Dazai Osamu’s life has always felt like it had a simple trajectory.

That meant not having a relationship—or anything close to a /normal/ family—and he told himself that he was fine with it.

But Chuuya Nakahara has always had a way of changing the path of gravity.
Other two parts can be found here!
“You couldn’t have given me /any/ warning?” Mori groans, his face not lifting out of his hands, and Dazai winces, his eyes flickering over to the door to Chuuya’s room, just down the hall.

“It’s not like I /knew/ it was gonna happen,” Dazai grumbles, rubbing the back of his neck
as his eyes flicker down the hall, towards Chuuya’s room.

“You didn’t think passionately embracing another boy in a public was going to be /noticeable?/“

“A /secluded/ part of the park!” Dazai grumbles. “Besides—it was /storming/, why would anyone be waiting with a /camera?!/“
“Do you know what /happens/ when the head of a family dies, Osamu? People start paying more /attention/—“

“Ojiisan isn’t the Queen of fucking England, alright? Calm down—“

“Dazai!” Mori snaps, throwing his hands up, “His face is already on /stamps!/ He’s pretty fucking close!”
"I /thought/ you were okay with this--" Dazai starts, because where they left off, it kind of felt like he /was/--

"I /told/ you the first time, if it was someone special to you, we would figure it out--"

"Well he /is/!"

"And you gave us absolutely /no time/ to figure it out!"
"It's not like I /planned it/," Dazai mutters, shaking his head. "Because the /first/ thing I want to do to my boyfriend with a /heart condition/ is throw him on the front page of /TMZ/! And how could I have /avoided this?/"

"Our family has a /publicity firm/ for this /reason/!"
Mori groans, massaging his temples. "Have you ever /wondered/ why I've never been in the papers? Why Atsushi and Odasaku haven't?"

Dazai blinks slowly. "I assumed you paid someone off--"

"Not the entire /media/!" Mori huffs. "I certainly hope you're /extremely/ serious about
him, because his life is /never/ going to be the same."

"I /am./" Dazai mutters, his arms crossed over his chest. "What exactly are we supposed to do?"

"It /complicates/ things..." Mori glances down the hall, making sure no one is standing /too/ close by. "First, he's obviously
is going to have to meet the rest of the family--" Dazai /cringes/ at that, not because he's ashamed of him, but, well--

// "It sounds like you're being protective." //

Well, he knows /why./

"--and we'll have the two of you up in a meeting with your grandfather's publicist..."
Mori takes a deep breath. "This was going to be difficult /without/ the public scrutinizing the fact that Chuuya was hospitalized, but now..."

Dazai's breath hitches anxiously, "...Does it mean you can't be his doctor anymore?"

"I don't know, Osamu." Mori admits. "Before, I was
planning on getting him off of the pro bono list by just paying for the procedure /myself/, but now..." He sighs, "I'm one of the stakeholders in the hospital, it's getting /close/ to being illegal--"

"But it's not /actually/ illegal, is it?"

"I don't /know/, which is why we
would have benefitted from some /planning/ before the two of you went public--" Dazai opens his mouth, and Mori holds his hand up to stop him. "Which I know wasn't /planned/, but that doesn't change this predicament."

"l..." Dazai swallows hard, looking back at the door to
Chuuya's room at the end of the hall. "Yeah," he bites his lip. "I know."

Chuuya sits back against the back of his bed, legs folded underneath him as he scrolls through his phone.

He hasn't taken any calls in the last two hours, not yet.

Nothing can really /prepare you/ for
what it's like to become a phenomenon over night. Honestly, there are parts of it that are surreal, the sort of things you imagine happening to you in a /movie./

His face is all over news sights, his name is trending--people are trying to find photos of him in highschool and
middle school, and not being able to find anything from before his senior year.

But more than that--there are /gossip/ articles, people speculating about what his star sign is, girls fawning over the way he /looks/--hell, he already has a /stan/ account with weird pick filters
over his face and glitter edits all over the place.

And it isn't what he /expected/ to be dealing with right now.

He knew, when Dazai explained /why/ he had kissed that girl--that he had been concerned about exposing Chuuya to all of this. And at the time, compared to seeing
him kissing someone /else/, Chuuya thought the rest of it wouldn't feel like a /big deal./

And yes, Chuuya /would/ rather be dealing with this, than see Dazai with someone else. But...

His eyes slip down to the headline, and his stomach sinks.

He didn't think about /that./
Chuuya's privacy has never really been his /own./

When you've been constantly stripped down and prodded by strangers for /all/ of puberty and onwards, you stop viewing /anything/ as that /personal./

When you're an inconvenience to your family 80% of the time, even making major
decisions about your own /life/, you don't get any privacy.

But Chuuya at least thought that the /worst/ thing about his life could be something that was limited in it's scope, not something that /everyone/ had to know.

He doesn't see anything saying /why/ he's in the hospital,
but that only feels like a matter of time.

Finally, when his phone rings again, he answers it--only to hear his father panicking on the other end of the line. "Have you seen that--?!"

"Yeah," Chuuya mumbles, sinking a little lower in his bed. "I saw."

"Darling--I didn't even
/know/ that you two were--"

"It happened yesterday," Chuuya mumbles, not having /any/ intentions of telling his father about, well...

What they've been /doing/ for the last three months.

"And you didn't tell me that his /grandfather/ was--"

"It didn't seem like it mattered
back then..." Chuuya bites the inside of his cheek.

"Are you going to be /alright?/"

"Yeah, yeah--" Chuuya replies quickly, even when he feels like he won't be at /all./ "People are probably going to forget about it in a week."

He /wishes/ he could believe that was true.
But when he ends up in Mori's office later that day, sitting directly in the /middle/ of his boyfriend and his father, seated on the couch while Mori is behind his desk, and Dazai is leaning against the door frame.

"I just got off of the phone with our lawyers..." Mori sighs
heavily, and Chuuya winces, feeling like even more of a nuisance than he did before. “We’ve found a round about way to get around paying for it legally—but the bigger issue is, if your condition becomes a matter of public interest...” Mori sighs. “Then we probably won’t be able
to get away with it.”

“Can we avoid that?” Chuuya asks, raising an eyebrow. “It’s not like they don’t already know I’m in a hospital—“

“But they don’t know /why/ you’re here,” Mori counters, “and legally, they can’t access any of your records.”

“But don’t you think people are
Going to figure out it’s something pretty /serious/ when I’m living here for two months?” Chuuya counters, and Mori grimaces.

“I do. And I’ve only /really/ been able to come up with one alternative.”

Chuuya raises an eyebrow. “...Like what?”

Mori pinches the bridge of his nose
with a sigh. “We’ll have to release you.”

Chuuya’s eyes light up, only for his eyebrows to twitch with annoyance when Dazai shakes his head. “/No way/—“

“Do you have a better idea?”

“You said it was too dangerous for him to get more than a /thousand feet/ from a hospital—“
“And we’ll give him another week to stabilize—at which point he’ll be six weeks away from surgery. Which he /won’t/ be able to get if I have journalists looking into this.” Mori points out, and Dazai grits his teeth.

“It’s not like he can move back to campus—“

/That’s/ true.
Not only because he’s officially withdrawn for the semester for health reasons—but because classes would be ending in three weeks anyway.

“There’s only /one/ place where he could properly be monitored outside of a hospital.” Mori points out tightly, and Dazai’s stomach drops.
They both know the answer to /that/ question, and the /last/ thing Dazai wants is for Chuuya to be /there/, but—

“...I don’t get it.” Chuuya blinks, looking back and forth between them. “Where would I be going?”

“...You would be staying with us,” Mori finds it somewhat surreal,
the fact that a mere six months ago, he didn’t even know his son was /interested in men/ hell, they really weren’t even on speaking terms—

And now he’s letting Dazai’s boyfriend essentially live with them for the summer—and likely after, until Chuuya is well enough to return to
Todai, which could be /next year./

But he doesn’t see a better option.

“I can’t...” Chuuya trails off slowly, “I can’t ask you to do that, your family has already done enough—“ he starts, looking strained, and Mori shakes his head.

“This most recent situation isn’t even your
fault, it’s...” Mori sighs, “Well—we’re actually still investigating who sold the pictures—“

“You don’t have a clue?” Dazai asks tersely, and Mori shakes his head.

“These things take time,” his father shrugs. “In the mean time—we’ll be ready to release you by the weekend.”
The following days are filled with Chuuya going through /extensive/ testing to make sure he's /actually/ stable enough to be transferred into a home environment.

Which means multiple EKGs every day, rounds of Cardioversion every time his heart goes one /blip/ out of rhythm, and
Dazai thought he knew what that /meant/, listening to his father explain the procedure at the dinner table countless times, but...

He didn't realize how it would /actually/ feel, watching it happen to /Chuuya./

And he can't even hold him when it's /happening/ without risking
disrupting the current or getting shocked /himself/, so all he can do is stand by the door, hugging himself /tightly/ as Chuuya writhes on the table, his body quaking from the shocks.

And he can't stop thinking about the fact that this was something Chuuya was doing /all the
time/, and he was doing it /alone./

He holds him after, even when Chuuya stammers out between clenched teeth that it's /fine/, that Dazai doesn't even have to /be// there, that it isn't a /big deal/--

It doesn't change the fact that it's just a little /easier/ for the shakes to
go down when Dazai is holding him.

It isn't easy. For Chuuya, his symptoms have always been a very /private/ thing. He's the sort of person that prefers to lick his wounds in solitude.

But having the freedom to clutch Dazai's arms as he buries his face in his shirt, listening
to the sound of his breathing as he waits for his own to even out.

It isn't exactly /ideal/ for Chuuya's first week with a /real/ boyfriend.

Given the fact that Shirase had a /girlfriend/ the entire time, Chuuya refuses to think that he /counts/, and he was only with Michizou
for a few /weeks/ before the guy figured out Chuuya was /definitely/ into his roommate, so--

He would count this as his first /real/ relationship, and he's spent the beginning of it being poked and prodded in a hospital.

Not /that/ romantic.

But the /last/ night before Chuuya
leaves the hospital is, by far, the best night he's ever spent in one.

"First of all," Dazai smiles, dropping down on the edge of Chuuya's hospital bed, "I want to thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule for me--"

Chuuya rolls his eyes so hard, it feels like
they might pop out of his head. "Don't be an /ass./"

"I would /never/," his boyfriend snorts, bumping Chuuya's knee with his. "But what's with that face?" He murmurs, reaching over to poke the redhead's cheek gently, and Chuuya sighs.

"You don't have to put yourself on house
arrest /with me/, you know." Chuuya mutters, pulling one leg up underneath him.

Dazai quirks an eyebrow at him. "What do you mean?"

"Just that I'll understand if you don't want to be trapped inside with me all the time?" Chuuya stars down at his feet. "I know it isn't exacatly

Dazai stares at him, thinking that over. He thinks it's a /lot/ more fun than he would be having at school--or out with his friends--because generally, being with Chuuya? That's when he's the happiest.

But that's just a /little/ too sappy for him to admit,
and he has /absolutely/ met his limits for emotional confessions after their encounter in the storm the week before--so he opts for something a little less /direct./

"You think you can't have fun in a hospital?"

Chuuya raises an eyebrow. "I kind of grew up in them--"

waggles his eyebrows at him, "You /forget/, chibi--so did I."

Two /vastly/ different experiences, but Chuuya sort of /can/ imagine how boring it must have been, getting stranded in hospital hallways as a little kid because your home life was /that/ chaotic and your father was
working constantly...

Well, Chuuya can imagine he spent a /lot/ of time here.

"And did you discover more exciting things to do?" Chuuya asks dryly, two which Dazai responds with this /impish/ smile that makes the redhead's stomach flutter with butterflies.

"As a matter of
fact," Dazai stands up, offering Chuuya his hand, "I /did./"

Hospital hallways are relatively /empty/ during the low points of a shift--and on this /particular/ floor, which typically only caters to VIP long term care patients, it's practically deserted.

Chuuya crosses his arms
over his chest, his head cocked to the side, and while /he/ thinks the hospital issued pants and t-shirt are /hideous/, Dazai finds the way the oversized neckline slips off of his shoulder /so/ endearing. "This is /so/ dumb."

Dazai snorts, kicking off his shoes, letting them
rest against the wall. "It honestly just sounds like the chibi is scared that he'll /trip./"

Chuuya gives him a look. "I'm graceful, alright?"

Dazai can't stop himself from smiling, "/Graceful?/"

"Like a damn gazelle!" Chuuya snaps.

"Methinks the lady doth protest too much."
Dazai sighs, and before Chuuya can grumble about who he's calling a /damn lady/, Dazai steps forward. "The key is to get a running start--" he takes too /big leaps/, "--land and twist to the side--" he does so, holding his arms out to balance himself--

And then he performs an
/impressive/ sock slide, one that takes him /halfway/ down the hallway, before turning around and performing a small bow. "Like /so./"

And Chuuya has to admit. It sounded /so/ dumb when Dazai explained it to him, but...

It actually /does/ look kind of fun.

"I'm not sure if I'm
even /allowed/," Chuuya starts, only for Dazai to give him a /look/, because it's a pretty weak excuse.

"If you're worried about falling on your ass, I get it--"

"I'm /not/--"

"Then /go on/, my little gazelle."

"Oh my god, you're /so/ annoying!"

Chuuya complains, but the way
Dazai needles him is really enough to push him to take a few quick steps, jumping and twisting before he goes sliding across the tile floors in his socks--and while it /looked/ easy when Dazai did it, it's actually /surprisingly/ difficult to keep his balance, which results in
a lot of Chuuya pinwheeling his arms, flailing, and by the time he ends up slamming into Dazai's chest as his boyfriend catches him, he's /laughing./

Not just a little, but genuine, unforced laughter at how /stupid/ it is, but--it's also /fun./

And Chuuya can't really remember
the last time he had /fun/ like this.

Just stupid, unabashed /idiocy/ of sock sliding up and down a hallway at /eighteen years old/, which eventually turns into a competition of who can slide the furthest, and /that/ eventually ends up with them bumping into each other and
tumbling down to the floor, and Dazai braces them with his own body, landing with Chuuya on top of his chest, the redhead /still/ cackling as he presses himself up on his elbows, "If you broke your back, you /deserve it/--"

"I did not!" Dazai protests, laughing /with him/,
because Chuuya is one of the /only/ people where he can really still /act/ his age and /feel/ like he's still a kid. "Honestly, it sounds like you /want/ me to get maimed--"

"Nope," Chuuya pops his lips slightly on the 'p', leaning forward to capture Dazai's mouth with a
lingering, playful kiss that has Dazai wrapping one arm around his back, leaning into it. "I like you better fully intact."

"Well," Dazai smiles a little against his mouth, sitting up with Chuuya now resting in his lap on the floor, wrapping one arm around the brunette's neck so
he doesn't fall backwards, "that's a /relief/, I was starting to feel a little worried." He kisses Chuuya again, lingering until the redhead relaxes slightly against him. "Does it seem like I'm bored /now?/"

Chuuya's lips twitch underneath his. "I can admit that it's a creative
way to pass the time, but it's not like I can have sock slide races all the time, otherwise I wouldn't be in the /hospital./"

Dazai considers that one, leaning his head back so he can look at him. "Okay, I'll cave--" he tilts his head, staring up at Chuuya quizzically. "If you
weren’t in the hospital, what would we be doing instead?”

“...” Chuuya stares at him for a minute before glancing away. “Does that matter?”

Daza frowns a little, leaning forward until his face bumps against the side of Chuuya’s neck. “I think it does.”

Chuuya is a little
reluctant to admit it, because in the grand scheme of more /serious/ problems, it feels like a /small/ thing to be sad about. “...Going on dates, I guess?” Chuuya mumbles, feeling a little juvenile.

He and Shirase never went on those, because they would have been /public./ And
with Tachihara, his work schedule was always so crazy, they never really did anything /like/ that, so—

He’s never really been on one before. And now it feels like, if surgery doesn’t go well, he might not ever /get to./

Dazai thinks it over for a long moment, and while Chuuya
was expecting something along the lines of, ‘It’s not forever, we can go on dates when you’re better, blah blah blah—‘ he gets—

“Who said that you can’t have a date in a hospital?”

Chuuya pauses, a little bamboozled by that question. “Because...they aren’t romantic?”

“That’s a
flagrant misconception," Dazai cuts him off, sounding a lot more confident than he might /feel/, because his experience is limited exclusively towards taking Yuan on a /fake/ date--but effort has to count for /something/, right? He glances down at his watch, and Chuuya is in
disbelief, "Dazai, you're not actually--?"

He's cut off when Dazai leans in to kiss him again, eyes fluttering shut as he exhales slowly through his nose, sinking into it. There's something about the feeling of Dazai against him, the solid warmth of him, the feeling of his
hair underneath Chuuya's fingers. He isn't sure /when/ he started feeling so at /home/ in his arms, but now--it's one of the only places where Chuuya actually feels /relaxed./

And when he does pull back, Dazai is smiling just a little. "How does seven sound?"

"But we can't /go/
anywhere--" Chuuya stars, only to be silence with /another/ kiss, before Dazai pulls them both to their feet.

"For someone who ran an underground panini business in their dorm room, you have a /very/ limited imagination in this situation."

"It wasn't a /business/, for the love
of--" Chuuya doesn't really get the chance to finish it before Dazai is striding off down the hallway. "...Where are you going?"

"Going off to get ready for my /very romantic/ and /very exciting/ date." Dazai sing songs over his shoulder.

"You're a /pain!/"

"You love me!"
Chuuya makes no attempt to argue with that, because he /does./

Even /more/, right now, even though he wishes Dazai wouldn't go through all of the effort to make it seem like none of this /bothers/ him. Because there's /no way/ that it doesn't.

Honestly, it's something Chuuya
finds himself worrying about /more./

He /knows/ that Dazai loves him. He can't really /doubt/ that after everything they've said to one another.


He glances at his reflection in the mirror when he goes to wash up in the bathroom attached to his hospital room, and...
He looks better than he did a week ago in /some/ ways. The color is coming back to his cheeks, the dark circles aren't under his eyes anymore, but...

The baggy clothes, the hospital bracelet, the /stupid/ fucking slippers because they won't give him /real/ shoes--

doesn't /feel/ attractive. At /all./ And it's conflicting, because he used to feel so /confident/ about the way he looked, and then, somewhere down the line...

He started viewing his body as the /enemy/, and he /resented/ it.

That didn't really change until he started sleeping
with Dazai. The /way/ he would talk to Chuuya, look at him, touch him, it made him feel /desirable./

But he doesn't see how that could /possibly/ be the case now.

And he isn't sure, after /everything/ Dazai knows, how they're going to get back to that.

But, somehow, they do.
Dazai is gone for a total of /three hours/, long enough for Chuuya to come up with /countless/ reasons for why this is going to be /stupid/, that Dazai is just trying to /pretend/ this is normal when it really /isn't/--

And then, Dazai picks him up at seven.

"Picking him up" is
a loose way of phrasing it. He shows up by Chuuya's door, knocking on the frame, "Ready to go?"

Chuuya glances up, swinging his legs over the side of his bed. "Go where? The cafeteria?"

"You know I'm not going to be /deterred/ by the pessimism, so you might as well give up."
Chuuya grumbles under his breath, and it doesn't /help/ that Dazai looks so /good/, wearing fitted jeans and a dark button down, his hair tucked behind one ear--and Chuuya feels like a frumpy /slob./

But he still links arms with him, allowing himself to be led down the hallway.
"So," Dazai starts, leading him into the elevator, "two things I want to start off with--"

Chuuya leans his head back, raising an eyebrow, "What?"

"First of all," Dazai holds up a finger, "this is /my/ first date too--"

"But what about with Yuan?"

Dazai rolls his eyes. "That
does /not/ count, it was practice."

Chuuya rolls his eyes, unwilling to admit just how /bad/ he felt when he saw them together, and it sure /felt/ like it counted. "What else?"

"I have /no idea/ what a date between two guys is supposed to look like," Dazai punches the button to
the lobby, "so, if you don't like it--let me know." He says it with so much /confidence/, like this isn't a weird, vulnerable situation, and Chuuya doesn't get how he can /be/ like that.

"For someone who was just hyping up how hospitals can be romantic--"

"Hey, I'm just saying
that if it goes wrong it's on /me/, not the setting," Dazai snorts, "so /manage your expectations./"

Chuuya would wish later, that Dazai hadn't lowered them. It would have made the rest of it a little easier to /see coming./

"Now," they step into the main lobby, Dazai's arm
looped around his, "according to my extensive research--"


"I watched like, one romantic comedy three years ago--" Dazai explains, like that's the same as a degree in the subject, "--and this first part is /probably/ cheating, but it's within one thousand feet so it
/counts./" They walk towards the doors, and Chuuya is /already/ hesitant, remembering what happened when they went out /last time/, and that a press gaggle has pretty much been camped outside of the hospital exits for /days./


"Relax," Dazai's arm shifts to wrap around
his waist, leading him towards the exit. "You know, when I first left for school, I actually /declined/ having a security detail..." When they step out, Chuuya can actually see the fact that the /entire area/ has been cleared. "But now I see the appeal."

Honestly, Chuuya
never really understood the fact that Dazai was on the level of fame where he needed /security./ His grandfather? Sure. But the /entire/ family?

Sure, that had become more evident in the last week, but it hasn’t really /sunk in./

In any case, it /is/ helpful, because it allows
them to do something that /sounds/ so simple, but it really isn’t.

Taking a walk in the park.

Which Chuuya really has started thinking of as the /scene of the crime./

They’re reaching the peak of Sakura season, and as a result, under the setting sun—it really /is/ beautiful.
The gently falling Sakura blossoms drifting through the air like snow, golden rays of sun drifting in between them. The weather is mild, and the breeze feels /warm/ against Chuuya's face.

It's /nice./

"Did you have a lot of security growing up?" Chuuya asks curiously, his chest
distinctively /warm/ when Dazai threads their fingers together.

Dazai is quiet for a moment, and Chuuya wonders if he actually /wanted/ to talk about it, since Dazai never /really/ talks much about his family, or his life before college, but--

"Yes, and no."

Chuuya turns his
head to look at him, but Dazai is staring straight ahead. "How can it be both?"

"Well, going from one place to another--it was intense. Back when Ojiisan was still in office, I had to be escorted in and out pretty much anytime I went into a building."


Dazai looks back
at him, struggling to find the words that make it into something /smaller/ than it is, because he doesn't want to get into it right /now./ "Well--as soon as I was /inside/, the security went away."

Chuuya raises an eyebrow, assuming Dazai is referring to when he was in class, or
when he was at home--he doesn't /know/--

"Was that a big problem?"

When Dazai remembers the things that happened when he was home behind closed doors, with security guards waiting /outside/, he wonders if it might have been.

"..Probably not," he responds lightly. "But I think
the /real/ question here, is did they have to use security to stop you from sneaking out of hospitals?"

Chuuya's lips turn down into a slightly guilty frown. "...After the third time."

"I /knew/ it--"

"It's not the same as like, sneaking out of the house or something! I would
just go out and meet up with friends, or go the arcade..." Chuuya trails off, admitting offhandedly, "Actually, the first time I /actually/ snuck out of somewhere was when you visited me in Paris."

Dazai blinks, turning to look at him with surprise. "...You /snuck out?/"

stares back at him, confused by why /Dazai/ would think that was weird. "...Yeah? You called me after midnight. My Dad wasn't gonna let me--"

"You're eighteen." Dazai points out, raising an eyebrow, and Chuuya's face heats up, because it /does/ sound a little silly now.
"...I know that," Chuuya grumbles, crossing his arms over his chest. "I just didn't want to deal with him asking questions or having to argue with him about it, so I just climbed down the window and jumped the wall--"

"You /what?/" Dazai's a little floored by that one, and the
redhead feels a little defensive.

"Look, it wasn't /that/ big of a wall, and I felt pretty badass--"

"But you would rather risk dropping /dead/ from the exertion than just deal with telling your Dad that you wanted to meet a friend late at night?"

"You haven't had to /deal/
with him, alright? Chuuya mutters, "He's /ridiculous./"

"He cares."

"Oh, don't take /his/ side," Chuuya grumbles, and Dazai can't /help it./ Waiting by your loved one's bedside with someone for ten hours, waiting for them to wake up after a near death experience?

You bond.
"He kind of /does/ have good reason to worry--"

"Oh?" Chuuya reaches into his pocket, pulling out his phone, "You better be glad we lived in the /same room/ when we were sleeping together then."


Chuuya holds up the tracking app. "Because do you know what happened when
I went over to Shirase's dorm? Him calling me in the /middle/ of us doing stuff, because he wanted to know why I wasn't in /my room sleeping./"

Dazai pauses, trying to work with /conflicting/ emotions. "Oh /no./"


"You're expecting me to be upset that your Dad
cockblocked you with your shitty ex?"

"Okay, but you're /not/ gonna like it when it happens when I'm /with you./" Chuuya counters, and Dazai shrugs.

"We'll cross that bridge when we come to it. Why don't you just delete the app?"

"Because he /bought my phone./"

"Did he say
that he was going to take it back if you didn't install it?"

"Well, /no/," Chuuya mumbles with a frown. "It was kind of /implied?/ He was begging a lot--"

"I could buy you a phone."


Dazai snorts, like that's bizarre, that Chuuya wouldn't /want/ him to. "Why not?"
"Because they're /expensive?/"



Dazai stops, turning to look at him. "Think about that again."

Chuuya does, slowly turning over what he just said in his head, and his face darkens. "Well, /I/ think it's expensive. And you're missing the point--"
They spend the rest of the walk doing that, and Chuuya has to admit, it isn't a /terrible/ idea for a date, even if it technically doesn't count as having one in the hospital--and when they start walking back, he assumes that'll be the end of it.

But /no/, it isn't.

He stops
walking when they get towards the exit of the park, staring at the set up that wasn't /there/ when they left--

A table, chairs, and...

Chuuya looks over at Dazai, who holds his hands up, like he's about to repel criticism. "It wasn't /that/ much more expensive than Uber Eats."
It's basically like a small restaurant set up that someone put together in less than twenty minutes in a /public park/ next to a /hospital/ with a /waiter/ on standby, but--

/Sure/, it's just like Uber Eats.

Chuuya gives him an /incredulous/ look as they sit down. "How did
you do this?"

Dazai waves him off, pushing his chair in, and Chuuya feels a /little/ weird about it, but Dazai /did/ mention he didn't know how it was between two guys, and--

Chuuya actually kind of /likes/ it? So, he elects not to say anything.

"I don't know. Don't people
go to restaurants when they do this sort of thing?"

"..." Chuuya stares at him, tilting his head to the side, and he realizes, Dazai doesn't /actually/ think he's done anything that excessive, he /really is/ just trying to project a normal date. "Well--yeah? Doesn't everyone
know that?"

Dazai shrugs, "I wouldn't know--my parents never went on dates."

Chuuya raises an eyebrow, wanting to question /that/ dynamic, but then their food comes--and /yes/, the waiter /does/ go through the normal process of bringing it out in courses, topping off their
drinks, and if it wasn't for the heart monitor around his neck or the medical bracelet around his wrist--Chuuya would maybe /forget/ where they were.

And being with Dazai like this--it's /easy./ It doesn't feel like a /new/ relationship. To some degree, they both arleady know
how to deal with one another. Dazai knows how to make him /laugh/, or how to irritate him enough to change the subject--and Chuuya can see when the teasing behind Dazai's eyes becomes just disingenuous enough that he needs to side step to something a little /lighter./

But, they
are doing something /new./

They're /actually/ talking.

Chuuya is telling him more about growing up in Paris, that his life was like /before/ he was sick--his sister and her girlfriend, what his extended family is like.

And Dazai actually /is/ opening up too, in smaller ways.
Chuuya learns that he broke his leg once when he was in elementary school, then his arm when he was in high school. He founds out where the little scar just beneath Dazai's lip came from.

"You got in a /fist fight?/" Chuuya asks incredulously. Not that he's particularly appalled
by the violent aspect--

The /one/ time someone tried to bully Chuuya in school, he shoved them into a river. How /could/ he be?

But it's just weird to imagine /Dazai/ doing that. He's always had a smart mouth--but that /is/ his weapon of Choice. /Words./

"I've actually been in
quite a few," Dazai mutters, rubbing the spot just underneath the corner of his mouth, looking back on it. "I'm surprisingly scrappy--that was the one time anyone ever got me in the face hard enough to leave a scar."

"What /happened?/"

Dazai doesn't look particularly /proud/ of
this one. "Remember when I kissed you the first time?"

Chuuya doesn't know /how/ he feels about it--it's a pretty conflicting memory--but he nods. "Mostly."

"Do you remember how I asked you if you had a boyfriend?"


Dazai smiles thinly. "I learned to ask that first
the hard way."


Dazai had been seventeen, not /drunk/, but tipsy enough to be /vindictive/, and not properly apologetic when the truth came to light.

"Well," Chuuya reaches over, brushing his thumb over Dazai's jaw, up and over the scar, "I'm not complaining."

leans into his touch, even if he's /whining./ "/You/ weren't the one who had your face ripped open--"

"Don't be dramatic," Chuuya snorts, bringing the rest of his hand in to cup Dazai's cheek, "Did you even need stitches?"

Dazai /sniffs./ "/Two./"

Chuuya /gasps/, "The horror!"
"Okay /look/," Dazai grumbles, still leaning into Chuuya's hand like a touch starved puppy, even while he acts like he's being /horribly/ mistreated, "my /Dad/ did the suture and he did it at /home/ and I didn't get painkillers, it /hurt./"

"I believe you," Chuuya replies, /oh/
so seriously, "/poor thing./"

"I am," Dazai sighs contently, "I /really am./ Honestly, she said it was her first orgasm, so he really should have been shaking my hand--"

And /now/ Chuuya is slapping him. Not a /real/ slap, but the softer kind that makes Dazai /grin/, whipping
his head to the side with a little more /drama/ than the force of it requires. "Was that because you were being /jealous/ or because I was being /precocious?/"

"That's one way of saying that you're an /ass./"

"We /both/ know you kinda like it." Chuuya retracts his hand,
sniffing haughtily.

"Do I?"

Dazai leans in after him, leaning one elbow on the able as their faces get close. "Yep," he reaches over, tucking Chuuya's bangs behind his ear in a smooth, assured way that always manages to give the redhead /goosebumps./ "Because it gives you the
opportunity to slap me," Dazai smiles, his thumb stroking down the side of Chuuya's neck, over the choker, like he just /knows/ the little heart monitor inside is going /crazy./

"You think I /like/ slapping you?"

"I think you're a /brat./"

Chuuya /wants/ to complain about how
it's unfair for Dazai to call him that right now when he can't even /do/ anything about it, because whether he likes it or not--and he's pretty sure Dazai developed that association on /purpose/--

It /does things to him/ when Dazai calls him that.

"This is what I get for trying
to say I /liked/ your scar," Chuuya sighs long sufferingly. "And you wonder why I'm stingy with the compliments..."

"I thought it was because you didn't want my self esteem to get too high--"

"Oh, /shut up/--"

"Always /dragging me down/--"

It might /sound/ like an argument to
someone else, but they're smiling, and they're /laughing./

And Chuuya is already to qualify it as an /excellent/ date, leaning against Dazai contently when they walk back inside--

But they still aren't /done./

When they get back to the elevator--Dazai doesn't hit the button to
the floor to Chuuya's room.

He punches the button to the /top/ floor, leading to the roof.

Chuuya stares at the lit up numbers as the elevator rises, poking Dazai's arm, "If you /actually/ called a sky writer this time--"

"/Relax/, I didn't go /that/ far."

Except he kind of
/did/, just not in the same /way./

The elevator doors open, leading out into a small hallway, then a short flight of stairs to the doors that open up to the roof, and when they step out...

Chuuya's jaw is slack. "/Huh?/"

Dazai blinks, staring at him like this is just the
obvious next step in the generic date blueprint. "Isn't dinner and a movie the most basic thing?"

"..." Chuuya stares a the set up, where a /big/ movie screen and a projector have already been set up, along with an entire /sectional/--Chuuya doesn't even want to /think/ about
how much Dazai had to pay someone to /move that thing/ up here, but...

He’s mostly blown away by how /sweet/ it is, coming from someone who has constantly insisted that he isn’t /capable/ of that sort of thing. “Yeah,” he admits weakly, “it is.”

He allows himself to get tugged
over to sit down, pulled against Dazai’s side as a bucket of popcorn /miraculously/ appears, and Chuuya...

His head rests against Dazai’s chest as the projector flickers to life.

No one has /ever/ done something like this for him before.

“What movie are we watching?”
“Oh...” Dazai shrugs, hugging one arm around him tighter as the images start to flicker up on the screen, the sound turning on. “I figured since you were always giving me shit about not watching any Miyazaki movies—“

Chuuya’s /entire face/ lights up, and Dazai has /no regrets./
They end up watching the same way they would in the dorm bed, with Chuuya sitting between Dazai's legs and leaning back against his chest, even if they /technically/ have an entire couch.

Dazai leans his chin on top of Chuuya's head, asks questions about the parts he doesn't
understand--but more often than not, it's Chuuya excitedly telling him little bits about the movie's production, or /why/ a character was designed a certain way, or how many hours it took them to animate a particular frame.

"You know /a lot/ about this one," Dazai comments,
raising an eyebrow. And he can't even /blame/ Chuuya, because it /is/ a beautiful film--and interesting, in it's own way.

"Spirited Away was kind of my first Miyazaki movie," Chuuya explains before taking on, "Well, it's /most/ people's first Miyazaki--but it was the first movie
that made me realize I wanted to be an artist." He points to the screen, "I just fell in love with the colors, the way everything could feel so light and fluid, but realistic at the same time, and..."

He trails off, and Dazai raises an eyebrow. "And?"

"...And I had a /huge/
crush on Haku." Chuuya admits, not even a /little/ embarrassed. "I didn't really get over it until I was thirteen."

"And you saw this movie when you were little?"

"Yeah," Chuuya sighs, "It was intense."

Intense enough that his /entire/ childhood deviantart page was just
/really bad/ Haku/Chuuya fanart. But Dazai doesn't /need/ to know that, and Chuuya has locked down that page so hard since middle school that it can /basically/ only be found by the FBI.

And even then, they'd probably have to torture him for the password.

A /lot./

But Dazai
doesn't know that Chuuya is reliving that, "Should I feel threatened? That's like, your longest relationship--"

"He's forever frozen in his early teenage years," Chuuya snorts, leaning back to bump his head against Dazai's chest.

"But if he /wasn't?/"

"Yeah no, you'd be out."
Dazai laughs next to his ear, his arms tightening around his middle, "So, that sealed the deal on the movie for you?"

"Oh, no--" Chuuya shakes his head, eating another handful of popcorn, "That was No Face."

Dazai blinks, staring at the character as he flashes across the screen
"...But he's /creepy./"

Chuuya nods, "Oh, I used to be /terrified/ of him the first time I watched the movie. But then I watched it again, and again, and /again/, and then...I felt bad for him. Then, when I got older, I thought he was the most interesting."

"You felt /bad/?"
Chuuya nods, "I mean--the poor guy was really just /lonely/, but he didn't know how to communicate with anyone. And..."

Dazai can imagine thirteen-year-old Chuuya, curled up in a hospital bed, watching all the other kids go out and live their lives while he was trapped /inside./
"I don't know, I just sort of understood it," Chuuya shrugs. "And I was him /three years in a row/ for Halloween when I was in elementary school." He smiles faintly at the memory, fighting back laughter. "I scared the /shit/ out of my neighbors."

Dazai /snorts./ "How?"

Chuuya squints, and Dazai's heart skips /every time/ he does that, because it always brings emphasis to the freckles across the bridge of his nose, "I was /in character./"


"I did the running thing--"

And now Dazai is /cackling./

"It's not /that funny!/"

"What kind
of demented little kid /were you?/"

"I had an /active imagination!/" Chuuya protests. "Look, my point was that they're /friends/ by the end and it's /sweet/--stop laughing!"

"It's--" Dazai chokes, pressing his face into Chuuya's hair, "--it's /very sweet./"

Chuuya /huffs./
By the end of the credits the sun has long since set, and Chuuya is relaxing comfortably against his chest, his legs stretched out across the couch while Dazai holds him close, one arm around his back while he strokes his hair. "You know what?"


"I actually /liked/ that."
Chuuya lifts his head to get a better look at him, and his smile is so /genuinely pleased/, that it's contagious, and Dazai finds himself smiling back at him without a /hint/ of sarcasm. "Yeah?"


"We should watch Howl's Moving Castle next time."

"Next time?"

"You can't
just watch /one/ Ghibli movie," Chuuya explains seriously. "Not if you're dating me."

/That/ little addition makes Dazai smile wider, and even if it's /way/ too cheesy to say--

He can't help but internally tell himself that it's /very/ worth it.

"Is this your gateway into
getting me into nerdy stuff?"

"Who said I was a nerd?" Chuuya protests.

Of course, he /is/, but he hasn't even done /any/ of his nerdiest shit around Dazai, so how he /already/ senses it is concerning--

"You made me wake you up at seven a.m. so you wouldn't miss the launch of
the new line of Sailor Moon merch back in February."

Chuuya pauses. Well. That is actually pretty nerdy.

But not /as/ nerdy as some of the other stuff he's into--but that's something they can /ease/ into. Hell, at this point it's not like Dazai is ever going to want to
sleep with him again anyway, so he might as well stop stressing about whether or not his boyfriend knows about his hobbies. "We'll just have to wait and see."

They spend a few more minutes curled up together, whispering back and forth in the starlight, exchanging soft, lingering
kisses--and Chuuya thinks it's a pretty fitting end to a date--a damn near /perfect/ date--in a hospital.

They make their way back to his room slowly--not because it's actually /that/ late, it's just half past ten, but Chuuya gets tired /so/ early these days.

"So," Dazai hums,
one arm firm slung around his shoulders as they walk down the hall, "Have I proved my point?"

Chuuya gives him a lopsided, reluctant smile, shaking his head, "I mean--you proved with enough money, you can make pretty much anywhere romantic."

Dazai's lips twist into the same
over confident smirk that made Chuuya fall for him in the /first place./ "I /thought/ you might say that." He muses, "But the sock sliding was free."

"That was /before/ the date started."

"And walking in the park? That was free."

"Only because you had your /armed security
team/ clear out the park first!"

"Did I say they were armed?" Dazai whines, and Chuuya /stares./ "I mean, they /were/, but you shouldn't ASSUME that--" Chuuya doesn't look convinced /at all/, so Dazai smiles, ready to drop the /final/ gauntlet. "Alright--what about something
/free/, in a hospital, during a date?"

Chuuya raises an eyebrow at him, tugging the door to his room open. "I thought the date was over?"

Dazai shakes his head, "Not /quite./"

The door shuts behind them and Chuuya glances around, half expecting to see Dazai had someone bring
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