Tainted is fire and thunder. The sound of Arahabaki’s rage shrieking in his ears like an endless storm. His blood turned to liquid ice and burning him to numbness. Fire, darkness, nothingness. Just red, red, red, red . He might fade into nothing like this and as Arahabaki, he wouldn’t mind. Possessed by nothing but pure fury and the desire for blood and destruction.
He feels nothing, hears nothing, sees nothing.
Lost in a vortex of gravity.
Five chilled fingers press into his skin, stealing his warmth, stealing the rage, stealing the nothingness. Air enters his lungs and they burn like they’re on fire, like he hasn’t breathed in years. The void in his mind turns to consciousness and his vision blurs from red to dark colors of the night and the hair he catches a glimpse of out of the corner of his eye.
Arahabaki didn’t destroy him.
He was still there. Still alive.
Still by his side.
“D-dazai…” Chuuya croaks, his voice hoarse, scratches of screams long gone tearing at his throat. And because he doesn’t want this man in particular to know how grateful he is that he pulled him away from that emptiness, he lets an edge into his voice. “You’re late.”
“It was hard to reach you, midget,” Dazai replies.
“...What the fuck is that supposed to mean?” Chuuya asks, as Dazai grabs his arm and slings it over his shoulder to haul Chuuya up.
“It means, I can’t fly and you destroyed the stairs,” Dazai says and half carries, half drags Chuuya. Chuuya can barely move a single limb. Everything prickles and throbs like his entire body had been asleep. With each movement Dazai makes, it jostles Chuuya’s body and makes the feeling intensify. But Chuuya bites his lip and pretends there’s nothing wrong, that he’s only boneless and tired.
“I didn’t know,” Chuuya mutters.
“Of course you didn’t, you were screaming and laughing hysterically. The staircase was destroyed without you even looking at it.” Dazai shifts Chuuya and the pins prickle his arm violently. Chuuya bites back a curse.
Tainted scares Chuuya.
He doesn’t tell that to anyone of course. Using Tainted is like erasing his identity and everything he is and giving it over to Arahabaki. It’s the destruction of everything he’s built up since he came into existence.
It’s the death of Chuuya.
And infuriatingly, Dazai is the only one that can bring Chuuya back. He’s the only one that can protect Chuuya from the only thing he can’t defeat.
Dazai is Chuuya’s anchor.
And Chuuya will never voice that out loud, even though they both know that’s the truth.
Dazai drops Chuuya down onto a chair so that they can wait for the van to pick them up. The night is ridiculously quiet. It’s nothing like the roaring and screaming and destruction that rang through the air only minutes ago.
Chuuya’s body is cold now, his skin sticky and the chill of having just escaped death enveloping his being. Arahabaki is curled up inside him, waiting eagerly for him to use Tainted again, almost craving Chuuya’s death.
Chuuya is alive because Dazai pulled him away from Tainted.
“What are you grumbling about?” Dazai asks him.
“It’s none of your business,” Chuuya shrugs.
“I’m your partner. I need to make sure you’re sane enough to head back.” Dazai scoffs at him.
“I’m very sane. Thank you very much,” Chuuya spits out.
Dazai’s cold fingers are pressed against his neck the next moment and Chuuya hisses in warning. Regardless of the pain coursing through his bones, he can and will kick Dazai’s ass if he needs to. Dazai bends down until he’s eye level with Chuuya and Chuuya snarls at him.
“Back off if you want both your arms intact,” Chuuya says.
“You’re alive,” Dazai says. Chuuya stills and then rage flares inside of him.
“I know that, you piece of shi-” Chuuya growls.
“As long as I’m here, you’re going to stay alive,” Dazai says. Chuuya’s blood has stopped being cold. He’s itching for a fight even though he can barely move.
Like he’s alive again .
“You shitty mackerel,” Chuuya hisses. Chuuya hates Dazai. Dazai could die the next day in a successful suicide attempt for all Chuuya knows. Chuuya hates Dazai so much.
And yet, Dazai is the only reason he’s still alive.
“Get over here, you asshole,” Chuuya growls and a sly and murderous grin spreads across Dazai’s face and he bends his head lower to kiss Chuuya.
Chuuya kisses him back like he’s the only thing that’s keeping him grounded.