dazai desperately tries to keep up. It’s endearing, seeing and feeling him become more overwhelmed with each second that passes.

Once again he’s the one to break the kiss to breathe.

“I missed this. I missed you.” Dazai admits breathily.

“You never have to go without. Just stay.” Chuuya conciliates.

His hand grasps the back of Chuuya’s skull to pull him in and Dazai buries his face into his shoulder.

“I’m not enough.”

“Osamu.” Chuuya grinds into him ardently. “That’s not true.”

The broken moan is cut off as he sinks his teeth into Chuuya’s shoulder.

It makes Chuuya groan and unconsciously increase the pace.

“Ah.. you don’t have to be perfect for anyone else. You can still be sad and have bad thoughts and days. For me.. you’ve always been enough. More than that, right now; you’re perfect.”

Dazai’s fingers grasp him tighter. His legs tighten around Chuuya’s waist. Those lips are sucking a bruise into his skin in an attempt to silence those words Chuuya needs to hear. He’s holding on and holding in and holding back and Chuuya can’t take it anymore.

Chuuya adjusted to look down at him again and loves the way his fingers fall from his hair. Dazai is going to try and hide from him again but Chuuya catches his wrist before he can cover his eyes. Those blissed out features greet him and Chuuya’s stomach swirls with heat and affection. Pinning his wrist to the bed to support his weight and keep him open, Chuuya gets drunk off the look in his clouded eyes.

“For people like us this is the closest we will get to paradise. You may think you’re not enough, but to me..you’re my haven. A hideaway of idyllic beauty, and peace. I fell for you a long time ago and I will never let you go.”

“Chuuya~” Dazai moans his name before his eyes take on a mischievous glint. “You get so carried away with me.”

“I mean what I say. This is where you belong.”

“I know.” A small smile forms on those lips.

Chuuya has to kiss them again. And again.

Their hips meet and Dazai’s thighs squeeze his sides and Chuuya only gives in to him. The empty space is filled. Dazai’s heart glows a warm and blurry color. Like streetlights in the rain. For the first time Chuuya understands the concept of home. A place exists here between their skin like no other, of implicit trust and unchained adoration, where meaning and reason are found.

Only he could draw these pure feelings from the darkness that is Chuuya’s ruthlessness and tainted heart. The simplicity of acceptance is all Chuuya really needs. Dazai is just as him. The same blood drenched their hands. The weight of their abilities, crimes, and— by extension the world— heavy on their shoulders.

But as long as they don’t have to do it alone..

“Chuuya~” Dazai moans his name into his lips.

From the way he’s breathing and with how needy he is calling his name Chuuya knows he’s close.

“I’m right here. I’ve got you.” Chuuya reassures him tenderly.

His body twitches, trembles, and tightens as Chuuya moves against him. He doesn’t want to let go of his hand so he holds him down with it and releases his wrist. Chuuya indulges in running his hand down his body, and caressing his hip bone.

“You’re captivating, Dazai. Nothing could beat this view.”

“Stop staring and touch me please.” Dazai’s ankles use their leverage to take Chuuya deeper.

The shorter relents. The palm of his hand rubbing circles around the leaking head of his cock. He uses the slick precome to stroke him generously. Not going slow but not going fast enough to finish him off just yet.

Dazai is too far gone to voice a complaint anyway. Absolutely overcome with pleasure and satisfaction he cries out Chuuya’s name over and over. His now free hand reaches out and cradles Chuuya’s cheek.

“Thank you for waiting, for putting up with me. I’m sorry it took so long for me to make up my mind.”

“It’s okay. You’re here now.” Chuuya has already forgiven him.

“You’re the only one, Chuu~ I’m only for you.” Dazai confesses as his eyes fall closed.

Clenching around his cock and rolling his hips down onto him Dazai is enticing and devoted. Focusing on himself for once and receiving Chuuya completely.

He blooms beneath him. Paradoxically, his glow represents a white rose. Flushed cheeks, and closed eyes make him appear innocent. Something Dazai is not and has never been. A world without Dazai just the way he is simply isn’t a world Chuuya wants to exist in.

Chuuya accepts him, flaws, dishonesty, scars in his mind and the ones he won’t let him see. Loves and adores everything he has given him, and anticipates and graciously appreciates all the promises being fulfilled. Chuuya makes undying love to him that has never faltered.

Incoherent words tumble from Dazai’s lips and Chuuya realizes he’s speaking a foreign language.

“I really do, Chuuya.”

There’s no doubt in Chuuya’s mind exactly what he means.

“I love you too, Osamu.”

The familiarity of his breathing and responses lets Chuuya know he’s about to reach his end.

Truthfully, Chuuya has no idea how he lasted this long himself.

“Chuu~ya- I’m ah~”

Chuuya thumbs the head and encircles him completely.”

“Come for me.” Chuuya commands him.

And he does. Body quaking, face melting, and thighs threatening to bruise Chuuya’s hips. The way he tightens and tremors within sends Chuuya over right after. Barely managing to maintain the clarity to catch his cum in his hand Chuuya indulges in his orgasm a bit excessively.

All the effort and composure it took for him to be patient made up for with the rough last thrusts.

Flying high in euphoria. Dreams lived through. As all was lost before is found. Chuuya is blinded by the brilliance of being his.

Coming down is pleasant too as his vision returns Dazai’s gratification is clear on his face. Mahogany irises unfocused and sweet lips parted. In these passive moments Dazai gets close to content. Whether or not he is capable of such an amiable emotion doesn’t matter. Currently he is at peace.

Chuuya soaks in the afterglow, breathing him in, and sobering up for a couple moments. Soon enough he pulls out as kindly as he can and releases Dazai from his grip. Statically he watches Chuuya leave the room.

Chuuya is quick on the cleanup despite his shaking legs and swollen heart. His head spins with elation and he wants nothing more than to hold Dazai close again. Excited for the beginning of something new and nostalgic over the familiarity.

Dazai confessed that he felt this was inevitable and Chuuya wouldn’t lie and say he hadn’t thought the same thing. Not at the same time as Dazai, but after Dazai let him take control. The idea that Dazai wouldn’t truly deny him became a permanent fixture in his mind.

This was the quietest he had ever been during sex and yet he said so much. Chuuya had done most of the talking! It was different but needed. Dazai did end up saying he loved him, unfairly so that Chuuya couldn’t understand him, but it still happened.

Those apathetic eyes are heavy. He’s probably sleep deprived like usual. Chuuya hands him his briefs and a shirt, and they both get semi clothed again. Dazai reaches for him and Chuuya gives in without hesitation.

Dazai pulls him close and kisses the top of his head. They settle beneath the blankets and Chuuya traps his legs under his thigh. An ear pressed to his chest to listen to his heartbeat.

“What language was that?” Chuuya asks him.

“Turkish.” Dazai tells him softly. He really does sound drowsy. Chuuya wonders when he last slept.

“What did you say?” Chuuya questions.

“Not translatable.” Dazai murmurs.

“You speak a lot of random languages. I didn’t know you spoke that.” Chuuya says with a yawn.

“It’s useful. Especially with what we do.” Dazai states tiredly.

“We?” Chuuya inquires.

“I’m coming back. I’m the only person right for the job and I see it as another chance.. This time I want to do better by you.”

“You’re..” Chuuya sits up in shock. Dazai was the agency member that was being transferred?! He sees it as a chance for their relationship, and he wants to do better for him..

Fuck. That explains why he dropped off the map for so long. Chuuya can only imagine the internal conflict of having to decide to go against your best friend's dying wish.

“Serious. Yeah. Sometimes the right thing is the wrong thing. Odasaku would understand. I don’t want anyone else to dirty their hands when mine are still black.”

“You’re a lot stronger than you give yourself credit for. I’m sure this war took a lot out of you.”

“Wasn’t it you who said my head was big enough? I’m not strong. I’m a genius. A Demon Prodigy. Who was told he wasn’t allowed to die because his IQ was too high and his morals were too wicked. I saw Dostoyevsky as an opponent in a game I never doubted I would win.”

Dazai manages to sound bitter through his fatigue.

Chuuya acknowledges that he is right. Strength wasn’t his selling point. That brilliance and intelligence made all the difference in every strategic situation. Dazai is as he claims. A genius. A prodigy. Someone who does everything important with much consideration and heavy contemplation. A person no one wants as an enemy combatant.

Contrary to Chuuya statement; the war might’ve been the easiest part.

“Your ego isn’t as bad as it once was, but your head is still big.” Chuuya chastises as he kisses Dazai’s chin.

“Mm. You already know.” Dazai agrees.

“There’s no outrunning fate. I can’t say I’m not happy things turned out this way, though I know it wasn’t easy for you.” Chuuya expresses honestly.

His arms tightened around Chuuya and he sighs deeply.

“Nothing is ever easy. But I’ve grown out of being scared of the rain.” Dazai references another one of Chuuya’s poems and repeats his own spoken words.

Chapter Text

Sōkoku stands side by side on the top floor of the Mori Corporation tower. The Boss called them both to his office to assign them to what’s sure to be a daunting task. If it requires formal assignment and both halves of Sōkoku to be present; risk and danger are guaranteed.

“Your mission is intelligence gathering on a rising anti ability user terrorist group. They call themselves the Mata Hitam. We know they’re based in Malaysia and that they have wealthy financial backers who hate ability users. It’s assumed that since they despise ability users that they have none in their ranks. Whatever they have produced with this hate money is responsible for the deaths of at least two dozen ability users across Southeast Asia.” Mori explains.

“The Black Eye’s headquarters is in Kuala Lumpur. Their commercial office front is actually in one of the Petronas Towers. I’m fairly certain they’ve developed a drug specifically to affect ability users.” Dazai supplies.

Chuuya side glances at him before looking back to Mori. Ever since he came back Dazai has rubbed his superiority in everyone’s faces at every chance he gets to show off that he knows more than they do. Notably he does this the most to Mori. Chuuya can’t tell how the Boss feels about it. Those twisted grins could mean anything.

“Dazai-kun, did you by any chance hack my email again?”

“Just because I add to the information does not mean that I started looking into the subject because of your correspondence. I heard about the deaths and investigated who was responsible on my own.” Dazai answers flippantly, but his words exude professionalism.

“And managed to locate their headquarters and office front? And already have a working theory behind the murders? If I didn’t know better I’d think you were trying to prove your worth to the Mafia.”

“Oh but you do know better, Mori-san. The time I spent at the agency gave me an excuse to get even more diligent at digging. After Shibusawa, and Dostoyevsky when ability users die en masse it peaks my interest.”

“I see. Your flight leaves tomorrow at noon.”

“Yes sir.” Chuuya bows his head curtly before straightening back up.

Dazai and the boss share a look, but Chuuya pays it no mind. These days it seemed like they were in a constant dick measuring contest. It’s easier to just ignore it rather than pick sides.

“You’re dismissed.” Mori stares coldly at Dazai as he permits them to leave.

“Ah are we?” Dazai plays coy too often these days. This challenging game between the two of them was getting on Chuuya’s nerves.

“Shut up, Dazai.” Chuuya grabs him by the arm and drags him to the door of the office. Partially worried that one of them was going to pull out some measuring tape—most likely Dazai.

“Tighten his leash, Chuuya-kun.” Mori reminds him.

Chuuya obliges, pulling Dazai harder and out the door.

“You misunderstand boss~! Chuuya is /my/ dog!” Dazai shouts as Chuuya shuts the door between them.

The redhead doesn’t hesitate to punch him in the stomach.

“Oof.” Dazai grunts as he is drug down the hall.

“Can you not?”

“Oh please. You like my cockiness.”

Chuuya throws him into the elevator doors. Slamming his hand on the glowing button, caging Dazai in a quasi kabe-don, and giving him a glare. The smug bastard grins. Chuuya pulls his arm back and looks away.

“It might be the thing I hate the most.”

The elevator opens and Chuuya shoves him inside. Happy to watch him stumble back. He is so much better at looking stupid than bragging.

“What could top my ego?” Dazai antagonizes.

“Calling me your dog. You never stop running your mouth. Your need to tack on your input onto everything. How nosy you are that our boss suspects you of hacking him. ” Chuuya lists off as he presses the buttons for their separate floors.

“Is it really ‘tacking on’ if I actually know more than he does?” Dazai elects to ignore the majority of those complaints. Chuuya didn’t expect anything less.

“Why don’t you finish reviewing those documents from last week before our flight? It’s annoying you research shit you haven’t even been assigned to instead of doing all the work piling up on your desk.” Chuuya scolds him as the door opens on his floor.

“I just might. See you later, partner~!”

Chuuya doesn’t acknowledge him as the elevator door closes between them. Not that it matters when they’ll be home in a few hours. Dazai will have plenty of time to get on his nerves later.

Chuuya tells himself he’s not looking forward to it. (He is.)

*

Seated at a cafe in the Petronas Towers, Chuuya sips his tea as Dazai types away on his laptop. They have donned grey business suits, with linen dress shirts, going for a more corporate business style than their usual mafia black. Chuuya is grateful for it too, because Malaysia is hotter than hell this time of year.

“What are you even doing over there? Isn’t it dangerous to have sensitive information on public WiFi?” Chuuya questions him.

Dazai barely looks up at him, a millisecond of a glance spared his way. “Your hat is shrinking your brain. Please take a break more often. I see your hair is thinning too.”

“You dick! It is not I take vitamins for that!”

Dazai snorts. “Of course you do. You have a lot to worry about. Hand me your phone.”

Chuuya is already bugged by him. What more could he do? Reaching in his pocket to retrieve his phone he comes up empty.

“Dazai-“ Chuuya looks up frantically in time to see him holding it nonchalantly.

How does he manage to pickpocket him without Chuuya noticing? He may never know.

Outstretching his hand to show the screen Dazai clicks his home button. “Look up in the top left corner.”

Chuuya leans across the table. There’s his service bars, the emblem for Z Mobile, and a little rectangle that says ‘VPN’. How has he not noticed that before?

“It’s a Virtual Private Network. It encrypts your personal information so you can use public WiFi and you’re on my plan so it’s pretty good stuff. All of our devices have this. It wouldn’t protect you from someone like me, but it’s useful enough.” Dazai explains before handing him his phone.

Chuuya takes it back. “I’m assuming you have other security methods in place too, don’t you?”

“Of course. If someone ever hacked into Chuuya’s phone they could go through his pictures. I’d have to kill anyone who tries to see Chuuya’s nudes.”

Chuuya barely resists banging his head into the table.

“If someone were to hack me I’m sure they’d be more interested in Mafia business than my photo gallery. Just tell me what you’re doing and what the plan is.”

“The office’s servers are irritating the shit out of me. They must have good cyber security. I’ve been watching the receptionist’s desktop for fifteen minutes and have tried getting into every higher administrative account I’ve seen. The only useful information I’ve been able to access is the office schedule. The President is coming in soon for a meeting but he doesn’t have anything after that. We are going to have to do a more direct approach.”

“And the direct approach is?” Chuuya urges him on. Only mildly impressed by his work.

“We’re going to schedule a meeting. Pretending to be normal people with a grudge against a well known ability user organization. We will offer information on the abilities in question in the form of a flash drive. Our stipulation will be that our data is exclusively for the President. The material I’m offering is pretty much a guaranteed invitation to his office. Once the drive is in I’ll need it to stay there for at least two minutes. To ensure we leave with everything.”

“Two minutes? How can we expect him to keep an empty flash drive in for that long?”

“It’s not empty.” Dazai’s eyes don’t leave his screen as he takes a drink of whatever the hell he got.

“You’re planning on giving them false information then?”

“Not exactly. But it won’t matter. He won’t survive to pass it along.”

“We’re taking the head of the organization and all of his information?”

“I don’t think he’s the real brains of the operation, but I’m sure he has the contact of who is. Along with the identity of whoever created the drug I’m sure exists. Maybe we’ll get lucky and get the name of the pharmaceutical company. What I’m most looking forward to is the list of investors. If you want to know who’s really in charge; what do you do?”

“Follow the money.” Chuuya answers easily.

The simple fact is that money makes the world go round.

“How’s your Malay?” Dazai asks him.

“Trash. I’ve barely understood a few words here and there. I’m only fluent in French, and Cantonese.” Chuuya admits.

“Cantonese is hard. You should be able to learn more if you put your mind to it. But for now it looks like I have to do everything.” Dazai takes out the burner phone he purchased earlier.

“Do you seriously speak Malay too?” Chuuya questions him. How the hell does he keep track of all those languages? Chuuya has a hard enough time with three, hardly deciphering random phrases of others occasionally.

“Don’t act so surprised. By now you should be well aware that I know everything.” Dazai dials a number and presses the phone to his ear.

A few seconds later and he is greeting whoever picked up. Chuuya doesn’t hear anything familiar for a while until he catches the name of their city; Yokohama. Dazai appears to be affirming something, before ending the call.

“Terima kasih.” He thanks them before hanging up.

“So?”

“They’ll be calling me back with the President’s decision momentarily. I expect we will be meeting him this afternoon.”

Chuuya nods.

“What did you offer?”

Dazai chuckles. “Information on the most feared ability users in Yokohama’s Port Mafia.”

“And you plan on providing it?” Chuuya reaffirms.

“It’s useless to lie to a dead man, but considering one of the subjects is the boss, the Black Eye is settling for less.”

“Is this a long running scheme to take down Mori?” Chuuya doesn’t think it is, but feels asking now is appropriate.

Dazai laughs out loud. “As if. I need at least another decade of freedom before selling my soul to a desk. And I would hardly be so indirect. Dramatics and exaggeration are more my style.”

Chuuya doesn’t let it show on his face, but he is surprised. He hadn’t expected Dazai to outright admit he plans on becoming boss. The timeliness of his answer telling of how serious he is about it too. Chuuya has known, for a little while now, that Dazai was not going to take orders forever. Mori had raised him to take over from the beginning. He wasn’t called the Prodigy for nothing. A decade from now he would be in his mid-thirties and even if he waits a few more years than that he will end up being the youngest boss in history. The older executive is not put off by the idea either. Rationally, he knows no one is better for the job. The only thing he isn’t looking forward to is Dazai dumping all the work he deems ‘tedious’ onto him, and not being able to refuse.

“You’re imagining me piling my workload onto you. Don’t worry; I plan on promoting Akutagawa to the empty executive seat so I can abuse his complex.”

“Are you sure you haven’t sold your soul already?”

Dazai puts a hand over his heart in mock offense.

“And here I was, offering to be nice to you.”

“It’d be nice if you could handle your own paperwork.” Chuuya chastises him.

Dazai is saved from having to respond when the burner phone starts ringing. Chuuya takes another drink of his tea. Dazai answers and is only on the phone for about thirty seconds. Chuuya has no idea what was said, but he heard him give them their fake names.

When he hangs up Chuuya waits for him to explain.

“Our appointment is at 2:30. A private meeting with the Black Eye’s President scheduled by yours truly. I offered information on the Boss and the dog. I also made it clear my partner doesn’t speak Malay so you won’t be expected to do anything other than stand and look pretty.”

“You mean look menacing. You at least called me your bodyguard, right?”

“Yes. My tiny bodyguard who is wearing a pink dress shirt and has his hair tied in an actual bun. You’re going to have a hard time passing as menacing with that look.”

“Are you trying to fight?” Chuuya asks him.

“Take another look at the menu and I’ll order for you. You’re just in a bad mood because you skipped breakfast.”

“And who’s fault was that?” Chuuya demands.

“Ia bukan semua saya.” Dazai says with a pout.

“The fuck you just say to me?”

*

For what is supposed to be an inconspicuous office front the security is tight. To enter the office they had to show two forms of identification. Luckily Dazai had anticipated that so they had their fake driver’s licenses and passports on them. Then they went through a metal detector on the way in, while a guard checked Dazai’s laptop bag. Soon after they were escorted to a waiting room and told that an assistant would retrieve them when the President was ready for them.

“Have you given any thought to the exit?”

“Improvisation is my word of the day, Chuuya~ Do you know what that means?” Dazai has apparently spared little to no thought as to how they plan to leave without making a complete mess.

This was a reconnaissance mission. Yet Chuuya anticipates more than one dead body to be left in their wake. Try as they might to be stealthy.

“You weren’t expecting it to be so stuffy in here were you?”

“I can take the heat.” Dazai shrugs.

“More like you expect me to pick up your slack.”

“Chuuya~ everything is going to work out just fine. You’ll see.”

A knock resounds on the door a few moments later and a woman speaks to Dazai before they follow her.

Not long after they are taken into an extravagant office. A man is seated at a cherry wood desk with both desktop and a laptop. Two computers. Was that going to be a problem? Chuuya didn’t know. The floors were decorated with ornate rugs. Obscure art was framed on the walls. Nothing classical or traditional, all modern or in Chuuya’s opinion ‘tasteless’. The far side of the office behind the desk was one long window. The view was sure to be a good one, but Chuuya didn’t let his eyes linger.

Dazai casually walks up to the desk and introduces himself to the man seated there. Chuuya stands off to the side in a corner of the room to observe. Dazai is most likely illustrating some sob story of how those ‘bad Mafia men’ hurt his loved ones and are ruining his city. With those evil abilities and murderous schemes. The President is a man appearing to be in his early fifties. Hair loss and lines in his face are indicative of the stress he is under with this job. He maintains an aura of officiality and composure though.

They exchange a few more words and it seems Dazai’s charms have him. Chuuya’s partner pulls out the aforementioned flash drive soon enough and the Black Eye’s President’s eyes gleam. He holds out his hand expectantly and Dazai hands it over.

The man inserts it into the laptop and they continue conversing.

Dazai says a few phrases that Chuuya catches clearly. “Vita Sexualis” and “Rashōmon” and the President blinks in shock at whatever he is seeing and hearing. After about forty-five seconds (forty-seven but who's counting) Chuuya feels the mood shift.

Dazai barely turns to Chuuya and speaks in their language.

“He is asking if I know about the ‘demonic prodigy’. Is he really that infamous?”

“For fuck’s sake. If he pulls up the mugshot I’m going to be so annoyed.”

“I think you’re just jealous your headshots would never turn out as good.”

“Please shut the fuck up and focus.” Chuuya reminds him as the President is starting to get antsy about them communicating and not being able to understand.

Dazai speaks to him again but it’s too late. Chuuya sees the way the man’s face pales as he stares at his screen. By the time he’s looking up to Dazai’s face again Chuuya has already crossed the room. They are barely at a minute fifteen.

The gravity manipulator flexes his ability by just touching the desk and sending a letter opener through his skull.

Chuuya turns around the laptop and sure enough one of the open tabs is Dazai’s stupid smiling face.

“Public records are really just that bitch.” Dazai grumbles as he turns the laptop back around.

Footsteps thunder down the hall. Evidently there were security cameras in here too. If not maybe his vitals were being monitored. Dazai wastes no spare moment jumping behind the desk with the corpse. Chuuya joins him and watches the door get kicked down.

Six guardsmen enter with their weapons drawn. Half machine guns, half some kind of crossbow looking device. Dazai closes the laptop and greets them. The crossbows fire first, aiming squarely for Chuuya. They must have seen him use his ability on camera. Idiots, he can stop those easily.

If Dazai hadn't jumped in front of him?!

“You dumbass I would have stopped those!” Chuuya yells at him.

“Well duh. That’s why I wanted to see what they do.” Dazai waves him off as he pulls a dart out of his chest and pockets it.

The machine guns start firing then and Dazai ducks down. Chuuya stops a lot of them, sending a few back. They catch on quick though, two tuck and roll, and only one gunner was fatally wounded.

“Oh..shit.” Dazai’s tone is off.

“You better not be fucking high from that.” Chuuya is so pissed at him for taking that hit he could kick him while he’s crouching down.

More footsteps are heading their way.

“How’s that improvisation coming along?” Chuuya asks as he sends bullets at the assholes who crossbow darted his partner.

Clearly, they aren’t used to being shot at. They all die uneventfully. The others are hesitant to fire again without backup and that means Chuuya doesn’t have ammo either.

Dazai stands up then and pockets the flash drive.

“Chuuya! Activate Tainted!”

Reflexively Chuuya listens despite the lack of immediate threat. Dazai reaches out and touches his face. Angrily Chuuya smacks his hand away before he realizes..

Tainted is still active?

The reinforcements file in and Chuuya is ready to kill them all.

“I have a plan.” Dazai deadpans.

“Fucking say it then!”

“I’ll be the ambassador to St. Petersburg and Chuuya does all the work!”

At least a dozen guns start firing and Chuuya grabs Dazai effectively stopping the bullets from hitting him too.

The bulletproof glass reaches its limit then. The sound of glass shattering behind them has Chuuya moving with no further equivocation. The order is easy to understand.

Chuuya takes him by the hand and breaks into a sprint. Together they jump from the Petronas Tower. They fall and fall, but that’s okay. Chuuya is still glowing red and Dazai looks nice as the wind blows back his hair.

The conniving bastard is staring at Chuuya too. His expression one of wonder and adoration. Without a doubt he is fantasizing about double suicide with him. Chuuya feels this is an appropriate moment to burst his bubble.

“Do you trust me?” Chuuya asks him.

Dazai’s eyes narrow momentarily. “Is now really the time for that question?”

They soar up into the air. The strange thing is that makes Dazai hold his hand tighter. He was totally comfortable with falling from the sky, but flying through it made him nervous. Chuuya laughs at him.

“Don’t laugh at me! I’m just thinking we don’t know how long the ability inhibitor lasts so we should land soon!” Dazai complains.

Fair point. They were definitely being recorded on the ground below too. It’s not every day two people fly through the air in Kuala Lumpur. On top of that in the middle of the afternoon. Tourists and locals alike were going to post this on social media and they might make the evening news.

“That park should be fine.” Chuuya speeds up but keeps control so that Dazai doesn’t get whiplash.

Dazai’s other hand latches onto Chuuya’s arm. It’s really endearing seeing him like this. Chuuya has to clear his head a little to make sure they stick the landing. Though he was somewhat easy on him Dazai’s legs shake a bit as he makes contact with the ground again.

Reluctantly Dazai lets go. He straightens up and smooths back his hair. Chuuya looks around and there are people staring at them. Luckily this wasn’t the most densely populated area of the park. Dazai notices someone taking a picture of them and flashes a peace sign.

Chuuya pays the onlookers no attention and pulls out his phone. They need to get back to the room and see what they got on the drive. Without a doubt cops would be connecting them with the massacre and destruction in the tower soon. He maps the area easily and drags Dazai away.

“How far are we from the hotel?” Dazai asks knowing exactly what he was doing.

“Too far to walk. You’re covering the taxi.” Chuuya leads them to the nearest street, never looking up from his phone.

“That’s fair.”

*

Mori had been especially pleased with their work despite the fact they wouldn’t be returning to Malaysia anytime soon. Also their fake identities for that mission had to be scrapped. They were the subjects of quite a few Southeast Asian news stories and articles and were very rapidly connected to the crimes in the Petronas Towers.

Dazai received praise for his predictions being correct, for obtaining the inhibitor drug casing, and for getting the list of investors, the name of the pharmaceutical company, and even the name of the doctor in charge of the project. Chuuya was scolded for being so flashy in their escape and Dazai snickered at him though it was entirely his fault! Damn his ‘improvisation’! If his stupid ability had not have been taken out they would’ve had to fight their way down one of the tallest buildings in the world!

How could he have known that it would work out like that?

Even after ten years of knowing him Chuuya can’t begin to comprehend what goes on in his mind during those times. When it came to being a regular person he was inept to say the least. In those situations though, requiring strategy, skill, and luck Dazai reigned superior. Chuuya heavily believes that his own presence makes all the difference though. If it weren’t for his blind faith in Dazai’s schemes and his own luck and skill the suicidal bastard waste of bandages would have been dead long ago.

They arrive at their penthouse with very little spoken between them. Other than a quip at Chuuya’s height and using him as an armrest in the elevator the redhead has mostly been left to his thoughts. They earned the next two days off and Chuuya was glad about it. There were a lot of things bouncing around his exhausted brain.

Once they’re inside Dazai kicks off his shoes and makes a beeline for their bedroom. By the time Chuuya is done hanging up his hat and jacket he hears Dazai close the door to their front bathroom. There was a really nice one connected to the master bedroom. Complete with a massive waterfall shower, jacuzzi, and double vanity. Dazai never uses it though. Except to brush his teeth.

They bought this house together almost two years ago. Living with Dazai isn’t actually the worst thing ever, contrary to popular belief. Sure he has his moments.. Somehow managing to set fire to things that are not usually flammable. If he cooks it’s 50/50 between alright and edible versus awful and deadly. He does random and odd things in an attempt to get on Chuuya’s nerves or satisfy his whimful curiosity. When he gets more depressed than usual he goes mute and stays wrapped up in bed for days at a time. During those times Chuuya has to text him to remind him to bathe, eat, and stay hydrated. The suicidal ideation is still very prominent, but the attempts themselves have lessened. That’s probably because Chuuya doesn’t give him too much alone time. There’s an office next to their bedroom that Chuuya goes to when Dazai gets overwhelmed. It’s easy to just listen for suspicious noises, and make sure he doesn’t leave.

The weirdest part is that they hardly ever seriously fight. They’re total dicks to each other, don’t take him wrong. They argue and fuss and bicker a lot too. If one of them actually upsets the other they are able to tell and usually work it out without an issue. Dazai genuinely hates confrontation with Chuuya. The few times they have fought (two times in two years, wow) Dazai lets Chuuya get the last word and avoids him until the tension unwinds. He still has an issue with refusing to apologize, but he makes up for it by letting Chuuya win. After time passes Chuuya feels bad about the way he acted and knows that Dazai might not even be trying to manipulate him then.

There were so many good things about living with him though. Domesticity is a treasured aspect between them. A necessary separation from themselves and their outside lives. Moments like when Chuuya is reading on the couch and Dazai’s head ends up in his lap. Waking up to long warm limbs around him, and knowing Dazai hasn’t moved despite not sleeping the night before. Getting his hair brushed and played with. Knowing which days are going to be good days based on if Dazai rubs tiredness from his eyes before kissing his cheek upon waking. Hearing Dazai hum something other than the suicide song. There’s also the most surprising part that when he isn’t depressed he actually does housework. Well, Chuuya assumes it’s him rather than a productive ghost, because he’ll wake up in the morning and things will be done that weren’t when he went to sleep. They fall into easy silences too. Just comfortable doing separate things near each other. Chuuya loves that Dazai puts up with him finding his way into his lap. He usually just huffs, continues whatever he’s doing, and eventually a hand finds its way into his hair. Chuuya looks forward to coming home. Being somewhere where facades and bravado aren’t needed. It’s a great contrast to their violent and dangerous day to day.

Dazai doesn’t trust hardly anyone. Chuuya may be the main exception if not the only. Though even after a decade of being Sōkoku, years and years of their not-so-complicated anymore relationship, and two years of living together - Chuuya has never seen Dazai’s scars. He has been very patient and respectful thus far. Never bringing them up or asking questions unless Dazai opens the door for that kind of conversation. Which is a very rare occurrence, but has happened a few times.

It’s become increasingly blatant over the years that Dazai’s confidence and poise is just another mask. The remarks about his irresistibility and good looks and cockiness are intended to cover up how much he dislikes his body. Chuuya thinks it’s sad, because he knows no matter how bad the scars are that he will never think any less of him. To Chuuya, Dazai is simply perfect. Physically, anyway. The flawed and warped thing that is his personality is tolerable enough.. Who is he kidding? Despite all of the quirks and issues and pettiness Dazai is everything he has ever wanted. Not to mention the only.

Dazai gets him. On a complete and total level unlike any other. He notices things like changes in his breathing or reading pace. Saying stuff like ‘what are you thinking about? You’ve spent more time on that than usual’ or ‘what’s going on?’. It’s nice, being understood that well. It’s a little creepy that Dazai also has access to everything he searches online, but Chuuya hasn’t given much thought to the stalking in a while. The point he’s trying to get to in his brain is that he has no walls up against Dazai. There is nothing separating Dazai from any part of him, from his body, to his internet history, to his thoughts.

It’s like a semipermeable barrier between them. Dazai can come and go as he pleases, but Chuuya can still be shut out. The older has spent so much time, effort, and energy on being compassionate regarding Dazai’s limitations.

Was he supposed to take it that far himself? Was there supposed to be a right time for him to ask? Would asking make Dazai angry?

Surely with as far as they’ve come this wouldn’t be the issue that makes or breaks their relationship?

Dazai had put them through the most ludicrous trust exercise ever in Malaysia. So much so that Chuuya felt the need to tease him for it at the time. If Chuuya were to bring this subject up on his own would Dazai hide? Avoid? Shut him out?

Chuuya doesn’t want to be pushed away.

Chuuya reminds him that he loves him relatively often. The truth stays easy for him to say. Dazai has pretty adorable reactions when Chuuya catches him off guard with it. Once while they were playing a PvP on their handhelds Dazai lost to him spectacularly and Chuuya laughed at him before telling him he loves him. Dazai’s face got red and he thanked him for it. Thanked him. All that did was make him laugh at him harder.

It’s not something he can respond to clearly, but Chuuya has long accepted that. It doesn’t bother him at all. The idiot has proven himself and Chuuya doesn’t need that from him now. Words aren’t the answer when it comes to Dazai’s truth. If you want to understand his true intentions you have to notice what he refuses to say and watch the actions he takes. The simple reality is that he’s the one Chuuya looks forward to coming home to, and he’s the first person he sees when he wakes up in the morning. Him, just being here and being himself, is more than /enough/.

Chuuya has been in the shower for way too long because he can hear Dazai’s music playing over their bedroom stereo system. His taste has broadened beyond emo shit about killing yourself to instrumentals, piano covers of popular songs without the lyrics, and actual lofi. Right now he’s listening to a soft electric guitar song so he’s in a good but impatient mood.

Chuuya relates but his impatience is different. As he turns the shower off he comes to an almost conclusion. Maybe he could frame the idea as a hypothetical? Offer reassurance and stay open and patient with him.

While drying off Chuuya realizes he didn’t actually grab clothes to change into. He must’ve really been in his head if he just jumped in the shower without thinking or planning ahead. Dazai is going to automatically assume he’s trying to fuck, but he’s really not tonight. Oh well. He’ll figure it out like he always does. He wraps a towel around his waist and goes into the bedroom to get dressed.

The music isn’t too loud and as Chuuya’s back is turned to go through his dresser he hears Dazai make a quick whistling noise. Dark eyes never leave him as he dresses in a t shirt and briefs. They keep the bedroom cold, but Dazai’s body heat and excessive layering never fail to warm him up. Chuuya joins him on the bed finding him in sweatpants and a sweater. In the middle of April. This is normal for him though, no matter the season.

He’s sprawled out lazily, hair still damp and eyes following his every move. Chuuya makes his way towards him and revels in the expectation in his gaze. But he’s a tease, reaching behind him for the stereo remote to lower the volume of the music some more. The song has changed again to another instrumental that’s making Chuuya even more tired. Sleepy and jazzy is how he would describe it.

Dazai frowns at him for not paying him enough attention before latching onto him like a damn octopus. Chuuya doesn’t verbally resist being pulled to his chest. Telling of how exhausted and distracted he is.

“You’re quiet tonight. Mori’s scolding got you down?” Dazai teases, knowing that Chuuya never gives a second thought to the reprimands he receives at his fault. The question he was really asking regarded the original statement.

“I’m tired and I’ve been thinking.” Chuuya reveals.

“Yeah. You seem out of it. You forgot to brush your hair and didn’t bring the comb.” Dazai points out.

Chuuya doesn’t even want to get up to retrieve it. Comfortable and uncaring of how awful it will be in the morning. He’d just make Dazai do it if he didn’t feel like it.

He feels Dazai pulling his hair tie off his wrist. His grip loosens but Chuuya makes no effort to move.

“Sit up.” Dazai’s voice is kind despite the tone leaving no room for arguments.

Chuuya listens, sitting back and turning away from him.

Long and careful fingers thread through dark red. Separating tangles easily thanks to his expensive conditioner. Before much time passes it seems he has it all smoothed out because he begins braiding it. When he’s finished with his work he ties it in place. Chuuya touches it with his hand, feeling for any imperfections, before moving it over his shoulder to check what he can see. He has gotten rather good at this, though Chuuya has no right to complain. As he had fully intended to leave it.

“Thanks.” Chuuya hums before lying in his lap. Dazai’s thighs are pretty comfy pillows. Shocking, considering how skinny he is and the lack of muscle.

Dazai tucks his hair behind his ear. Eyeing him observantly. Chuuya can feel the questions, the hesitation, he wants to say something but expects Chuuya to make an opening first.

The idea of that makes the older sigh. There had to be a way to convey these feelings. Dazai’s walls were so high, no one could climb them. Damn him if he didn’t try.

“Chuuya seems sad. He doesn’t really get like this so I could be wrong.” Dazai claims softly.

Chuuya..isn’t sad. Is he?

“I don’t think I feel sad.” Chuuya decides aloud. He doesn’t have anything to be sad about. Not really, anyway.

“How do you feel then? You said you’ve been thinking so maybe your brain has had enough.” Dazai tries to be lighthearted with his inquiry. A slight jab to his inferior intelligence isn’t enough to distract Chuuya into a petty spat anymore. Especially not now.

“I’m not sure. It's really jumbled up. There isn’t anything wrong and I’m not thinking about anything bad. It’s more cautious I guess.”

“You have something you want to say but you’re not sure how to articulate it. Why? Are you worried about something?” Dazai took the words ‘wrong’ and ‘bad’ seriously despite Chuuya claiming it was not like that.

When Dazai puts effort into communication he’s so eloquent with it. It’s kind of off putting how he can go from annoying idiot to well spoken like it’s nothing. Chuuya is better at finding the right words when he doesn’t care about the reaction of who hears it. Telling the truth, writing things down, or in intimate conversation he has it in him to be forward and blunt.

“There’s something on my mind. I want to know how you feel about it. I have questions. I suppose I am worried you may find them offensive.”

Dazai exhales. “I don’t like interrogation but I’ve gotten thicker skin when it comes to you. It is hard to offend me as much as I fake otherwise.”

“I don’t want you to get mad or upset and push me away.” Chuuya clearly expresses what he doesn’t want out of this.

“I can’t control how I feel about it, but I can control how I react. I won’t push you away. If that’s what you’re worried about, I really don’t want you to feel like you have to walk on eggshells around me. Unless you tell me to go away, or stop wanting me; I won’t go anywhere.”

The pressure on Chuuya’s chest is lifted and his precautions are eased. There was an ever present holding back, fear of asking for too much. Chuuya is so relieved by those words he could cry. He won’t, but he could. Guilt might be one of the strongest emotions Dazai feels. He doesn’t want Chuuya to hold back for fear of making him leave. He doesn’t want to leave. No matter what they fight about, annoy each other with, or if Chuuya asks him invasive questions Dazai won’t leave unless Chuuya tells him to.

That may be the closest to an ‘I love you’ in their language Chuuya has received in a long time.

“Do you.. trust me?” Chuuya asks him seriously this time.

Dazai chuckles softly. The apprehension in it palpable. Mahogany eyes stare him down before blinking and looking away.

“More than anyone else and with most things. What are you getting at?” Dazai looks back down at him when he asks that question.

“I want to know what you don’t trust me with. The things you feel you should keep from me.”

Dazai sighs and brushes his thumb on Chuuya’s jaw.

“It’s not like I’m specifically targeting you. There are things I trust no one with. Things I never want to acknowledge. Things regarding where I came from and what I went through before Mori.. I also don’t want to even try explaining why I get the way I do when I’m severely depressed.”

Chuuya understands that. Dazai has never once opened up about his past and Chuuya has never asked for answers on his own. All he knows is that Mori took in a suicidal, young teenager from the streets, and raised him to become the Demonic Prodigy he became. Where Dazai was before that.. the situations he must have been in to make him crave death so intrinsically.. are shrouded in mystery. The one time Chuuya did look after finding out about himself Dazai interrupted him and made Chuuya feel like shit for even looking.

Regarding his depression Chuuya now knows more about that than anyone. Mutism, sensory overload, and the need for isolation is telling of how overwhelmed he becomes by his own thoughts. Witnessing first hand how sensitive to stimuli he gets, how apathetic he is about taking care of himself, and how he shields himself away made Chuuya more empathetic to his struggle. He had never thought Dazai was faking, though he openly found his suicidality extreme. Seeing up close how debilitating it becomes during bad times had him being gentler with his banter around those subjects.

Dazai’s mind, as ingenious as it is, is equally as abhorrent. The way Dazai’s enemies crumble under his weight; his own brain breaks him down at times. The only person who could take him down and keep him down would be himself.

Chuuya sits up before climbing into his lap. Dazai observes him evenly. From his somewhat shallow breathing Chuuya can tell he is anxious about what he’ll say next.

“A long time ago..” Chuuya rests his hand on the bandages around his neck. “you told me you wear these more for yourself than other people. If I were to see what’s beneath them.. how would you feel about that?”

Dazai’s eyes fail to meet his. Dark irises look away. His lips are in a tight line. Chuuya can visibly see him thinking through how he will respond to this. Gears in his head weighing pros and cons of deceiving, or not responding, or even complying and being honest about how he would feel.

“I.. It’s convoluted.” Dazai rests his forehead on Chuuya’s shoulder so he can’t see his face. “I find my skin repulsive so I don’t look. I detest those few moments of the day when I take them off because I’m forcibly reminded that there’s a reason I wear them. If you were to see.. I would have to see.. and the whole idea sounds humiliating.”

“Osamu..” Chuuya’s fingers are in his damp hair and soothing his scalp.

Dazai has always been prideful. Embarrassment is uncommon for him so Chuuya relishes in it when it’s mild. Shame is very rare, reserved for the scarcity that are his apologies. Humiliation is something Chuuya never wants Dazai to feel. It’s unbecoming of him entirely.

“I will never think of you the way you see yourself. I could never see you that way. We have been together so long and I try to be mindful of what you can and can’t do. You trust me. You can trust me with this.”

Dazai pulls back to look at him. Eyes forever listless, but his gaze is not empty. Chuuya has been enamored by these handsome features for quite some time. The graceful arch of his brow, the prominence of his cheekbones, the sharpness of his jaw, and the cupid’s bow in his lips. Undeniably, Chuuya is biased, but he finds Dazai beautiful.

“You’ve been more patient than I’ve expected about it. I knew we would have this conversation eventually. It probably bothers you that you’re completely open with me and I conceal so much about myself.” Dazai admits.

Dazai reads him like a book but mixes up the words. It’s not what he is hiding /about/ himself that bothers Chuuya. It’s what he is concealing /of/ himself that is the issue. Chuuya doesn’t need him to explain anything. There isn’t anything that needs to be said. It is an action he desires. Something that needed to be shown.

“You don’t have to explain anything. What if I made it so that you didn’t have to see?” Chuuya questions. An idea forming in his mind of way to cover Dazai sense of sight. A way to dampen his self consciousness through the incapacitation of one of his senses.

“That sounds.. not as bad.” Dazai confesses. “But I have to know. Why do you want to look?”

Chuuya wonders for a long moment. Knowing innately how much he desires Dazai’s own inherent trust. Fiends for his faith and sincerity. This desire has never been about wanting Dazai to prove himself or make good on the promise of permanence.

More than anything it feels like a trust fall. Similar but not equal to jumping out of the tower together. Chuuya wants Dazai to know he accepts him and adores him. Every flaw, insecurity, and scar. There’s a deep yearning within to acquire his being and commit it to remembrance. There didn’t need to be worded explanation of what caused something as unique, damaged, and awe-inspiring as Dazai to occur. The simplest solution to the issue of experience and exposure in Chuuya’s mind was to recognize Dazai in his physicality. A sense took over him that once he saw his body, that he would further comprehend his soul.

“I want to appreciate every part of what makes you the man I love.” Chuuya declares boldly.

Dazai, fierce and aloof as he can be, has been rendered speechless.

Chuuya kisses him. With the full intention of reassuring him and offering himself as comfort. The younger executive’s hands meet his hips and his palms press into his sides. The way he grips Chuuya telling of how substantial he found Chuuya’s answer.

Their lips meet lazily and hands dance smoothly over each other’s body. There’s no need to worry here. Dazai knows that Chuuya isn’t going to force this on him now. Tonight wasn’t the night. This wasn’t the moment. It was going to happen. As much as he held off and Chuuya hesitated to ask, the time was going to come.

Each touch certain and purposeful pulled them down. Sinking, falling, crashing. Water, waves, rain. Dazai remains as he as been. Outwardly confident in himself and positive that Chuuya wouldn’t betray him. The show and act he puts forth convincing, but the voice beneath it Chuuya barely hears.

‘Please, don’t hurt me.’

*

Their fated conversation about taking off Dazai’s bandages replays in Chuuya’s mind for the following days off. He hopes he hadn’t come across as too imposing, and that Dazai wasn’t keeping his true feelings from him. The admission that he had the bigger issue with seeing his own scars was a heavy one. Chuuya had wondered before, when they weren’t living together, if there were times when he was alone that he wouldn’t wear them. Apparently that has never been the case.

When they first met he was already mostly covered. The bandages concealed his arms, neck, shoulders, and torso. Temporarily his eye was bandaged too, but it healed. Later on, when Dazai had first left the Mafia at eighteen, their first reunion six months after showed Chuuya new additions. The upper portion of his thighs were covered. He had spent that time running, with severe insomnia and a deliberate lack of self care. Those wounds were done to him by himself. After he let Chuuya out of the book his stomach was concealed by a surgical dressing from where he had been shot. Finally, when he returned to Chuuya the last time to say he was coming back to him and the Mafia; his stomach and lower back were completely wrapped and so were the entireties of both his thighs. Chuuya has watched the progression of the bandages over the years and was well aware of the different causes of those wounds.

The mental image of Dazai, younger than the fifteen year old Chuuya met, being tortured made Chuuya nauseous. Knowing since his suicidality has been prominent for more than half of his life that the self-mutilation has presumably gone on just as long. Then, with all the injuries Dazai is most certainly hiding surgical scars.

A thought crosses Chuuya’s mind that he previously hadn’t considered before. It’s an incredibly upsetting idea. The more he dwells on it the more he realizes how likely it is to be true.

At about two in the afternoon Dazai is lounging in the living room. He has headphones on, listening to music as he plays a game on one of his handhelds. Chuuya is sitting on the chase, on the farthest end from him on his laptop. The redhead watches the distracted brunet carefully before deciding to conduct some research.

After a few hours of reading articles, medical pages, looking at images, and searching through possible symptoms he was very sure of his assumption.

The restlessness, weakness, sensitivity to pain, the incidents of sensory overload, his insomniac tendencies, and even his depression and anxiety are all considerable factors.

Dazai has nerve damage.

There isn’t any chance that someone as smart as him isn’t aware of it. So it bothers Chuuya that Dazai is in much more pain than he ever knew about, and that he never said anything to him about it. He has always complained about how much he hates pain so to think it’s something he experiences constantly.. Chuuya understands his issue surrounding it.

The bandages were both for comfort and an extra safety measure. The reason he never took them off was because he never fully healed.

Chuuya studies the different kinds of nerve damage and concludes Dazai most likely suffers from sensory nerve pain. His bad days where he becomes oversensitive and overwhelmed could very well be flare ups that exacerbate his depression. That could easily make someone need isolation and not want to move.

After reading up on the therapies and treatments regarding nerve pain he can’t help but understand why Dazai has kept this to himself. There’s no cure for these kind of symptoms. Pain management is the primary treatment. Dazai has had a major problem with appearing vulnerable for as long as Chuuya has known him.

Acknowledging personal weakness was a risk.

Chuuya has studied in practices like reflexology and deep tissue massage. Gravity seemed like a useful tool in those areas. Never once has he tried anything like that on Dazai though. Thankfully. If he had he really could have hurt him.

Those subjects did give him a basis for what he decided he was going to do though. As long as Dazai was fine with it. Chuuya clears his search history and his cookies on his laptop before closing it. The only way Dazai would be able to see what he was researching was if he looked on his own computer, or so he hopes. Chuuya was just trying to buy a little time to go get the stuff they would need.

Dazai is facing away from him, playing a different game on a different handheld, but his headphones are still on. Chuuya sets his computer aside and goes over to him. He senses his presence and took the headphones off one ear to listen to him.

“I’m stepping out for a bit. Do you want to cook tonight or should I pick something up?”

“I already made breakfast today.” Dazai pouts.

“And I took care of lunch so it’s your turn to decide. Since you’re complaining I assume you want me to pick up something.”

“I’m not very hungry tonight. Get me sushi.”

Chuuya works out in the mornings and has gotten into the habit of making very filling boxed lunches for them. Stuffing them full of their favorite sides, meats, and hefty amounts of rice. He tries to keep them healthy but appetizing enough that Dazai will eat more than half of it in one sitting. He did a good job today but that meant Dazai’s too full to attempt cooking a meal.

They haven’t had sushi in a few weeks though.

“Sure. I’ll be back soon.” Chuuya flicks his uncovered ear and Dazai sticks his tongue out at him before going back to his devices.

*

Chuuya’s shopping trip didn’t take as long as he thought it would. Even with the stop he made to his favorite spa to purchase oils and ask questions. The woman who owns it used to work for Kouyou when she was young. She is a very kind and helpful woman who is licensed at what she now does. Her answers to his questions were especially insightful. She told him that for severe nerve pain circulation massage was his best bet, told him which oils and aromas to use, and that bathing beforehand relaxes the muscles.

When he told her the presumed extent of the damage she told him to be very cautious. Just because he has a high pain tolerance didn’t mean that a circulation massage would be okay. With severe nerve damage some people experience pain even with light touches that would normally never hurt someone else. Chuuya has been good at paying attention to Dazai though. He likes when Chuuya lays on his chest, so he assumes that his tolerance is not that low.

Direct contact and pressure was going to have to be discussed as they went along. Each thing that Chuuya wanted to do for him realistically seemed like a lot to ask of him. Even if those things were supposed to calm him, and relieve pain.

Communication is imperative with this. If Dazai even accepts any of his proposals. This entire idea was still so up in the air. Chuuya wants to hope that Dazai will let him do these things and that he will get something positive out of it enough so that he may let him do it again.

He goes to their favorite high end sushi place to order him their real crab makizushi. They recognize Chuuya as soon he walks in despite him not looking crisp and deadly in Mafia attire. Their usual order is ready momentarily.

*

Dazai is in the same position as Chuuya left him when he returns. Only he is now reading a book instead of gaming. He turns towards him, sensing his presence or maybe having heard him open the door over his music. His eyes light up when he sees the sushi boxes and Chuuya entering with shopping bags.

Taking off his earphones and setting down his book he gets up animatedly to take the food from him and takes it to the parlor table.

“You got it from the good place! What were you doing on that side of town?” Dazai sits on the floor and starts opening boxes.

“A consultation.” Chuuya sees no reason to lie or be too descriptive as he answers over his shoulder and takes the bags to their room.

Quickly setting one bag down on the bedside table and the other in the bathroom Chuuya rejoins him soon.

Dazai is already stuffing his face when Chuuya sits down. The whole getting Dazai to eat three meals a day like a healthy person was relatively new. Most of the time he didn’t finish two out of three meals, but it was a major improvement from his ‘twice a day if I think about it’ routine.

The last five months Dazai has been eating better with them trying to cook at home more. Breakfast was something he barely fumbled with these days. Lunch and dinner still sometimes had other incidents.

It’s an easy quiet. Chuuya is scrolling on his phone as Dazai reads. Both of them eating and enjoying the other’s company.

“What are you reading?” Chuuya asks him, not recognizing the binding.

“‘The Fall’ by Albert Camus.” Dazai informs him tilting the novel so that he can see ‘La Chute’ across the cover.

“A French author?” Chuuya confirms, happy to see him working on his French. Still much better at reading than speaking and listening to it.

“Philosopher too.” Dazai tells him as he takes another bite.

The name sounded familiar but Chuuya wasn’t as into philosophy as him. He doubts he would recognize any of his works.

“Mm.” Chuuya acknowledges as he enjoys his food.

“What was the consultation?” Dazai questions.

“I visited the therapeutic spa on the Northwest end.” Chuuya tells him.

Dazai pauses mid eating, but covers it up by turning the page.

“For?” Dazai responds eventually.

“I had questions and needed to buy some things.” Chuuya readily admits.

Dazai takes another bite. Chewing slowly and thoughtfully. He still has quite a bit left, but he sits back and shields much of his face from Chuuya with the book.

“Enlighten me.” Dazai orders.

“I bought eucalyptus bath oil, lavender oil diluted with sesame massage oil, and Shea butter. My questions were about relieving nerve pain and how to touch someone with nerve damage.”

Chuuya can viscerally perceive Dazai hiding from him. So he doesn’t turn his way. Not wanting to add pressure to his response. Giving him space and time to outwardly reject him or that notion.

“Is it really that obvious?” Dazai’s voice doesn’t waver, but is very soft.

“No. Not until I gave it a lot of thought and knew what signs to look for.” Chuuya tells him truthfully. Sure that it was a bad idea to admit he only realized and put together the pieces over the last two days.

“I see.” Dazai turns another page.

“Can you tell me what areas give you problems?” Chuuya asks of him.

“Hm.” Dazai hums thoughtfully as he hesitates.

“More places do than don’t. My legs are fine. My stomach is too. Everything else has issues.” Dazai reveals.

“It’s sensory related, right?” Chuuya asks.

“Mm. There’s minor motor issues too. I can’t extend my arms in certain positions unless I’m physically held or manipulated that way. I get spasms in my neck sometimes too. And we both know how weak I am.”

Shit. Chuuya thinks back to the instants where he pins Dazai down. Over the past few years he tremendously cut down on the violence. The thought of really hurting him physically wasn’t a thought Chuuya wanted to entertain anymore. To know he has been doing it unintentionally makes him feel shitty.

“You’re too short to extend them that high and you’ve never twisted them behind my back so stop stressing.”

“I drag you around a lot though. And in the past.. fuck I’m sorry, Dazai.” Chuuya apologizes.

“I’ve thought before and I think most days that your touch feels good no matter how much it hurts.” Dazai confesses from behind that book.

“Those bad days then.. those are flare ups.. When the pain gets to be too much..” Chuuya doesn’t expect a straightforward response and half expects Dazai to change the subject.

“It’s unprovoked. I have the most issues with my neck and shoulders. My skin gets tight and starts burning worse than usual. It begins between my spine and shoulder blades and spreads throughout my upper body. A normal day consists of pin pricks up and down my arms, my chest tingles but the pain there is dull, shoulders and back pretty much constantly burn, and my hands are never not numb.”

This is forthcoming of him. Unexpected but not unwelcome. Chuuya needs to know, needs to understand. The truth hurts, but he needs to know why Dazai kept this from him. He also wants to know why Dazai ate his blows without saying anything and properly fighting back.

“Why didn’t you tell me you were hurting?” Chuuya turns towards him.

Dazai takes a deep breath before marking his place in the book and setting it aside. His expression is even but his body language more open. Mahogany eyes meet Chuuya’s own.

“What was the point? I didn’t want you to treat me differently and I don’t desire pity.”

“There are things that I can try to do to help. If you are willing to let me try.” Chuuya offers.

Dazai breaks their eye contact but he doesn’t look angry or upset. His gaze settled on Chuuya’s thighs and his hands in his lap. After a few breaths he answers.

“It is one thing to let you see, because I am sure once you do; you will not want to touch me.”

Chuuya’s heart breaks and he almost hears the sound of that bulletproof window shattering. How can he convince him?

“You’re wrong. You’re the only person I’ve ever wanted to touch. I will always want to touch you. Especially if I can help.”

“I won’t be offended when I turn out to be right.” Dazai resigns.

“I don’t mind proving you wrong.” Chuuya affirms.

Dazai hums dismissively before closing up his food containers, and cleaning up after himself.

Chuuya can’t eat anymore now either but waits until he hears Dazai’s footsteps fade away towards their bedroom before cleaning up after himself. He takes his time. Tidying up the kitchen from when they cooked earlier in the day as well.

Eventually there’s nothing left for him to stall on. After washing his hands and drying them he gets he and Dazai both some electrolyte water from the fridge. He heads to their room.

Dazai is sitting on the bed on his laptop. Expression blank and one hand under his chin. Chuuya is confident he knows what he’s looking at.

Chuuya swallows before sitting next to him and handing over the water. As he thought Dazai is looking at an article he had previously read a few hours ago. Wordlessly Dazai takes the offered drink, uncapping it and drinking, as he continues scrolling.

The article was on how nerve damage affects mental health. The author depicts their own irritability, and anxiety as things that get worse when their neuropathy intensifies. A paragraph illustrates how some people struggle with suicidal thoughts out of pain and desperation for relief.

Dazai reads astronomically faster than Chuuya so he finishes the article quickly. Chuuya watches him switch tabs and sees the program he uses to view Chuuya’s digital footprint. Dazai scans the information before deciding on another article to look at.

This one was about physical therapy as a treatment for sensory nerve pain. This was the article that brought up therapeutic massage as a suggested approach. Chuuya drinks his own water and waits for Dazai to voice his opinions or concerns.

After a moment he finishes the article and closes the laptop. Chuuya does not know if him being done reading his research is a good or bad sign. Then Dazai leans back and stares up at the ceiling.

“Are you sure about this?” Dazai inquires lowly.

“Yes. Though I should be asking you that. I plan to tell you what I’m doing before I do it and if something hurts or makes you uncomfortable I want you to tell me to stop. The woman I spoke to showed me the best method for you but warned me that some people are too sensitive to touch and that it might cause pain. You know the last thing I want to do is hurt you. I want to do this well enough that you might let me do it again.”

Dazai exhales heavily. “Never thought I would be saying this but.. So Chuuya, what’s the plan?”

“I want to run you a bath. Eucalyptus is good for relieving stress and pain. I plan to blindfold you and then take them off and help you relax. When you’re ready, I'll help you out, dry you off, and get you semi-dressed. Then I’ll bring you back in here and use the Shea butter on your legs to get you used to me touching your bare skin. Then I want to use the lavender-sesame oil to give your back, neck, arms, and chest a circulation massage. If we have to stop or if certain places hurt too much to be touched that’s fine. I’ll wrap you back up when we’re done or if you don’t want me to I’ll let you do it. Then we can just cuddle and talk about what went right or what could be improved or not done again.” Chuuya attempts to be passive and agreeable. Though he plans to help Dazai has to know he is in control too.

Dazai looks over at him with such fragility in his eyes it’s startling. Eyes that he only witnessed one tear ever fall from shine. But not with sadness, Chuuya realizes this is what hope looks like on him.

“Okay.” Voice just above a whisper but tone even Dazai agrees to go along with Chuuya’s plan.

Chuuya can’t fathom letting him down.

The older leans down and kisses his head. Briefly threading his fingers through his hair. When Chuuya pulls away Dazai watches him with expectations in his eyes.

“I’ll come get you when it’s ready.” Chuuya gets off the bed and Dazai nods in acknowledgment.

Upon entering the bathroom Chuuya shuts the door behind himself out of habit. He sets about filling the jacuzzi, adjusting the temperature, and adding the bath oil. In the same shopping bag is the cooling eye mask that is traditionally meant for sleeping. He takes it out and places it on the counter. Chuuya keeps lots of candles and incenses in here and decides against lighting any incense. Settling instead on a bergamot orange candle. When he turns back the bath is half full.

Upon opening the door to their bedroom he finds Dazai facedown in his pillow. Chuuya approaches him cautiously. If he wants to back out, he only has to voice it.

“You can come in, amoureux.”

Dazai turns his head to answer. “N'y a-t-il pas un meilleur mot pour petit ami?” The pronunciation was subpar but he gets his point across.

Chuuya laughs at him as he gets off the bed and follows him into their bathroom.

“Is that really what you want to call yourself?” Chuuya asks him.

Dazai chuckles as Chuuya shuts the door behind them.

“‘Lover’ sounds so scandalous, but admittedly I don’t like ‘boyfriend’ either.” Dazai complains as he takes off his shirt.

“Would you prefer I just use your name then?” Chuuya knows he’ll understand his meaning.

Dazai winks at him before taking off his pants.

“As long as you don’t wear it out.” Dazai concedes.

Chuuya finds the jacuzzi sufficiently filled and turns off the water. Turning back to Dazai who is attempting to hide his nervousness but still comes across as sheepish. He shuffles his feet before leaning against the counter.

Chuuya gets close to him to reach behind him and grab the eye mask. Dazai watches him and Chuuya holds it up to show him.

“It’s supposed to have cooling properties and reduce redness and dark circles.” Chuuya explains the excessive design.

Dazai takes it from him and stares at it in his hands.

“You can only use it when we’re alone too. Not that I’m ashamed of you. That’s just something I want to keep to myself.” Dazai asserts that he doesn’t want anyone else to hear Chuuya call him by his first name.

His phrasing was rather possessive but that didn’t bother Chuuya. He relates in some way.

“Of course.” Chuuya verbally agrees though it has been that way for a long time.

Dazai puts on the blindfold. His hands immediately grip the counter upon securing it. His body facing Chuuya shifts. The language telling of how apprehensive he feels.

Chuuya reaches out, wanting to comfort him, but forgets to warn him. Fingers barely brush against his rib cage and under his arm and Dazai jolts.

“I’m sorry.” Chuuya apologizes as he steps closer and his other hand rests on Dazai’s uncovered hip.

“Lets not start there.” Dazai manages to make that sound like a question.

“I wasn’t starting yet. I just wanted to touch you.” Chuuya informs him softly.

“Oh..”

“Is there a certain way you prefer to do it?” Chuuya asks him.

“I start with my legs. Then my arms. After that it doesn’t really matter.” Dazai answers

“Then that’s the way we will do it. Tell me when you’re ready.” Chuuya circles his thumb into the small area of bare skin.

Dazai shudders a breath. Only a few seconds pass but he doesn’t want to lose his nerve.

“Go ahead.”

Chuuya keeps his hands on him as he kneels down. They slide down his briefs and bandaged thighs all the way to his knees. Chuuya taps his right leg with his index finger.

“Want to start here?” Chuuya’s eyes haven’t left his face so he notices the small nod.

His other hand joins and he feels the coverage for the endpoint. He finds it soon enough and untucks it. After that it’s an even paced unrolling them off his thigh.

As he suspected the scars here were from self-harm. Numerous pale lines stand out against olive skin. Some were massive from deep cuts with uneven edges, while many more were smaller straight lines. They span from just above his knee all the way up to the fabric of his boxer briefs.

Chuuya places the used bandages off to the side on the counter and rests his hands on his left thigh. Dazai says nothing but Chuuya feels they should work through this at a set pace. Locating the endpoint of the bandages and unraveling his other thigh at the same speed of the first one.

Soon enough Dazai’s thighs are bare and exposed. It has been many years since Chuuya has last seen them and though they look different and the damage done to them was by Dazai himself; Chuuya appreciates the view. Even so he holds off on touching for now.

“Give me your hand and I’ll start on that arm.” Chuuya speaks as he straightens up so Dazai knows he’s nearby.

He outstretches his left hand and Chuuya holds it and squeezes it reassuringly. Then he starts looking for the placement of the tie on his wrist. It doesn’t take long to find and it’s easy to loosen and untie with one hand. He unravels his wrist carefully, moving slowly and pacing his way up his arm.

His forearms and wrists are marred by deep, and raised scars. The horizontal ones are many, thick and white, and the vertical ones are less and thinner, but much longer. The vertical are purple and dark red, while the horizontal are pale, and many are of a discolored skin tone. There are so many here, easily hundreds. The tiny spaces of unscarred skin are few and far between. Chuuya doesn’t let up on his task, refusing to gawk at what he already knew existed. Not letting himself become distracted for fear of Dazai presuming he is judging him. When he gets to Dazai’s upper arm he makes a soft inhale.

Chuuya slows dramatically as he works around his shoulder. A long time ago he told Dazai he found his shoulders attractive. They’re broad, they accentuate the way he carries himself, and in intimate moments Chuuya finds the way they move to be enticing. The scars here are very different from the others Chuuya has seen. Skin discolored, uneven, and having healed in a way that you can tell .. pieces of him are missing.

Chuuya holds his hand tighter and brings it up to kiss his knuckles. Those scars extend and disappear beneath the bandages of his back and torso. Chuuya doesn’t have anything to say about them. Not now at least. There’s still so much left to uncover.

Dazai lifts his other arm and takes his hand away. Chuuya repeats the process on his right arm and is greeted with a matching sight. The outsides of both arms have what appear to be surgical scarring. Those scars appear too precise and purposeful to be self inflicted or torture related. Many are smaller and duller too, like they happened when he was very young.

Chuuya sets aside all of the bandages on the counter before resting his hands on Dazai’s waist.

“Want me to work this way up?” Chuuya rubs his thumbs over the small exposed area of skin at his hips.

“Sure.” Dazai agrees.

Chuuya holds him as Dazai straightens up to no longer lean against the counter. His hands find Chuuya’s shoulders to steady himself. Then the smaller begins unwrapping his stomach and low back.

His stomach has very few wounds in comparison to everywhere else but Chuuya sees a stab wound, the gunshot and surgery scar, and yet another surgical scar. The day where he considered three serious wounds as pale in comparison has come. These were much newer and haven’t been given as much time to heal as well.

As he continued more surgical scars came to light. One over his spleen and.. another that appeared to be from an open chest surgery. A dark purple line extends along the length of his sternum and as Chuuya reveals his collarbone and shoulders he has to bite himself to keep from making a noise.

It appears Dazai is missing his first rib on his left side. This is something that occurs Chuuya rationalizes. Not entirely sure of what conditions or injuries would have to happen for the surgical removal of a rib, Chuuya assumes it was the result of a breathing issue. It must have happened when he was a child because his body has grown around it and it was impossible to tell without seeing his skin. Seeing the uneven rib cage. Seeing his chest.

Dazai’s frowning and his hands are squeezing Chuuya’s shoulders. Chuuya really doesn’t know how long he’s been staring. He has already put aside the bandages and is trying to phrase his next question.

“All that’s left is your neck. Are you ready?” Chuuya asks him.

“As I’ll ever be.” Dazai says breathlessly.

Chuuya reaches for him. Resting one hand over the bandages and the other cradling his jaw. The absolute trust Dazai is showing him with this has Chuuya’s heart pounding. Filled completely with warmth and love he wants this to be a good experience. He wants Dazai to know that he’ll catch him every time.

Dazai shudders as his throat comes into view. Chuuya’s mouth goes dry and he has to swallow. Here, he didn’t really know what he was expecting other than evidence of suicide attempts. Partially, that is what he is greeted with. An attempted throat slit that was too shallow and done by an unsteady hand, a line from an attempted hanging with a sharp wire, quite a few more surgical scars, and beneath the jagged portion of the slit is a brand that is too damaged to be recognizable. That must have been the intention.

Chuuya discards the mountain of bandages littering the vanity into the trash.

Chuuya takes Dazai’s hands off his shoulders and holds them in his own. Dazai grips him back tightly. Chuuya looks behind him to see his back in the mirror and is overcome by the urge to hold him in his arms. Another more violent urge is pushed out of mind. If Chuuya were given the opportunity he would brutally murder whoever made those marks.

The back of Dazai’s neck illustrates how hard doctors must have worked to insure he didn’t suffer brain damage or strokes. Chuuya is very unsurprised by how much trouble his neck gives him with all of those cervical spinal surgeries. His shoulder blades and upper back expand upon what Chuuya saw of his shoulders. Truthfully there are so many different kinds of wounds he can’t tell what they are from.

Chuuya tears his eyes away and leads Dazai towards the bath.

When he stops Dazai lets go of his hands and takes off his briefs.

“Let me guide you.” Chuuya tells him. Dazai only nods.

Soon enough Chuuya has him submerged in hot water. Dazai is feeling around the jacuzzi until he finds a side he deems fitting to lean back into. He sinks in up to his shoulders and sighs before going just a bit farther up his neck.

“I didn’t know this would feel so good. Though getting to this was a force.” Dazai confesses that he finds the bath nice, but taking off his bandages with Chuuya was difficult and a lot.

“I take a bath every week just to relax. If they feel nice and help you, then you should too.” Chuuya sits down and leans against the tub to talk to him.

“Haven’t decided if the effort is worth it yet.” Dazai sounds increasingly close to content.

“Is it better?” Chuuya asks. “When you’re not able to see?” He clarifies.

“I think so. If I were by myself certainly, but with you it’s.. instead of ‘wow I hate the way I look’ it’s ‘wow Chuuya hates the way I look’ so it went from depression to anxiety.” Dazai tries to explain.

“You have every right to feel anxious, but I don’t feel that way. I keep wanting to hold you and kiss you but I don’t want to put you off. I’m sorry this is hard for you but I’m here to make things better. I want to prove you can trust me with all of you.”

“I don’t even have all of me. I felt your breathing change when you saw that.” Dazai calls him out on his reaction to seeing his chest.

“I am worried that I hurt you when I lay on your chest.” Chuuya admits.

“I enjoy the pressure. It feels good to me. The only times you shouldn’t touch me I make that clear. Anytime and anywhere is really fine.” Dazai’s voice is a bit shy and Chuuya hears him sink lower into the water.

“I have choked you before too. That is really bothering me.” Chuuya tells him.

“And it was great every time.” Dazai supplies unhelpfully.

“I don’t get you. You’re always in some form of pain and you say you hate it, but you’re a masochist? It doesn’t make any sense.”

“I don’t like repeating myself but once again; it doesn’t hurt if it’s you. If Chuuya is touching me it’s too good to register anything else.”

Chuuya groans. “What did I expect? This is coming from the same guy who used to beg me to kill him.”

“By your hand would’ve been the sweetest relief.” Dazai agrees.

“My hands can give you plenty of other kinds of sweet relief.” Chuuya points out.

“I’m very aware of how multitalented Chuuya’s hands are. That’s why I agreed to let him touch me tonight.” Dazai hums amiably.

Chuuya reaches out to run his fingers through his hair, but pauses remembering to ask.

“Can I mess with your hair?”

Dazai hums an affirmative. The warm water and blindfold has him the most relaxed Chuuya has ever witnessed him. As he cards his fingers through chestnut waves Dazai leans into his touch. Chuuya presses his fingertips into his scalp and scratches him gently and absentmindedly. He notices a faint smile gracing Dazai’s lips and can’t tell if his flushed cheeks are from the heat or not.

“You’re so beautiful.” Chuuya says dreamily before he thinks about holding back.

Dazai snorts. “You have single handedly proven sexuality isn’t a choice.”

“If it were I still would have chosen you.” Chuuya confesses easily.

“You are being exceptionally sappy right now.” Dazai chuckles.

“Want to know the sappiest thought I’ve ever had?” Chuuya asks him.

“You have a ranking?” Dazai teases again.

“No. But if I did, I think that it would have topped the list.”

“Go off I guess.” Dazai uses internet meme slang a bit too unironically.

Chuuya doesn’t call him out and instead recalls the night he came back to him and said he was returning to the Mafia.

“You remember when you came back to me in the middle of that January night?”

“How could I forget? It was so embarrassing. You were so embarrassing.” Dazai pretends to be annoyed but Chuuya hears the fondness in his tone.

“I thought, after seeing how covered up you had become, that you were like a gift that I had been patiently waiting to open for a long time. I knew that wasn’t the time, but that the time would come. I’d just like to say I’m happy with what I’ve received.” Chuuya pets him as he speaks and watches the lower half of his face.

“I—“

Dazai turns bright pink and his bottom lip quivers.

“I think I’m ready..”

*

As Chuuya guides Dazai to lie back on their bed he assumes most people would find this inherently sexual. He is wearing one article of clothing, boxer briefs, and one accessory, a blindfold. Chuuya isn’t looking at him that way though. In the soft light of dusk and their bedside lamp he more so finds Dazai cute.

“I would just like to point out how weird this feels. Like I know I sleep in this bed every night but somehow it feels like a different bed.”

“I promise we didn’t teleport. This is your room and I am right here.” Chuuya takes the Shea butter out of the bag and joins him on the bed.

He isn’t going to point out the obvious and say that it’s only different because Dazai is blindfolded and a lot of his skin has never touched it before. Dazai is being open with him and talkative because he wants reassurance. That is something Chuuya will readily provide.

Chuuya settles between Dazai’s legs and opens the lotion. He rubs it between his hands for a moment.

“Can I start on your thighs?” Chuuya asks him.

“Yes.” Dazai answers.

Chuuya parts his fingers and palms just above his knees before smoothing the body butter up his thighs. Then focuses his attention on the left. Not applying too much pressure, just pushing up and dragging the heel of his hand on the skin. Dazai’s muscles twitch and tighten beneath him but Chuuya holds them down. Before long he is kneading his fingers into the flesh gently.

Dazai makes a muffled pleasured noise at that.

Chuuya enjoys this. Touching Dazai, and making him feel good is really enjoyable. Dazai deserves to feel good as much as he thinks otherwise.

He switches to the other thigh after a few more moments and repeats the process. Using the base of his palm to loosen up the area’s muscles and get him used to contact before kneading with his fingers. Dazai makes soft contented sighs periodically.

“You’re better at this than last time.” Dazai compliments.

“I might be. I was too rough on you then though.” Chuuya acknowledges that Dazai was in pain the only other time he massaged his thighs.

“No offense but your handprints on my thighs are a kink.” Dazai overshares.

“Can’t you be satisfied with me touching you? Why do you like marks left behind?” Chuuya questions.

“Gee I wonder.” Dazai sighs.

“If it’s that deep get a tattoo. It would be better than asking me to bruise you and it’s permanent.” Chuuya jokes.

Dazai doesn’t respond to that right away as Chuuya apparently found a good spot.

“Mm.” He moans mutedly.

Chuuya pays that area special attention. He hasn’t minded the scars at all, barely noticing the differences between the raised and deepened skin. He is so focused on feeling Dazai and trying to make him feel good that he almost forgot about the scars altogether.

“I might do that.” Dazai answers.

“I was being facetious.” Chuuya informs him.

“That’s a big word for Chuuya. I’m proud he used it correctly.” Dazai teases.

“If I ever find my name tattooed on your body I really will fight you.”

“Why do you reject my romantic gestures?” Dazai pouts.

“Because you’re only trying to be ironic.”

“..that’s fair.”

Chuuya stops massaging his thigh and gets off the bed. He puts away the Shea butter and retrieves the oil. Rejoining Dazai at his side Chuuya warns him of what he intends on moving on to.

“I want to start on your arms. Do you want to sit up or lie down for this?”

Dazai answers by sitting up and holding his closest arm out in Chuuya’s general direction.

Chuuya rests his hand in his lap as he pours a small amount of oil into his hand. Dazai’s nose scrunches adorably at the strong scent. The oil is very moisturizing too and Chuuya’s hands get covered quickly. He picks up Dazai’s hand from his lap and circles his thumbs into his palms carefully.

Dazai exhales. “That feels good. You can use more pressure there.”

Chuuya obeys, working from the heel of his palm through the soft center of his hand to the joints of his fingers. He lessens the pressure and works on the fingers themselves, and then his thumb. When he returns to his hand he focuses on the thicker skin and muscle below his thumb.

Dazai seems to be having a positive reaction. Breathing deeply and letting out small sighs. His cheeks are flushed too. Chuuya can’t help wanting to kiss him, but he holds back.

The redhead separates Dazai’s fingers with his own and presses into the soft webs of skin between his fingers. Dazai chuckles at this. Letting him do it for just a few seconds longer before pulling his hand away. Chuuya gently grasps his wrist, not letting him go too far.

“That felt weird.” Dazai says with a smile.

“I think in between your fingers is ticklish. That’s cute.” Chuuya guides his arm back to resting in his lap and turns it so he can see the inside clearly.

“I’m not cute.” Dazai protests.

Chuuya watches the way his body moves and shifts. Evidently he is getting self conscious again. As much as Chuuya wants to start touching him here, he has to make sure that’s still okay.

“If it hurts please tell me to stop.” Chuuya reminds him.

“It won’t hurt, but I will if it does.”

Well that’s a super noncommittal response. Chuuya decides to pay extra close attention to him. He starts where his radius and ulna connect to his wrist bones, fingers sinking into the back of his wrist and thumbs barely pressing down on the inside. He moves in careful circular motions like the therapist showed him and watches Dazai’s reactions the whole time.

Since he can’t see his eyes it’s harder to tell if he is really expressionless. His breathing is calmer by the second, becoming deeper and more even. Chuuya hopes he isn’t forcing himself into a relaxed state and that his touch is actually helping.

As he moves closer and closer to his elbow Dazai unconsciously shifts.

Chuuya lets up on the pressure but continues on his path.

“Your upper arms..they hurt a lot.. I’ll be careful here.” Chuuya’s hands travel up but don’t go all the way to his shoulder. He smooths the oil into his skin and makes his way back down to the muscles above his elbow. Here he is very cautious, light pressure and trying to stimulate blood flow to the skin.

“Spiral fractures. At a certain point they stop healing as well and when they’re no longer stable they easily become displaced. I’ve seen my humerus so many times it’s insane.” Dazai chuckles darkly.

“You don’t have to explain. I’ll take care of you whether or not I know.” Chuuya assures him as he continues massaging the surgically scarred skin.

“You've seen everything now though. I don’t believe that you don’t have questions.”

Chuuya’s fingers circle into the muscles close to his under arm. Dazai makes a strangled noise at that. Chuuya stops instantly and just holds his arm loosely.

“I’m sorry.”

“No. It felt.. right there is..”

Hesitantly Chuuya finds his previous place and continues. Dazai shudders at that. Chuuya watches him bite his bottom lip and hears him stifle a moan.

“It isn’t that I don’t want to know or that I don’t have questions. I simply don’t want to focus on anything other than making you feel good right now. You won’t focus either if you’re too busy thinking about that.”

“You’re right. Though I may not be able to talk about it at another time.”

“Then don’t. Whatever you decide to say and however you go about this, is entirely up to you. I am satisfied with what you have given me and allowed me to do for you.”

Chuuya lets go of his arm and Dazai expectantly rests the opposite one in his lap. Palm up and open. Chuuya’s heart thuds in his chest as he gets more oil.

“Chuuya.” Dazai calls his name as he kneads his thumbs into his hand. The needy, soft way he does when he doesn’t really have anything else to say.

“I really am happy about this. I have wanted to see and touch all of you for so long. It never offended me that you couldn’t, but I did daydream about what it could be like if we showered together or that our jacuzzi is big enough for two. It doesn’t matter if those are still things you can’t do. You’re trusting me with this and that’s better than anything.”

“Is it bad that I trust you looking more than I trust myself?”

“You have always trusted me more than you have trusted yourself. Subconsciously you know that my love for you is unconditional and that I could never hurt you the way you have hurt yourself.”

“Is..that a bad thing?”

“Who knows what is ‘good’ or ‘bad’. All you need to understand is that your faith in me was not misplaced.”

Chuuya’s hands find that spot near his underarm that felt good to him on the other side. Dazai trembles and makes another sweet noise. Chuuya takes his time and goes easy on him like before.

“You make me question whether gods are even capable of sin.” Dazai confesses like a true devotee.

A few months into living with Dazai, Chuuya began to realize he actually does have a worship complex. A younger, more self-deprecating Chuuya would have thought his occasional god comments to be snide. He sees clearly now that the way Dazai touches him, obeys him, takes him seriously, and how he speaks to him like this are ways he devotes himself. At first he thought it was guilt over their complicated past, but in times like this it becomes very apparent how Dazai truly feels.

Even though he calls Chuuya stupid, pokes fun at his height and sense of style, and makes light of his emotional sincerity he never finds fault in him.

Dazai thinks Chuuya can’t do wrong.

It’s a heady sense of power and righteous poetic justice.

Chuuya’s certain fingers knead into the soft scarred skin below his collarbones. Dazai’s hands brace themselves on his thighs, and he leans into Chuuya’s touch. Chuuya doesn’t give much stock in western religion and philosophy’s ideas of sin. No one is perfect, everyone is culpable for their actions, and that is what makes living beautiful. The imperfections of life such as mistakes, scars, growth, and decay are things Chuuya finds peace in.

He loves that Dazai finds peace in him too.

“That feels way better than it should.” Dazai whispers.

Chuuya also loves his breath tickling his skin.

“No. It’s supposed to feel good.” Chuuya tells him.

He nods profusely.

Chuuya presses the base of his palms into his pectoral muscles and continues with the circles. Ever light on the pressure and tuned into Dazai’s response. His cheeks are bright pink and his bottom lip is red from where he was biting it. After a few moments of massaging outwards from his sternum, across the skin beneath his collarbones, and ending where his torso meets his arms, all the while pressing the heels of his hands into his pecs; Dazai grabs his wrists. He puts their hands in Chuuya’s lap and takes a deep breath.

“What is it?” His chest is flushed and he is breathing funny. For a second Chuuya fears he did something wrong.

“I told you already.” Dazai whines.

Oh. Oops.

Dazai turns around and lays on his stomach in an obvious attempt to hide his arousal. Folding his arms beneath a pillow and bringing it under his cheek. Those brutal scars extend from his floating ribs up his spine and encompass all of his shoulders. There are so many, overlapping and blending together, Chuuya can’t begin to imagine what made them. The skin here so mottled and multicolored it's reminiscent of a painting.

Chuuya, ever a romantic, would liken Dazai to a work of art.

While he was looking he was also adjusting his position and putting more oil on his hands. Knees on either side of Dazai’s hips but not sitting back on him. This gives him better reach and leverage.

“Do you want to start with your lower back?” Chuuya suggests the less painful area to be worked through first.

“I suppose.” Dazai goes along with Chuuya’s suggestion.

The lower portion of his back features the gunshot entry wound and that surgery’s scar. Other than that it is relatively bare. Smooth olive skin and back dimples greet Chuuya’s eyes. It has been so long since he has seen them, but the familiarity of the adorable sight has his heart clenching. Chuuya’s thumbs settle in the dips and his fingers assist in loosening the tension in his hips.

Dazai can’t stifle his moan in time and buries his face in the pillow in embarrassment.

Chuuya doesn’t relent. Pressing, kneading, and releasing the friction between his hips each second that passes. Pushing his thumbs up along the edges of his spine, and circling his fingers into taut muscle. Dazai turns his head again to breathe through it. His responses very telling of the positive effect this is having on him.

Chuuya spends a lot of time here before slowly inching up. Upon reaching the thoracic portion of his spine he eases up immensely. Dazai’s breathing doesn’t change but the area is so tense it’s hard to tell if he is clenching his muscles.

“Does this hurt?” Chuuya asks to be sure.

“No. Keep going.” From how winded he sounds Chuuya isn’t sure he believes him.

Nevertheless, he continues to be easy on the pace.

The flesh here is uneven, scabrous, rough. Chuuya fears this is causing more discomfort than Dazai is letting on. Once reaching his shoulder blades Chuuya massages into the base of them gently, gauging his reaction.

“Hah—“ Dazai cries.

Chuuya wrenches his hands away. “Shit. I’m-“

“Don’t fucking stop.” Dazai whines.

“But-“

“I mean it. Come back.” Dazai pleads.

Chuuya doesn’t think about denying him again.

Easing his fingertips into the ends of bony shoulders and concentrating on stimulating blood flow, Chuuya tries to be kind in his endeavor. His partner pants through it, making quiet sounds that don’t sound entirely pleasurable. Still he asked him not to stop. Chuuya works his way up and in towards his spine, remembering how Dazai described the burning here. Circling and kneading considerately. Mindful of and focused on his comfort.

“Harder.” Dazai orders, sounding strangled.

“Are you sure?” Chuuya isn’t sure that’s a good idea.

“Yes. Chuuya please.” Dazai outright begs of him.

Uncertainty floods him as he gives him a fractional amount of deeper pressure. Maintaining the controlled circular motion of his fingertips and never staying in one spot for too long. Chuuya makes his way further and further to the tops of his shoulders. Dazai practically melts into the mattress he exhales so deeply. This is encouraging. Chuuya lightens the intensity as he reaches where his neck meets his shoulders. The muscles here are ridiculously tight. Chuuya focuses on loosening them with an estimated pressure. It takes a very long time but eventually the knots are unwound and Dazai’s posture looks.. different. Chuuya realizes he is used to Dazai forcing his shoulders raised and squared. Now they have sunk and relaxed.

“Should I do your neck?” Chuuya asks him for permission.

“Yeah just go easy.” Dazai instructs. He even sounds better. Voice deep and tranquil. He moves the pillow aside to rest his forehead in his hands to give Chuuya better access.

Chuuya heeds his words. Slowly and benevolently using his thumbs for maximum control he starts low and rubs from the inside outwards. From the sides of his spine to the tender muscles of the back of his throat Dazai’s full of knots. Chuuya never has to look to find one, and works through tight areas mildly. Dazai’s back muscles flex and unwind as each knot is worked out. His breathing hitches slightly at times, but he whines in protest if Chuuya stops or eases the pressure too much.

Chestnut hair has gotten only a little longer but it doesn’t take long to reach it. Chuuya uses one hand to push it up off the base of his skull and scratch his scalp soothingly. Dazai hums at that and Chuuya sets to working where his head meets his neck.

The vertebrae here are stiff, so Chuuya uses the circulation method at first. The skin here is soft and the short hair at his nape tickles Chuuya’s fingers. Seemingly, the mild pressure isn’t enough.

“You can..press there more.” Dazai isn’t as demanding as before but Chuuya still doesn’t deny him.

As he is pressing more up on his skull anyway this area will benefit from increased pressure. Chuuya kneads evenly into the rigid flesh and Dazai’s shoulders sink even more. He tilts his head forward into his hands to give Chuuya more room. The redhead takes it. Working the inflexible area until it becomes softer and pliable. After devoting such focus to that spot Chuuya massages small motions along his hairline to the skin behind his ears. Dazai mewls as Chuuya presses lightly into his mastoid process. That temporal bone and the muscles around it seem tender so Chuuya exercises care. Eventually, Dazai hums delightedly and wiggles cutely. Chuuya takes that as a sign of satisfaction.

Finally allowing himself to indulge in the desires he has been staving off this whole time Chuuya leans down to kiss between his shoulders. Dazai murmurs something that suspiciously sounds like a protest. Relenting, Chuuya carefully gets off of him. He puts the oil on the bedside table and kneels at his side. Drowsily, Dazai turns on his side, facing him unseeingly.

“You keep them in the front bathroom right? I’ll be right back.” Chuuya speaks as he leans closer to kiss his cheek.

“Mhm.” Dazai confirms what Chuuya already knew.

Reluctantly Chuuya leaves him. Quickly retrieving a roll of bandages from the cabinet, Chuuya hurried back to him. This went well, or so he thinks. He really wanted to get Dazai comfortable and seeing again so he could know for sure.

“Hey.” Chuuya greets him.

Dazai sits up, holding out his hand expectantly. Chuuya hands him the bandages and resigns himself to watching the process. Dazai starts with his chest, wrapping up and around his shoulders, crossing and layering. Soon his collarbones, neck, shoulders, and then his rib cage are concealed. He continues to cover his stomach and stops just above his hips. Chuuya watches him tear it cleanly and tuck it on his side. With one hand he deftly unrolls the bandages and begins wrapping his arm. It’s oddly impressive how fast and accurately he can do this without even looking. After he finishes he ties it and tucks the tied portion beneath his palm.

Then he holds the bandages out towards Chuuya. The older is caught off guard, but doesn’t hesitate to take it from him. Dazai is placing a lot of faith in him right now, and Chuuya doesn’t consider not taking him up on the offer.

“You saw how to do it. If you fuck up that’s fine, but you won’t learn unless you try.” Dazai shifts towards him and Chuuya stops him before he gets too close to the edge of the bed.

Dazai lifts his bare arm in his direction and Chuuya grasps his wrist gently. He copies Dazai’s method and starts from the top.

“A bit tighter.” Dazai guides him.

Chuuya does as he says.

“That feels right. Did you see how to tie it?” Dazai asks.

“Yes.” Chuuya ties it in his best imitation of Dazai’s knot.

After his arms are covered Dazai takes off the blindfold. Mahogany eyes reflect how tired and easygoing Chuuya predicted he was. Dazai gives him a small smile and Chuuya answers by kissing him.

Their lips meet in a kaleidoscope of tenderness and emotion. Dazai’s hands end up in Chuuya’s hair, pulling him closer, and down. Chuuya has to brace his hands on their bed to not fall on top of him. The older has never felt Dazai smile in a kiss before and it melts his heart.

When they pull apart Dazai puts his hands on Chuuya’s shoulders to steady himself as he climbs off the bed.

“I can do my thighs.” Somehow he manages to phrase another decision of his own as a question.

“I’ve got it.” Chuuya decides for him since he is still holding the roll of bandages.

He kneels down and Dazai huffs at him, but doesn’t make a real protest.

Chuuya covers the scars that tell so much. Feeling like he is hiding a shared secret from the rest of the world, though he is the only one who ever sees his bandaged thighs. If Dazai felt so strongly about concealing his pain Chuuya would stay by his side if only to lend him his strength. He was happy—proud even, to be the person Dazai depended on. As his partner, as his lover, as the only person who could call him by name, and as the only one allowed to see his skin; Chuuya remains hopelessly devoted to him.

When he finishes tying and tucking the final gauze he backs away. Dazai isn’t looking directly at him. Cheeks flushed once again and looking sheepish like before. Chuuya wants to make him comfortable again, and remind him that this will always be where he can be himself.

He moves away to get him a sweater and sweatpants so he’s no longer clad in briefs and bandages. Dazai puts them on quickly as Chuuya changes into sleepwear himself. He waits until Chuuya is ready before pulling him into bed with him. They settle on their sides facing each other.

Dazai reaches out for him. Carding his fingers through long red hair. An obsessive but endearing fixation Chuuya believes he wouldn’t be able to live without.

“What did I ever do to deserve this?” Dazai asks, and Chuuya isn’t sure if it was rhetorically.

“Who knows.” Chuuya can’t respond to a question with so little context of what was being asked. “How was it?”

“It still feels good. I mean it still hurts but there’s a major difference in intensity. My head isn’t as bad too.”

“What would you change?” Chuuya questions.

“Nothing you did. I made it weird with my issues. This is going to sound insane but I really do shower in the dark. Then I didn’t realize how some things would feel.. and I feel like I was too whiny about my shoulders but more pressure would help there.”

“I didn’t think it was weird. I find it sad that you feel that way about your body, but I’m not going to call you crazy for how you feel. If you want more time and pressure spent on certain areas I’m here to help. However much you need I’ll happily give. I was worried about hurting you so I went easy for the first time. Now that you have a better idea of what you can handle we can try again sometime.”

After seeing the extent of the scars for himself Chuuya empathizes with what he suspects is body dysmorphia. Dazai has a laundry list of mental health issues already so he doesn’t feel calling him out on another would be helpful. It’s truly disheartening to hear someone as beautiful as he can’t face himself in the light.

“I’m glad it felt good too. It’s cute that your chest is sensitive.” Chuuya rests his palm against his chest to prove his point when Dazai blushes.

“It might take some time before I can hype myself up into doing it again, but I can’t say it was the worst thing that’s ever happened to me.” Dazai jokes but Chuuya catches the sincerity.

“It was worth the anxiety and discomfort.” Dazai admits.

Chuuya smiles at him before pulling him close. Wanting to hold him and protect him from everything, everyone, and himself. Dazai deserves so much better than the cruelties he has endured for the majority of his life. His dark childhood, that secretive past, was still a mystery, shrouded in a fog of an open chest cavity and missing pieces. With Dazai solid, breathing, and present in Chuuya’s arms those unknowns need no solving. The answer was unchanged. Being here in this shared space was, and always has been, enough.

“I appreciate that you stopped me. If I had kept going on, if I had tried to put words to.. this would have gone a lot differently and not in a positive direction. I’m not ready to talk about it and I don’t know if I ever will be. I’m grateful that you didn’t encourage me to try.” Dazai expresses himself honestly, more able to do so hiding his face in this proximity.

“I love you, Osamu.” Chuuya holds him close and reminds him of what he has known and accepted.

“Thank you.”

This time Chuuya doesn’t laugh at him.

Chapter Text

The tingling sensation reminds him of old television static, as does the way sound became muffled by the ringing in his ears. Chuuya’s sleeping breaths are too quiet to be heard above the persistent white noise that’s getting louder and louder. The smaller is lying on his side tonight, facing away from Dazai which is especially unhelpful. If he were lying on his chest his weight could provide the grounding pressure to cancel out the other stimuli Dazai wishes he didn’t have to experience.

The knots of stressed muscles become embers that start to burn hotter and spread beneath his skin. How desperately he wishes his skin was like his bandages, something that could be ripped off, discarded, and replaced. That weakness goes deeper than the epidermis. His mind is sick. Saying things like ‘become deaf so you don’t have to hear the ringing’ or ‘become blind so you don’t have to see your skin’ and ‘peel it off it won’t hurt as bad as..’. Gross. Troublesome. He would much rather kill himself.

The impulsive urges to scream, bang his head against a wall, or jump out of a window are all strong.

Unconsciously, Chuuya scoots back to press against Dazai. He is warm and cute, but Dazai is lying on his back and having him touching his side and arm is simultaneously too much and not enough. Physical contact isn’t a solution currently. Dazai gets up and leaves the bedroom.

Exhausted legs carry him to their front door and he double checks the locks and resets the alarm. The ringing hasn’t stopped. He makes his way to the kitchen and decides now is as good of a time as ever to start cleaning. The dishes are done and he cleaned out the fridge yesterday so he decides to sweep and clean the counters. Briefly he wonders if it’s possible to get high on oven cleaner and debates on cleaning the oven as an excuse to find out. Ultimately, he decides against it because his head already felt like someone was knocking inside of it and inhalants tend to make that worse.

Moving around like this is doing him no favors pain wise, but he doesn’t want Chuuya in his space right now. It would be awful and unfair of him to say that or wake Chuuya, and he is horrible enough for leaving his partner alone in bed in the middle of the night. He goes into their front room and stares too long at the glass door to their balcony. Fantasizing about how quick and painless suicide by falling from high places is. The idea makes his stomach churn after dwelling on it. Three years ago he and Chuuya jumped out of one of the Petronas Towers together.

Chuuya is so beautiful. To commit double suicide with him would be absolutely amazing. Dazai went from wanting to kill himself, to wanting to kill Chuuya then himself, to wanting Chuuya to kill him, and has settled on the perfect happy compromise. They could kill themselves together!

Fuck. Everything hurts. Living is so overrated.

Dazai finds himself looking at their shared residence upside down and doesn’t really remember lying on the couch. Let alone how he flipped himself on it without noticing. Nothing he could do, no matter the odd position, or menial task would be able to distract him from how much he hurts.

Or how much he would love to end his life. Preferably alongside Chuuya.

Dazai shifts again so that he’s lying on his stomach and suffocating himself into their expensive sectional slightly.

If he is being honest with himself he hates the idea of Chuuya dying. The world without his presence would be infinitely worse than dreary and bleak. For sure, beyond a shadow of a doubt Dazai is certain the second this world becomes Chuuya-less it will become without him right after.

Five years have come and gone with the Sōkoku reboot. Five years of coming home to the one place Dazai has ever belonged. Time goes by like the seasons change, you barely notice until fruits and flowers are harvested, and you question whether or not you were aware they were in season.

Pain, sadness, and weakness are constants in Dazai’s life still. Breathing and turning his head are minute motions that bring him great pain and greater sadness. This endless repetitive thought process that plays out time and after time. Pain floods his body, wracking him with dread and the inability of finding comfort. Sadness takes over his head, filling him with ideas of death and dying somehow lessening the aforementioned pain. Then weakness arrives in the form of 160 centimeters of a reason to live.

Dazai does enjoy the fantasy of dying alongside a deity. A celestial tragedy of a happy ending that would be. Though he can’t entertain it seriously enough out of his genuine desire for Chuuya to live.

Wanting Chuuya to live has become a reason to stick around all on its own.

Even when times like this occur and Dazai can’t touch him. As much as he wants to and probably needs to, there comes moments when the only viable solution to the problem that is his existence doesn’t fit the equation. When the answer overestimates the question Dazai worries about coming across as unreachable. What if an instance occurred where Chuuya needed him physically and he couldn’t provide?

Dazai is long past wanting to run from him, but even now he finds himself pushing him away.

Leaving his side in the middle of the night to avoid touching him.

This too, hurts to think about.

Dazai feels underprepared next to him. Fearing the moment Chuuya’s touch brings him something other than undaunted relief. It’s unfair that he can’t sleep every night, it’s asinine that he can’t relax in his own home, and it’s frightening that he can’t find comfort in the one person who understands his pain.

“Osamu? What are you doing out here?” A sleepy voice comes from behind him and the ringing drowns in his ears.

The younger turns around to find Chuuya in the doorway of their balcony. Red hair tousled from sleep and an ungloved hand rubbing at tired blue-grey eyes. Other hand against the frame and leaning drowsily into it.

Dazai doesn’t recall coming outside in the first place and can’t ascertain a reason for it.

“I-“ ‘don’t know, didn’t mean to wake you, ‘m sorry.’ Dazai wants to respond but nothing comes out.

Chuuya’s gaze softens and Dazai knows he understood what he wanted to say. Light footsteps on porcelain tile hush the white noise, but not well enough. Dazai’s shirt skims the creamy thickness of Chuuya’s thighs alluringly in the cityscape night’s light. He leans against the railing alongside Dazai, but permits him his personal space.

Dazai can find comfort in him. It doesn’t always have to be his touch. The way he hears the words Dazai can’t say, when he speaks to silence the voices in Dazai’s head, and how he puts up with Dazai’s utter incompetence at existing and being a proper partner.

He wants to tell him to speak. Say something. His presence a sight for sore eyes, but his voice a lifeline to a lifeless soul. Chuuya remains the abridged version of Dazai’s will to live.

“You want me to talk?” Chuuya asks him for clarification, having already seen the signs.

Dazai thinks he nodded based off the slightly increased ache in his neck.

“Hmm..” Chuuya’s exhausted and Dazai feels guilty for waking him, bothering him, and asking him to talk to him purely as a distraction. Not that Dazai could say anything worthwhile as a response, he can’t speak anyway.

“I want to take a vacation. I have never been on a ship for a non work-related reason. A cruise sounds fun. The North American islands of the Caribbean have a lot, but there’s one off of Portugal I’ve looked at as well. Then there are quite a few cruise lines off Indonesia too. You’re better at researching and planning our traveling though, so now that I’ve told you I want to do that maybe you could decide?”

Chuuya doesn’t wait for him to answer, moving onto another topic seamlessly.

“Spanish wasn’t that difficult thanks to that program you showed me so I’m thinking I want to learn Portuguese or Italian next. You’re right that I was going too easy on myself with learning that one. I thought self study would be harder, but I actually enjoy moving at my own pace. After Portuguese or Italian I’ll try something harder like Turkish or Russian.”

“This was a long time ago, but I randomly thought about that ability user who showed me my memories. I don’t remember if I told you he is a writer, but he is the person who encouraged me to try writing poetry. I bought a few of his books out of curiosity. His style is interesting. The storytelling and fluidity is something I think you would like. Reading his work inspired me to attempt something loosely based off his spontaneous prose. I explored Wabi-Sabi with it. I’ve been working on it a lot recently. It’s finished, with the original thought and dimensions laid out. I’m just trying to edit it in a way that reflects the intention of the piece. The way everything goes is supposed to leave the reader thinking there is more, like an open end? It’s hard to explain..”

Dazai looks over at him and is struck by the view. Chuuya pulls at the hem of Dazai’s shirt around his thighs. His other hand tucks mussed red hair behind his ear. Yokohama’s lights gleam behind him, bathing him in an ethereal glow. How fortunate, how blessed is the cursed fallen angel to have been caught under the spell of a god?

Surely Dazai must have been a good man before, in a previous incarnation, centuries ago, to have gained something as breathtaking as this sight. This sound. This person. This feeling.

The anguish, fear, instability, and all his shortcomings grow dull. Ever a fool for Chuuya, and Chuuya alone, Dazai confronts fate. People and pain are things that perish. All must end and pass. No matter how desperately we cling to fleeting good moments or strive to evade the clutches of agony.

Permanence is a travesty. Nothing stays the same. Dying is not only a means to an end. He and Chuuya will not be young forever. They’re going to face their mortality regardless of whether or not Dazai accelerates the process.

Milky skin taut over muscle glistens in the light and Dazai comes to the conclusion that Chuuya is right. He tends to be about most things. There is something to be considered about finding peace in growth and decay, beauty in imperfections like unanswered questions and open endings.

Looking at Chuuya and thinking of him in the divine light of the pedestal Dazai places him upon has made him forget juvenescence is yet another ephemeral dream. Stupid of him, as Chuuya has always been the more mature and wise one. Though they have disowned and doubted their humanity nothing will halt the passage of time.

“Aren’t you getting cold? Come back inside. I’ll give you something to read and make you some tea.” Chuuya steps towards the glass doors and looks back to encourage Dazai to go with him.

Prickling cold air fills his lungs as he sucks in a breath.

Dazai drinks in the expectation, the gaze Chuuya throws over his shoulder, boldly commanding Dazai to chase after him like they have each other innumerable times.

It wouldn’t be the worst thing ever.

Dazai follows.

To grow old with him.

*

Once Dazai sets his mind to something, nothing can stop him. The most integral part of this plan was that there was no plan. They had never been the type of people to do grand romantic gestures. (Unless you count blacking out the Eiffel Tower that one time..) Chuuya is the romantic between them, but he isn’t over the top with it by any means.

What they have now began as an impulse, continued as passionate spontaneity, and grew into a deep familiarity. Where they started, the haste and violence along the way, and the comfort they found in each other was never defined properly. Answers are more satisfying as actions rather than words.

The storm that was their prior affair has calmed into a gentle breeze. When Dazai’s senses need dulled all he has to do is step out into the wind. Each day that passes he tries to become a better adult. Permitting Chuuya to tear down his walls and take whatever he desires of him. Dazai stays here not out of guilt or because he’s in too deep to back out, but because he /wants/ to.

The kind of consideration and care Chuuya freely gave him was once something Dazai only dreamed of and read about. Books end and dreams don’t last forever, but nothing could change the way Chuuya feels about him. He never forced him to repeat those words he easily confessed. Chuuya never told him to ‘cheer up’ or fake being happy. Chuuya empathized with his trauma and didn’t push him to explain why he wasn’t the same as everyone else. So Dazai stays facing the wind.

This was as much his decision as it was Chuuya’s and there was no doubt in either of their answers. What Chuuya desires Dazai mirrors, the things they asked of each other were only things they would ask of themselves. Dazai realizes now that they both feared asking for too much all along.

With this Dazai wants Chuuya to see clearly he doesn’t have to fear anymore, or ever again.

The sun rises saturating the lovely man lying on his chest in a warm glow. Dazai didn’t sleep the night before not out of pain, anxiety, or sadness, but excitement. Chuuya’s warmth and weight grounded him to Earth and his soft breath reminded him how glad he was that he too is breathing. Dazai had played with his hair all night and watched him sleep. This was the safest place on Earth, Chuuya’s freckles reminiscent of a starry sky and his breathing pattern a lullaby.

All his thoughts about haste and impulses and yet it took him so long to get here. Dazai took this too far and too slow, and he needs to make up for their lost time. Soon it will be thirteen years since St. Petersburg. Chuuya deserves to receive everything he wants, but is too afraid to ask. Dazai can’t hold back any longer, not now, and never again.

Leaning down to kiss his forehead softly Dazai whispers to him.

“Good morning Chuu~”

The smaller stirs, nose scrunching adorably as he is roused from sleep. Red eyelashes fluttering in his attempt to open his eyes. Blue-greys blink up at Dazai as they come into focus.

“Hi Osamu. You’re..in a good mood but you didn’t sleep.” Chuuya sounds suspicious of him through his drowsiness.

Dazai chuckles. “I was too distracted. I need to talk to you.”

“Thanks for waiting until sunrise, but if it was important or you need something you could have woken me earlier.”

“Do you still have your fake French citizenship?” Dazai asks.

Chuuya looks confused. “Huh?”

“You used to have fake French documents. Do you still have them?”

“Oh. I guess I never did tell you. I’ve had dual citizenship with France for almost a decade now. Kouyou helped me apply since she has friends in the Parliament and OFII. The house we stay at Senlis is my house. I had to own property there for the documentation and I employ people to care for it when I’m not there.”

“Really? That’s great! This worked out even more legally than I thought it would!” Dazai says jovially.

“What has gotten into you?” Chuuya raises his left hand to rub at his eyes. “I have no idea what you’re going on a-“

Dazai gets a perfect view of the surprise on his face and watches the reality sink in. This was a scene that outmatched a billion yen masterpiece.

Chuuya stares at his hand, mouth agape before sitting back. He’s most definitely in shock. Dazai sits up to follow him and explain himself.

“We are coming up on ten years of being together. I figured I made you wait long enough.”

Three of the past thirteen years since that night in St. Petersburg Dazai spent running and hiding from him. He didn’t feel it to be fair to count those years apart. That time was filled with sorrow, attempts at redemption in the eyes of person not around to see it, women and alcohol, and the war with Dostoyevsky. He doesn’t regret trying to become a better man for Odasaku, but he regrets his inability to be honest with his partner about his motives and intentions. If only he had learned how to talk things through sooner.. then Chuuya would not have had to have gone through so much for his sake.

Chuuya is still staring at the ring. Dazai watches him close his mouth and his Adam’s apple bob as he swallows. He waits with bated breath and heavy anticipation for what he will say.

“I love how this wasn’t a question and I hate that you still touch me without my noticing. Thank you for this. It’s really beautiful.” Chuuya rushes over his words before pulling Dazai into his embrace.

“I had to create something to match your extravagant aesthetic.. You have been my better half for quite some time, we might as well make it official.” Dazai squeezes his chest against his own so he can feel his heart drumming the rhythm of the words he can’t say. But the words he means and feels so deeply.

“I love you too, Osamu. But what does ‘Kara Sevda’ mean? And why did you put all these coordinates in my ring? I don’t even know where more than half of these are.”

Dazai chuckles and pulls out his grasp to watch him investigate the inside of his ring. It’s a pretty thick band so he was able to inscribe a lot into it. Chuuya knows Dazai is a sneaky bastard so he expected him to find the inscriptions quickly. This was part of the fun.

“It’s not properly translatable, but you know how to type into a search bar, right?” Dazai teases him.

“You.. I thought it was familiar. You said this to me before. And I recognize 35 139, 59 30, and 48 2, but I’ll have to look up the others.”

“You’re so cute when you figure things out for yourself.” Dazai continues to poke fun at him, pleased to know he’ll be doing so for the rest of their lives.

Chuuya isn’t paying his antics any mind. Too busy being distracted by the extra ass wedding ring Dazai had custom designed for him. He puts it back on and turns to see it in the sunlight.

“Wow..” Chuuya marvels.

The centered jewel is a unique black diamond. Dazai really had to /search/ to find what he wanted to get him. If you look at it just right you can see that it isn’t perfect, as many are solid black all the way through or cloudy; this one has specks in it. Dazai chose it because it looks like Chuuya’s gravitons, a mini black hole. It’s obvious he put a lot of thought into this as much as he can’t get down on one knee or shout from the rooftops he loves him.

Dazai buries his face in Chuuya’s thighs.

“You’re such a girl. You would be more interested in the ring than me.” Dazai’s complaint is muffled by Chuuya’s thick muscles.

Chuuya’s fingers thread through his hair as he laughs at him.

“You’re rude. I’m still processing this, okay?”

Dazai grumbles into his skin.

“Have you given any thought to…” Chuuya trails off but it’s clear what he was trying to say.

“Mhm.” Dazai confirms before moving to look up at him from his lap.

The morning light illuminates him so elegantly Dazai’s breath is stolen from his lungs. Chuuya’s pale pink lips are softly smiling and his eyes are shining with a wonder in them Dazai has never witnessed before. It is Chuuya’s charm to continually show him new expressions and experiences and give him something exciting, or amusing, or intriguing to look forward to.

“I’ll take care of everything.” Dazai already has the plan outlined in his mind and knows what they’re doing for their honeymoon. Much like this he intends on keeping it a surprise.

“Okay.” Chuuya grins down at him. Trusting that Dazai wouldn’t fuck something as important as that up. Faithfulness knowing no bounds.

Chuuya leans down and brushes Dazai’s bangs off his forehead. He kisses it sweetly before pulling away to speak.

“And I’ll take care of you.”

Dazai’s heart flutters in Chuuya’s grasp. Dazai never doubted that. Chuuya always has.

*

So what if there’s no such thing as true happiness, or a real and complete cure to neuropathy or anxiety or depression? That’s fine with Dazai. He has accepted it. If the closest he ever comes to contentment is while he’s listening to sad lofi, typing away on a report, with a sleeping husband wrapped around him while he sits at his desk; All is alright in the world. They have returned from their wedding in France and honeymoon cruise in the Mediterranean Sea, and Mori demanded that Dazai get back to his office and finish all the work he had left behind in favor of preparing for their time in Europe. It was only a few reports, and a couple things that needed his signature, but Chuuya was high on pain medication and clingier than usual. Not that Dazai was complaining.

It was actually a little easier to concentrate on the tasks at hand with Chuuya’s solid presence on top of him reminding him that as soon as he finished they could go home. Earbuds are plugged into his laptop as not to disturb his sleeping partner. Chuuya’s arms are around his shoulders and his soft breath whispers against Dazai’s neck. ‘I want to be close to you. Even if I’m unconscious on painkillers. Even if you’re working. I want to be right here.’

As he is finishing up the last report his music is cut off by the ringing of a videocall. It’s from his squad he named ‘Red Snow’. Akutagawa, Gin, and Higuchi are his captains, Chuuya his lieutenant, and of course he was their tactical commander.

Ah. Some days really are so much better than others. Their relationship has been kept secret for a while, with only Mori putting two and two together when Dazai’s conditions for returning were 1. The immediate reinstatement of both of his previous titles. And 2. That neither he nor Chuuya could go on international missions without each other. His excuse at the time was blatant and flimsy ‘If I have to come back I have to make it hell for someone else too’. Mori had an idea from then onwards, but the coinciding vacations to Europe left no questions about it.

Tormenting his subordinates has always been one of Dazai’s favorite things to do. So he answers the call nonchalantly. Doesn’t adjust at all and speaks softly as not to disturb sleeping Chuuya.

“Status report? Or is the mission complete?”

The looks on their faces is worth at least ten million yen. Akutagawa opened his mouth to respond but nothing came out. Gin’s eyes give away her utter shock, granted the rest of her face is covered. Higuchi, to her credit, even through shock and awe is the one to respond.

“They refused the first offer like you thought they would, and after we killed a few men they surrendered to the more advantageous deal.”

“And the shipment is arriving?” Dazai asks to make a note in his calendar.

“Next Wednesday morning.” Higuchi, again replies.

“Wh-What did you do to Chuuya-san?” Akutagawa stammers his speech. Looking both bewildered and concerned for his lieutenant’s safety.

“All good things I assure you.” Dazai adds the date to his schedule, still feigning indifference.

“Now we know why Chuuya-san puts up with him and how he’s still alive.” Higuchi points out.

“I-I- don’t believe this. What did you do to him, Dazai-san?” Akutagawa still can’t process the scene on his screen.

“Idiot show off, so excited about joining the mile high club you went and dislocated your own hip.” Dazai says into both the mic on his headphones and Chuuya’s silky tresses.

The last person Dazai expects to understand that, Gin, snorts.

Higuchi is bright red and Akutagawa now looks confused and worried.

“Mm you must have given me some strong shit..” to Dazai’s surprise and joy Chuuya mumbles. “I thought I just heard you talking trash about me.”

Very audibly and close to Dazai’s mic Chuuya begins kissing under his chin. Without thought Dazai’s hand goes to his hair.

“That was all affection actually.” Dazai admits easily, before slyly eyeing his mortified subordinates.

Akutagawa is blushing furiously. Gin is now covering her eyes with both hands. Higuchi looks like she’s conflicted about witnessing such intimacy from her senpais.

“Osamu..” and the game is up. For the first time in a while Dazai feels miffed. Though he would never express it on his face. He never wanted anyone else to know how pure and lovingly his given name falls from Chuuya’s lips. “Are you almost finished? I want to go home.”

An ungloved hand caresses Dazai’s cheek before he can end the call. Giving his captains their first ever look at Chuuya’s fingers. Dazai finds he’s mad about that too. This soft and sleepy and exposed Chuuya should have been kept all to himself. When the thick, brisk gold and cold cut diamonds meet his skin he flicks his eyes to the laptop camera in a threatening glare. Knowing full well his eyes match the ice of the diamonds encasing that 87,000,000¥ ring and that the bloodlust in his irises match the darkness of the 5.09carat, black, princess diamond in the center; he dares any of them to mention that they witnessed this with a single glance.

Higuchi gulps at the threat, Akutagawa looks like he might pass out, and Dazai ends the call without further acknowledging them.

“Just finishing up the last one, Chuu~. Give me about forty-five seconds.” It will only take thirty.

“Mm.” Is the sluggish reply.

Dazai returns to the document, typing even faster than usual. Chuuya sits up and turns around to attempt looking presentable and not like he just slept in Dazai’s office. Pulling gloves back on slim fingers and moving on Dazai’s lap to grab his hat on the corner of the desk. By the time he’s done, Dazai has forwarded all the documents to Mori.

In no hurry to get up right away and miss the warmth of Chuuya in his lap Dazai’s hands wrapped around his hips.

“Does it still hurt?”

“Nope. Can’t feel anything but you.” Chuuya snuggles him before proving his point by standing.

Dazai follows him and no one dares to speak to them as they exit the building. Dazai idly poking fun at his tired state, and Chuuya coming up with creative expletives to call him and even more creative threats.

“I know I call you ‘slug’, but you’re more sluggish than usual tonight.”

“Mm I wonder if I can find a blender big enough to put your entire fuckhead bastard ass in.”

“Not happening, short stuff. They only make them in your size.”

“It would be so nice to watch your mummified shitface dissolve in a vat of acid. I could push you in myself.”

“If I go down then I’ll just pull you in with me. I can’t wait to disintegrate with Chuuya!”

“Don't involve me in your double suicide fantasies. Or would that technically be double murder? I might be willing to negotiate that.”

“Aww!” Dazai holds the door for him as they exit the building. “Chuuya really does care about my wishes!”

His tiny husband snorts drowsily. “That was a joke. You know I don’t negotiate with terrorists.”

Their personal driver is already waiting for them and Dazai opens the car door for Chuuya too. The redhead gets in and Dazai goes around to get in on the other side. Once their both settled the driver takes them to their shared residence without a word. Chuuya takes off his hat and takes a hair tie off his wrist. Even half asleep and sluggish from pain medicine he pulls back a perfect and sexy low ponytail. Dazai swoons at the sight.

“If I am a terrorist why did you permit me to terrorize you for the rest of your life?”

“The rest of /your/ life.” Chuuya corrects. “And for the taxes.”

“Chuuya, you don’t do your taxes.” Dazai reminds him.

“Yes. I just said that’s why I have you.”

“Did you have me learn French just so I could take care of your taxes there?” Dazai questions.

“Look at you. You’re finally catching on.” Chuuya is all smiles and amiability today.

Dazai finds himself really enjoying this banter.

“And they call me the demon.”

“Demon, bastard, terrorist, shitty; all synonymous with Dazai.”

Dazai can’t help but smile widely.

“Congratulations, you played yourself, Dazai Chuuya-san.”

“FUCK.”