Everyone Is Terribly Human
“You’re really fucked up, aren’t you?” a low, rough, altogether too familiar voice sounded in Dazai’s ear.
He raised his head muzzily and looked around for a too short redhead with anger management issues. “Chibi.”
A low growl replaced the faintly underlying tone of concern. Dazai’s head was yanked unceremoniously off his futon by gloved fingers tightening in his hair. He winced with the pain. He hated pain. Usually he wouldn’t give Chuuya the satisfaction of reacting.
There was the other hand, dragging him up by his elbow.
Dazai sighed rather than protest. There was no point to protesting.
Chuuya wanted to ask a lot of things: when was the last time you washed? when was the last time you ate? The littering of sake bottles, the reek of alcohol breath, and the hazy look in Dazai’s eyes as he murmured ‘Chuuya’ like he was dreaming and wanted to wake up… None of it added up to anything good.
Except the last maybe.
“That’s right, shitty mackerel. This is all a dream, and you’ll wake up soon.”
Except he wouldn’t wake up. Oda would stay dead, and Chuuya would stay gone, just as soon as he made sure Dazai made it through whatever his next schemes were alive. Because if there was any time Dazai was likely to finally make good on his harebrained plans to die, this was it.
Dazai squinted at him skeptically. “I’m not dreaming?” Trust him to know when Chuuya was lying. Dazai’s eyes widened to comical proportions. “Am I dead?” He blinked at Chuuya.
Chuuya blinked back. “Hah?!” He dumped Dazai in the tub to a plaintive “ow” and proceeded to turn on the shower without bothering to undress him.
Dazai’s head fell back, his eyes doing that staring thing that was always so unnerving. “Now I know I’m not dreaming.”
Then he closed his eyes and promptly passed out.
Dazai dreamed of Oda falling through his fingers, of reaching out his hand and grasping at only air as Oda kept falling, falling downward into ocean or abyss or darkness or a sea of just blood, blood, blood.
He woke with a gasp, already fumbling for another bottle. Too strong fingers wrapped around his and tucked his arm back into bed.
Dazai blinked awake and there was a flash of red, a grim frown, and a bowl of rice shoved into his hand.
“Eat that, bastard.”
“Oi, oi.” Dazai stared at his old partner, incongruous in his cheap flat. “Is this your bedside manner? No wonder you have no luck with the ladies.”
Chuuya glared, fist clenched, but turned away and went back into the kitchen.
Dazai was entirely too sober for this.
Chuuya didn’t exactly care if Dazai stayed sober, but he forcibly cleaned him up, fed him, and shoved him in the direction of the shower despite his huffing, with threats to shove him into the shower if necessary until he was fairly certain Dazai would survive the next few months.
The black circles under his eyes relieved, the blackness in his eyes faded just a bit, then they turned sharp, and Dazai looked up at Chuuya three days after he’d arrived and asked, “Does Mori know you’re here?”
“None of your business, turncoat,” Chuuya replied, making it clear where things stood.
“I see,” Dazai said slowly.
It was time for Chuuya to head back, and both of them knew it.
Chuuya washed his hands once last time in the sink, imagined blood sluicing off his palms, or whatever taint the Demon Prodigy had left on him.
No, Mori didn’t know. Chuuya intended to keep it that way.
“I’m running errands for Ane-san. She said she should run you through for running away.”
But she’d had her own loss and not so much luck making good her escape. She’d hardly begrudge Dazai’s reaction to losing Oda. Not the way Chuuya did.
“Don’t drink yourself to death, shitty Dazai.”
That’s how he left, with bitterness on his tongue, and his old partner blinking at him in the too-bright light coming in through the cheap blinds.0