Imagine a high school AU where Chuuya has a praise kink. He’s cool and collected, but if you say something nice about his appearance he just—

Turns into a mess.

Dazai figures his out just when he’s trying to knock Chuuya out as captain of the debate team.
Chuuya is surprisingly good at arguing a point, and he’s popular. Dazai doesn’t really WANT to be president, but he DOES like thwarting Chuuya.

One day, he offhandedly tells Oda (reluctantly) that he thinks Chuuya has nice hair.

Chuuya overhears and trips into the lockers.
Dazai thinks it’s weird, because Chuuya is the opposite of a clutz, but he moves on.

Then he notices how Chuuya always seems to disappear when a girl tries to confess to him, and how he’s never let anyone sign his year books.

Because he can’t handle praise.
And Dazai thinks to himself, like a bastard, “Wait, I can use this”

So he waits for literature class to confirm his suspicions.

Chuuya has to present, and as he’s getting out of his seat Dazai loudly tells their classmate that Chuuya’s ass looks nice in his jeans.
Chuuya trips and falls face forward into his desk, and for a second he’s so mortified by how red he is that he doesn’t move and everyone thinks he’s been knocked out.

And Dazai starts to form an evil plan.
Dazai looks so devious that Oda has to ask him when they’re walking towards Debate practice “Dazai, what the fuck are you doing?”

Dazai acts innocent “What could you possibly mean by that?”

“You’re scheming.”

“ME?! Scheming?!”

Really, Oda should’ve stayed out of it.
Then practice starts, and Dazai is the first to volunteer to practice with Chuuya. Which isn’t new, but the explosive eagerness is.

And suddenly, right before Dazai begins his opener, he grins at Chuuya. “To my beautiful, enchanting opponent—“

Chuuya’s face is crimson.
Dazai’s opener goes for five minutes, and Chuuya has to clear his throat at the end, a little heated—and somewhat humiliated.

“Could—you repeat that?”

“Which part?”

“...the whole thing—“ Chuuya sighs, wiping a hand down his face, “Except for—“

“To my beautiful—“

Dazai keeps this up, consistently tripping Chuuya up in practice for a week—until their instructor suggests that Dazai starts at the competition on Saturday instead of Chuuya.

Chuuya looks at Dazai with horror and it’s met with a sadistic grin. Chuuya is enraged.

This. Means. War.

Which is why Oda is the one who ends up slammed against the lockers later. Obviously.

“Hey, what the—?!” Chuuya is holding a pencil to his throat like a deadly weapon.

“What is that freak up to?!”

“How would I—?!” The pen presses down harder.

“Answer me!”
Odasaku logically knows Chuuya can’t kill him with an ink pen, but the rage in the redhead’s eyes and the surprising strength that he’s using to keep the taller man slammed to the lockers has him feeling a little bit...scared?

“Look, he’s just—messing with you. Ignore him.”
Chuuya clenches his teeth, wishing to all the gods above that such a thing was possible. “I can’t—I’ve always had this problem. Does he have any—weak spots? Anything I could use to get him to drop?”

“Not really,” Oda admits. “Unless he’s jealous, Dazai isn’t easily ruffled.”
Chuuya stares at Odasaku searchingly, and concludes that he’s telling the truth. “Fine, but since you were a part of this, you have to help me.”

Oda sputters. “I wasn’t—“

But he ends up sitting in the empty debate practice room anyway, watching Chuuya pace back and forth.
“If we can’t get him to stop...” Chuuya mutters, boots clicking with every step, “I’ll just have to build up a tolerance.” He looks over at Oda, determined. “Compliment me.”

Oda can’t believe that this is actually happening. It can’t be, right? “What?!”

“You heard me.”
Odasaku throws his hands up, exhausted with this whole thing. “Alright, uh—that haircut looks nice on you.”

Oda can’t believe his eyes.

Chuuya’s eyes dart to the side, and he reaches up to fiddle with the longest pieces of his hair, his face flushed.

Why...is it cute?!
“Dude.” Oda says slowly, leaning back against his seat. “Seriously?”

Chuuya snaps out of it and snarls with annoyance. “I can’t fucking help it!”

“Who reacts to a compliment like that?!”

Chuuya regrets everything instantly when Oda starts to look sympathetic.

“Chuuya, really? That’s terrible—“

“No, listen, Oda, it’s fine—“

“You’re a WONDERFUL person, there are lots of great things about you—“ Chuuya’s voice cracks when he protests.

“Oda, for the love of GOD—“
From then on, Oda makes it his personal mission to help Chuuya get over his little ‘problem.’

Which basically means meeting up every day after debate practice and complimenting Chuuya over and over, because Dazai is being absolutely relentless.
He finds new things to compliment, like how nice Chuuya’s legs are, how soft his skin is, he notices the light dusting of freckles on Chuuya’s nose and turns that into a topic for an afternoon, and Chuuya tries to drown himself in the water fountains.
It’s fun for Dazai, pissing the chibi off every day, getting to see him blush, yell and trip over himself trying to ignore him—and this is all for purely sadistic purposes. Obviously.

But why are he and Odasaku so close all of the sudden? When did he start driving Chuuya home?
Adding insult to injury, Chuuya starts reacting to his compliments less and less. He still blushes, stammers, but he can finish a sentence.

Dazai doesn’t like it.

Everyone starts asking if Chuuya and Oda are dating, and they deny it—but absolutely no one believes them.
Naturally, because everyone has been watching Dazai publicly hit on Chuuya for two months, everyone thinks something happened between him and Oda.

Dazai starts to wonder too. When he confronts Oda, he denies it.

“C’mon Dazai, obviously not. But he is a good guy—lay off, okay?”
Dazai makes a face, but he shrugs it off. He knows Oda has been in love with Ango since third grade, and Oda is probably just being a big brother to Chuuya, like he does to everyone else.

So why does it bother him so much?

Obviously, it’s time for a shift in strategy.
Dazai just needs to come up with more effective compliments—and to do that, he needs to be completely sincere.

So he goes to the store after school and picks up a new notebook, and he starts brainstorming.
Obviously, filling a notebook with things he likes about Chuuya is completely reasonable, given what he’s attempting to do here.

Sketching Chuuya during class is completely necessary as well. It’s a character study. Know thine enemy.

Obviously, this is all about winning.
And maybe he was a little bit surprised at all of the good things he could think of about Chuuya. Like how he has a dimple in his right cheek but not his left, and it always makes his smile a little crooked. Or the way his laugh starts low and gets high pitched.
Dazai blames it on his own creativity, because honestly, who else could commit to a scheme like this? No one.

His little brother Atsushi finds Dazai hiding behind the vending machines one day after class, a look of utter glee on his face. “...Dazai? You okay?”
Dazai nods eagerly, clutching a Red Bull and a snickers bar, looking utterly delighted with himself. “Oh, yes—Aren’t you supposed to be at cheer practice?”

“I’m going but—what are you doing?”

“Oh, Atsushi,” Dazai laughs evilly. “It’s perfect—Oda has the flu.”

“That’s good?!”
“Yes!” Dazai looks smug. “And he won’t be bringing Chuuya his snack—so I’ll swoop in, and while he’s vulnerable, I’m going to tell him that his eyes remind me of the ocean at sundown, and THEN—“

Atsushi doesn’t get it, but that’s fine—he doesn’t have a devious mind like Dazai.
Chuuya won’t be deterred. He’s bombed at the last three competitions because of Dazai, so he’s got to keep his cool.

Which would be easier if the creep wasn’t always shoving flowers into his locker.

And of course, everyone at school thinks Oda and Dazai are fighting over him.
The final indignity comes when they’re changing classes, and Chuuya sees something fall out of his backpack and land on the floor. Chuuya kneels down for get it. Dazai is well out of sight by the time Chuuya looks up.

He turns the notebook over, opening it.

...What the hell?!
Chuuya can’t hear Dazai telling him that he likes the sound of his voice without turning into a mess. Obviously, after reading his fucking MANIFESTO—

Chuuya has a little bit of a mental breakdown.

Oda finds him lying facedown on the roof, the notebook clutched to his chest.
Oda blinks, looking around before looking back at his friend, who practically has steam rising off of his entire body. “Chuuya?”

“He won.” Chuuya groans, nose smushed against the concrete. “I had no idea that the fucking psychopath would commit like this, but he won.”

Chuuya rolls over, shoving the notebook up at Oda so he can read it. “I’m gonna quit debate, change schools, I don’t fucking know—“

Oda reads page after page, each like a love letter—and because it’s Dazai, they’re well written and moving.

Jesus Christ, they’re both idiots.
Oda stares at one particular page where Dazai is talking about Chuuya’s smile, how it makes his heart leap in his chest, and the paragraph takes up nearly the entire page.


Chuuya covers his face and moans. “Yeah?”

“Is if possible that Dazai—?”

It’s not easy to force himself to get up and go back down into the building, but Oda helps him.

The worst part is having to find Dazai and give it back to him at the end of the day. “Oi! Dazai!”
The taller student turns around, only to see Chuuya standing there, face turned away and absolutely crimson, and holding out—


Oh dear god.

He has the notebook.

Suddenly, Dazai is forced to look at his actions under the harsh light of day—

And now he’s turning maroon too.
Dazai reaches out and snatched it back. Neither of them say anything, they’re both too flustered, obviously humiliated.

When Dazai’s feet can finally move, he walks off as fast as he can. Chuuya practically flees to Oda’s car.

Atsushi finds Dazai after cheer practice. “Dazai?”
His older brother is slumped over the steps leading out of school, head in his hands. Atsushi’s pompoms rustle where he’s holding them behind his back “You okay?”

Dazai groans, but doesn’t move. “I got carried away.”

Atsushi blinks. “Was it the earthquake prank again?”

Dazai explains it to him, slowly, pausing to whimper in embarrassment a few times, before it’s all out there. Atsushi has his hands clapped over his mouth with secondhand embarrassment.

“So you...like Chuuya?” Dazai blushes.

“No, no! I got carried away. But now he THINKS I do—“
Atsushi is sitting next to him, trying to put it all together. “But you’re definitely attracted to him.” Dazai winces. There’s no point in arguing that point now. “But...I thought you weren’t into guys?”

Dazai looks utterly miserable and confused. “Yeah. So did I.”
Atsushi rocks back and forth for a minute, trying to process it all. “I’m really sorry, Dazai...Wanna go home now?” Dazai shakes his head.

“I’m too emotional to drive right now.” And Atsushi doesn’t have his permit, so...

“Wanna call an Uber?”

Atsushi isn’t very comforting.
When they get home, Dazai charged off to the garage, not talking to either of their fathers in his hurry. Mori looks at Atsushi with confusion.

“Chuuya-kun found his crush journal because Dazai thinks he’s pranking him and he got carried away.”

Fukuzawa lowers his newspaper.
Mori sighs, shaking his head. “A boy? I thought Dazai didn’t—“

Atsushi shrugs. “Me too, it’s came out of nowhere.” (He says, knowing that Dazai has been making jokes about Chuuya’s ass for years. The ass he obviously doesn’t care about, and obviously isn’t fixated on. Obviously)
Mori runs his fingers through his hair and sighs, grabbing his white coat to throw on over his scrubs. “You’ll have to tell me more about it tomorrow, I have surgery in an hour.” He leans down to give his husband a kiss, and Atsushi makes a grossed out face when they linger.
When Mori is out of the driveway, Dazai returns from the garage with the notebook tucked under his arm and a gasoline can. Fukuzawa doesn’t look terribly concerned. “What have you got there, lad?”

Dazai’s eyes are determined, his jaw is set. “Destroying evidence.”
Fukuzawa nods sagely. “You should use the lawn flamingos as kindling. They burn fast, you know.”

Their entire garage is full of the ugly things because of Mori’s feud with the HOA president, Arthur Rimbaud—but that’s a story for another time, and Fukuzawa wants them gone.
Is he willing to use his son’s personal crisis to get rid of them while avoiding his husband’s ire? Absolutely.

Dazai holds a bonfire in the backyard that night, full of notebooks and melted flamingos.

Mori comes back the next day and is INCENSED. “DAZAI!”
Fukuzawa puts a hand on his husband’s shoulder, eyes sage and knowing. “He’s going through something, love—give him some space.”

Atsushi feels like he’s the only normal person in this family.
Chuuya, in the meantime, is screaming into his pillow while Kouyou rubs his back. Paul and Arthur are downstairs, staring at each other with helpless confusion.

“Maybe he’s being bullied?” Paul offers. Arthur shakes his head. Their son didn’t get bullied—he ate bullies for lunch
They both look at Akutagawa, who is trying to do his homework—in peace, mind you. He looks up at them and shakes his head, exasperated.

“It’s some fucked up mating dance with the Dr. Ogai’s son, I don’t know.”

Arthur clenches his fist at the memories, the HOA meetings, the—
But that’s not the point right now, and their son is going through a crisis. Paul snorts, rubbing Arthur’s arm lovingly as he pours more coffee. “Darling, it’s always boy problems when it comes to Chuuya. He’ll be fine.”

Chuuya cries into his pillow. “I’m going to KILL MYSELF!”
Kouyou has listened to the whole story in great detail at this point, and she’s exhausted.

Amused, but exhausted.

“Chuuya,” she asks calmly, offering a damp cloth for his face—which is still burning. “I’m going to put out two scenarios—you tell me which one is more likely.”
“One,” Kouyou lifts one perfectly manicured finger. “Dazai has been flirting with you for months, bringing you snacks, and made an entire notebook—which takes considerable time and energy—of love letters, sonnets, and sketches, just to take captain of the debate team from you.”
Chuuya is flushed and irritated. “Ane-san, you don’t know what he’s LIKE, he’s the WORST PEROSN I’VE EVER MET—“

Kouyou shushes him. “Or, two, he has a crush on you and is too emotionally constipated to deal with it like an adult.”
Chuuya stares at her for a moment, blinking slowly and breathing hard.

Kouyou pats his head, trying very, very hard not to laugh. “And there’s one all important fact you haven’t considered, lad.”

Chuuya blinks.

“You’re both sixteen year old boys.”
Chuuya blinks at her, eyes getting bigger and bigger by the second. Kouyou expected something closer to elation, given how obsessed the two have been with one another since elementary school.

So the blind rage is a surprise.

“Why the fuck is HE LIKE THIS??!??!!”
There’s only one path forward after this: confronting the demon.

Which is how Dazai ends up pinned against the lockers the next day, bright blue eyes glaring up at him with the force of a nuclear warhead, with Chuuya’s hand around his throat.

He feels a little weak in the knees
“What the FUCK are you doing, asshole?!” Chuuya snarls, and Dazai’s mind is spinning around like a kaleidoscope, trying to think of a way to come out of this with CHUUYA looking like the idiot, and not him.

“What could chibi possibly mean? You’re so adorable when you look like—“
Chuuya has a hand clapped over Dazai’s mouth, but he’s already blushing like crazy. “WHY wouldn’t you just ASK ME OUT?!”

Dazai raises an eyebrow and mumbles against Chuuya’s hand, and when he lifts it, the taller boy coughs. “I don’t know what you’re talking about!”
“THE NOTEBOOK!” Chuuya screeches, the walls shaking. “I KNOW you like me you freak, just STOP IT!”

Dazai is squirming under the stranglehold, but Chuuya is a judo champion for a reason. “First of all, it doesn’t exist anymore, so you have no proof—“

“Why would I need—?!”
“SECOND OF ALL,” Dazai pushes up with his legs and rises to his full height, and suddenly Chuuya is almost dangling, trying to continue strangling him, “you assume I don’t have notebooks like that for all of my classmates.”

“Dazai,” Chuuya is in disbelief “Why the fuck would—?”
Atsushi called him insane. Fukuzawa ordered a therapist. Everyone thought it was nuts to stay up all night making love notebooks for everyone on the debate team.

But when Dazai holds up the pictures on his phone and Chuuya’s righteous anger deflates, it seems perfectly sane.
Chuuya lets him go, and Dazai is brimming with victorious pride.

But Chuuya smells a rat—and even if he can’t prove it, he knows Dazai is a fraud. So there’s only one way to prove it, and Oda, bless him, told him how from the beginning.

He’s going to make Dazai jealous.
Luckily for him, Chuuya still has Oda helping him get used to compliments and getting rides from school every day—so everyone already thinks their dating.

So during debate practice, while they’re watching Dazai go up against Higuchi, Chuuya sits in Oda’s lap.
Mr. Dazai-I-Don’t-Care-I-Have-Weird-Notebooks-for-Everyone-Osamu’s eyes are completely frozen on Chuuya whole Higuchi gives her response, and Oda is confused.

He doesn’t push the Chuuya off because he’s a little scared of the redhead, but he’s baffled.

Chuuya is smirking.
Chuuya is utterly pleased with himself as he leans back against him Oda, resting his head against his chest and cuddling up to him like he’s a fucking care bear or something, and Dazai is so livid—

“Dazai? Your response?”

Chuuya winks, and Dazai’s jaw is slack.
Dazai turns his head back and realizes he missed every single word that Higuchi said just now, and—

Chuuya’s eyes are dancing with victory as he mouths, ‘Got you.’

Dazai swallows hard. “Could you repeat that, Higuchi-san?”

“How much?”

“All of it.”
The thing is, after that they’re both messing each other up constantly. And as a result, they both start fucking up at competitions, over and over again. The team is irritated, their instructor is perplexed, and everyone thinks Dazai is trying to steal Oda’s boyfriend.
It all culminates in the last competition of the year, where Dazai is spinning out and furious because Chuuya is wearing Oda’s jacket, and Chuuya is a blushing, angry mess because Dazai told him how pretty his eyes were when they caught the light.

They’re both at their limits.
They’re in an empty classroom, arguing, yelling at the top of their lungs—because neither of them can even remember why they’re doing this anymore, and they’re both furious.

Chuuya shoves Dazai in the chefs so forcefully that he stumbles, and they both fall back onto a table.
Dazai flips them around as they fall so Chuuya’s on his back, with Dazai landing between his legs. They both glare at each other, breathing hard.

“You’re the worst person I have EVER met!” Chuuya hisses at him, hair splayed everywhere.

Dazai doesn’t know why he’s smiling.
The smile makes Chuuya angrier, especially when Dazai’s eyes look so soft like that. It makes him want to throw the brunette through a wall. Obviously. “What’s wrong with you?! Why couldn’t you just ASK to be captain like a normal person?! And why do you always have to—“
Neither of them are remotely expecting what comes next—because Dazai didn’t know that he was going to say it until the last possible moment, when the words are just falling out of his mouth.

“Wanna go to prom with me?”
Chuuya is staring at him with wide, distrustful eyes. “...are you fucking with me right now?!”

Dazai shakes his head, though given how his heart is throbbing and his hands are suddenly sweaty, he wishes he was. Seriously, what the fuck—?!

“Then YES, you STUPID FUCK—!”
Chuuya can’t talk after that, because then Dazai is kissing him. And as much as he hates the bastard for what he’s put him through in the past few months—

Kissing Dazai is really, really fucking good. It’s clumsy and a little sloppy, but after months of tension they don’t care.
Chuuya’s hands are in Dazai’s hair, their noses are bumping together, and he keeps mumbling, ‘beauriful,’ ‘perfect,’ and ‘mine,’ against Chuuya’s mouth.

By the time a janitor finds them and kicks them out, Chuuya is a complete and total wreck.
They lost the competition, by the way—and they both got kicked off of the debate team. Dazai says it’s a fair trade, and that Odasaku is more suited to being president anyway. Chuuya, to everyone’s surprise, agrees.
Chuuya’s boyfriend is an idiot. A psychopath. And he’s definitely still the worst person Chuuya had ever met.

But he’s worth more than all of the stupid trophies and titles in the world.
They’re walking home after the last day of their second year of highschool, and Dazai pulls Chuuya in to place an obnoxious, loud kiss against the side of his head. “You really are beautiful, you know.”

Chuuya is red, but it’s mild. “Shut up, Osamu.”
Dazai smiles so wide that it hurts, nuzzling into Chuuya’s hair. “Couldn’t if I tried, chibi.”

Maybe—if Chuuya has a thing for praise—

—Dazai might just have a thing for giving it to him.

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