The First Beach
Some people’s lives did not revolve around someone else. Khun, my love, Shibisu wanted to say but didn’t, life did not begin or end on that beach.
The asset wasn’t known for tender compassion or warmth. If he was, Nicky assumed, he wouldn’t be an asset.
But there was a certain amount of liability in being an obvious plant that disappeared at irregular intervals, always when someone of import within the country died, and there was something to be said for the traditional old standbys for covers.
Yata was frowning when he got the door to Saruhiko’s dorm open. He had Saruhiko practically slung over his shoulder and back, and there was an audible hiss of pain between Saruhiko’s teeth as Yata carefully maneuvered him through the door.
Honestly, Yata’s heart couldn’t quite decide between worried and furious. “I was fine.”
Scepter 4 was responsible for all kinds of supernatural activities and cleanup. It was perhaps forgivable that in the course of one of these cleanups, Fushimi Saruhiko packed up into the van a particular bundle of odd-looking feathers and scales that reeked of magic, noted it on his report, and thought little more about it. (more…)
“The thing is, Chuuya himself couldn’t spell out a numbered list of his reasons for leaving. He didn’t weigh up the good and the bad and make a logical choice. He saw an opportunity, received an offer from Fukuzawa, and he took it because it felt right.” — Find I’m Between Love And Anguish by geckoholic
Dazai thinks he knows why Chuuya joined the Port Mafia, and because he thinks he knows that, he also thinks he understands why Chuuya left it for the Armed Detective Agency.
The second time Ishalat saw the Stone Prince, her heart clenched with the fierceness of her anger. He had the sword at his belt that had slaughtered hundreds of her people and the expression on his face was known for: nothing, in the terrifying manner of those who do not care what blood stains their hands if it is for the object of their own loyalty.
You’re always on the lookout for magical items, especially unusual ones. They’re the lifeblood of your small shop at the edge of the living mall where regular humans only wander by fate or by accident and magic-users congregate on any given weekend. So when you hear that mermaids have returned to the lake in the deep woods, you’re wrapped up in your invisibility cloak that protects against all weather almost before the words are out of your aunt’s mouth.
This is what keeps you alive. You breathe in the stale, bloodstained air—the smell of iron and sweat—and you press down with even pressure on her wound as you listen to her shallow breaths. You can already see the fever in her glazed eyes and flushed face. It doesn’t matter if you can’t actually smell the infection yet.
Atsushi was ninety percent certain there was some ulterior motive in Dazai assigning him to stake out the office of a certain official to record his comings and goings with Akutagawa of all people. Not that Dazai was the kind of person to explain his motives, nor was it Akutagawa’s to explain what interest the Mafia had in this information that Fukuzawa could possibly go along with.
A/N: Thank you to the wonderful people who cheered me on and brainstormed and helped make this story a reality, geckoholic and mornelithefalconsbane. Massive amounts of support, kink consultation, and straight up bribery made this happen. Thank you both!
People in heat were picky, even pickier than when they weren’t, which always seemed ridiculous to Kusanagi because that’s when you generally needed to be significantly less picky if you were going to get any relief.
And that was the trouble right now. First heats weren’t quite like later ones, when you’d gotten used to the whole thing and could probably ride one out without a partner or take suppressants without destroying any kind of regular cycle you happened to have. First heats were when you were pickiest because nothing felt quite right and you hadn’t learned yet that it wasn’t always your partner, and when a heat could turn lethal if you didn’t get relief and weren’t in the kind of familiar surroundings and scents and people that meant you didn’t panic in blind instinct.
In short, the last thing Kusanagi knew how to actually deal with was Yata Misaki curled up in a feverish ball at the bottom of the stairs. (more…)
Dazai—looking soft and curious, all his ruthless edges tucked away somewhere under that faint wondering expression he got when staring at friends who puzzled him, when staring death in the face, when staring at his partner doing something utterly inexplicable but somehow not annoying or disgusting.
This was Dazai and Chuuya didn’t care if it was weird or they had jerked their heads away from each other just moments ago in distaste for manners, habits, and their endless stream of insults. This was Dazai and he wasn’t fighting back (like he ever did) or pulling back (like he ever did) or pulling one of his stupid blocks or evasive maneuvers. He was letting Chuuya shove him against the wall, letting him bury one gloved hand in the soft messy hair, letting him pull Dazai’s head down to his own level so their mouths were at the same height, and letting himself be kissed by someone he’d never particularly cared for.
“Why are you helping me?”
It took several breaths, rough and panting. The hand on Dazai’s shoulder was limper than it should have been. Chuuya was physically strong, for all he was tiny compared to Dazai. Dazai didn’t care about being touched and didn’t shove his partner off, but he suspected if he did, Chuuya would actually collapse back onto the bed Dazai held him at the edge of.
Corruption wasn’t actually new. It felt new. It was only the second time they’d deployed it in the field, but even so, it was the entire reason they were partnered together in the first place.
There was no love lost between them.
Saruhiko had almost completely forgotten what it felt like to be taken care of, so it came as a bit of surprise, both unfamiliar and familiar at once, the way Misaki hung around on his return from the hospital.
“How many stitches?” Misaki asked as he frowned at Saruhiko’s limp.
How many stab wounds was more like it, Saruhiko thought with a scowl. And how many pints of blood did he have to get, how many hours passed out unconscious, how many days stuck in the hospital, surprised at how many people came to visit and how long they stayed. Misaki stayed the longest, stubbornly sleeping on the ugly couch in the corner of the room until they’d released Saruhiko to finish recovering at home.
Zuko was the first boy to dump her in a lake. He was trying to be helpful, and she knew that. He was trying to put out the flaming apple on her head, and she knew that too. But for a firebender, he sure picked the most embarrassing, awkward, inefficient way to do it.