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wake up (i'm still right here)

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Edgar’s eyes used to be clouded by something Ranpo couldn’t figure out.

Maybe that’s why he’s been so fascinated the first time he saw them – how the seemingly grey colour changed to violet and it all suddenly made sense. In a way, Ranpo isn’t really a genius – in a way, he just makes use of pieces of information others deem unimportant, because they keep piling and piling inside of his mind.

But Edgar doesn’t try to hide anything.

He’s just… there. Kind of. Ranpo observes him – he did so right when they first meet and he continues to do so – and sees all the things Edgar doesn’t like about himself, he sees the flaws and the faults, he sees how Edgar trips himself over many obstacles just to live up to his own expectations.

Ranpo can’t relate to that.

Or rather, he pretends he doesn’t relate to that because seeing someone struggle, day after day, with being unable to properly express themselves, unable to reason with people to make them realize that he knows – he knows stuff, he’s intelligent and smart, not crazy – it kind of feels like looking in the mirror.

At first, he’s suspicious.

At first, he deals with Edgar like with another case – figure him out and then file it away, never to be looked again.

(Always remembered, always. He never forgets and it hurts—)

The first few weeks it’s normal, with Edgar coming with his manuscripts, Edgar asking Ranpo to criticize his work, Edgar coming and coming—

It didn’t happen suddenly, Ranpo thinks, it was a slow process.

Edgar wasn’t just Poe-kun, at one point Ranpo completely dropped the honorific. He became something permanent, something so painfully constant that Ranpo couldn’t even imagine Edgar somehow leaving – he’s just there, and Ranpo feels like he would always stay there.

It happens one day. The realization. Ranpo is eating – mind you, after going through the needed paperwork so Kunikida wouldn’t yell at him – while browsing through the computer, searching for something new, something that would take his mind off the usual stuff, something that would stop the racing inside of him. It happens when Edgar comes into the office, Karl on his shoulder and another book in his hands.

It happens, Ranpo decides later that day, when the sunlight hits Edgar’s eyes.

The casual thought of, “Oh, I love you,” and it was so normal, so natural to think that way that he almost choked on his gummy bear. Nevermind the fact that he also, almost, said that out loud, because Edgar’s hair is clipped back as a loose braid and Ranpo can marvel at his face.

Dazai cackles somewhere in the background. Ranpo throws him a glare, before his lips curl into a smile and he waves at Edgar with a cheerful, “Poe-kun! Come in, come in!”

Edgar does, after a second of hesitation. Karl jumps down from his shoulder and runs to Atsushi. Ranpo wonders when the raccoon started to like him and mourns over the thought that he’s not the number one in the animal’s heart. Edgar only huffs a laugh at the sight of both of them.

(And his laugh is pretty, and, and—)

Ranpo clears his throat, “Is this for me?”

Edgar gives him a shy smile, but Ranpo notes that it’s way more confident than it was way before, now it feels like Edgar isn’t constantly trying to run and run after him, it feels like it’s not Ranpo staring at the sun – now it feels like they’re both standing in the light.

(And Ranpo suddenly wants to kiss him and—)

“I lost interest in the last one after you figured out the killer from the summary,” Edgar admits, “So this one is something new.”

“Still a mystery?”

Edgar sits down on his usual spot by Ranpo’s desk, “Of course.”

Ranpo hums, “We’ll see how it turned out, then.”

Edgar nods, before his attention is caught by something else. Ranpo focuses on the book in front of him, careful to not stain the book with some of his sweets that he keeps close by – not gummy bears, gummy bears are for work hours only – because Edgar seemed to not like the way Ranpo sometimes left the pages dirty.

He figures that it’s valid. Ranpo himself has a select group of books he’d rather not be dirtied with chocolate. He can, after all, be considerate.

Yosano trails into the office a minute later, a cup of coffee in her hand and a folder in the other, but she lifts her head when she sees Edgar already inside. Instead of going straight to her office, she heads straight in his direction.

She, too, took liking to Edgar really quickly. Considering that Edgar quite literally tried to kill her, and kind of did when they got sucked into the novel, she managed to warm up to him surprisingly fast and with no hard feelings. Ranpo thinks it’s because Edgar never protests to having to help her with her shopping – Yosano denies it, but Ranpo is not fooled.

“You’re early today, Poe-san,” she says as a greeting, leaning against Ranpo’s desk. “Any reason why?”

Karl squeaks from his place and Edgar glances at him, “I figured that some exercise would do Karl some good. He’s gotten fatter.”

Karl growls. Yosano laughs, “I see, then it’s not because Ranpo asked for you?”

There’s some color on Edgar’s face that Ranpo stares at for far too long in between breaks for stuffing his mouth with candy, and Yosano catches the movement like a hawk, grinning. Edgar shakes his head, “I was awake, anyways.”

“Right,” Yosano nods, opening her mouth to say something else when—

“Don’t you need to do your paperwork, Yosano-san?” Ranpo butts in, eyes on the paper in front of him, “Kunikida mentioned you being late with some of the reports.”

Yosano’s eyes glint, “Did he, really?”

Ranpo narrows his eyes, “Really.”

She waves him off, “Maybe you’re right,” she allows, pushing herself off the desk and with the last look at Edgar, she disappears into the corridor.

Edgar waves awkwardly at her, before glancing at Ranpo, uncertain, “Is Kunikida-san always so strict with reports?”

Ranpo hums, “Usually.” Then, without missing the beat, he adds, “I like the handsome chef.”

Edgar perks up and starts talking, “Really? The idea of him actually came from…”

And he talks, and talks and rambles and Ranpo thinks, with a startling realization, that he loves the sound of his voice, he loves the shy smiles, and the proud smiles, and the way Edgar plays with the edge of his braid.

Most of all, Ranpo thinks, eyes locked on Edgar’s face, dreamy.

Most of all, I love the sun in his eyes.