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summer's end.

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“You know those are bad for you.” 

From his seat under the school emergency stairs, Shizuo looked up to see Shinra, smiling at him in that unnerving way of his. Not even acknowledging him, he turned his look back down, taking another drag out of his cigarette. 

“Your indifference wounds me, Shizuo! I say this because I care about you”, he whined, slumping next to him, “You’re becoming more and more cold-hearted!”

“Then again something cold would be great in this sweltering weather, don’t you think?” Out of nowhere Shinra took out a fan, and started cooling himself with it. “If only there was dear Celty here, she would have made a sunshade out of her shadows just for us, and…” 

Shizuo all but toned out his rambling about his imaginary girlfriend, trying to sneak not very successfully some cool wind out of his lazy fanning. 

It was indeed sweltering. Even though they were nearing summer’s end, the air was still heavy with humidity, not even a gust of wind to lift the heat. The feeling of stickiness that had clinged on him all morning hadn’t lessened a bit in the afternoon. Even in the shade, a thin layer of sweat sheathed his body completely, thick drops of it rolling down his forehead and behind his back, making his sports uniform stick uncomfortably. He had picked up that particular spot under the stairs out of desperation. And honestly for some quiet, too. 

He finished up his cigarette, putting it out under his feet. 

“Ah!” exclaimed Shinra, “Don’t you know leaving cigarette butts around is littering? Pick it up or I’ll report you to the student council!”

Shizuo’s hand was quick to grab Shinra’s collar, his eyes flashing furiously at him. Shinra squealed, lifting his hands in defeat. 

“Did you come here only to harass me, or what?” he muttered, squeezing his fingers around his shirt feeling the fabric already giving in, raising his other hand ready to punch his wimpy face, “Do you have a death wish?”

“Oh no no no, Shizuo, you see, I just wanted to congratulate you…” 

“Ehm… Heiwajima?”

They both turned slowly towards the voice, Shizuo still with his fist raised and wearing his death stare, Shinra weeping with his palms up. 

It was a girl, one of their classmates, closely followed by another one, silently eyeing them with a concerned frown on her face. He knew them because he recognized the faces, but he couldn’t remember their names. They too were still wearing their sport uniform, but somehow it suited better the girl in the front, the blue shorts baring her toned legs, the white shirt tight on her bigger chest. She even looked cuter, her dyed red hair collected in a ponytail showing a flustered smile on her pink lips, while she extended her hand towards him, holding a can of soda. 

“Good job today,” she said in a sweet voice, giving him the cold drink. 

Letting go of Shinra, Shizuo took it wordlessly, the smooth surface slippery with condensation. 

“I’m glad you could help us win.”

He looked at the can, then to the girl, still wearing her demure expression, her arms now behind her back, swinging on her feet. It seemed like the one behind her was growing restless, crossing her arms and clearing her voice discreetly. Feeling suddenly the pressure to say something, Shizuo said the first thing that came up to his mind. 

“Thanks.”

Apparently it was the right thing. As the word left him, it was like a supernova had exploded on the face of the red haired girl, her beaming smile growing until it reached her glittering eyes, her cheeks blushing a fiery red. She was quick to mutter a hasty ‘see you in class’, before she ran away, hiding her face behind her palms. The other girl looked a bit dumbfounded, but then she ran away too. 

“Mikage, wait!” She called chasing down after her, before she disappeared.  

Feeling a bit confused about what had just happened, Shizuo shrugged, deciding not to think about it too much.

“Want some?” He opened the can and turned to Shinra.

With his glasses almost falling from his nose, he was staring at him with his mouth wide open, disbelief evident on every crease of his stupidly exaggerated expression.  

“What?”

Sputtering, he exclaimed, “What what?! Indeed, Shizuo, what?!” he plunged on his shoulder, before Shizuo elbowed him away. 

“It’s hot, don’t get so close!” he snapped. “The hell’s your deal anyway?”

Wiggling his eyebrows, Shinra got closer again, this time though leaving him a couple centimetres of personal space. 

“It’s that you never told me you had admirers!” 

“Huh?”

“That girl has given you that because she likes you!” He practically shouted in his face, his hands clapping with excitement. 

Shizuo stared at the can in his hand. Hadn’t the girl given him it to thank him? She didn’t say anything else, so where did Shinra deduced that from? Then again she did ran away, looking all embarrassed. He didn’t really understand girls most of the time, so he didn’t really think why she did it. She had her reasons, he guessed. The gears in his mind started spinning slowly, until they finally clicked. 

He turned his face away from Shinra, feeling his cheeks too turning a bit red now. 

“That’s…” His trembling fingers clutched the can, so hard he was leaving grooves in it. “That’s not like that.”

“Aww, c’mon Shizuo!” Shinra hit him on his shoulder with the fan, “You’re so good-looking to the point I’m slightly envious of you! You know, I’m actually surprised you don’t have more, like Izaya-”

Just hearing that name made Shizuo’s expression change completely, his eyes darkening with inescapable rage. The gears started spinning faster, and now he really understood what had really happened. How it really was. His hand crushed the can completely, making the soda still in it splash everywhere. 

Shinra’s cry of surprise didn’t really faze him. “Shizuo, what the hell?!”

“She wasn’t my admirer.” 

Without adding anymore, he suddenly got up, throwing the can away somewhere, its clattering echoing in the small space under the stairs. He stomped away, leaving behind a baffled if not a bit drenched Shinra. 

 




Kill. Kill. Kill. Kill. Kill. Kill.  

The word repeated on loop in his brain, each one of his steps echoing his murderous intent in the school’s corridors. 

The building was almost empty being it late afternoon, most of the students having returned home after the sport events of that morning, the handful he had encountered fretfully steering clear from him. He already had kind of a bad reputation in the whole school even before he encountered that maggot, but after a whole year of their infamous fighting most of the students already knew what to do when they saw him in that state.  

After looking in every classroom on the first floor and turning empty handed, he started climbing the stairs to the second, even three at a time, leaving hand shaped marks each time he grabbed the metal rail. Thinking about it, he hadn’t seen him all day, even though all the academy was called to participate. After all, it was expected, since the guy thought he was too much of high above it all to meddle with everyone else. Probably he had watched it from afar, like always. 

A light switched on in his head, and he started running for the rooftop. Because of course the bastard was on the rooftop. 

When he was almost at the last flight of stairs, he heard a voice. It was quietly hushed, almost a whisper, but it was unmistakably Izaya’s. He squeezed the handrail, almost ripping it away, ready to smash the fucker’s head with it, his name on his tongue, until he finally caught what he was saying.

“... No, mother, I don’t really need anything,” he muttered, a slight annoyance staining his usual confident lilt. “Oh? I think Mairu was joking about that…” 

An acute awareness of intruding into something extremely private stilled Shizuo in his tracks. He unconsciously let go of the rail, his hand dropping uselessly at his side, but taking a silent step up, straining his ears.

Izaya chuckled a bit, the most weird sound Shizuo had ever listened him make, before he resumed. 

“I guess they just want you to come back soon,” he trailed off, “Yes, me too, of course.”

There was a jagged edge of melancholy in his voice, the tip of it touching Shizuo even in his immense hatred for the guy. Apart from the fact that he never had listened Izaya talk normally, he was finding hard to believe that Izaya had actually a life besides his day to day attempts to make Shizuo's miserable. He knew he had sisters from the stories Shinra sometimes told him, but the concept of them was mostly abstract, in a way that sure he had sisters but that didn’t really affect his opinion of him. Evidently he had parents too and somehow behaving like a human being when interacting with them to the point of possibly even having a relationship with them. But the eeriest thing out of all was that Shizuo could clearly hear the fondness with which he was currently talking: not snarkiness, nor his usual bullshitting, just a normal conversation between parent and son. Apparently he was capable of human emotions. The realization was just too much for Shizuo. 

His train wreckage of thoughts was interrupted again by Izaya resuming his quiet talk. 

“It’s okay, mother, don’t worry,” he said, the warmness from before suddenly retreated into a dark recess, replaced by his usual cutting demeanor. “Just promise them you’ll come by next month, and they won’t complain too much.”

Izaya was silent for a bit. “Don’t worry, I’ll come up with an excuse when the time comes.”

“They do feel alone, though,” he said. There was a cold pause, before he hastily resumed. “Anyway, glad to have heard from you, have a nice day.”

That was some strange way to close a call with your parents, Shizuo thought. 

Still trying to make sense of what he had just heard, Shizuo didn’t hear Izaya’s quietly stepping down, until it was too late. 

“Eavesdropping now, are we Shizu-chan? That’s low, even for you.” 

Slowly raising his gaze he saw Izaya smirking at him, wearing his usual wrong uniform instead of the sports uniform, complete with the jacket even in that heated weather. If he was disturbed by what he had listened it didn’t show, instead concealing everything under a conceited exterior. Just seeing his fucking disdainful look was enough to snap Shizuo out of his stupor. 

Grabbing again the rail, he ripped a section of it off, feeling his ears fuming with rage, and for some reason embarrassment. 

“And you?” he muttered, gritting his teeth. “Sending random girls just to fuck with my head?” 

“I really don't know what you’re talking about,” he was quick to retort, his words easily rolling off his tongue. 

“Izaya…” Shizuo growled, climbing the few steps that separated them, clutching the rail tightly in his hands. 

His smirk widened, as he jumped back, but still there wasn’t really anywhere Izaya could have escaped, unless he opened the door to the rooftop or somehow zipped past Shizuo. Both of which possibilities Shizuo wasn’t going to give him. He quickly ran after him, and in a flash he was able to push him against the wall before he reached the door, trapping him under the rail. 

Izaya’s hand that was reaching for the door handle fell limply at his side, faking defeat, but Shizuo knew to reach for his switchblade. He sighed as if he was only mildly annoyed at how the tables had turned on him, and not at all afraid of having the one he called a beast the nearest he had ever been. Not wanting to give him any chances, Shizuo viciously pushed the rail harder against his chest, reveling in the sensation of how his breath choked under him. Even breathless, though, Izaya didn’t seem to be fazed one bit. 

“So?” he rasped, as casually as if he were talking about weather, “Are you finally going to kill me?”

He then had the nerve to smirk at him, a purely wretched smile, one that made Shizuo’s skin crawl. 

“Shut the fuck up.” Shizuo raised one hand to take him by the jaw, squeezing enough to at least squash his smugness. 

For a second there, it seemed like Izaya wanted to say something, but then decided to leave it, casting his eyes down to avoid his fiery gaze.  

Shizuo considered all his options. 

After all the endless chasing and destruction of school’s and private property, he finally had the fucking bastard pinned down for good. It was his golden opportunity to crush Izaya, if not kill him, at least crippling him for at least several months, enough to spend his last year in peace and some more. It was the thing he had ardently most desired since he met Izaya, since he had made that truck run over him, since he had started making his school life a hell worse than the one he had already been living. 

Amidst all his inescapable desire for his utter annihilation, another feeling poked the inside of his chest, making him weirdly uncomfortable with the sole idea. Even though his rage roared inside him to just crush his fucking face, the distressing realization he had just moments before, that is that against all odds, Izaya was an actual person, made him reconsider everything. If he were to let him go, he knew he was going to make the mistake of his life, but if he were to destroy him here and now, there was no way he could have lived with the guilt. 

As he was desperately racking his brain, Izaya kept still under his hold. He could feel him faintly trembling under his fingers like some kind of animal. He felt his skin breaking out in a sweat, his leg twitching imperceptibly against his in what he could only think of distress. There was something too wrong with the whole thing. 

Without thinking too much about it, he forcefully twisted Izaya’s face to look at his, convinced that if he were to see his smug smirk again, he would have found the resolve to shatter it once and for all. Izaya uselessly fighted against his grip for a while, until his neck yielded. 

The afternoon sunlight seeped from the narrow windows on top of the room to the rooftop, its soft glow basking them in their light. Against his better judgement, Shizuo could only stare at Izaya’s eyes, wide with unease, refracting the white light in a thousand shades of auburn. In that instant, Izaya looked stunningly vulnerable, his beauty so violent that crushed Shizuo’s mind completely. Izaya stared at him too, immobile with his lips slightly parted, hot breath fanning over his chin, sucking away all his own. 

“What are you doing, Shizuo.” 

It was more of an assertion, than a question. His voice was strained under his chokehold, but it wasn’t because of that it was shaking, the shockwaves rattling Shizuo to his core. All of a sudden, his other hand let go of the rail he was clutching so desperately, the metal clattering loudly on the floor. Izaya could have caught that opportunity to escape, could have seized the momentary distraction to squirm away from his hands, taking out his switchblade and run away. 

Instead he stayed motionless, his eyes not even flinching when it hit the ground. They stared at each other, the moment frozen in time, not a sound shared between them. Shizuo could feel saliva collecting under his tongue. He swallowed. 

A heartbeat later, and their mouths connected, Shizuo leaning just a bit over him, Izaya raising on the ball of his feet. The first thing Shizuo noticed was how unbelievably soft his lips were, their taste as sweet as incredibly nostalgic, like something he had lost once and now he had finally found. The thought was just plainly, horribly wrong to associate with Izaya, and Shizuo felt the bitterness of it flooding his mouth. 

But then Izaya arched into his body, making the smallest noise of pleasure in the back of his throat. So Shizuo did what came most natural to him, letting go of his face to encircle him in an embrace. An unhesitant hand snaked behind his nape, another on his hip, bringing him close to him. At this, Izaya too raised his hands behind his neck, tangling his fingers in his blonde hair, pulling them slightly. Still kissing him, Izaya wantonly pushed one knee between his legs, the corner of his lips upturning when Shizuo growled inside his mouth. 

That was his final straw. Shizuo hugged him harder, almost desperately. He wasn’t really thinking anymore, his mind instantly filled of the moment, closing his eyes, only to hear, taste, smell only him, only Izaya. 

Izaya’s fingers slided behind his back, making him quiver. He moaned again when Izaya touched him with his hand, following the relief of his erection under the thin material of his shorts. His knees were suddenly made of soft clay, fisting his fingers around the stiff collar of his jacket and some of his hair. He could hardly hold back a cry, suddenly feeling very much self-conscious of his eagerness. Izaya though didn’t really seem to care, instead rubbing himself on his bare leg. 

“Shizuo, touch me,” he whispered wetly against his lips. “Please.”

There was something in his voice that made his plea completely disturbing, a poignancy so uncanningly distressful that made it seem completely fabricated. Normally, Shizuo wouldn’t be able to go over the simple surface of his words. Now though, he instinctively knew that even though it sounded fake, it was scaringly real. And yet he didn’t understand how he could be so sure, he just knew. His whole body stiffened with a sudden fear, his heart rumbling in his ears. His fingers released his hold on Izaya, shakily hovering over his nape uncertain.

Izaya clicked his tongue and forcefully pushed him away. 

Dumbfounded, Shizuo staggered back, catching himself in time before he fell from the stairs. With a movement so quick he was almost losing it, he felt a cutter poking the thin skin of his throat, the warmness of his blood rolling down the cut only a vague impression on his heated body. Izaya was again incredibly close to him, eyes wide with hysteria. His breath was short, like he had ran a thousand miles, but his mouth was closed in a thin line, taking in air only from his nose. 

“I fucking hate you, Shizu-chan,” he spat in the end, his voice shaking horribly, “Have a fucking stroke and die.”

Shizuo tried to take the hand clutching the cutter away from him, but Izaya swiftly jumped away, avoiding his touch completely. The second after, he darted past him wordlessly, the sound of his feet quickly descending the stairs echoing in the empty school, until Shizuo couldn’t hear it anymore. 

Before he knew it, he found himself retching in the toilets of the third floor, his uniform sticking on him sickeningly, an unbearable sinking feeling tearing him from the inside out.