skk au where theyre exes from early college days, so they both graduate and part ways, only to find each other again in the same school when chuuya retires from the art field to teach and dazai teaches physics as he always wanted
dazai is happy. he always wanted to share the knowledge he’s always had, and being a teacher is the perfect opportunity—bless odasaku for the drunken suggestion—so he enjoys his classes very much, as well as the environment in the university he’s teaching in.
however, the void is still there, even if he manages to forget about it most of the time.

it’s never been easy, to give up something that makes you happy, but he did it. and there’s no turning back.

so he endures, coming back to his shared apartment with yosano.
she’s almost never there, for her shifts at the hospital are too long and too messy, but he enjoys their movie dates once a week—that are mostly just them getting drunk as fuck and waking up on the bathroom floor—.

and there’s also his friends from school.
kunikida pretends he doesn’t care about dazai, but he’s been one of the best pillar supports for dazai since high school, so hanging out together to grade exams is always a good way to spend their days.

no matter how jealous odasaku gets sometimes. for both kunikida and dazai
“i hate the start of the year, everyone is just so... irritated” ranpo sighs while he leans back on his chair.

“what’s worse then, the beginning of the school year or the ending?” atsushi asks with a smile while he checks some papers.

dazai chuckles softly.
“both are gross.” ranpo says at the end, his feet falling down from the table. “however, this year is going to suck, i can feel it.”

“is it a hunch?” dazai asks before he takes a sip of his coffee.

“a prediction.”
dazai doesn’t believe in the “things happen for a reason” bullshit, and maybe that’s what he did wrong in the first place.

he is on his way to the art building to wait for tanizaki to go to have lunch and probably end up in a shitty bar again but he hears ranpo’s voice.
loud inside his head.

‘this year is going to suck’

really, what are the odds.

he is still as bright as ever. his hair is slightly curly as dazai remembers, it’s probably just as soft—the last time dazai touched it, they were— well, that doesn’t really matter now.
he’s sharper, he looks more decided.

still short, but /beautiful/.

dazai can feel his heart stopping for a long second, but he can’t do this. not again.

so he sits on a bench in front of the building as the redhead walks, his attention focused on his phone.
//“i’m gonna be late, and i can’t skip class again...” chuuya complains against dazai’s mouth when his boyfriend pulls him in for another kiss.

“but i’m gonna miss chuuya too much” dazai pouts.

“you’re such a baby.” chuuya smiles.

“but your baby.”//
“hey, dazai!” tanizaki greets walking towards the bandaged man. “have you been waiting long?”

dazai opens his eyes and smiles. “no, not at all.” he gets up and puts his glasses back on his face. “but odasaku is already there, so we should hurry.”
“you need to get laid.” higuchi deadpans as she slams a book shut.

“what the fuck?” chuuya stares at his friend like she grew two heads.

“i agree” gin says while she keeps trying to do her rubik’s cube, her head resting on chuuya’s lap. “you’ve been so damn down lately”
“exactly, when was the last time you had sex?” higuchi asks, but she’s focused on organizing the books she has piled up.

chuuya rolls his eyes. “you don’t need to know that.”

“oh damn we do.” tachihara adds, “we need to classify you in either red code or yellow code.”
“what if i’m green code?”

gin snorts. “yeah, as if.”

“honestly, fuck you guys.” chuuya covers his face with a cushion.

“we just want you to be happy again man,” tachihara offers a smile that does nothing to chuuya’s despair. “you just started teaching, you need to relax.”
“i still can’t believe that, though.” higuchi turns around and rests her elbow on more books. “but in fact, your life is gonna get busier from now on. you’re not only a painter anymore so you need a distraction.”

gin nods. “you need ass.”

“shut the fuck up.”
chuuya never thought he would become a /teacher/ out of all things he’d planned through his whole life, but never in his wildest dreams he imagined he would have a painters block so bad that he had to quit it.

so now he’s teaching, and even if his first class wasn’t so bad
he wasn’t sure if he was made for the job.

and then there was his mood. he knew he wasn’t depressed per se, but he knew that there was /something/ missing. it has been for several years, but he couldn’t get himself to do something about it.

he didn’t want to.
“ma’am, did we get the restock on the physics books?” one of higuchi’s employees asks.

“yeah, open the storage and i’ll be there in a minute.” the blonde woman replies and jumps from the stairs she was in as the employee walks away. “these motherfuckers keep calling me ma’am.”
//“one day i’m gonna win a nobel prize and you’ll be the star on my speech.” dazai says while chuuya paints on his chest muscles.

“what are you going to say?” chuuya dips his brush in the paint again and goes back to dazai’s body.

“that it’s all thanks to my soulmate.”//
chuuya sighs but drops the cushion back on the couch.

“i’m highkey turned on by her calling them motherfuckers.” gin says with a smirk.

“does she know that?” tachihara asks confused.


the three of them laugh. and chuuya feels okay. that everything will be okay.
the next month goes without trouble. chuuya has no problems in his class and his students are very nice, none of them gives chuuya any type of headache, thankfully.

he starts to talk to a man from his department, tanizaki, and they get along very well.

“ne, chuuya.”
tanizaki calls him one day when they’re in the teacher’s lounge room after a faculty meeting.

“what’s is it?”

“some of my friends from the science and humanities buildings and i are going to grab dinner, do you wanna come?” tanizaki offers with a smile.
socializing or going to his apartment and chug down a bottle of wine?

“is it okay if i go?” he asks first.

“sure! we all try to be friendly to one another, and you’re new in the school so we’d like to get you started here.” tanizaki laughs softly.

“well then, yes.”
they exchange numbers and after class—a very stressful one, because their model dropped out and it took him forever to find someone free to fill the spot and that made his students go wild for a bit—he goes to his apartment to change.

he doesn’t pay attention to the choker he
decides to wear. he grabs his keys, wallet and drives to the place tanizaki sent him earlier.

he makes sure he looks put together before jumping off his car and entering the restaurant. it has a nice vibe and he doesn’t feel that intimidated anymore.
when he sees tanizaki waving his hand to him, he walks to the table and as soon as he spots the people sitting there, he wants to /die/.

“i’m so glad you made it!” tanizaki gets up and puts his hand on chuuya’s shoulder. “everyone, this is nakahara chuuya.+
“the new teacher in the art department.”

odasaku and kunikida are there, looking at him with something that looks like /pity/ and chuuya wants to throw up, because that means one thing.

and he doesn’t feel good anymore.

“yeah, we’ve met.” odasaku says nicely.
“seriously?” tanizaki asks.

“yeah, back in college.” chuuya adds and tries his best to smile. “it’s been a while.”

“well then, have a seat. we just have to wait for atsushi and kyouka and we’re ready to order” tanizaki says.

chuuya looks confused, but he doesn’t comment.
“it’s a shame that dazai can’t make it.” tanizaki adds again, and chuuya almost loses it at the mention of /that/ name.

he really REALLY hoped it was just a coincidence.

“he said he had a dinner date or something.”

does tanizaki ever shut up?
“i’m gonna fucking kill you if you scare her.” yosano threatens once more.

“i promise i’m gonna behave,” dazai smirks and hugs yosano by her shoulders. “you probably already scare her enough.”

“don’t be so sure, she’s the scary one in our relationship.” akiko smirks.
akiko’s girlfriend wanted to meet dazai and try to get along with him, because apparently their relationship was getting very serious and well, yosano only really had dazai, as well as he only had her, family-wise.

akiko knocked on the door and dazai took his arm off her,
just to be safe.

but when the door was opened, well. /nothing/ was safe.

because there she was. the beloved older sister of his once very serious partner. kouyou ozaki herself.

seriously, what was the luck? what was the world trying to tell him?
kouyou and dazai stare at each other for what it feels like years. dazai already feels like choking.

and it’s just 8 p.m. and they haven’t even started with the embarrassing stories.

“oh, so nice to see you... again.” she says, carefully.

“likewise, ane—kouyou.”
yosano frowned slightly. “what’s up?”

“oh! nothing nothing.” kouyou smiled and kissed her cheek. “come in, dinner’s ready.”

dazai wishes, so bad, that kouyou poisoned his plate beforehand so he doesn’t have to go through this.

well, he’s never been lucky anyway.
the dinner goes smoothly, if anything else. but it hurts, seeing the pictures of kouyou and her brother on the walls and furniture. some of those dazai has seen before, but most of them are new.

and it hurts.

akiko excuses herself to go to the bathroom, and dazai prays.
but he’s not religious, so fuck him.

“how are you?” the woman in front of him asks, her eyes seem sincere.

“i could be better.” he is honest. he really /could/. he looks at one of the pictures again, and kouyou understands the silent request.
“he is okay, overall. but he stopped painting recently.” she says and she sounds sad.

“i saw him in my campus.” dazai turns his gaze back to her.

“yeah, he wanted to try if he could teach before quitting art completely.”

dazai doesn’t understand. art is chuuya’s life.
but he doesn’t ask about that. he has no right.

he has no right for the next question either, but he does because deep inside, dazai is a masochist.

“does he ever talk or ask about me?”

and the answer hurts, more than it should.

“not even once.”
it’s been /years/ since they broke up. dazai should NOT even care by now.

“i know why you did it.” kouyou says, but soon her girlfriend is joining them again and dazai has to swallow the knot on his throat to smile at his friend.

“so are we drinking now?”
chuuya leans his head on the wall as he exhales smoke out of him.

dinner was nice. everyone was nice and neither kunikida and odasaku made any comments about /that/, but that doesn’t mean the next time he would be was lucky.

besides, dazai was on a /date./ what if he brought—

chuuya opens his eyes and looks at the taller man leaning on the wall as well beside him.

“hey.” chuuya replies, and offers a cigarette.

“no, thank you.” odasaku says and chuuya nods in response. “today was nice. they’re going to miss you if you stop hanging out.”
chuuya doesn’t answer, he keeps on smoking instead.

“it shouldn’t have to be hard, right?” odasaku asks and chuuya snorts.

“you know that everything is hard when it comes to him.”

the taller man laughs. “that’s true.”

and they stay in silence for a moment, but chuuya knows
why odasaku is there.

“i’ll make sure to keep him in line, but don’t drift apart again.”

odasaku’s words hold more weight than they should, because chuuya knows he quit on their friendship too. without a word, without such thing as a goodbye.

“you still owe me a curry bowl.”
chuuya ends up saying, a small smile adorning his lips.

odasaku brings his hand to ruffle chuuya’s hair and starts to walk inside again.

“i know he misses you. a lot.” he finishes before shutting the door behind him.

chuuya’s cigarette ends up falling to the ground.
so, what is chuuya supposed to do with the acquired information?

1. his ex—who dumped him—misses him.
2. said ex works in the same university as him.
3. odasaku and kunikida are going to be engaged soon and of course, chuuya is already invited.

seriously, what the /fuck/.
and on top of that, odasaku obviously noted the choker chuuya was wearing, because he helped dazai to get it back when chuuya had his first exhibition.

odasaku = dazai’s best friend.

so it means chuuya is fucked because now dazai will know that he still wears the item.
meanwhile, dazai has to face the fact that chuuya /moved on/. well, he made his peace on it before, but now it’s confirmed, and any remaining of hope that he had is now gone.

it hurts. it doesn’t stop.

yosano notices that dazai is not okay the next morning.
so she calls the only person she knows that can make dazai snap out of his bullshit.

“i’m off to work, odasaku is coming soon.” she says when she’s putting on her shoes at the door.

“why? and why did he tell you and not me?” dazai asks from the couch.

“i want pizza.”
she replies and closes the door shut, leaving dazai alone on a saturday morning.

it’s not long before he hears the two and a half knows on his door, so he drags himself to let his friend in.

“you don’t look good.” odasaku comments and walks behind the mess of blankets.
“shut up. why did she send you?” the brunette throws himself on the couch again.

“i know you saw kouyou.” odasaku sits on the space dazai left.

“and what about it? you’re already taken, you have no chan—“

“i talked to chuuya.”

dazai takes his head out of his blanket.
“akiko is very happy with kouyou, really, you can’t get in th—“

odasaku hits him with his palm on his forehead.

dazai makes a pained face and brings his hands to the attacked spot. “what the /fuck/ was that for?”

“he was wearing the choker you gave him.”

dazai blinks.
oh, dazai remembers that choker very well. because it has dazai’s name engraved on one side.

“he looks okay, probably better than you.”

“haha, you’re fuc—“

“stop being a jerk for five seconds and listen to me,” odasaku goes into dad mode and dazai listens. he’s scared now.
“you know chuuya is the love of your life, why can’t you just go for it?”

dazai bites his lip and drifts his gaze away. why is he having this conversation now after 7 years?

“i know you broke up with him, but can you please be honest with yourself for once?”
dazai can’t lie. he said the reason was that he fell out of love, like it was expected, like chuuya /always/ feared. but he didn’t.

he /couldn’t/ fall out of love.

“it’s... not right, odasaku.” it’s what he ends up blurting, the only answer he has in the matter.
chuuya is now walking in the hallways with fear. fear of seeing /him/. fear of his smug smirk and his so ugly fashion sense.

he arrives to campus everyday just in time, and he leaves class at 1 p.m. sharp to avoid tanizaki and run straight to his car.

he’s being a chicken.
one day, he gets asked to teach another class for a day because the main professor called in sick and they can’t find a substitute teacher. but the class is two hours after his class is done.

chuuya doesn’t want to drive all the way home just to come back, so he sits
under a tree like a stray cat and thinks.

but the sudden urge to draw strikes in. and he can’t help himself so he starts to sketch on the abandoned sketch book he always carries around.

it feels good. it feels refreshing.

it feels like he’s f—

“what a surprise.”
sometimes when people think about the words that might come out of their mouth when meeting their ex for the first time in 7 years...

“i’m not surprise, i’m chuuya.”

...well, that’s definitely not what they expect themselves to say. at all. in a million years.
dazai doesn’t comment, but chuuya is having a stroke and he gets as red as tomato sauce.

“nice seeing you here, chuuya.” the taller man says, pushing his glasses up his nose.

“...h-hey...” chuuya barely manages to say.

god, he’s such an idiot.

but hey, he tried his best.
dazai asks for permission to sit, at an appropriate distance of course. chuuya nods and closes his sketchbook slowly and dazai gets comfortable, placing his bento box beside him.

chuuya doesn’t know what to say and dazai doesn’t seem like he’s speaking soon. awkward.
chuuya sighs and brings his hand up to tug at his earring, like he does when he’s nervous.

“one day, you’ll rip your ear apart if you keep doing that.” dazai comments as he opens his lunch.

“and what about it?” chuuya retorts, causing dazai to chuckle.
he doesn’t say anything else, but he places a pair of chopsticks in chuuya’s reach and puts he two containers of food between them.

chuuya looks at the food, and then, for the first time since he got there, /looks/ at dazai.

his glasses are different, his haircut is different
and he looks older, but not in a bad way. he looks like a grown up. he’s wearing a white dress shirt and black trousers, without a tie. he looks like a real teacher.

chuuya’s mouth goes a little dry, but he doubts he can try to swallow just yet.

and then, dazai looks at him.
those amber eyes that were always more expressive than the man himself. those eyes that made chuuya lose his mind a thousand times and in a thousand ways.

chuuya sees curiosity in them, he sees sadness. but he doesn’t see /love/. not anymore.

it feels weird to realize that.
he feels like he’s drowning. he feels so lost, so /small/ under dazai’s gaze.

he feels like he’s 20 again. working in the bakery shop down the street, saving at least $10 daily in the bag taped behind the toilet.

‘house savings’ said the label on it.
it didn’t matter that dazai had a fortune, chuuya always wanted them to get a house together. and all the money chuuya saved, dazai added the same.

nothing mattered as long as they were together.

their nights drinking and making love on the floor suddenly feel so fresh.
whenever they were hanging out with odasaku and kunikida—the mutual pining had dazai crying—and their meetings at tachihara’s dad’s bar to drink until they passed out in gin’s car.

the memories flood his mind the more he looks at dazai.
“i prepared curry, and odasaku sent me some fresh vegetables.” dazai says, pushing chuuya out of his thoughts.

he is not even hungry, but he misses dazai’s curry. out of the two of them, dazai has always been the better cook.

not that chuuya ever said that.
they eat in silence, watching the students running around and being messy.

“the guys told me you went out with them a few weeks ago.” dazai speaks after a while.

“tanizaki invited me.”

“that’s good, odasaku missed you.” the brunette smiles.

//“i know he misses you.”//
chuuya can’t help but blush.

“he and kunikida seem very happy.”

“they are! after all those years, it’s only fair.” he laughs.

but chuuya doesn’t think dazai has a say in fair things or not.

dazai takes a drink of his water. “i met your sister, that night.”
“my sister? why?” chuuya looks confused.

“she’s dating my roommate.” he explains putting his chopstick aside.

“akiko is your roommate?” chuuya’s eyes are wide open now, because he’s met yosano and she always mentioned her roommate, talked about him like he was amazing.
“it’s a small world, huh.” the smile dazai gives him does nothing to the speed chuuya’s heart is beating in.

“it’s creepy.” chuuya scrunches his nose.

“we’ll hang out later, odasaku and the others, you should come.”

the redhead squirms. “d-dazai, i don’t thi—“
“chuuya,” dazai interrupts. “we’re colleagues now.”

chuuya bites his lip and looks away.

“let’s be that, just colleagues.” dazai finishes before he starts to gather his things, except for the chopsticks chuuya used. “tanizaki will send you the address.”

and he leaves.
chuuya’s class was easy, even if he had barely any preparation for ir, he had a good time because the students already had experience, so it was easier to explain the technique to apply.

but his heart never stopped pounding against his ribs, and his teeth barely left his lip.
tanizaki sends the address when chuuya is leaving the shower, and chuuya breathes heavily.

is it really going to be okay? is /he/ really going to be okay?

he’s drying his hair with a towel when another text pops up on his screen.

well, fuck it. what can go wrong anyways?
when tachihara drops chuuya off in the bar, he’s already had two shots and he’s relaxed as he can be. his hair is tied up in a messy bun and he knows his jeans are perfectly tight. tachihara disapproved them the moment he saw them.

he can do this, he can totally do this.
he sees tanizaki, atsushi, kyouka, kunikida and odasaku sitting already, so he approaches them looking better than what he actually feels.

“hey there!” tanizaki greets him with a big smile.

“i’m so glad you made it chuuya!” atsushi smiles too and kyouka follows.
he takes a seat after greeting everyone and orders vodka with cranberry juice, because he /needs/ it to get through the night.

after a few minutes he feels fine, he feels like he can face his crying ex-girlfriend and leave the place without getting slapped.

a brave new man.
but the moment dazai steps into his vision ratio, it’s like all the alcohol he’s had so far evaporates and leaves him naked.

dazai is /breathtaking/.

he’s wearing a leather jacket and a white shirt underneath and he looks fucking. hot.
he also left his glasses, and pushed his hair back on one side.

chuuya is slowly dying. but he has dignity. he /has/ to have dignity left, so he takes a long sip of his drink.

“easy there.” odasaku calls him out, but chuuya couldn’t care less.

he wants to be fucked up /now/
yosano is with him along with two men who are holding hands, they later introduce themselves as ranpo and poe, and chuuya enjoys very much how everyone make him feel welcomed in their group.

even dazai. with his gorgeous smile and beautiful broad shoulders.
he doesn’t know the time that passes, neither how many drinks he’s had, but he needs a cigarette.

he walks slowly to the alley beside the bar, because he’s scared of falling down. he lights up a cigarette and tries to think about anything.

“hey, are you okay?” dazai’s voice interrupts his thoughts of wine and a pool in a summer day.

“yes.” he lies. because he knows he’s /not/.

“you’re already shitfaced.” dazai can tell from chuuya’s blush and the way his eyes drift apart every two seconds.
“i thought we were all supposed to get shitfaced.” chuuya blurts out before he drops his cigarette and steps on it.

“well yeah, but it’s just 10.” dazai laughs. “your low tolerance hasn’t changed, huh”

chuuya wants him to /shut up/ “what do you want?” he glares.
dazai leans on the wall in front of the smaller man, and just stares at him.

he sighs because dear chuuya, oh dear chuuya. so /oblivious/.

“to check up on you.” he simply answers.

chuuya seems like he’s fidgeting but he doesn’t say much, he just stares back.
dazai can notice the small pout growing, and he remembers clearly that this is chuuya’s worst drunk phase when drunk.

chuuya takes a step. dazai swallows. chuuya takes another step. dazai ponders if he can just fly away.

and then, chuuya is pushing his hands against—
dazai’s chest, and his blue eyes are cutting through dazai’s soul with every second that passes.

he stays still, feeling the warmth that the redhead brings. fighting the urge to reach out and lock him between his arms.

that is, until chuuya speaks.

“why did you leave me?”
“what did i do wrong?” he asks.

the pain is there. in all his features. he sounds broken, like the shell of the man who he was once.

dazai took that away from him.

dazai closes his eyes, because the guilt is too much. “you didn’t do anything wrong.”
“then why?” chuuya asks once more, his fists curling.

dazai opens his mouth, but nothing comes out. how to start to explain him that he /never/ did anything wrong? that dazai couldn’t just drag him down for the sake of chuuya’s dreams?

“chuuya, please—“

“kiss me.”
“chuuya, i don’t think th—“

chuuya hits him softly. “i said kiss me. if you’re not gonna talk then kiss me.”

dazai is /dying/ inside. he can’t do that, he can’t hurt chuuya again.

“you’re too drunk, i’m gonna drive you home.”
“you can’t even do that? am i really that gross to you now?” chuuya can’t stop, he can’t stop the words coming out. “am i not eno—“

he stops because dazai’s mouth is now on him. because he can’t breathe. because it feels like a new him is being born in that exact moment.
their breakup was short. dazai said it’s over and well, it /was/. chuuya picked up his things and left their—dazai’s apartment.

kunikida said that dazai claimed that it wasn’t the same anymore, but chuuya didn’t ask him to elaborate.

he just left.
tw// suicide attempts

he didn’t see odasaku running to dazai’s apartment at 2 in the morning just to end up at the hospital for days. he didn’t see dazai trying to keep going, to cling onto dear life with the little will he had left.

he wouldn’t have believed it anyway.
however, dazai didn’t see chuuya either. trying to gain the trust in the people around him and /himself/.

dazai didn’t see the redhead not being able to hold a brush for /months/ without breaking in a panic attack.

they didn’t see each other at their worst.
in their best days, dazai would read a book and chuuya would walk around the park, just to fall into the pit again.

the only thing they didn’t do was blame each other, they just... accepted it. that maybe that was the way it /had/ to be.
because chuuya grew as a painter, and he moved to france for two years to live with one of his favorite modern painters.

and dazai got a chance to complete an investigation he had been planning since highschool.

they reached what they wanted without each other.
closure was a foreign word for them.

so now, making out in an alley and clinging to each other like it is their last time, well, it feels /fair/.

dazai has his hand on chuuya’s jaw, and chuuya’s fists are curled in dazai’s shirt.

it’s messy, it’s hard, it’s /addictive/.
there’s a voice in the back of dazai’s mind that bothers him, that tells him that he’s gone /mad/ and he should just move countries and change his name.

the same voice that decided that he wasn’t what chuuya needed back then.
when the kiss starts to fade and chuuya leans back for a second, dazai takes a deep breath and his hands disappear from chuuya’s form.

chuuya’s eyes are still closed, but dazai asks anyway. “why don’t you hate me?”

“i do.”

“then why are we doing this?”
chuuya is dizzy from many reasons now, but he stares back at the taller man.

“why not?”

dazai is speechless.
when chuuya wakes up, his boots are at the foot of the bed and his jacket is placed carefully on his reading chair.

he feels thirsty and with a strange sensation that he’s /floating/.

there’s a knock on his door but soon, tachihara makes his way in.
“what happened last night?” his friend asks, placing a pill and orange juice on his nightstand.

chuuya narrows his eyes. “why?”

“well, sir-we-don’t-name-in-church brought you here...” tachihara scratches the back of his head.

“i told him to.”

“what the fuck?”
chuuya sighs and runs his hand over his face.

“i don’t know.” he confesses. “am i out of my mind?”

tachihara sits beside him. “do you... love him?”

“i don’t know.”

“do you think you can let him into your life again?”

“i don’t know.”

“did you guys kiss?”

“did you fu—?”

“no.” chuuya glares at him.

tachihara seems like he’s thinking for a second. “did it feel right when you kissed him?”

/that/ was the thing.

it /did/ feel right. and chuuya doesn’t know what to do with the information.
“we’ve hurt each other so much, and it’s been 7 years.”

“maybe that’s what you needed.” tachihara says. “space and a chance to grow by yourself.”

chuuya shakes his head. “it doesn’t make sense.”

“nothing regarding love makes sense, chuuya.” tachihara taps his shoulder
and gets up. “you should know that already.”

chuuya watches as his friend leaves, but his words are still sounding loudly in his head.

he takes a quick shower, sends a text and gets ready to rush out the door.
the redhead holds his coffee cup with trembling fingers as he watches through the window, waiting for him.

he wonders if it’s the right thing to do, if this isn’t going to ruin whatever peace he had with himself and dazai.
when the man sits without a word in front of him, chuuya feels like this is what he /needs/ to do.

“you seem better, from the last time i saw you.” akutagawa greets placing his elbows on top the table.

“you still look like a failed emo.”

akutagawa smirks.
“i need to ask you something, and i need you to be completely honest.” chuuya goes to the point, his gaze is almost begging. “did you tell dazai? that i was planning on joining the family company.”

akutagawa bows his head to the side. “no.”

chuuya doesn’t like the answer.
“i mean, no, /i/ didn’t tell him.” the black-haired man explains. “but he heard /you/.”

chuuya frowns. “what?”

“when we were coming back from kunikida’s, you were on the phone with kouyou, and he heard.”

chuuya /almost/ slams his head against the table.
“he seemed shocked but he didn’t say anything.”

with every word that akutagawa says, chuuya feels like he’s getting /smaller/.

“i know he broke it off two days later, but it didn’t occur to me that you wanting a /real/ job would be an issue.”

“i have a /real/ job, dipshit.”
“why do you ask anyway?” akutagawa sounds confused, but chuuya knows he’s curious.

“he said that he wasn’t what i needed, last night.” chuuya tugs on his ear. “but it didn’t make sense to me, because back then, he just said he didn’t love me anymore.”

“well, you’re an idiot.”
“what’s that now?”

akutagawa shakes his head in disappointment. “chuuya, i respect you as my mentor’s ex-partner and a friend, but you’re a complete moron.”

“elaborate.” chuuya’s frown gets deeper.

“no, /you/ elaborate, and not to me but him.”
“why /him/?”

“he doesn’t know the reason why you were joining the company.” akutagawa raises his eyebrow.

“and what does have to do wi—?”

“is your braincell okay?” akutagawa is on the verge of /suing/ chuuya. “he thought you were giving up painting for him.”
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