Gakuen AU where Dazai is on the run after shoplifting, and he figures the best way to hide is in plain sight—so, he when he catches sight of a beautiful redhead, he stops and kisses her, only to realize two things:

1) Not a /girl./

2) He’s the new transfer student, Nakahara.
you don't get to /flinch away from me/ and act /pathetic/ to try to make me /feel bad/ every time I get mad at you! That isn't care--"

On some level, that seems logical, but Chuuya's mouth is struggling to catch up with his thoughts, because he's feeling /thoroughly shaken./ "I
wasn't trying to--"

"Just--" Chuuya tries to step out of reach, but Haruto is /quick/, catching his shoulders in a /bruising/ grip, pushing him up against the wall behind him. "Fucking /look at me/, Chuuya, for /fuck's sake/--"

He doesn't /want to/, and it feels like he can't
get enough /air./ "I-I--" he can't /help it/, there are a couple of tears slipping down his face, half because he's just /drowning/ in guilt, and half because he fucking /hates/ it when Haruto acts like this, because--

Chuuya is an assertive person. He might be /small/, but he's
strong, and he /knows/ how to handle himself, he's been in mixed martial arts since he could /walk./

That being said, Haruto is a /lot/ bigger, /stronger/, and he has /also/ been in martial arts since grade school. Meaning that, physically, there has /always/ been a power
imbalance between them.

Now, generally, no one /sees it that way./ Because when people /look/ at them, they see two boys. And /Chuuya/ is someone who comes off as /strong/, independent, and--

Not someone who gets like /this./

"I don't know what you want me to say--"

"Did he
--did /you let him fuck you?/"

"/No/," Chuuya chokes, shaking his head, feeling /awful/, because even though that /was/ true, it doesn't mean that Chuuya hadn't /wanted/ him to, "/No/, he didn't--"

"Then what's on your /neck?/"

Oh god.

His mind flashes back to being in that
bathroom, tilting his head to the side, Dazai's lips on his throat, and he--he /must/ have left--

Chuuya squeezes his eyes shut, swallowing hard, bracing himself. "I--we /kissed/, but--" really, he /could/ mention the grinding, but admitting that he came like /that/ when Haruto
can /barely/ make him finish when they're /actually/ having sex. "But that was /it/, and it was just because I thought--"

"So, what, you just thought you could fucking /punish/ me, is that it?" He snarls, and Chuuya shakes his head again, trying to catch his breath, but he's
/definitely/ on his way to hyperventilating. "For something I didn't even /do?/"

"I'm /sorry/, I--I should have talked to you first, I--"

Haruto gives him a rough /shake/, and the next shout is so loud, Chuuya can't stop the tears in response, "Then why /didn't you?!/"

don't know, I was just--" a sob rips out of him, shaking and ragged, "I was /stupid/, okay? I was--I was being an /idiot!/"

Haruto doesn't speak, just stares, watching the redhead breaking down underneath him, like he's trying to gauge whether or not the tears, the trembling
hands--if all of that is /sincere./

And once he deems that it /is/, he--

His lips press against Chuuya's forehead, and then, something about the tenderness of that gesture has him /shaking all over./ "I know you didn't mean it."

Now, his voice is /soft/, /gentle/, even, and
Chuuya nods, gasping for air between sobs, shaking all over, and Haruto starts 'shhing' him, pressing his lips against his hair, and instead of /pinning/ him, those arms are wrapping around him.

And it /doesn't/ feel safe, it feels like a stalemate--but /god/, Chuuya is
desperate to believe that it /does./

"I know you didn't mean it," he murmurs again, letting the redhead press his face into his chest and just /cry his eyes out./ "You upset, right? Didn't think it through."

Chuuya nods, his arms lifting up to cling to Haruto's back,
whispering that he's /sorry/, over and over, because god, he /is/, he /knows/ that he messed up, and the fact that his boyfriend would /forgive him/ like this, that makes him feel worse, like he doesn't even /deserve/ to be forgiven. "I-I wish it never happened--"

"I know," he
murmurs, kissing the top of Chuuya's head, stroking his hair. "...And nothing else happened?"

Chuuya shakes his head vehemently, and he can't even fathom how Haruto would /believe that./

He's lucky, he doesn't struggle with dysporia /as much/ as he used to, but Chuuya is /very/
hesitant about letting people he isn't /close/ to see him naked. And there are still days where, no matter /what/ he does, he /hates/ his body.

It doesn't make for the sort of person who jumps into bed with someone he /just/ met, and he would /definitely/ never have a one night

Hell, he /barely/ wanted to sleep with Haruto. Not because Chuuya doesn't /like/ or /want/ sex, he does, it's just--

The /anxiety/ he always felt when his boyfriend would put his hands up his shirt, it was /hard to get over./

"Well...I guess I made the same mistake last
fall, right?" Haruto murmurs, rubbing his hand up and down his back, urging Chuuya to relax. "So...this makes us even."

...Well, when he puts it like /that/...

Chuuya takes a slow, shaky breath, and now he can /finally/ let the air reach the bottom of his lungs, "O-Okay."
Fingers slip under his chin, tilting his face up--and Chuuya doesn't fight it when the kiss happens, hell, he's /glad/ that it does, because it means that they aren't /fighting/ anymore.

It's soft, softer than he /usually/ is, and Chuuya--

// "Whose the better kisser, me, or
your boyfriend?" //

He squeezes his eyes shut, his arms slipping up and around Haruto's neck, pulling himself closer.

And he tries to tell himself that it's /just/ as good as what he felt the night before, /better/--

(It isn't.)

It's familiar, but /rougher/, and it doesn't
take as long for him to deepen it, tugging at Chuuya's hair to tilt his head back, giving him better access.

Not /bad/, not what he /wanted/, not when his face is still /soaked/ with tears, and his heart still feels like it's about to /beat out of his chest./

But stopping it,
that would start /another/ fight, and he's too /emotionally exhausted/ for that, letting himself get pressed up against the wall again.

He's /pretty sure/ that the knee slipping between his thighs is /intended/ to get him excited, so he offers a tired little moan, even if it's
forced. And he's /relieved/ when Haruto breaks off the kiss, his lips trailing down over Chuuya's jaw, because it gives him a chance to catch his breath.

"I--" Chuuya makes a face when one open mouthed, /wet/ kiss is placed against his chin, "I haven't /showered/ since
yesterday..." he grumbles, fighting the urge to /wipe off his face/, but his boyfriend shrugs, his mouth dropping down to Chuuya's throat.

"I don't care--"

"I-I kinda /do/--"

"We could take one /together?/"

"I--" Chuuya frowns, struggling for an excuse, "My mom is probably
gonna be back any second--"

"I can work fast--"

/Yeah/, he can. Chuuya barely finishes that thought before there's /pain/ against the side of his neck, sharp and stinging, and he lets out a surprised yelp, shoving at his chest.

"Did you just /bite/ me--?!" He gasps, clamping a
hand over the side of his throat, which is stinging like a /motherfucker/--

"What? Don't be dramatic, it was just a little--" Haruto leans back, frowning when he tastes iron on his lips. "Oh, whoops--"

Chuuya lifts his hand up, and his palm comes away a little red. "/Jesus/--"
"Don't act like I just /decapitated you/, it's a tiny little cut--"

Granted, it doesn't feel big, or /deep/, but when someone bites you hard enough to break skin, it fucking /hurts/, and it's gonna bruise /all over/ the place, and--

Both of them stop when they hear the front
door open, and it's no /coincidence/ that Haruto takes three /big/ steps away from Chuuya, like he's been caught at the scene of the crime. "Where's the back--"

"We don't /have a back door/, we live on the /32nd floor/," Chuuya hisses in response, so obviously, he can't just
/sneak out/, the way he /normally would/ after forcing Chuuya to break the /one rule/ that his parents laid out about his dating life--

(Well, that, and curfew. Which Haruto made him break. Many times. But Chuuya's parents figured out that it wasn't /his/ fault eventually.)
"Honey?" His mom calls from the entry way, her keys landing in the bowl by the door with a soft clatter, "Are you up yet? You need to start getting in a better sleeping schedule for school--I got muffins on the way back, the blueberry--" She stops in the kitchen, the bag held
aloft between her fingers as she takes in the scene before her.

Haruto, standing by the kitchen island, looking...not as guilty as he /should/, but like he's been caught with his hand in the cookie jar, to say the least--

And her /child/, standing against the wall with his hand
against his throat, pale and drawn, and--

He's clearly been /crying./

"...Haruto." She drops the bag on the kitchen table.

"Ms. Nakahara--" he starts, trying to smile, like he's /excited to see her/, "--it's been a while--"

"I thought you weren't coming this weekend." She
frowns, crossing her arms over her chest. Chuuya hates the fact that he feels a little /safer/ with her in the room, strolling forward until she’s standing between them. “Chuuya said you had an away match. He was /so/ disappointed.”

Haruto /winces/, his head turning down
a little with shame. “I—thought I’d surprise him.”

“...” She arches an eyebrow. “While I wasn’t home?”

Chuuya /winces/, trying to play interference; “Mom, it was my fault—“

She shakes head head, and Haruto tries to point out, “I didn’t /know/ you weren’t going to be here—“
“There’s a lobby downstairs where you could have waited. Or a cafe across the street. I think, when you cancel on someone who was /so/ excited to see you at the last minute, buying them a meal would be the least you could do.”

“Mom—“ Chuuya protests, wishing she wouldn’t defend
him right now, not after what he /did/, because that just makes him feel worse, but—

“I—could take him somewhere now? I’m sorry, I haven’t been here that long—“

“I think you’ve been here long enough,” she cuts him off flatly, her voice like /iron./ “And it’s time for you to

“I—“ Haruto sputters, his jaw slack, “are you /serious?/“

“Mom,” Chuuya swallows hard, “he came all this way—“

“I know,” She shrugs, “and I also know that he has been reminded of our rules /many times./“

“But Chuuya just /said/, it was /his/—“

“My child respects my
rules,” Aina shakes her head, “and letting him /cover/ for you does /not/ help you, understand?”

“But you’re here /now/—“

“I am,” She takes another step forward, and she is /not/ as big as Haruto, but her glare makes him take a step back. “But anyone who doesn’t respect the
rules Chuuya’s father and I agreed on to keep him safe when we /aren’t/ home isn’t welcome when one of us /is./“ She lifts one perfectly manicured finger, pointing to the door. “Now, I suggest you don’t make me tell you /again/, because in that case, you won’t be allowed /back./“

Haruto might have his flaws, but he’s always been pretty /good/ at picking his battles, and he knows which ones he can win, and which opponents he can handle.

...Aina Nakahara has never been one of them. And all he can /really/ do is be glad that Chuuya’s /father/ isn’t
around anymore, because that—

That would be a /very different sorry/, and he would be getting more than just a /scolding./

“...Okay,” he mutters, bowing his head in a forced, respectful gesture. “I’m sorry.”

She offers a stiff nod in response, watching him as he walks towards
the door, and when he puts his hand on the knob, he looks back at Chuuya, raising an eyebrow. “Are you coming?”

Chuuya blinks, confused. “I—huh?”

“Well, if we can’t hang out here, I could take you out to breakfast or something, like your mom said.”

The redhead hesitates.

one hand, they haven’t been on a /real date/ in /ages/, and Haruto rarely ever buys him a meal, so /that/ would be nice. On the other—after what just happened—Chuuya doesn’t really /want/ to go out, but he knows saying /no/ will just make things more difficult /later/—

“He isn’t
going anywhere.” Aina answers before Chuuya can, stepping between them /again/, and Chuuya doesn’t understand how she can be so /assertive/, she isn’t much taller than him, and she’s /dwarfed/ by Haruto—

But that doesn’t stop her.

His boyfriend’s eyebrows knit together with
frustration, and some of it /finally/ slips through the cracks, and he snaps, “Why /not?!/“

Aina rises to her full height, her voice getting louder, firmer, and she is /not/ taking it. “Because I am his /mother/, and I /said so./“ She marches towards the door, wrenching it open,
“Now, have a /safe train ride back./ I would ask you to tell your parents that I said hello, but I /will/ be calling them before you make it back,” her eyes flash at him, “so, that won’t be necessary.”

Realizing that arguing any further is /not/ in his favor, he nods, offering
an awkward, mumbled farewell to Chuuya before he shuffles out the door, and Aina slams it a /little/ too soon, catching his ass a little bit before it’s completely in the clear, drawing out a startled /Yelp/ as he stumbles into the hallway.


She locks the door, the one
on the knob /and/ the deadbolt, before striding back into the kitchen, /immediately/ going to Chuuya’s side. “Honey, what happened—?”

“I—“ Chuuya starts, his voice a little hoarse, and he clears his throat, “I really don’t want to talk about it.” He mumbles, looking away. “I’m

She frowns, looking him over, and when she notices that he’s still holding his neck, she reaches up, gently tugging at his arm. “Let me see.”

He shakes his head, his face /burning/ with shame, “It’s fine—“

“We’re not going /anywhere/ until you let me take a look.”
“...” He slowly lowers his hand, and her eyes widen with concern.

“Oh, /honey/—“

“It barely even hurts,” he mumbles, not looking at her. “I just—I really wanna take a shower, okay?”

“...Okay,” she frowns, clearly unhappy. “But when you get out, we’re cleaning that out properly
when you’re finished, okay?”

He nods, and even though he just woke up, he practically /drags his feet/ when he goes off to the bathroom, his shoulders slumped.

The minute the door /shuts/, he reaches behind the shower curtain to turn on the water, letting out a shaky breath.
He tugs his leggings down his legs, kicking them aside before he pulls his shirt over his head, and when he glances in the mirror—

There are already bruises forming on his shoulders, flushed red marks that will be black and blue by tomorrow.

Shaped like /fingers./

But he
bruises easily. He always has. Just like his father and his older sister.

It runs in the family.

He lifts one finger, poking one of the marks, and he winces.

Okay, so—they /are/ pretty sore, but—

Chuuya presses his lips into a grim line.

He’s had worse.

He’s /definitely/
had worse.

He lifts his chin, and—

His neck is a different story.

There’s a clear set of teeth marks—forming a small, bleeding crescent shape on the side of his throat—but the bruises that blossom around it are already /massive/, like he might have popped a blood vessel
underneath the skin.

He actually /has/ done that before. He does it /a lot/, and at first, Chuuya really just thought it was because the other teen didn’t know his own strength, but...

At a certain point, it must be on /purpose/, and it fucking /hurts./

He steps under the hot
water, turning it up until the heat almost /scalds/, him, and—

He slowly sinks to the floor, pulling his knees up to his chest as he lets the water beat down in his back.

Even now, when he feels so /shitty/ about what he did, part of him—

Part of him didn’t want to take off
/Dazai’s shirt./

Tears pool in his eyes, falling much more easily here, where /no one/ can see them.

He remembers that feeling the night before, when Dazai just /held/ him, the smell of his aftershave, riding on that bike—

Chuuya hugs himself closer.

Why is he /like/ this?
It takes a long time for him to come out—so long that his mother almost comes to check on him—and when he does, he’s wearing athletic shorts and an over sized t-shirt, ready to crawl under a rock and just...

Pretend the last 24 hours of his life /never/ happened.

But he can’t,
not even if he /wanted/ to, and—

And his mom is waiting by the kitchen island, a first aid kit on the counter. “Come here, let me take a look at it.” He hesitates, rubbing his forearm anxiously, and her voice is gentle, but very firm. “Chuuya, come here.”

“...” He /does/,
dragging himself over and pulling himself up onto one of the barstools, wrapping his arms around himself. He doesn’t look at her—and she doesn’t make him, gently pressing her fingers under his chin so she can get a better look.

“Still don’t wanna talk about it?”

Chuuya shakes
his head again, and her lips press into a firm line. She pulls out the bottle of hydrogen peroxide, opening the cap before dousing a cotton ball with it, lifting it up and swiping it over the bite.

Chuuya shivers at the cold sensation, then /winces/ once it starts to sting, and
she tries again. "Baby, you know I just want you to be happy..." Aina murmurs, and her son stiffens, his eyes trained on the floor.

"I know."

"And you don't seem particularly happy right /now/--"

"We had a fight," he mutters, his jaw tense. "It happens. And I--"

"No fight
should /ever/ end with you crying like that." His mother shakes her head, pressing an alcohol pad over the wound again, just to make /sure/ it's clean. She's half tempted to go and get him a /tetanus/ shot, but then he'd get /mad/--

"Dad makes you cry all the time," he grumbles,
and that makes her stiffen, her eyes flashing with frustration and concern.

"Chuuya," her voice is low and scolding. "Your father and I have had our share of problems, and he /isn't/ perfect, but he would /never/ put his hands on me, or any of you."

"He didn't--" Chuuya starts,
but it's obvious from the look on her face that she /is not/ buying it. "Look, it's not like I have a black eye or something, he just--gets emotional. Okay? I do that too."

But he's never bitten him so hard that he broke skin, or shoved him against a wall, or--

Chuuya swallows
hard, trying not to think about the rest of it, because--

He just doesn't /want/ to.

"...Honey..." His mom bites the inside of her cheek. "You are /such/ a loyal person, and I've always been proud of that, but you don't have to give it to people who don't deserve it--"

my /boyfriend/," Chuuya mutters, wishing she wouldn't call him loyal, not right now, not after what he /did/-- "And he's been there for me through a /lot./"

/That/ makes Aina pause, guilt flashing across her face.

In the beginning--Haruto seemed like such a /good influence/ on
Chuuya. Well brought up, neatly dressed, a good student. It was a /relief/, honestly. Kouyou had put her and her husband through the /ringer/ with the boys she dated in high school, and they always /knew/ Chuuya wasn't going to be interested in woman, so...

They were waiting
to see what sort of boys they would be bringing home with a /lot/ of nervous anticipation.

And when Haruto stepped into their house for the first time...

It was a relief. He seemed /normal./

So normal, that they took their guard down. That they took it /for granted./
But it /wasn't/ normal, that every time they left the two of them alone together, she would come home to find that Chuuya had been crying.

So, they made the ground rules.

And when Chuuya started /breaking/ them--that wasn't normal /either./

She would lay awake at night
worrying, and she and Kensuke, they would /try/ to talk about it, to present a united front--

But God, it isn't /easy/ to be on a /united front/ with someone who comes home smelling like /another woman's perfume./

And they just...for a little while, she was so focused on
catching her husband in a lie, in proving that she wasn't going /crazy/, and then--and then she was trying to get him to /stay./

Maybe it was never going to work, but god, they were married for twenty years, they had /three kids/, she wanted to /try./

And by the time they
decided it /wasn't/ working, and he admitted--

// "I still love you, but not the way you want me to." //

By the time they both looked up from the wreckage, Chuuya was deep in something that they didn't know how to /get him out of./

Talking to him didn't work. Talking to
Haruto's /parents/ didn't work. Saying they /didn't/ want Chuuya seeing him anymore only mean that he'd see him anyway, and they just wouldn't /know/ about it.

And when they decided to separate--she /could have/ found a job in Osaka. It's a big city. It wouldn't have been hard.
But they both agreed that Chuuya would end up going with /her/ wherever she went (because that's just how he /is/, he's always been so caring, and loyal--) and that the best thing for all of them was to put some /distance/ between the two.

So, with Kouyou off at university,
Chuuya moved to Tokyo with her--and Kyouka stayed in Osaka with Kensuke. And she /hates/ that, hates being away from her daughter with every fiber of her /being/, but--

But she didn't need any more disruption, and for all of his faults, Kensuke is a /good/ father. Aina /knows/
she's being well looked after, even if she /misses her like hell./

And if it kept /Chuuya/ safe, that was all /either/ of them cared about.

But now, she's not even sure if she can /do that./ What's she /supposed/ to do, if he can just show up whenever she isn't hoome?
"...I know it's been a hard year," she admits quietly, pressing a bandage over the bite. It doesn't cover all of the bruising, not by a long shot, but it covers the open cuts--protecting them from infection. "And I know how hard it's been on you, but...just because someone helps
you when you're in a bad place...that doesn't give them a right to make you feel like /this/, honey." Her fingers drift up to stroke his jaw, and Chuuya can't /help/ but lean into it, closing his eyes. "You /know/ how much I want to support you."

Chuuya knows. She has, she
/always/ has. He still remembers being 12 years old, startled and petrified when she caught him trying on his older sister's clothes.

Not many mothers--especially not many mothers in /Japan/--would handle that well.

Even /fewer/ of them would have wrapped him up in a hug,

// "Those look /so/ pretty on you, but why don't we get some that fit?" //

She's /always/ gone out of her way to make him feel wanted, safe, and /accepted./

"I just don't /understand/, and I /hate/ seeing you so sad..." She murmurs, "You're /beautiful/, smart, and
funny...there are /so/ many other boys, like--like the one from last night--"

Chuuya flinches, shaking his head. "No, I don't want--"

"Why not? He was respectful, and he couldn't keep his /eyes/ off of you--"

That's all she ever /really/ wanted.

For someone to look at Chuuya
like /that./

"I already have a boyfriend," Chuuya mutters, dropping his face down into his hands, and he feels /so/ ashamed. "And you don't know what I /did./"

"Whatever it is, it doesn't justify--"

Chuuya shakes his head, "/Please/, just--I /really/ don't want to talk about
it anymore, okay?"


She doesn't /want/ to drop it--but she also knows when a conversation is a lost cause, so...

She lets out a heavy sigh, closing up the first aid kit. "Okay--but we're going to have to talk about this /eventually/, honey."

Not if chuuya can help it,
that's for /damn/ sure.

Of course, even if he feels like going into his room, hiding under the covers, and never coming out--she doesn't let him.

And he tries to tell himself that it's a pain, but--

There are /way/ worse ways to spend a Sunday afternoon than cuddled up on the
couch with his Mom, watching cheesy soap operas while nibbling on blueberry muffins.

And when his head rests on her shoulder, it's--

He closes his eyes hugging her arm a little tighter, snuggling a little deeper under the blankets--and she responds by wrapping an arm around
him, letting him fall asleep against her side, like he's a little kid again.

It's /safe./


"I'm not doing it." The statement is flat, pointed, and Dazai has his arms crossed over his chest, glaring in the opposite direction--just so his uncle knows that he's being /serious./
Mori doesn’t move, even if it’s /very/ awkward for him to stand there like this, one foot propped up on the counter, like he’s a ballerina doing stretches. “If you /don’t/, I can’t shower.”

“Plastic wrap /your own/ tracking bracelet, for God’s sake—“

“You /know/ it’s hard for
lean over that far with my /back/--" Mori points out, "Now, just /do it./"


"Why not?!"

"Because--I don't wanna touch your foot--" Dazai groans, making a face.

"Why not?!"

"Because you haven't showered in /four days/--"

"--because you wouldn't help me wrap my

"--and you have /old man feet!/"

Something about /that/ is just a /devastating/ blow, and his uncle almost falls backwards, clutching a hand over his chest, his face pale. "...Take that back!"

"It's the /truth!/"

"I'm /35!/"

"You're /38/, stop lying about your age
you sound like an unsatisfied housewife with a drinking problem!"

"Well," Mori braces his hand on the other counter, looking /so/ infuriated, "the joke's on you, I basically /am/ a dissatisfied housewife with a drinking problem, now /help me!/"


Dazai sniffs, picking some dirt--or, well, it might actually be blood--he got a little busy on his way back from dropping Chuuya off last night--out from under his nails. "What do I get out of it?"

"Are you /kidding me?/"

"You're asking me to put myself through something
traumatic," Dazai shrugs, "I don't see a point in going through that for no reason--"

"I don't know, you get the pleasure of not having to walk around smelling someone that hasn't showered in /four days?!/"

"Eh, I can keep my distance."

"I let you live /under my roof?!/"
Dazai snorts. "We /both know/ the fact that you had a minor in your care was the /only reason/ you got to be on house arrest during your trial."

Dazai's parents /tried/ to swing that argument, but they were considered...a /risk/ if they were allowed out on the streets.

Was not considered to be the /same kind of risk./

"..." he grumbles something between clenched teeth, and Dazai cups a hand behind his ear. "What was that? I didn't hear you."



"...I letting you pick your own car." He mutters.
Dazai aches an eyebrow. “Oh, /wow./“


“You’re /desperate/, huh?”

“Do you want the car, or /not?/“

“Oh, believe me, I /want/ the car.”

“Then you are /helping me wrap this thing from now on/, alright?!”

“...” He heaves out a sigh. “Fine.”

Finally, he reaches over to
pick up the plastic cling wrap, helping his uncle carefully wind it around the ankle monitor, until it’s /perfectly snug./


“Yes,” Mori sighs, dropping his leg down, wincing when his back /crackles/ at the movement. “/Brat./“

“Yeah, yeah, yeah...” Dazai shrugs,
opening the fridge, the liquor cabinet is mostly empty these days, so he settles for a beer, leaning back against the counter as he brings the cap down on the heel of his riding boots, popping it off with a soft /hiss./ “When’s your court date, again?”

Mori sighs, rubbing the
small of his back as he hobbles toward the shower. His leg fell asleep like that, when he was making his final stand, and all— “Tuesday.”

So, in three days.

He’s already been /convicted/, they’re just waiting on /sentencing./

Before the /last/ member of Dazai’s family ends up
in jail for an indefinite amount of time.

Dazai has only been spared because he was a /minor/, and he already /did/ an 18 month stint when he was 15.

After Tuesday, he’s...

Completely, utterly on his own.

“But, the lawyer called—“ Mori offers, opening the door to the bathroom
stopping to look back at him. "And it turns out, they're moving your mother to the same facility as your father--on the women's block. So, now you don't have to go to opposite sides of the ward, and you can visit them at the same time--"

Like a nice little family get together.
Getting to see his parents on the other side of thick paned glass, twice a month.

And when he's /26/--maybe 23, depending on good behavior--his mother will get out. Then they can /both/ visit his Dad until he's /38/, unless some /idiot/ gives Dazai Oba /early parole./

Not happening.

"Have you called him, by the way?"

Dazai shrugs, his eyes flickering to the side, and Mori doesn't look /angry/, but he does look a little /frustrated./

"Osamu, he /really/ wants to hear from you."

"I know." The teenager mutters, taking a swig from his beer.
"I just figured we'd talk at our next visit." He shrugs, taking another chug, wishing they had something stronger--because beer never /really/ quells the anxiety in his gut fast enough.

"...Are you gonna come?"


"On Tuesday."

"..." Dazai's expression changes, and his
voice softens into a more serious tone--/respectful./

"Yes, uncle--I'll be there."

Mori doesn't /say/ thank you, he doesn't really /need/ to, but Dazai recognizes the grateful look in his eye.

Of all of the remaining leadership, Mori's trial was /last./ For his father's, the
gallery was full every single day. For his mother's, a little less so, but for the boss's wife, well--people showed their respects.

Now, with Mori--there just aren't that many people /left/ to attend.

And Dazai understands--his uncle just doesn't want to face it /alone./
He steps into the bathroom, sliding the door shut, and Dazai stays where he is, staring at the opposite wall.


His gaze slides down the wallpaper, worn and faded--this never /was/ one of their best safe houses, but it's within the zone where Mori's tracking bracelet can
still ping with the computer systems in the central court house, so, /here they are./

The plan was for Dazai to move after Mori was sentenced, but...

His mind flashes, tracing over soft lips, ocean eyes, constellations of freckles, and--

// "You're not so bad, are you?" //
His eyes finally settle on the counter, filled with clutter--neither one of them are particularly good at /keeping house/--and he sees it there, peeking out from underneath a stack of paperwork next to the fridge.

An old, worn matchbox--with the faded logo--

/Bar Lupin./
// "Kid--you're /way/ too young to be a lost cause. Got it?" //

It's been a long time--a /really/ long time, since someone tried to say that he was....

Bandaged fingers reach up, brushing against his cheek, feeling a little warm every single time he /remembers./

It would be
/stupid/, transferring in the middle of his third year. (Never mind the fact that classes started last week.)

Really, he should just...stick around. For his /education./



That Monday, Chuuya drops his bag on his desk heavily, barely even able to keep his /eyes
open/, because he was up for /three hours/ later than he should have been last night, facetiming with his boyfriend. Not that he really /wanted/ to, but he felt like saying no after what happened /last week/ might...cause some issues.

So, here he is, deep circles under his eyes,
bitter about the fact that he isn't comfortable enough here to try wearing makeup to school yet--because really, he's /mortified/ that he had to walk out of the house without at /least/ putting on some concealer this morning.

"Hey," He practically jumps out of his /skin/ at the
sound of that voice, that of his /accomplice/--

(Like what they did was a crime, and if he's honest, it /feels/ like one, and--Chuuya may or may not want to be a /repeat offender.)

"Hi," he mutters, ducking his chin down until it's practically tucked against his throat--and
Dazai doesn't know what to make of /that/ reaction, because it' Chuuya being /shy/ or something? Because he won't look at him, and--

He opens his mouth to /ask/, but then the bell for class rings--and he doesn't really have /much of a choice/ other than to return to his
desk, even if he'd really rather /not./

Of course, even in his seat on the other side of the room, he starts hearing quiet whispering--a consequence of being trained to be a /keen/ listener from an early age.

// "Dude, do you think he got in a fight or something?" //

// "With
what? A /werewolf?/" //

// "I don't know, but look at his--" //

What the /fuck/ are they talking about?

But when Dazai turns his head to /look/, for the /first time that year/, their teacher is /very stern/ about making sure that /he's/ paying attention, even if the rest of
the class is obviously stirred up over /something./

"Dazai-kun!" She snaps, turning around, gesturing at him with a piece of chalk, "Eyes /forward!/ What are you all staring at, anyway?"

The entire class falls /silent/, and even though /Dazai/ can't see the way that Chuuya is
shrinking down in his seat with /obvious/ humiliation--but someone /else/ does.

One delicate hand raises up, black nail polish flashing, "It was my fault, sensei." Yosano shrugs, her tone dry, "I think this uniform shirt is a little too tight on me." She leans back in her seat,
and suddenly, /no one/ is staring at Chuuya, even Dazai finds his face locked on her chest, and--

Huh, it is a little small.

She leans forward then, hunching her shoulders, and there's audible squeaking of chairs as boys and girls alike twist in their seats to get a glimpse of
her cleavage as she rests her chin on her hands, smiling up at their teacher sweetly, "I'm sorry, sensei--I'll get a new one as soon as possible."

"..." Their teacher pauses at the front of the room, her jaw slightly slack. "" she sputters, adjusting her glasses. "Be
sure that you /do/, it's--clearly a distraction," She mutters, turning back to the white board.

Chuuya slowly sinks down, resting his chin against his arms--and the teacher normally /wouldn't/ allow that, but--notably, she /leaves him alone/ for the entire morning, pushing
through the lesson like /nothing happened./

Chuuya is up and out of his seat as /soon/ as the lunch bell rings, hitching his bag over his shoulder as he makes a bee line down the hallway, halfway down the steps before anyone else in their class even /gets up/, and Dazai finds
himself staring at Chuuya's back as he disappears out the door, trying to put /that/ together.


Chuuya stops on the grassy quad behind the school building, leaning one hand against the tree next to him as he fights to catch his breath, his other hand rising up to his
throat. The bandage is still there, covering up the /worst/ of it, but the bruising is still pretty obvious, pretty /embarrassing/, and--

Logically, he knows that no one here /knows/ his boyfriend, that they wouldn't put it together--but it was /awful/ before, when rumors
started flying around at his old school. And once they start, they don't /stop./

"Hey," he jumps a little at the sound of a voice coming from behind him, swallowing hard, but--

But it isn't Dazai.

It's--It's the girl. The one that spoke up before.

He turns around slowly,
dropping his hand from his neck, clearing his throat, "I--Hi," He mumbles, "It's Yosano, right?"

The other third year crosses her arms over her chest, eyeing him over, silently evaluating him. She's objectively /gorgeous/, with lush, jet black waves falling over one shoulder,
the other side of her head partially shaved--and her eyeliner is so perfect, even /Chuuya/ is jealous of that perfect wing, paired with sharply lined eyebrows, and dark red lipstick. "Yeah--and you're Nakahara?"

He nods, trying to shake off his nerves, "Yeah, but I prefer to go
by Chuuya."

"Okay," she nods, offering a hand. "Nice to meet you, Chuuya."

They shake, and he finds himself surprised by just how /firm/ her grip is. "It's nice to meet you too--"

"I was wondering where I recognized you from," she tilts her head to the side, "but I see it."
Chuuya pauses, unsure of what she means, and then she explains--

"I was wondering who the girl Dazai rode off on his bike with the other night was. He doesn't exactly /give rides./" She shrugs, and when she notices how /pale/ Chuuya looks at the mention, she adds, "I won't tell
anyone, I just... thought it was fair to tell you that I knew," she shrugs, tilting her head to the side. "You looked /amazing/, by the way."

He feels his stomach /relax/ a little, and he nods, taking a shaky breath to steady himself. "...Thanks." He mutters, "I..." he pauses,
trying to think of something to /say/ after that, struggling for words, and he just... "...your eyeliner is amazing."

Her expression just /lights up./ "Yeah? You think so? I have a trick, I can show you sometime."

He smiles back, hesitant, but starting to feel a /little more
comfortable./ "That would be great--"

"But," she holds up a finger, her eyes warm, friendly, "you have to show me what highlighter you were using on Saturday, because I was in /awe./"

Now he's smiling outright, nodding, "Yeah, okay."

"Are you gonna eat out here?"

"I was
planning on it--"

"Cool," she drops down onto the grass next to him, pulling out a convenience store bento, crossing her legs. "Mind if I eat with you?"

"..." Chuuya shakes his head, sitting down next to her. "No, that would be cool."

"Perfect," she rips the lid off,
shoveling in a bite of pre-made chicken katsu. "You okay, by the way?"

The question is so calm, so casual, he almost doesn't /realize/ that she's talking about the array of bruises across his throat, and he nods. "...Yeah, I'm fine."

"Dazai didn't do that to you, right?"
"What?!" Chuuya blinks, trying to shake off his surprise, but--then he remembers what she probably /assumed./ "No, no--he just dropped me off at home, nothing..." He swallows thickly, taking out his own lunch. "Nothing like that happened."

"Good," she nods, taking another bite.
"That's not really his style, but I would /definitely/ punch him in the dick for that, I don't care how nice it is--"


"--his dick, Chuuya, keep up--"

The redhead /tries/, even if his main battle right now is not looking scandalized, or worse, even more guilty than he
already /does/, but he asks, "Are you two...together?"

"What?" Yosano snorts, shaking her head, "/No/, no, we've been friends since we were in grade school--we just get bored."

So...they things...that make her.../familiar/...with his...

"Honestly, I was /kinda/
hoping you'd say that /you two/ would be a thing, so I'd get a break," Yosano sighs, reclining against the tree trunk behind him. "I mean, he's /good/, but sometimes it gets /exhausting, being his ESP."

Chuuya tilts his head to the side, his eyebrows knitting together with
confusion. "...His what?"

Isn't that like...doesn't that mean she's a /psychic/, or something?

Red lined lips quirk into a smile as she takes another bite of her food, explaining: "Emotional support pussy."

And /now/ Chuuya is /choking on his food/, and she's /laughing her ass
off/, covering her mouth so she doesn't spit rice /everywhere./

"Oh, c'mon, that was /funny!/"

It /was/, just /surprising/, and--it makes Chuuya a little unsure about how to /feel/ about what happened between them.

Should he /really/ be giving a rushed grinding session in a
bathroom during a party /that/ much thought, if Dazai has such a /casual/ relationship with sex?

Because in that case, he probably just...sleeps around, right?

The idea of that /hurts/, and he feels stupid for even being /bothered/ by that, because he shouldn't /care/ about
who Dazai is with, or when, he has a--

But he can't stop himself from /asking./

"Does...Dazai..." Chuuya starts, then he clears his throat. "Is he...involved with anyone else?"

Yosano thinks about it, tapping her chopsticks against the edge of her bento thoughtfully. "No,
between the two of us, he isn't the slutty one," she shrugs, taking another bite. "And he doesn't show interest in new people that fast."

"..." He resents the happy fluttering in his stomach, the way his cheeks feel a little /warm./ "He doesn't seem that stand offish to me."
"Yeah," Yosano snorts, glancing at him from the corner of her eye. "/You/ probably wouldn't think so, but he's had half of the second years chasing after him since we transferred here."

She's pretty sure it's just /hero worship/ for Akutagawa, but it definitely isn't for
Nakajima. "And he couldn't care less about a single one of them."

Chuuya frowns, chewing on his food thoughtfully. In that case, it feels a little /strange/ that he came to the party on Saturday--since originally, it was just supposed to be a few second years coming. "I'm not
really sure what you're trying to get at," he mutters, cramming his mouth full, so he doesn't have to keep on thinking about it.

"...Just that he seems to like you," Yosano shrugs, "and he's picky, so I'd be flattered."

/He seems to like you./

God, he forgot how /good/ it
felt, hearing that a boy might /like/ him, just getting to /bask/ in that knowledge without any /anxiety/--

And then he /instantly/ comes crashing down with self loathing, shaking his head. "I have a boyfriend." He mutters, looking away.

Yosano's eyes drift back down to his
neck, her lips pressing into a slight frown. "...I'm not ever gonna judge someone for being kinky--but that bruise does /not/ look fun."

He's quiet, and she presses a little harder.

"He did that to you, right?"

"...It was an accident," Chuuya shrugs, and it's obvious to Yosano
that the redhead is starting to /shut down/ and retreat from the conversation, so she makes the choice to drop it.

But she makes note of it, in the back of her head--preparing to handle it /differently/ if she sees a bruise like that more than once.

"...Do you have dermablend?"
Chuuya shakes his head, and she /sighs./ "That shit'll cover anything---but you wanna use an orange or a yellow color corrector on something that dark before you put any foundation over it."

"...Okay," He mumbles, pulling out his phone to make note of that, because that actually
/does/ sound really helpful, especially so he won't have to come into school showing off that /massive/ bruise for the next couple of weeks.

It'll probably feel kinda gross during judo, but he can get over that--besides, he doesn't sweat much on his neck anyway. "Thanks, you're
a lifesaver."

"Mmmhm," Yosano nods, wishing she didn't feel like she was /enabling/ something. "I know, I know..."

The bell rings, indicating the end of lunch hour, and she rises to her feet, offering a hand to help him. "Can I get your number?"


"You're new in town,
right?" She shrugs, "We should hang out!"

"..." Well, she's a friend that Chuuya doesn't have to feel guilty about making--and most of his social circle comes from sports, so it would be /nice/ to be friends with a girl his age. "Yeah, sure--" he pulls out his phone as they walk
back inside, exchanging numbers with her, saving it under Akiko, with a little butterfly emoji next to it--just because it reminds him of the gold chain she's wearing around her neck, with tiny butterflies around the bottom.

Dazai catches sight of them when they're filtering
back into the classroom after lunch, and his eyes /narrow/, zoning in on his friend, who gives him a sly wink, following Chuuya back to his desk, her hands clasped behind her back, all nice and /smug./

God, she’s /annoying/, taking up his /entire/ lunch hour when it was /so/
obvious that Dazai wanted to—

“Dazai-kun! Eyes forward!”

He /barely/ manages to hold back a snarl of frustration, crossing his arms over his chest.

Chuuya actually /does/ fall asleep for a little while curing math—but, despite the fact that their math teacher is /very/ strict,
no one comments on it—not even once.

It /does/ stress him out when he wakes up, though—because he /obviously/ can’t keep up with this kind of thing all the time—and that just means that they’re /definitely/ going to end up fighting again soon, fuck—


...Is the day over
already? He honestly didn't realize that class was that close to being over.

But, now that it /is/ over, he can go home and /sleep./ Well, he has to stop by the store and grab that foundation first. Then home, /then sleep./

That's the only thing on his mind when he follows the
flow of foot traffic down the steps, out towards the front of the building, his hands shoved in his pockets as he makes his way towards the front gate, but--

But he can't avoid things /forever/, and eventually, it happens.

"/Hey/," a hand wraps around his elbow, not /roughly/,
but firm enough to make him stop in his tracks--and when he does, turning his head--

They make eye contact.

The redhead swallows thickly, wishing it would be easier to look at him /now/, with twenty four long, /miserable/ hours between encounters, but--

It isn't.

still a jolt in his chest when he sees those eyes, sharp, dark, and /intent/--and Chuuya thinks, if Dazai wanted to pick him apart with /that/ gaze, he wouldn't mind.

"Hey," he answers hoarsely, wishing he didn't sound a little breathless, like he could just /hide/ what he was
feeling behind a mask of indifference.

(He's never been able to do /that./)

Dazai opens his mouth to ask something casual--well, he was going to try to make it /sound/ casual, anyway, he was rehearsing conversation starters in his head for better part of the last hour of class-
determined not to verbally trip on his face in front of the redhead /again/, because they made /progress/ last time--

And then he sees it.

His eyes snap down to Chuuya's throat, and the redhead sees them darken with /anger/, and--

Chuuya's stomach twists with anxiety, and he
tries to take a step back, but Dazai's grip on his elbow tightens, holding him in place. "Who /did that/ to you?"

"I--" Chuuya's lips are dry, and he swallows heart, his heart speeding up in his chest, and he finds someone else's words pouring out of his mouth, "Don't be
/dramatic/, okay?" His voice hardens, and he doesn't /sound/ like himself--hell, Dazai has only known him for a /week/, and even /he/ can tell the difference. "It's just a little cut--"

Dazai stares at him like he's /lost it./ "Are you /kidding?/ It looks like someone tried to
/rip your throat out/--"

"It's--" Chuuya mouths wordlessly, struggling to find an explanation that could be /acceptable/, because clearly Dazai has /no/ intention of dropping it. "It's /fine/--"

"Chuuya, who did it?"

"I--" He bites the inside of his cheek, trying to pull back
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