when dazai leaves the port mafia, chuuya misses him.

not, of course, his personality — he was far too annoying and far too manipulative for that, and thinking about him as a person makes chuuya's mind go uncomfortably frozen, blank, laden with history.

but the one thing+
+chuuya does miss, is dazai's ability.

when when they were around seventeen, something about the space between them seemed to have distorted, which often resulted in them laying in bed together on days off, dazai's fingers brushing against chuuya's skin.

the tangled mass +
+ of thoughts and emotions that chuuya didn't have the time or the will to tease apart at the time remained where it was — in the back of his mind — but chuuya couldn't, and can't deny the fact that something about the brush of dazai's skin against his own quieted the incessant+
+ throbbing against the walls of his mind, the screaming that seems to go on and on and on, forcing chuuya's personality into a small box that only seems to get smaller unless he fights it.

it was addictive, and for some reason dazai thought so too, and their saturday nights +
+ warmed them from beneath quilts, chuuya's thigh pressing against dazai's.

he doesn't want to think on what that made him feel.

and when dazai left, the box around chuuya seemed to become barbed, like the god trapped in his body caught the way his rage flowed free before +
+ he did.

bad nights became worse, and chuuya would clutch onto his pillow to the point of ripping it, desperately willing it to radiate the calming waves of no longer human before he's finally crushed by the weight of his own being.

he doesn't remember it being this +
+ bad before the mafia took him in, before he felt the first touch of no longer human on the side of his neck, right near his shoulder, but something seemed to have snapped in him ever since he confronted verlaine, ever since he let his demons loose for the first time, and +
+ it seemed like that now that the god had a taste of freedom after years of being trapped, it wouldn't let go of it.

and after all those months of being suppressed by dazai's ability (all too often, chuuya thinks, squeezing his eyes shut to mask the annoying, increasingly +
+ common feeling of tears prickling at them, threatening to spill) the god seemed to have decided that it's finally time for it to take its revenge on its host.

the thick, luxurious blanket is up to chuuya's eyes every night in a vain, pathetic (as he thinks to himself) +
+ attempt to ward off the shadows on the wall that grace him as he fails to sleep.

its become routine for him to place his phone as far away from his bed as possible, and he's grateful for his own foresight on bad nights — on nights where the only thought in his head is that +
he wants the screaming to stop, he wants the throbbing to /stop/.

he loses sleep, of course, because his mind doesn't leave space for it. because his head is so damn /loud/ all the time and the only way available to him to get it to quiet down, just a bit, is a few glasses of +
+ wine that are obviously rather hopeless against a calamity god. they're worth the try either way, and the messages that chuuya sends when he /does/ get a hold of his phone are things for him to not want to look at in the morning, his eyes avoiding the contact name like looking+
+ away from the inevitable.

one day, as chuuya sits at his desk at work awaiting a meeting with not much enthusiasm, he wonders if dazai died after all, and he wonders why the bastard didn't just rip the bandaid off by letting his body be found instead of leaving chuuya with +
+ a double affliction of uncertainty /and/ the incurable and now inescapable screaming that tells him to destroy, destroy, destroy.

mafia life has that covered. chuuya hears the whispers of how he's only /half/ of double black now, an empty husk of what the combination used to +
+ be, and something about it makes him /angry/, angrier than he normally would be in such a situation. his missions are soaked in blood more often than not, his kill count soon soaring to be one of the highest in the mafia.
"chuuya-kun, take a seat."

it's evening, around a month after dazai's disappearance, when the boss of the port mafia calls chuuya up to his office. he goes in ready to be given another mission, though weary from the combat ones he's been sent on all week with no break. chuuya +
+ takes pride in this, though. if nothing else, he’s the mafia's fail-safe, their weapon of mass destruction and he'll go all out how many times his boss, and the city requires it of him.

this time's different, though. the look in mori's eyes — and the fact that he's being +
+ asked to sit down when he's usually given briefs and deployed as quickly as possible — tips chuuya off on this, and his educated guesses tell him that he'll most likely need to raid his wine cabinet after this meeting.

when mori speaks, chuuya's proven right. +
"dazai-kun's been missing for a month."

chuuya lets the words fall like an executioner's blade. he doesn’t think he's heard anyone say dazai's name to him for two weeks now — they've all learned, from something that flashes in chuuya's eyes, not to bring him up, or to watch the+
+ reflections from his knife hit the nearest surface as he tosses it up in the air.

chuuya waits for mori to elaborate, not trusting himself to say anything in response. he doesn't go unnoticed, but mori's reaction is limited to a slightly raised eyebrow beforw he continues +
+ speaking.

"the mafia's functions are optimal when there are at least four executives. as you know, dazai-kun cannot fill the spot."

if he ever allowed himself the space to imagine this moment, this is /not/ how he imagined it to go — a choked voice that he can’t trust to +
+ come out strong, a /replacement/.

mori, evidently, is waiting for a response from him.

"yes, boss," he says carefully as deep red eyes seem to look inside his head and all its parts.

mori smiles, his expression jagged.

"congratulations, chuuya-kun. i hope you won't +
+ disappoint me."

"thank you, boss," chuuya says, swallowing and hoping mori hasn't heard the waver in his voice.

he has.

it seems like there are two parallel conversations in the room, at this point.

/do you think you can be better than dazai-kun?/

/never. but i can +
+ complete what he started — or try to./

/(laughter, mocking and genuinely amused). do you really think so?/

/it hurts. it /hurts//

"you'll receive your first mission as executive within the hour. dismissed."

"yes, boss."

chuuya doesn't hide his pain — there's no use for +
+ it. vulnerability is something that chuuya's made his peace with long ago out of necessity, and even more so once he joined the mafia and his very life was placed in the hands of his partner — something that he saw as an unavoidable mistake then and an open wound now, one +
+ that refuses to close.

his first mission, as promised, arrives around an hour later. its simple but tedious, an order to wipe out every trace of a rival gang that's been targeting the mafia's latest weapons shipment. they're considered particularly formidable, a group with +
+ a decent number of strong ability users and relatively skilled non-users alike. it should've been no big deal for chuuya and the squad he took out to manage the situation, but the screaming in his head has only gotten worse over the course of the evening, and something +
+ about the meeting with mori seems to have pushed the demon inside of him off the deep end.

blood paints the walls and the gang is utterly obliterated, dead bodies strewn all over that section of the port, their blood glittering in the moonlight and chuuya's slumped against +
+ a wall, breathing hard, his subordinates watching him wide-eyed.

one of them steps forward looking unsure — frightened, even, their eyes darting backwards to where the rest of the squad stands, taking a few seconds to catch their breath before disappearing into the night. +
+ chuuya can't blame them for being scared — his mind is wrapped in on itself like a cocoon growing ever tighter and he, too, is chilled to the bone, reduced to a spectre crouched in the corner of a room, shaking, by the parts of himself that he doesn't see.

"sir," they say, +
+ gulping nervously.

weariness clouds chuuya's vision.


"...part of the ship has been damaged, sir."

the icing on the cake.

it's around 1am now, and chuuya is in desperate need of a drink. he pinches the bridge of his nose and sighs.

"fuck," he pronounces, squeezing+
+ his eyes shut. "i'll deal with it. don't worry about it."

"alright, sir."

"carry on," he adds, feeling like his head is about to split open. "i'll be right behind ya."

he ducks behind a building, clutching his aching shoulder — a bullet injury, one of the ability users +
+ happened to be a mean shot as well — and somehow manages to get himself on top of one of the taller buildings in the area using his ability, a place where law enforcement wouldn’t be able to find him.

he supervises the cleanup crew do their job, trying to breathe as wave +
+ after wave of nausea overcomes him, his headache worsening and the scenery with the full moon light deceptively calm.

he's dealt with worse pain — and worse mental states — before, so this doesn't hinder his functioning as much as it potentially could, but his phone lies +
+ heavy in his pocket as he waits to collect his thoughts enough to report his first ever mission completed as an executive as one that he fucked up.

he lights a cigarette, trying to concentrate on his breaths as he watches the bodies being dragged away and the mess he's made +
+ of the ship being patched up, and makes a mental note to double the paychecks of today's cleanup.

an hour later, he finds himself sitting on his bed in his boxers, arm dressed in gauze he wound himself after getting the bullet out deftly from years of practice far too young. +
+ a glass of wine sits in his hand, half finished, and tears of pain and exhaustion lay drying on his cheeks.

the trip back from the site to his bathroom (to remove the bullet and stitch the wound up) and then to his bed is blurry in his memory, all the more for the +
+ memory of who /used/ to do these things for him, and who he used to talk away from ledges in turn, whom he used to hold in his arms after nights like this.

there it is, that feeling of wanting, desperately, to get out of his skin.

it's a beautiful summer night, and chuuya +
+ belatedly remembers that it's his nineteenth birthday.

/happy fucking birthday to me./

he drains his glass, hits send on the report he's written up on the now-blurry screen of his phone, and falls into bed, waiting for a sleep that feels more like being awake in a different +
+ realm.

when he wakes up, the first text in his message app is to the person whose name he /least/ wants to see right now.


"mission report

i fucked up i fjvked uo i fgjr up mckrel whre th fucj arw you"

[seen, 4:57am]


chuuya hears the sound of his phone hitting the +
+ bedpost.

his next mission, he's given with knowing red eyes that are apologetic in the worst way.

/i'm sorry you have to do this. i'm sorry the job couldn't be given to someone better than you./

chuuya works through his building fever to escape those eyes, and his missions +
[we are taking a small break to announce to the few readers following this that i will b dealing with toxic relationships in this thread, specifically morichuu so if u want to step back now is ur chance please take care of urself ily all thank u♡]
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