through the messy black locks. This makes Ranpo hum contentedly, nuzzling into Dazai's hand while opening his eyes tiredly. He squints not long after, scrunching his face childishly, but instead of burying his face in Dazai's neck or pulling up the covers, he grab's Dazai's
+
hand to kiss the palm gently.

/Oh./

"Good morning to you too." Dazai says, scoffing in fond amusement.

"Hmm. Yeah." Ranpo leans up to kiss Dazai gently. "I need to wear you down more during the night, it seems. Waking up before me all the time isn't gonna fly, you know."
+
Dazai is just a habitual light sleeper, learning to function on little sleep. In terms of being exhausted, Ranpo accomplishes /that/ just fine, because he's insatiable and relentless if the bite marks on Dazai's neck and shoulder where his bandages had fallen loose say
+
anything.

Still, he likes to mess with Ranpo and dig at his brattiness, so he tilts his head with a small smile. "Best of luck with that."

Ranpo puffs his cheeks in a comical pout that gives Dazai the pleasant buzzing sensation in his chest he craves, sitting upright and
+
shoving the blanket aside so he can climb out of bed. He's not wearing /anything/, so Dazai has a delicious full view of his backside, admiring the heart shaped birthmark on one of the raven's buttcheeks encircled with teeth marks.

Dazai does not regret /that/ decision.
+
"You get up too. We should both shower before we go anywhere. I have fresh bandages in my cabinet, so if you want to..."

Ranpo's voice trails off, cleverly brushing it off as him just stretching. He's considerate like that, letting Dazai decide how deep he wants to wade into
+
vulnerability. For all his selfishness and pushy personality, forcing Dazai into things or making him uncomfortable was something he had ever done. He paid close attention, saw a layer that Dazai had worked so hard to hide from everyone else.

"... Help me take them off?" Dazai
+
answers, climbing off the bed to follow after Ranpo into the bathroom. It's small and he nearly /immediately/ crowds Ranpo, but neither of them seem to mind the closeness. If anything, it's welcomed.

"What? Such a hassle."

The gentle smile on Ranpo's face as he tugs at the
+
bandages around Dazai's torso says a different story, though. Affectionate nagging that Dazai has always adored only from him.

"You're always messing with them anyway." Dazai counters, kissing at Ranpo's temple as he starts on the bandages around his neck first.
+
Which is true. Ranpo likes to keep his hands busy, and he's fussy with certain textures, but he's always liked the feeling of Dazai's bandages. He used to thumb over Dazai's wrists constantly, sometimes pinching the material, but always careful to never dislodge or remove
+
them unless Dazai said he could.

And that habit has stuck with him, even after all this time apart. Ranpo still thumbs at his wrists or nuzzles into his neck a bit too long because the sensation feels good, and Dazai feels a little amused at the idea of being a living, moving
+
stim toy for his boyfriend. There are worse toys to be, after all, and the physical attention is heaven for a touch starved idiot who's too proud to admit that.

Between two pairs of clever hands, it only takes a minute to remove all the bandages until they're a pile on the
+
floor, and Ranpo kicks them unceremoniously into a corner. His eyes don't linger on any new scars as he turns to fiddle with the water faucets -- not because he doesn't care, but he feels lingering on them would be pointless.

They're in the past. He can't heal them. They're a
+
part of Dazai, they /are/ Dazai, so he'll accept them without batting an eye. The topic of scars and self harm has always been one they avoided because... well, Ranpo isn't a therapist. He also always knew enough not to berate someone for doing that.

Ranpo jumps lightly when
+
he feels a finger trail down his spine, head turning to give a half-hearted glare at Dazai. "Will you just be still?"

"I am still. You're the one being..." Dazai repeats the process, grinning when Ranpo tries to arch away from him. "/Jumpy/."

Ugh, he's such an annoying tease.
+
Ranpo huffs, aiming to ignore Dazai's touches as he sets the water to a decent enough temperature, shoving the shower curtain to step inside with Dazai right behind him...

Which may be a bad idea when the warm water combined with the lips on his neck make him shudder, eyes
+
closing as he bows his head and melts into that addicting warmth. Dazai's hands are on his hips, sinking down to stroke his thighs, brushing so carefully against the inside of them but never coming close enough.

This is going to make his water bill look atrocious, but--

Ranpo
+
presses a palm against the shower wall in front of him, breathing out a shuddered gasp when Dazai gives him a single slow stroke. -- you know what, Dazai can pay for it himself in this case.

"A shower is meant for getting clean." Ranpo mutters, but he does nothing to stop
+
Dazai from touching him, nor pressing up against his back.

"No harm done if you clean up after you have a little fun in the water, mm?"

Cocky little--

The thought is cut short by a groan when Dazai /squeezes/ now, demanding Ranpo's full attention.
+
"Come on, spread your legs for me some, pretty boy." Dazai's drops to something low and hot, like melted dark chocolate that's bitter on the first bite and /addicting/ in the aftertaste. It makes something in the pit of Ranpo's stomach twist hotly, because this part of Dazai is
+
still /new/ to him and it drives him /insane/ with how hot it is. He's still trying to figure out how to counter it effectively. For now, though--

"... Make me yourself."

The classic arrogant brattiness in him has never failed him before in making sure he gets what he wants.
+
Dazai seems to like that answer, though, or perhaps was even waiting for it, because he doesn't hesitate to grin against Ranpo's neck while pushing his chest against the shower wall, fingers gripping and squeezing the inside of one of his thighs as his legs are spread.

Fuck.
+
Ranpo bites his lip lightly, anticipation making his heart thump loudly in his ears as Dazai's fingers trail /up/, sliding in between his behind and teasing the entrance. Water is /not/ a good replacement for lube, but he's dealt with worse things, and there's no way in hell
+
he'd stop this over something so insignificant he can complain about /later/. Also--

Ranpo closes his eyes, giving a soft, quick breath when one finger sinks inside him.

--Dazai is /really/ good with his hands to the point it's addicting, and Ranpo keeps fucking /falling/ for
+
it.

"You should tell me how you want this," Dazai mumbles, voice somehow hotter than the water and the steam gathering in the bathroom. "For your own sake more than mine. I /know/ you're such an impatient thing."

And Dazai... oh, he loves to take his time. His good, sweet
+
time, in the best and worst of ways there is.

Ranpo won't even deny he's impatient. He is, along with selfish, bratty, and spoiled -- but /sometimes/ he doesn't mind dragging things out, and he's quickly came to the realization that he really doesn't mind that /especially/
+
when it comes to Dazai. Even the mundane things, he likes to drag them out, just to have that extra bit of time to enjoy.

Quite frankly, even if Dazai was honest with him, a part of Ranpo still can't help but feel as if Dazai will still disappear again. Dazai can honestly
+
say he doesn't want to leave Ranpo again, but that doesn't mean he won't possibly be forced to--

That train of thought leaves him with a sharp "oh" falling from his lips when Dazai adds another finger.

"Pay attention, Ra-n-po~"

"I'm listening..." Ranpo mumbles, not so subtly
+
rocking back into Dazai's fingers.

"Yeah?"

Dazai sounds way too amused for his own good, but for now, Ranpo allows it.

"Yeah--"

"Then tell me."

Honestly, Ranpo would love to be fucked into the bathroom wall just like this, with a hand gripping his hair and keeping him
+
pinned there as he's used and /bruised/, but /that/ sort of choice will lead to never managing to ever leave his apartment bedroom. He wants those fingers pulling his head back, his back a perfect arch, his cock aching and hard against the tile-- but it doesn't suit today's

+
plans, so he'll shelve the idea for /later/.

"I really... /really/ want to kiss you."

Dazai laughs, pulling away enough to guide Ranpo to turn and face him. Their lips are against each others without a word, with Ranpo's fingers combing through wet, curly hair and Dazai's
+
hand cupping a thigh, raising it up until Ranpo's leg is around his waist--

And yes, there's an obvious needy impatience in the way Ranpo raises the other leg to join it, ankles crossing at the small of Dazai's back, but that's just expected.

Dazai /did/ say it himself.
+
Ranpo's head falls back against the wall when he feels Dazai press inside him, gripping tight at the nape of the brunet's neck in pleasure at every delicious inch.

He wants, he wants, he /wants/--

By the time Dazai is bottoming out inside him, the heat of the water doesn't
+
compare to the heat of his body. Ranpo blinks up at the ceiling with half lidded eyes, hands lowering to Dazai's shoulders to drag his nails down the uncovered skin at the first slow thrust inside him.

"Hold back and I'll end you," Ranpo breathes.

Dazai presses Ranpo harder
+
into the wall, tilting up his chin to nip at his jaw. "I'll make you feel so good, honey, just be good for me. I know you can."

Dazai is lucky it's morning, and Ranpo isn't fully awake yet even if /parts/ of his body clearly is. That's the only reason why, Ranpo convinces
+
himself, that he nearly /purrs/, body relaxing as Dazai continues to move, building his pace slowly, drinking in every little breathy gasp and shudder.

The way Ranpo sometimes jumps or twitches when Dazai moves just right feels like /heaven/, the tightness making Dazai moan
+
from the back of his throat.

The hickies and bites from last night and the day before aren't any less glaring, but they make Dazai /hunger/ to leave more, to make sure Ranpo is never without them ever again, to remind him and anyone else that sees him that he's /claimed/.
+
He's /mine/. /Mine/ and /no one else's/.

"Yours, yeah-- ah--"

It doesn't even hit Dazai that he said some of that out loud until Ranpo is moaning out a reply, arching into the next thrust and using his legs to draw Dazai closer.

It shatters Dazai's self control, in record
+
time at that. He's always kept himself under control, cool in any situation, never vulnerable but--

Right here, he doesn't need to be, and he can be as untethered as he wants.

"Mine," Dazai says again, this time on his own volition, a bruise-tight grip on Ranpo's hips to
+
drag him back down on his cock just as his hips snap up. The way Ranpo clings to him is /perfect/, the sharp sting of nails in his skin burning under the heat of the water, and there's no better feeling in the world. "All mine, all--" One hard thrust, "Fucking--" Two, "/Mine/."
+
And the third has Ranpo spiralling, his voice raising an octave with every thrust, and Dazai isn't that far behind.

"Aw--" Ranpo pauses to gasp against Dazai's lips. "F-ful--"

Dazai grins, moving a hand away from Ranpo's waist to cup his face, thumb under the man's jaw.
+
"Oh /so/ terrible," he agrees, biting and tugging playfully at Ranpo's bottom lip, slowing his movements to draw a pathetic, begging whine from the smaller's lips. "The worst there is. You're sure you still want it?"

/Even with all the danger that comes with just holding my
+
hand?/

"I want it," Ranpo chokes out, chasing after his lips. "Want you, s-stop fucking stalling--"

It's /almost/ embarrassing how quickly those words send Dazai jumping in to kiss Ranpo, stealing the air from his lungs, a hang /pulling/ at wet black hair to tear moans from
+
his throat with his hard pace he knows isn't going to last much longer.

It's overwhelming in every possible way, hot, /blinding/ when the heat is too much to bear and the /beautiful/ arching body of Ranpo coming is the only thing needed to make Dazai follow after, absolutely
+
breathless and red in the face when he's done spilling inside Ranpo.

His head bows, face buried in Ranpo's shoulder to try and breathe.

Ranpo shifts, and in that moment Dazai notices the quivering of Ranpo's legs that squeeze painfully around his hips now.

He'll have some
+
bruises of his own outside the normal spots, huh?

"I'll set you down easy," Dazai mumbles, kissing Ranpo's neck gently. "Relax."

Ranpo does after some moments of hesitation. Dazai is careful as he promises, and when Ranpo's feet both touch the floor of the shower, they buckle
+
and make him slide down to sit.

Dazai kneels down, noting Ranpo is giving a dramatic look over an expression less /concerning/.

"Should've opted for a bath," he grumbles.

"You don't have a bathtub, love." Dazai snorts.

Ranpo sighs, letting his head lol to one side as he
+
gestures to a nearby bottle. "... Let me wash your hair."

This part of Ranpo, Dazai never tires of.

"So long as I can wash yours?"

Ranpo hums, smiling softly as be trails a hand up Dazai's cheek. "Sure. Just pay my water bill for this stunt, jerk."

A reasonable request,
+
Dazai amends.

"And then our date?"

"And then our date. No more distractions."

"Hmm... I can't promise that, but for /you/... I'll try--"

Ranpo pulls at Dazai's cheeks in feigned annoyance, but more evident fondness. "Dummy."

---
"You and your thing with sweaters, geez-- I was hoping you'd grow out of it or something."

"What's wrong with a sweater?"

"Nothing, but that's, like, half the problem."

"That makes /no/ sense."

The shower, honestly, is the least time consuming part of the morning for them.
+
Even with the spontaneous sex, there's the fact that one of them /loves/ to show off, and has always had his personal gripes with a certain brunet's poor fashion sense.

Dazai told Chuuya to bring comfortable civilian clothes, and Chuuya did -- most of them being
+
simplistic in colors, some jeans, and a generous dress outfit for what he assumes is just in case he /really/ fucks up and needs to drop 100,000 yen to beg for forgiveness.

Ever the smart one he is.

Then again, Chuuya is a very fashionable person, a sharp dresser, and he
+
ironically has always had the same complaints as Ranpo: his taste in clothes outside of suits is boring and doesn't do him justice.

Which is technically the point, but thay point is /not/ getting across.

Ranpo never did back down when it came to the stupider arguments,
+
because he found it funny and he just /loved/ to mess around.

"What would you want to have me wear, then? I certainly don't want to outclass the bubblegum whore aesthetic you're sporting."

Ranpo doesn't take offense to that, of course, because he actually /likes it/ and
+
finds it more endearing from people he's close with. He takes it more as an affectionate pet name, and even if it comes as an insult, he's agree even with his fist down your throat.

It's an apt description, because Ranpo is dressed in pinks, reds, and whites,
+
perfectly combined with appropriate make-up.

He's wearing pink high waisted (/very/ short) shorts, with X and O marks lining up one thigh in what looks like faded red lipstick, accompanied with a pair of white thigh highs that Dazai has learned he usually always wears under
+
his clothes /anyway/ which is another matter to parse in his mind entirely. He's wearing a pair of matching pink boots with white bows on the sides, the center of them fixed with semi-opaque red rose charms. The heels aren't high, and Dazai still has quite a bit of height over
+
Ranpo, but the way he could perfectly slot his face into Dazai's neck is a /delightful/ thought.

As for his shirt and jacket -- the jacket is comfortably baggy, a slightly darker shade of pink, balanced out by the white buttons lining one side of it, with a crop top
+
underneath that matches his shorts. The design on the shirt is what looks to be a ribcage, stuffed full of pink hydrangeas.

(He always was a fan of pastel gore.)

As for the make up...

It's subtle, just some shimmer eyeshadow and what looks like clear lipgloss, but he looks
+
like one of those carefully crafted sweets patissiere's put on display in their shops, and Dazai just wants to /devour/ him.

Ranpo seems satisfied with how long he's staring, though. Clearly going all out and making sure Dazai couldn't take his eyes off of him the entire day
+
is his goal, and he is /definitely/ going to accomplish it with ease.

"Outclass me? You're a laugh. Who can resist looking at someone like me?"

That question is blatantly biased, because Dazai can't really argue that. He's such an unfair person sometimes.

"Well, let's put it
+
this way: do you want everyone to be staring at /you/, or do you want all the attention to fall on me?"

Ranpo folds his arms, silent.

Ranpo loves attention, he loves having everyone look at him, admire him, and /want/ him. He loves praise and adoration, to have people at his
+
feet begging for his intelligence or blessing. He thrives on it.

But, that being given to Dazai instead.... He /doesn't/ like it.

Not because Dazai doesn't deserve it or anything, because he's just as good looking and easy on the eyes, but because Ranpo is /possessive/ and
+
knowing other people are eyeing what is /his/ and /his only/ would make him bristle. He does /not/ share, under /any/ circumstances.

So, after a few moments of running his tongue along the inside of his cheek, Ranpo turns away with a huff.

"Fine, fine. Have it your way."
+
The main difference in Ranpo being the center of attention is simple: Dazai agrees that all eyes should be on someone like him, and he's /petty/, so he also wants to make sure anyone looking can see the hand he has on Ranpo's waist and the glaring marks on his neck the raven
+
made /no/ attempt at covering up, so everyone knows the look in his eye is serious when they say 'Don't touch.'

So really, the situation is tailored specifically to cater to Ranpo, to give him all the attention he loves, the possessiveness he adores, and while he's /already/
+
spoiled as can be, spoiling him rotten can't possibly do anymore damage. After everything that's been said and done, Dazai knows this at least should be expected of him.

And if there's one thing he knows he can do, it's give a good time.

This city is his to run, for better
+
/and/ worse.

"Well, here, at least put this on."

Dazai can't ask him what 'this' is supposed to be before he feels something thrown around his neck, and he's jerked in so close against Ranpo that he need to put a hand on the wall behind the raven to catch himself.
+
Around his neck is a red scarf, the ends of it wrapped a few times around Ranpo's knuckles. Dazai deduces it'd probably reach around his knees if he didn't wrap it up.

"This way," Ranpo continues, pulling Dazai even closer to kiss the corner of his lips, "If you get distracted
+
or someone looks at you a little too long, I can drag you in just like this and remind you who you belong to."

Dazai can't help but break into a smile.

This man is so viciously possessive and petty, and honestly, he can't imagine anyone more suitable for someone like /him/.
+
"Well..." Carefully, Dazai unravels one end of the scarf from around Ranpo's knuckles, raising the hand to kiss the top of it gently. "You can't ever go wrong with black and red. If you want to put a leash on me, I can't say I'd feel particularly displeased."
+
"I'm glad you know your place." Ranpo snorts, patting his cheek lightly before turning to leave the room. "Now lets go. You have your wallet?"

As they make their way into the living room, Dazai walks over to the couch where his jacket is thrown over an arm. He picks it up,
+
plucking out his expensive leather wallet from one of the pockets to reassure Ranpo.

"Good." Ranpo opens the door. "You first."

Dazai gives a tilt of his head while sliding into his coat. "You say that as if you have some alternative motive."

"Don't worry about it. It's just
+
some... /insurance/. You need to go down the stairs first."

Well, Dazai knows well enough Ranpo isn't up to anything malicious, so he decides not to ask. Instead he shrugs, following Ranpo's lead as he walks out of the apartment first, waiting until Ranpo locks the door before
+
turning to head down the stairs. There's a small delay before Ranpo follows after, not picking up his pace at all, as if expecting something--

And something /does/ come.

That 'something' is a child around ten years old with a messy head of red hair, knocking into Dazai head
+
first. Dazai stumbles from the hit, leaning into the stair railing to keep himself from falling, looking up to see the face of a little girl a few steps above him giving a frightful, apologetic look with teary blue eyes.

"S-Sorry! I'm sorry, mister!"

"It's--"

From behind,
+
Ranpo is picking the girl up, raising her effortly to throw her over a shoulder like a sack of potatoes.

"There you are, you little /shit/. I knew you'd be out here."

"Wah-- R-Ranpo-san?!" The girl kicks her arms, flailing helplessly as Ranpo makes his way down the stairs,
+
fussing with one of the girl's pockets until he pulls out what is none other than /Dazai's wallet/.

Dazai stares at it, quickly giving a small scowl that's more towards /himself/ than the girl Ranpo sets down finally at the bottom of the stairs, who quickly fixes her clothes
+
and messy red hair, stomping a foot as she glares up at the man.

"What gives?! I had him!"

Ranpo puts his hands on his hips and huffs back at her. "He's under Ranpo custody, I'll have you know, so hands off. /Moreover/, Aya-chan, I /know/ you must've gotten the same scolding
+
as Elise and Yumeno the other day. You were being babysit by them that day too 'cause Ozaki-san wasn't home, and you're the /worst/ offender of you three!"

"If it's so bad, ya shouldn't of showed us how to do it!"

Ranpo makes a face.

Well, he can't really... argue that one.
+
"I had good intentions," he tries to argue, "But you guys don't know the unspoken rules of pickpocketing, so I'll have to teach you that later. I'm busy today, so at least stay out of trouble for a full twenty-four hours, will you?"

Aya scoffs, folding her arms while looking
+
Dazai over up and down, and honestly, Dazai has never felt so thoroughly criticized by a child with only a mere look.

That checks out for people who associate with Ranpo, though.

"What, you're going on a date? With this guy?"

"And? What about it?"

"Kyuu-chan was wondering
+
what the noise was," Aya smirks, much to Ranpo's growing mortification. "But Me 'n Elise are nice, so we didn't tell 'em the /real/ reason."

Ranpo's eye twitches. "You two have /got/ to stop listening to Naomi's gossiping."

"Why's he so special? You never let anyone come
+
home with ya."

Dazai arches a brow lightly at that, which Ranpo /does/ notice.

"... That's not really the business of a /fetus/."

"Huh?! Ya wanna go!!"

Ranpo snorts, ruffling her hair before flicking her forehead. "Nope, not today. Now /beat it/, will you? I got a date."
+
"I make /no/ promises!"

"Hmm... Not even if I promise to bring you some candy on the way home?"

"... I will make /one/ promise! But just this once, since I'm so nice!" Aya sticks out her tongue, then bounces up the stairs, running off out of sight and eventually punctuating
+
her disappearance with the loud slamming of a door.

She's always slammed them out of habit, and Ozaki is trying to wean her off of it... Which isn't going very well.

Ranpo sighs, fixing his hair a little and looking at Dazai who is studying him pensively. "... What?"
+
Dazai shrugs, drumming his fingers on the stair rail before saying, "So you never brought your other flings home, huh?"

"Of course not." Ranpo puts and turns away while heading towards the exit. "If you didn't pick up on what the brat said, the walls are /thin/ here."
+
Dazai trails after with an amused hop in his step. "Hmm, that's the only reason? Then how come you let me in? I wonder if that has anything to do with keeping my clothes around and our picture in plain sight?"

"Oh? Getting arrogant are we? Shall I fix that?"
+
Dazai turns his head away, not even bothering his smug smile as they open the door to the lobby of the apartment complex, walking down the small set of concrete stairs that lead onto the sidewalk.

/He's seriously so cute to mess with./

"Perish the thought. I've never been
+
arrogant in my /life/."

"Right, and I'm the Prime Minister's mistress," Ranpo scoffs with a roll of his eyes, reaching out to grab Dazai's hand and lace their fingers together. "Anyway, we need to decide on where we're going! Oh, you know what? First, let's get coffee."
+
"Not fully awake yet, are we?"

"I can answer that, but it might wound your pride about your dick."

"Rude."

Ranpo grins in response, and Dazai can't help but smile with utmost fondness.

Really, he can't believe he went without that for eight years.
+
The first place they go is the nearest coffee shop per Ranpo's demands, and after giving his exasperatingly intricate coffee order with additional sweets on the side, Dazai is ever the gentleman and assures him he can choose where they sit as he waits for their orders himself.
+
Which Ranpo does --

At first.

He knows the usual amount of time it takes for this order because he's ordered it before when deciding he deserved to treat himself, and Dazai orders a simple latte as he tries to play off being someone sleek and professional, so it shouldn't
+
take long. Every so often he glances over at Dazai, who's leaning against a wall, and he's always already looking at Ranpo so he can smile and wave back much to the raven's growing embarrassment.

This time, when Ranpo glances back over at Dazai, Dazai isn't looking at him.
+
Instead, he's looking at a pretty girl standing in front of him who seems to also be waiting for her coffee, with long hair and a purple one piece dress. Dazai is smiling at her as she talks to him, but the expression is more polite than it is something with any implications,
+
but that doesn't make Ranpo feel any less /irritated/.

He knows he's emotional, so for a small moment, he forces himself to remain calm. Dazai isn't interested, Ranpo knows he isn't, and nothing is going to happen -- nothing /should/ happen.

Of course, the outlying factor in
+
this is the /girl/, who ends up offering her a small card which, given how Dazai's brows raise lightly, obviously has her contact details on it.

The fleeting moment of self control /snaps/.

His jaw hurts from how hard he's grinding his teeth as he stands up, wading through
+
the people in the cafe, making it up to the two just as the girl says the words "in case you want to call me some time"--

He snatches it from her manicured fingers with a quick move of his hand, light and completely controlled despite how his blood is genuinely boiling
+
underneath.

"Sorry, he won't. Also, he's busy with /me/ right now." Ranpo assures with a perfect smile, ripping the small card in two, much to the girl's shock. "Might I ask you to move along? You've already got your coffee."

The girl gawks, completely dumbfounded, her gaze
+
flicks to Dazai who's standing behind Ranpo, and Ranpo doesn't know what kind of expression Dazai is making, but it seems to be dissatisfying enough to her that she walks away without a word and her head ducked down in almost /embarrassment/.

Ranpo is nearly glaring her out of
+
the cafe when he hears Dazai muffle an amused snort into his hand, which is when he finally turns to Dazai with a scowl.

"Why are you laughing? You better not have done that on purpose, or your coffee is going right down your--"

"I didn't," Dazai assures, grin flashing
+
through the spaces of his fingers. He looks /way/ too satisfied right now. "I was just casually talking, but she seemed pretty stricken by me, and out of nowhere she was giving her number."

That doesn't make Ranpo feel any less annoyed about it, though.

"I look away for just
+
a moment, and that's all it takes for you to be so /needy/?" The emphasis on that word is /very/ intentional. "So spoiled."

Ranpo opens his mouth to argue, but he doesn't get the chance to before the barista finally slides their orders across the counter with the sweets Ranpo
+
had asked for. Instead, he huffs, blowing a few stands of hair out of his eyes as he turns to walk back to their seats -- a booth in the corner near the windows, a habitual spot Ranpo always picked.

"Don't pout so much," Dazai scolds gently as he sets down their order, and
+
Ranpo already has a million things to say to /that/, but his breath halts when he feels Dazai's fingers on his chin, turning his head and tilting it back so Dazai can press a gentle kiss to his lips. "You're the only one for me. Did you forget that already?"

Ranpo falters.
+
His gaze lowers, face flooding with heat as he grabs Dazai's sleeve to gently tug him to sit down next to him instead of across from him.

"... Of course I didn't." He mutters.

Dazai leans into him with a content hum, relaxing against the booth while sliding an arm around
+
Ranpo's waist, thumbing at the skin of his bare thigh just below his shorts. "I'd hope not. Otherwise it'd break my poor little heart."

"Oh, /now/ who's spoiled?"

"Still you," Dazai says, murmuring the words in his ear after pressing a kiss there. "But I love that about you."
+
Ranpo shifts in his seat a little, leaning into Dazai as he takes the straw of his drink into his mouth. It's something sugary as hell, tastes of peppermint, and has a good four shots of espresso in it to balance it out because he's a heathen -- so he tries to blame his /drink/
+
on the bubbly feeling in the pit of his stomach, not something as silly as 'butterflies'. He's not a high schooler anymore, so he should be /over/ that silly stuff...

But at the same time, he knows that properly living out his high school dating life was cut short in the
+
worst way possible and left a scar that lingered for eight whole years. He supposes he should be angry that Dazai has more or less hindered his desire to experiment with others romantically, but -- he isn't really. Deep down, a part of him feels -- /knows/ -- that there are
+
very few, if any, who can stimulate him the way Dazai could. Honestly, before Dazai, he was god awfully /bored/ with having to dumb everything down just so he could have fun. Even then, half the time it didn't work out, and people wouldn't like his attitude -- but he never had
+
to do that with the snarky brunet with messy hair and some sort of injury he was nursing no matter the day or week, wasting away half the school year in the Nurse's office.

Usually, that would make a student an outcast or paint them as 'weird', but Dazai somehow blended in
+
seamlessly. He was popular, loved by teachers and students, and he /acted/ as if he was confident and in control but... Well, obviously he wasn't, and that submissive side of him when no one else was looking was something Ranpo /adored/. He hasn't really seen that side of
+
Dazai again since they met, though.

He glances up at Dazai, who's sipping his latte casually, index finger drumming against the side of the cup rhythmically. It isn't longer than a few seconds before he notices Ranpo is staring at him, and he looks down with a small, innocent
+
tilt of his head.

"What is it?"

Ranpo stares more, this time into those brown eyes, bright with a golden undertone that is so visible thanks to the sunlight streaming in through the window next to the booth. Despite all that, the brightness only looks surface deep -- like the
+
ocean, where you could only see a few inches or feet below the waves until it was a dark abyss.

The person he knew as Shuuji... Probably isn't in there.

In a way, Tsushima Shuuji /did/ die that day eight years ago, but Ranpo doesn't feel... as much 'loss' as he should.
+
This is still a person he loved, for better /and/ worse. This is still the person he chose, the person who knew him like no other, the person who had missed him just as much and just as /long/.

He's the same, and he isn't, but that's not a bad thing.

It means that there are
+
things Ranpo /doesn't/ know still. There are more things he can learn to love about this frustratingly endearing man he wants to deck in the mouth and kiss at the same time sometimes.

"Just thinking."

"I figured. What about?"

"Hmmm," Ranpo nuzzles into Dazai. "About you and
+
how much I like you."

Which isn't /wrong/ anyway.

"... Oh," Dazai's face turn the slightest shade of pink as he glances away, scratching at a cheek lightly. "I see."

It just makes Ranpo's thoughts just before nearly contradict everything, because in that moment he really
+
/does/ look like that easy to fluster, boyish boy named Shuuji -- so Ranpo laughs, leaning up to kiss his boyfriend's cheek lightly. "You're really cute."

"Please, you'll ruin my image." Dazai snorts halfheartedly.

Which perhaps is the main reason why he can't show such
+
softness anymore: because he took over control of the Port Mafia, needed to be seen as terrifying, ruthless, never to be messed with. If Ranpo asked him if he /wanted/ such a thing, he's sure he'd never get a straight answer. Dazai would deflect, saying he /wants/ to ensure
+
Ranpo's safety and happiness, and his job allows him to do that, but it doesn't really answer if Dazai likes where he is.

That's a really simple question, one he think /will/ get some sort of answer he can pick apart. "Do you like your job?"

Dazai blinks. "Why are you
+
asking /that/?"

"Just 'cause I wanna, duh."

"Was it not clear when you were hounding me for my life story during our years apart?"

A shrug. "Answer the dumb question. I'm not your therapist or something, geez." Not that he'd ever have one, because Dazai... He didn't 'reach
+
out' to people. He'd rather suffer in silence, play the fool, grin in front of a crowd of people and brag about how he procured his newest injury even when his expression would drop the second they looked away.

Ranpo was never fooled by it, though.
+
Dazai sighs, rubbing at his head. "I guess it has its perks? The money, connections, and resources are helpful-- that's it. I don't feel one way or the other about it."

"That's such a boring answer."

"Well, what were you expecting? You secretly always expected me to turn to
+
a life of crime or something?"

"I expected you to be my cute trophy husband, but turns out you're a /prick/."

Dazai is torn on what expression to make because on one hand, Ranpo implied a certain something, but on the other... Excuse you.

"If anyone is the trophy husband
+
now, it's you." he counters in an attempt to regain himself, leaving his latte to cool in favor of hugging Ranpo closer with both arms around his waist now, fingers lacing around a hip. "Don't you know talking about marriage on a first date is bad luck?"

"This isn't our first
+
date."

"That was /years/ ago, they don't c--"

Ranpo grabs his jaw, quickly silencing him. His gaze is firm, but somehow /vulnerable/. "They matter." He says. "They matter to /me/. A lot."

/You matter to me./ are the words his eyes say instead, and Dazai feels frozen on the
+
spot. He instinctively feels his body relaxing, sliding a hand up Ranpo's arm to gently grasp his wrist, pulling it away to kiss at Ranpo's palm.

"You're going to be the death of me." Dazai mumbles -- and a part of him means it.

Ranpo /is/ his only weakness. They shouldn't
+
/really/ be talking, and Dazai knew it was probably a message from God that he told himself that Ranpo was better off without him when he attempted to reconnect before. He was fine with staying away so long as Ranpo was safe, but then...

Ranpo was walking into his office,
+
decking him in the jaw in front of his subordinates.

No one has ever been so ballsy towards him since he took over as boss sans Chuuya, so it was /really/ refreshing and /also/ reminded him how much he missed Ranpo, who saw him as just another man; a man who /wasn't/ the best,
+
because Ranpo reigned supreme in his own mind.

"Well, better me than someone else. I'll be gentle." Ranpo says with a grin that just adds the final nail in Dazai's coffin that will be buried under white camellias, asters, red chrysanthemums and lavender instead of dirt.
+
"You, gentle?" Dazai laughs. "Unfathomable."

Ranpo seems to take that more as a compliment considering his smile, but instead of giving a response, he's pausing to look down at his pocket when his phone gives a series of small beeps.

"I thought I shut it off." He grumbles,
+
pulling his hand back to pull his phone out.

Dazai nearly grimaces. "What," he plucks the phone from Ranpo's hand, making the smaller give a noise of complaint, "the hell is /this thing/?"

Somehow, Ranpo /does/ take offense to that. "It's my phone? Don't ask stupid
+
questions."

"/Phone/?" Dazai looks back at it. It has a thick crack going down it diagonally, there are two whole buttons missing from the number pad, and... What the /hell/ happened to the hinge? It's about to snap in two! "This is not a phone. It's a piece of junk."
+
"It's the only phone I have. I'm /poor/, remember?"

"Yes, well, not anymore." Dazai pockets the phone himself. "You're getting a new one."

"Huh?"

"Drink that demonic sugary concoction that's going to go strait to your cute ass so I can take you to the nearest electronic
+
store, love."

Ranpo sticks out his tongue, but Dazai doesn't miss the excited smile on his face as he turns to look out the window -- no doubt to save his own pride.

---
"What kind of phone do /you/ have?" Ranpo asks, looking up from one of the phones displayed in the electronic store they're in.

The nearest one wasn't up to par for Dazai's taste, /apparently/, so they ended up going to one closer towards the center of the city, where the
+
store is wide and spacious, with countless countertops that are lined up with phones, laptops, and ipads in a variety of designs and colors, little nameplates situated next to them with their prices.

There's nothing Ranpo could afford on his own here, that was for sure.
+
Dazai reaches into his pocket, pulling out a sleek, black touchpad phone. He hands it over to Ranpo, who plucks it out of his hands to inspect curiously.

The back of it has a small circle for fingerprint scans, then the obligatory camera lens and volume buttons on the side.
+
It's lightweight -- way lighter than Yosano's, so it must be the newest model of whatever kind of phone this is.

"Mine has a triple lock. Pincode, fingerprint, then voice lock. It has to be in that order, or it won't ope--" He stops, watching as Ranpo already figures out the
+
pincode on the first try.

Ranpo smirks. "You're such a loser sap."

"... I still won't open without the other two."

"Oh, I know." Ranpo offers the phone back. "But knowing your pincode is my birthday is really cute and strokes my ego pretty nicely, I'll have you know."
+
Dazai sighs, but there's an underlying fondness to it as he accepts his phone. "Mine was specially made anyway. Most of them don't have a required triple lock. It's optional for normal phones."

"Luckily for me, I don't have much to hide and I'm not a crime boss."
+
Ranpo picks up another phone with a sigh. "You know what these touch screens don't have? Keychain holes. Sure, you can get keychains that plug into the ear jack, but what if you have plug in headphones? That's what sucks about these phones. What if I wanna have a cute
+
keychain hanging from my phone?"

Dazai shakes his head with a snort. "/That's/ the problem here?"

"What bigger problem is there for a phone? You have to look at the big picture here: the aesthetic! The possibilities! What if we got matching keychains?" A pause. "Actually,
+
that's not a bad idea--"

It's /not/ and it's right up Ranpo's alley of showing affection and a subtle reminder of 'I own your ass and that organ beating in your chest', but he's getting sidetracked.

Which technically is good, because that means he's having a good time, but
+
Dazai is not letting him go home with whatever busted up piece of junk is still sitting in his other pocket right now. "You know, they make cases that have a makeshift hole for keychains."

"Well, when you put it that way... That's fine." Ranpo pokes at Dazai's chest as he
+
walks past. "You'll just have to get one too while we're at it -- for future keychain purposes."

"Yes, /of course/."

It still takes a little more time for Ranpo to decide on a phone, showing no qualms in caring for the price tag because Dazai has made it clear this is on
+
/his/ tab. He ends up choosing a touch screen in the end, one that had a rose gold backing and he absolutely /loved/ the second he laid eyes on it. There was no question about which one he would choose, and Dazai didn't hesitate to hand over his card while pointing to it.
+
Transferring information is a tedious process, but after fifteen minutes, everything is perfectly set up, and Dazai is handed Ranpo's new phone.

Ranpo grabs for it, but Dazai lifts it away out of reach while opening one of the applications.

"What are you doing?"
+
"I--" Dazai pauses, tapping quickly on the screen a few more times before he's satisfied. "--am putting my number in your new phone."

... Oh. Right.

It didn't even occur to him until now that he didn't have Dazai's number yet.

Dazai offers Ranpo his new phone with a smile.
+
"Now you can call me whenever you want after the week is through."

Ranpo takes the phone from him, staring down at the blank screen pensively. He /also/ conveniently forgot that this is only lasting a week before Dazai goes back to business, and he doesn't know /how/ that's
+
going to affect their ability to spend time together /specifically/, which makes him a little reluctant.

He feels Dazai's thumb against his cheek, leaning into it as the brunet tilts his chin up.

"Don't make that face. There's a while to go before the week is up, and it's
+
not as if you'll never see me. I'm chained to a desk half the time, so you're free to visit."

That's admittedly reassuring.

"... Okay," Ranpo mumbles. "Anyway, where are the phone cases?"

Dazai raises a small bag he's carrying, to which Ranpo nods firmly.

"Good. 'Cause
+
we are definitely getting matching keychains today."

"You've made that a /very/ important part on our itinerary, yes. What do you want to do next?"

This time, Ranpo doesn't hesitate. "On the way here, there was an arcade we walked past. Let's have some fun there!!"
+
Jeez, he's too cute.

"Whatever you want, Ranpo."

The arcade in question was only a good five to ten minute walk back the way they had came, noticable from the main street from the side street it's on. It has the expected retro feel of a place that relies on coins, and the
+
manager manning the counter is a middle aged man in a newsboy cap, flipping through his newspaper without a care.

When the two enter, he looks up to give them a nod and a polite smile, which Dazai returns before watching Ranpo walk off ahead of him to consider his options.
+
"Hey, a rhythm game! This is pretty new, though... I love these things." He ends up settling on a slightly newer machine, off-white from being used from countless others before, rainbow lights sparkling around the touch board in the shape of what looks like a circle.
+
"You ever played one of these? They're called MaiMai."

"Not really."

Ranpo beams, cracking his knuckles. "This might be a little below my usual without gloves and all, but it's fun! I'll show you. The kids I watch over drag me to another arcade closer to our place."
+
Dazai doesn't have much free time to learn about these things, admittedly. He knows a lot, but hasn't personally experienced it, too busy wading through his work as the boss of the Port Mafia. Ranpo on the other hand, he had the freedom to go wherever he wanted, /do/ whatever
+
he wanted without someone leaning over his shoulder and say 'I would advise you didn't.'

He watches as Ranpo scrolls through the songs, tapping on one with the artist Dazai recognizes as the ever famous Hatsune Miku.

The song is titled "Hold, Release; Rakshasa and Carcasses".
+
A very fitting choice for someone of Ranpo's tastes, to be sure. The song has an old fashioned, traditional sound origin to it, combined with modern pop. The music notes go by at a breakneck pace, but Ranpo matches them all with fluid ease, bouncing a little in place as
+
he sings along to the lyrics--

"Carp steamers on their back, a skull is expecting~ Yai yai~ let's go play--"

The tapping of the glowing buttons, and swirling his fingers around to following the patterns on the screen, there isn't a single bit of hesitation. It shouldn't
+
be very surprising when Ranpo has always been good at memorizing and talented with his hands, but perhaps Dazai just forgot all those hands could do, because it's he's genuinely stunned into silence for a good while as he watches, and Ranpo finishes with a perfect Triple S
+
score-- What the fuck.

"Well, that was fun! Looks like I wasn't so bad after all this time, haha!" Ranpo chirps, dusting off his hands.

"You were pretending to be humble when you started, I'm sure." Dazai scoffs.

"I wonder," Then, the raven hums. "I wish the company
+
would put my favorite song on. Ever heard 'The Fox's Wedding'? Very fun, I know it'd be a /killer/ song."

Meaning it's horrific, Dazai is sure.

"Now you try!"

"/Me/?"

"Come on, you /have/ gotten rusty. Shape up some while you're with me -- you'll thank me later~"
+
Dazai doesn't argue with him, because he supposes that he walked into this the second Ranpo exposed that little bit, but Ranpo is a merciless man who does not forget even if he may /claims/ he forgives you.

Dazai knows that Ranpo might still hold some grievances, if slapping
+
his hand on the 'Master mode' button says anything.

God help him.

---
Dazai would never claim he's the most /fit/ of people. He's not like Chuuya, for example, who works out every other day and has countless martial arts at his disposal -- but he would never say he /wasn't/ fit.

Which he thinks might have been his first mistake, all things
+
considered, because by the time he and Ranpo actually finish having their fun at the arcade...

Dear god, everything fucking hurts.

After MaiMai, there was Taiko no Tatsujin, and Dance Dance revolution -- It made holding up the plastic gun for the shooting games nearly
+
impossible, and he thinks the only thing he might've done with ease is the crane game because Ranpo wanted the egg mascot plush inside.

"Still alive in there?" Ranpo doesn't seem to feel bad for it at all, poking at Dazai's shoulder with a grin from the bench they're sitting
+
on.

Dazai didn't want to /look/ at another arcade game for another decade, and luckily Ranpo was kind enough to give him some mercy when they left to sit down at a nearby park.

The brunet blinks, making a mental note of the position of the sun in the sky. "How long were we
+
in there?"

"Oh, hmmm... About two and a half hours. You were really into it despite how much you were complaining. You always were a sore loser."

"Sore loser--" Dazai looks mock offended.

"Emphasis on sore."

Dazai rolls his eyes with a smile, and it's not long after he
+
hears the click of a phone camera that makes him look back at Ranpo who is holding up his new phone in Dazai's direction.

A brow arches. "Why are you taking my picture?"

"I have been for a while. You've just been distracted." Ranpo lowers the phone, humming pensively.
+
"We still need to find a purikura machine, though."

"It's only 3:30, there's plenty of time still."

Ranpo scoots up to his side, lacing their fingers together with a hum. "Well, it's your turn to pick some things to do. I don't want everything to just be my ideas. Where do
+
you wanna go?"

Dazai hums, long and hard. He drags it out for nearly a full 30 seconds before he seems to come to an idea, "Oh, a book store."

"Book store?"

"There's a book I've been meaning to buy. A friend of mine got published recently, but I've been too busy to get it."
+
Ranpo raises a brow, seeming genuine curious and surprised. "You have /friends/?"

Any other person would have been offended by the assumption they were friendless, but Dazai knows why Ranpo is asking in the first place. He's made it clear that he gave up every semblance of
+
a normal life when he faked his death back in high school, which included things like 'friendship' or 'romance'. Friendships were not exactly encouraged in the mafia, but at the same time, the people who made up the mafia were human beings -- and no human could go on
+
forever without having contact and connection with other people. It wasn't /encouraged/ but it wasn't as if anything was done about it when people noticed, either. So long as you did your work as expected, it wasn't the liability it was painted as on the paperwork.
+
Dazai had /one/ person he could truly call a best friend.

"I have /a/ friend," he corrects finally while standing up from the bench and offering his hand to Ranpo. "When I became the boss of the mafia, there was one other thing I did aside from creating the Whitelist you're
+
on."

Ranpo takes his hand, standing to his feet as they start down the sidewalk. "Uh huh. What's that."

"I fired my best friend." And that statement earns him a look of 'so what?', so he decides to elaborate before Ranpo makes a clever quip, "And in the mafia, when you get
+
fired, that usually means you're going to be executed afterwards."

"And... This one wasn't."

"No." Which is a clear act of favoritism, but luckily, no one can speak against the /boss/ and moreover-- "He didn't want to be in the mafia anyway. He had been planning to leave for
+
a while but just couldn't find the right chance, so I gave it myself."

"You're addicted to self sacrifice." Ranpo sighs.

"... Maybe."

But if it was for the few people he cared about, genuinely and truly, then Dazai didn't mind throwing himself before the fire.
+
"What's his name?"

"His real one, or his pseudonym?"

"Whichever you wanna give. I'll learn the other eventually."

He has a point there. The pseudonym will be clear on the book, so... "His name is Odasaku. He's tall and quiet, a man who thinks too much and talks too little,
+
way too handy with a gun and anything sharp you can put in his hand."

Well, he's not an assassin anymore. When he left the mafia, he gave up his gun and weapons to live the life of a peaceful civilian, and Dazai...

He wanted to ensure that peace, even if his hands had to
+
get dirty.

"You seem to like him a lot."

"What, jealous?" Dazai grins over at Ranpo, though he's a bit surprised to see the smaller smiling fondly at him.

"No. I guess I'm pretty thankful for him." Ranpo loops their arms together, leaning into Dazai with a hum. "He kept
+
you human."

/Human./

Such a word was long since torn out of Dazai's vocabulary. In the mafia, nobody was /human/-- they were /numbers/ and /items/; Weight, content, quantity, quality. You tossed out whatever wasn't producing results, put money into what did. Maybe, if they
+
were at the very top, they were something close to human in /body/. They were individual and important, but really, genuinely human?

Dazai never thought so.

So really, Ranpo's statement startles him. He feels as if he's stumbling along as they walk down the sidewalk and he
+
gawks at the man who has so easily tilted his entire world on its axis.

This is true weakness.

"I..."

Ranpo blinks up at him, and it's a crime he doesn't know what those eyes really, truly do to Dazai. "What?"

"It's-- I--" Dazai shakes his head. "I... don't know how to
+
respond to that."

Now /Ranpo/ looks baffled.

The only difference is, he sputters and bursts into laughter a few moments later, much to Dazai's embarrassment.

"What's so funny?"

"You are, haha!" Ranpo reaches up, cupping Dazai's face. "You're seriously funny. Did you forget
+
who you're with?"

Dazai raises his hands to cover Ranpo's. "No?"

"You're not the boss right now. You're just Dazai -- /my/ Dazai. And the Dazai I know is only human, who will never ever be better than I am no ma~tter how hard he tries. He's kind of stupid and incredibly
+
flawed, but those things are my favorite."

Ranpo shuffles closer, standing on his toes, pulling Dazai down to meet his lips gently.

"So, stop trying to think so much -- just for a little while longer. Just be Dazai."

Dazai feels his face burn, hugging Ranpo in his arms to
+
hide from it. He feels the smaller's hands wrap around him from inside his jacket, warm against his back and tracing soothing patterns he has always /loved/.

"And you call /me/ the sap." Dazai mutters.

"I have /no/ idea what you're talking about~" Ranpo leans back, but he
+
remains close enough their noses touch. "By the way..."

"Mm?"

"Are they always going to be watching?

Ah, he noticed.

"... Usually. I am a pretty important figure, after all. Yokohama's economy will collapse without me, quite frankly."

"That's a shame. I planned on blowing
+
you, but I don't wanna with an /audience/."

Oh, that's not /fair/.

"You're a voyeur anyway."

"Yeah, but~ today is a day for just me and you, so not at the moment. Sucks to be you."

Dazai debates very, /very/ hard with himself about calling his guards off but--

Sigh. Deep,
+
deeeeep sigh.

He can't take that risk, so for now all he can mourn how /euphoric/ Ranpo's mouth would feel around his--

"Anyway, the book, right? We should get going, and we can get dinner after."

"Right, right."
+
Returning to walking hand in hand, they make their way to the nearest book store next -- in this case, a kinokuniya, well populated with other customers perusing the shelves. While it takes a bit of searching between the two of them, they find the books on sale published by
+
Dazai's friend -- or, what's left.

When they find it, there's only two left.

Ranpo plucks one off the shelf to study the cover.

"S. Oda, huh. He westernized it."

"He's not very good at lying." Dazai snorts, picking the remaining book up. "So he just shortened it enough to
+
be vague. If you read his writing, I'm sure his personality will be pretty clear to you." Then, he smiles down at the book in his hands, thumbing at a corner. "Looks like he's doing well. People like his writing, so I'm sure he's happy."

"... How long has it been since you've
+
seen him?"

"Hmm. A year and a half? Two?"

Ranpo looks appalled.

"... We've been busy."

"This Oda guy must be patient as all hell to have not decked you yet."

"I say the same /all/ the time."

The shorter hums, and after one more long glance at the book he's still holding,
+
he places it atop Dazai's. "Buy me a copy too. I'll read it."

Dazai's brows raise. "Really?"

"If you're still playing chicken with him, it's not like I can meet him yet, so I'll learn what type of person he is through this."

For him, that's easy. He's done it before with a
+
past fling of his that caught his eye for a while but... Well, a fling is a fling, and while there was an expression of wanting a genuine relationship out of it, obviously Ranpo ghosted him.

Ever the elegant one. (Not.)

Regardless, Dazai looks ridiculously /soft/ and happy
+
at the idea, and it makes Ranpo's chest bubble with warmth.

He's so weak for him.

"Tell me what you think afterwards. I'm sure he'll be happy to take your critique."

"Critique! You're already assuming I'm going to drag him through the mud?"

"You used to send my love letters
+
back with corrections, Ranpo."

"That was different," It's still very funny, mind you. "It was elaborate flirting in return. Teasing, even. You knew that much."

"Did I?"

Ranpo jabs him with an elbow. "I'm not gonna send corrections on a published book to your friend, dummy.
+
It'd have to be /really/ bad if that were the case. Are you saying you don't have faith in your friend's writing?"

"Now, don't put words in my mouth--"

Ranpo grins, and Dazai can't help but find that amusement infectious as they both break into soft laughter, nudging each
+
other on their way out of the aisle.

While making their way to the cashier, something catches Ranpo's eye, making him stop in his tracks, then take a few steps back in reverse.

Dazai looks back at him. "What is it?"

Ranpo doesn't answer, instead bouncing off to a nearby
+
rack holding...

Ah, of course.

Dazai trails after, folding his arms with a sigh as Ranpo files through the rack of keychains with a pensive hum, flicking a few childishly with his fingers to watch them sway back and forth.

"Try to get something that won't ruin my image,
+
will you?"

"If you ask me, what you carry shouldn't matter if the power you hold is genuine," Ranpo smirks lightly. "If a cute Hello Kitty keychain is enough to ruin it, I don't think you had an image in the first place."

Smart ass.

"Oh, you know what one idiom? Two great
+
treasures, or two amazing people."

"... Souheki?"

"Yeah, that one."

Ranpo lifts up a pair of matching jade keychains. They're simple circles, with an empty space in the middle where a piece of gold swings in the middle. It's a simple, yet elegant design. Jade is often used
+
as a symbol of good luck --

And part of an alternate meaning for Souheki. Dazai assumes that's the joke here.

"Good enough for you?"

Dazai smiles, leaning in to kiss Ranpo's cheek, fingers curling around Ranpo's hand holding onto the keychains. "If you're happy with it, so
+
am I, darling."

Ranpo looks away, forcing a pout. "Don't get confident. No more stalling from me, we can check out now."

"And then dinner." Dazai declares, turning on a heel. "I know a good place nearby."

"Hmm -- I'll hold you to that."

---
As the saying goes, time flies when you're having fun.

The week goes by in no time, and with every passing day, Ranpo becomes more and more aware he won't have that mess of brown hair and bandages to wake up to in the morning. In retrospect, it was going to hurt him from the
+
start, but Ranpo has always been emotional. He acts a little out of hand when that becomes the case, and usually he has good control over it... but could he really be blamed when he was seeing his presumed dead boyfriend of eight years? He thinks it could have gone way worse.
+
So, when he wakes up on the final day when Dazai is supposed to go home, yes he obviously looks disappointed. He hides it whenever Dazai looks at him, but as soon as his back is turned, his face drops again--

Like now.

But Dazai isn't stupid or blind, nor is he ignorant
+
to how Ranpo acts. Parts of him may be different now, but there is a lot that's still the same.

Dazai sighs out loud from where he's making his coffee at the kitchen counter, the stare on his back absolutely /glaring/. "Ranpo, it's not as if you'll never see me again, you
+
know."

"I know that." Ranpo mutters from the couch, the top half of his head peaking out from the backrest as he eyes Dazai.

"So why are you moping?"

"I'm not /moping/."

Dazai turns, and Ranpo's ducks his head back down to fake disinterest. He sighs again, making his way
+
into the living room and around the couch, where Ranpo can no longer hide the fact he's curled up in a blanket with a pout. Setting his coffee on the coffee table, Dazai sits down, holding his arms out in a silent gesture for Ranpo to come closer.

"Come here, brat."
+
Ranpo sticks his tongue out, but he still climbs across the couch to settle in Dazai's lap, nuzzling into the taller's neck contently while wrapping his arms around Dazai's middle.

"I told you, I'm not going anywhere. I'm downtown whenever you want to find me."

"And what if
+
you're not there?"

"That's why you have your new fancy schmancy rose gold phone, duh," Dazai snorts, kissing his lover's crown. "Come on, the Ranpo I know isn't so self-conscious and mopey. Don't overthink this so much."

"I told you, I'm /not/ moping." Ranpo huffs.
+
"Of course. You just look oh so sad and pitiful for the hell of it."

Ranpo jabs him in the side for that, and he grins, pulling the other man back to cup his cheek.

Ranpo always leans into his touch, he's noticed, touching his hand or grabbing his wrist. It's unbearably cute.
+
"I think this week was pretty fun-- what about you?"

"Well, of course it was." Ranpo looks away with a pout, but it's clear he's very much /happy/. He was absolutely beyond animated yesterday, as they finally had time to find a purikura to take new photos together, and it was
+
like Ranpo had ate the goddamn sun.

Dazai /also/ isn't oblivious to how soft Ranpo smiles when fiddling with the keychain hanging from the case of his phone, which matches the one now hanging from Dazai's.

He's ridiculously sentimental, and Dazai loves it to pieces.
+
Dazai's phone beeps, vibrating in his pocket. He shifts to pull it out, typing in the pincode, scanning his index finger, and leaning into the microphone to say his own name before the screen unlocks. There's a single text waiting for him that he opens up, not caring how
+
Ranpo's eyes follow.

[YUAN:] 20 minutes out

Dazai sighs, and Ranpo leans into him more in silent protest.

"I suppose I should get changed for work." Luckily, he never needed to use his emergency suit and beg for forgiveness, so he can use it for today's schedule instead.
+
Ranpo seems intent on stalling, so he picks the raven up, blanket at all, which makes Ranpo laugh as Dazai makes his way to the bedroom where his bag is waiting on the bed.

He tosses Ranpo onto it to watch the man bounce, then fight with fighting the blanket off.

"Rude."
+
"Help me get dressed?"

Ranpo's mouth snaps shut at that, brows arching incredulously.

Dazai smiles innocently. "Don't want to?"

Green eyes narrow, scrutinizing him down to the last detail, and he lets it happen, leaning against Ranpo's dresser, posture lax and /open/.
+
He could drown in those eyes, choke on the kisses Ranpo presses to his lips, but Ranpo is not kind enough to give him sweet death -- no, he will be cruel, and make Dazai want to /live/.

"You're really spoiled," Ranpo sighs as he walks over to Dazai, fingers sliding under
+
Dazai's sweater, pressing against his abdomen while sliding up. The fabric follows, and Dazai raises his arms so the sweater can be pulled off his head.

Then, Ranpo grabs at the hem of Dazai's jeans, tugging him so close their bodies press together.

Dazai's heart jumps,
+
smile boyish and lopsided with how /eager/ he is.

"Just what am I gonna do with you, huh?"

"I'm curious as well," Dazai laughs, just in time for Ranpo to tug him a few steps forward, then shove him down to sit on the edge of the bed.

The way Ranpo's hands slide down
+
Dazai's thighs is slow and practiced, spreading his legs to kneel down in between them with all the casualness in the world.

Even on his knees, he's in control, and they both know it.

"I'll have to wring that out of you, ni~ce and slow."

God. Please, that'd be amazing, so
+
fucking perfect and--

Out the corner of his eye, he notices his phone.

Fifteen minutes left.

Internally, Dazai groans and mourns the fact that they don't have much time left, and Ranpo can't ruin him as thoroughly as Dazai would usually /beg/ him to, but he's beyond the
+
point of leaving here without a little 'farewell gift'.

Ranpo wouldn't dare to let Dazai stop him anyway, already kissing and nipping at the unbandaged skin of the brunet's abdomen while fiddling with Dazai's belt and unzipping his pants.
+
"My pretty boy," Ranpo purrs, breath hot against Dazai's skin.

Dazai's resolve is melting like chocolate, and he doesn't make exceptions-- he doesn't usually make exceptions, but--

Those words and the way Ranpo talks is so soothing, so addicting. A part of his brain shuts
+
down to follow Ranpo's lead, eyes half lidded and glazed over as he shifts to help Ranpo tug off the rest of his clothes.

Admittedly, he's missed this-- the ability to submit, to stop thinking, to let someone else take control. He hasn't felt like this since /high school/,
+
melting into Ranpo's every touch, giving in to the building heat and overwhelming sensations running through him.

Dazai doesn't even realize Ranpo's mouth is on him while caught in his thoughts until his head is falling back with a half-sigh, half moan. "Ranpo..."
+
There is one thing Ranpo is proud to say he's good at, and that's being good with his mouth-- be it talking or otherwise.

And there has truly never been a treat as sweet to him as making someone lose their mind with only his teeth, tongue, and lips.

The fact Ranpo can indulge
+
himself in Dazai again is delightful because he'll admit, the shy boy named Shuuji who would squirm and whine and beg for more was irresistable. While he isn't the shy boy he once was and has a lot more experience, Dazai still melts as easily as always, falling back against the
+
bed with a breathless sigh of pleasure.

"We really shouldn't..."

Ranpo pulls away until only the head of Dazai's dick is in his mouth, flicking his tongue over the slit to make the other hiss. "That's a shame," he says, all too smug, "Guess you won't get to cum from getting
+
deepthroated."

Oh, that's not fucking fair.

Ranpo knows it too, because he's grinning from ear to ear as Dazai glares weakly at him, knowing he only needs to press slow, methodical kisses down the shaft in his hand before Dazai is groaning in defeat and fumbling with his
+
phone.

"You can't always do this," Dazai croaks, biting his lip to ignore how his finger shakes as he types.

"Yeah, but I'll do it till I can't~"

[DAZAI:] 45 extra mins, busy
[YUAN:] wtf

He does not grace that with an explanation, he can do that in the car later, thank you
+
very much. Right now, he's far more concerned about his current situation, fingers reaching to grasp a fistful of blankets above his head when Ranpo daringly takes him in all the way to the base, the tip of his cock pressing against the back of Ranpo's throat.

Still no gag
+
reflex, it seemed.

Ranpo moans softly around the cock in his mouth, swallowing to make Dazai's body twitch involuntarily at the sensation. There's a ghost of a smile on his lips as he pulls back with painful slowness, hands squeezing Dazai's thighs with firm, controlling
+
/affection/ that makes him weak, almost choking out a while when Ranpo's mouth nearly pulls away, only to sink back down and suck reverently.

It's good, so fucking good, he could melt into this and be fine with living on the edge of having sweet release if it meant being at
+
the mercy of Ranpo's mouth and hands, but even that is something he knows he will be robbed of because Ranpo is an even bigger sadist than he is.

"You're so cute when you try to hold back," Ranpo purrs, licking a slow stripe upwards and sucking playfully at the head of
+
Dazai's cock. "Don't you want to come? Remember how great it feels when I'm swallowing it all?"

"I didn't..." Dazai pants, "Give us more time just to come this soon."

"Aw, my sweetheart's so far gone that he can only think as far as his dick can reach," Ranpo snickers,
+
stroking Dazai slowly, making sure to squeeze around the tip on every upstroke. "You got us, what, another 45 minutes, knowing you? An hour gives me a lot of freedom. I think before you go back to being the boss, you should be reminded who's the boss of /you/."

He's really
+
fucked now.

"I've been generous 'cause I missed you, but I've been waiting for this," Ranpo chuckles, low and hot and warm against Dazai. "It's high time you get bent over and have that pretty ass ruined."

Yes, yes, please, anything you want, just don't stop--

He must be
+
moving and bucking into Ranpo's touch, because he can feel Ranpo squeeze around his hip, a grin on his lips before he sinks back down to take Dazai into his mouth to suck, lick, and moan with every intention of shattering any self control left.

And Dazai let's him, of course,
+
back arching off the bed as he rolls his hips to meet the addicting heat of Ranpo's mouth. His toes curl and his thighs shake, eyes squeezed shut to try and relish the hot, addicting feeling of being on the edge with Ranpo's mouth on him --
+
What he doesn't expect is the firm squeeze around his balls, sending a hot jolt through his body that makes stars burst in his vision, the pressure he was trying so hard to maintain /bursting/ as he comes into Ranpo's waiting mouth with a hard, broken moan, choking out a
+
soft curse as Ranpo eagerly swallows around him to take every drop, licking and sucking slowly to make sure he doesn't miss a thing while pulling off of him.

"/That/ was really cute," Ranpo purrs, running his fingers over his lips to catch the few drops of cum threatening to
+
run down to his chin, licking the digits clean with an intentionally playful, audible suck.

"You're awful," Dazai groans.

"You love me." Ranpo counters, standing up to lean over him and kiss at his ear. "And I wanna show how much I /love/ you, so you go the rest of the day
+
feeling the reminder of that love."

Whether that be dripping with cum, being sore beyond compare, or anything else in between -- that's the real surprise here.

"So /relax/, lay on the bed, and let me make you cry~ You're not back in boss mode yet. Not until I /let/ you."
+
Ranpo's personality can change so fast you can feel whiplash. He has powerful control over himself when he has a goal in mind, his general impulsiveness and childishness neatly tucked away until he's satisfied or has accomplished his goal. It's a terrifyingly admirable skill,
+
one Dazai only ever sees in abundance in the mafia, but Ranpo is an anomaly.

He could be bad, very bad, and do it so smoothly and easily -- but he doesn't. He chooses not to, which is an act of mercy only Dazai truly knows of. A man like him dances in the light as if walking
+
on air, but could grip the dark by its throat and tear it apart with a sharp smile and sharper eyes.

He's terrifyingly beautiful beyond compare, and it always leaves Dazai breathless to think about.

"Okay," Dazai mumbles as he works his pants off the rest of the way, freezing
+
the moment it drops around his ankles as Ranpo grasps his chin to force his head up, brown meeting emerald in a heated stare.

"Come again? I couldn't hear you well."

Dazai gives a soft, shuddered breath. "... Yes, /sir/." He corrects himself, feeling unbearably /warm/ at the
+
smile that tugs on Ranpo's lips.

"That's better. I knew you'd still know how to listen to me properly." Ranpo says, his voice a low purr as he kisses at the corner of Dazai's lips in a teasing gesture. "Since I feel nice, I'll let you decide what I do to you."

+
Dazai hesitates, raising a hand slowly to cup the back of Ranpo's neck and keep him close. "Whatever you want," he says. "Anything you want, Ranpo."

"Are you su~re about that? You're going to regret it. Unless -- you just really need a good punishment to be set back in line?"
+
Given Dazai's record, he needed far more than a good punishment to be 'set back in line', if such a line still existed for him in the first place. Even if it didn't, he could make one himself, and if it meant that Ranpo could be over him, in him, /control him/ in the way
+
Dazai hasn't dared to allow anyone else so much as even dream of doing, then so be it.

"Well..." Dazai brings his legs up onto the bed, moving away from the edge to stretch out on the blankets. "You haven't been really subtle in showing you're still mad at me. If I let you,
+
will you properly take out the rest of your frustration out on me?"

Ranpo considers the offer as he begins to round his bed, humming pensively as he looks around, as if trying to find something he misplaced. "And you're sure that's what you want?"

The calm, collectedness is
+
very much a turn on, thank you.

"Yes."

Ranpo grins, somewhere between feral, excited, and endeared. "Great! Just let me take care of everything, Osamu. You don't have to think about a thing."

Like Dazai's phone that Ranpo is oh so casually tucking into his back pocket
+
for 'safe keeping'.

Yeah, the mafia can handle themselves for another few hours just fine. He has more important things to do.

---
Chuuya is used to things going wrong here and there. Nothing is perfect, especially in the Mafia, so he's used to improvising when it came down to things going south. He's not second in command to the Port Mafia for no reason, and he worked damn hard to get where he is,
and Dazai was a demanding prick who made sure that it wasn't easy for Chuuya to claim his title, obnoxiously petty until the very end.

Chuuya has busted his ass for this organization, as well as the business used as its cover, but he has /never/ busted his ass so thoroughly
+
as he has this past week. He feels insane. He wants to break something, he wants to crack /someone's/ skull in, and most importantly? He wants to SLEEP. He's been up for 52 hours, his body feels like its buzzing from the caffeine in his system, and Dazai has not been picking
+
up his phone for the past /three hours/ now.

He's used to being ignored by Dazai, mind you, but this is over the line. He was promised something, and he intends to make sure he gets what he deserves. Just how hard is it to leave some common man's apartment, or at least get
+
some sort of message back?! It's bad enough he had to postpone today's mission on the account of Dazai never showing up for his ride, and Yuan is not too happy about having to work overtime.

Chuuya sighs, pinching the bridge of his nose as he calls Dazai's number once more.
+
And this time, to his surprise, it actually picks up. He's genuinely shocked for a good moment or two, standing there in stunned silence, slowly fuming and ready to give that bastard a very long speech about being negligent over his work, when --

"Hi, Nakahara-san!"
+
-- someone who is very much /not/ Dazai answers the phone instead.

The /boyfriend/? How in the /fuck/?

"How did you answer his phone? It has a triple lock!"

"That is for /me/ to know, and you to hopefully never know," Ranpo chimes. "Looking for Dazai?"

"Very funny. Of
+
course I am. He was supposed to be picked up /almost four hours ago/, and he never showed up. He hasn't even left your apartment, according to his phone GPS."

Ranpo hums. "That's certainly correct. Clearly you can surmise I convinced him to stick around?"
+
"Let me talk to Dazai."

"Talk to Dazai? Well--" In the background, there's something that sounds like a yelp, then a long, muffled groan. "He's a little occupied. Not to say he wouldn't be able to talk, but in terms of coherency..."

Unbelievable. Un-fucking-believable.
+
For one week, if Dazai could just /not/ think with his dick, then Chuuya is certain that the Port Mafia would be ruling all of Japan at this point. Then again, that would have taken Dazai away from Yokohama, and he made it clear he had reasons to /stay/.

The reason in question
+
being a smarmy brat who is lucky there is a phone between them, otherwise Chuuya would put his foot in a very unkind place.

"If you have something to say, feel free to do so. I'm a /wonderful/ multitasker," Ranpo adds, sounding far too amused.

"You can't do this shit every
+
time he sees you. You know that, right?"

"Yeah, that's why I'm milking this generosity for all it's worth." There's another noise this time, which Chuuya is forcing himself not to focus on or clarify what the hell is going on at the other end of this frustrating phone call.
+
"Besides, he's the one who told me I could do this -- actually, I think he /definitely/ needed this. You should be thanking me. I'm doing you a /favor/ right now."

Chuuya stares long and hard at the ceiling.

Fucking the brains out of his boss is not something he wants to say
+
thank you over in /any/ capacity.

"No matter how much you try to drag this out, I need him before the end of the night. His time for playing pretend as a normal person is /done/."

Ranpo sighs, as if /Chuuya/ is the one being the inconvenience right now. "Okay. Give me two
+
more hours, and you can have him."

Chuuya's brow twitches in annoyance. It would be literally eight at night by then. "You can't /seriously/ take that long to--"

"Wanna bet? You can listen for the rest of it. I like to be thorough and take my time."

The executive knows that
+
Ranpo is doing this on purpose, trying to make him uncomfortable to chase him off, and if it were anything else, Chuuya would have stood his ground but he does /not/ want to listen to Dazai crying and moaning like some bitch in heat, otherwise he'd be haunted forever.
+
"Fine! Eight o'clock, and nothing more! Otherwise you're getting a bullet in your kneecap!"

"Great! I knew we'd come to an agreement. Thanks for the hard work, Nakahara-san~"

Chuuya hangs up, throwing his phone across the room, right into a pile of pillows sitting in Dazai's
+
office. It's only a foot away from an older, middle aged man with grey hair, who looks up casually from the book he's reading.

"At least he's considerate enough to know we prefer our work be done after the sun goes down."

"Hirotsu-san, now isn't the time to /praise/ our new
+
liability."

Hirotsu sighs out loud, less in exasperation and more in deep thought. "You never have been given the task of watching that young man, have you?"

Chuuya rubs at his eyes, trying to will away the burn present in them. "No. Dazai's too busy running me ragged on
+
other things to give me 'boyfriend babysitting duty'."

"Well... to me, he is more of an asset."

That makes Chuuya look at Hirotsu more attentively, raising a brow in silent inquiry. Hirotsu was a veteran, someone who had seen the rise and fall of multiple bosses of this
+
Mafia, so to hear someone who had seen so much of this life to deem some random civilian who happened to have a history with their boss as an /asset/ was... interesting.

"Why?"

So he's a little good at martial arts and taught Dazai how to be good with his hands, it's not as
+
if that was much of anything.

"He has long since been aware that people have been watching him. He's never bothered to venture into why until recently, but there are many times where he has intentionally disappeared while under our supervision," Hirotsu shrugs. "Even mine."
+
Okay, /that/ is a little scary.

No one has ever slipped past Hirotsu's radar, he's a part of the Black Lizard.

"I suppose he figured we were a part of the ones who wanted to hurt him, but he 'miraculously' stepped out of harms way or any trouble. It's a very convenient thing
+
to believe."

Chuuya frowns, and after thinking for a very long moment, he sighs and walks over to sit on the couch directly across from Hirotsu. "He's still a civilian."

"With an obvious grey sense of morality, given how he was so willing to help you with your... /favorite/
+
businessman."

The redhead grimaces in disgust at the reminder.

"You also noted Dazai-sama said he holds no fear towards the mention of murder and gore, and instead encourages it."

"I guess."

"While Dazai-sama has kept the details of this Edogawa Ranpo very close, I think
+
that there is more to gain than there is to lose," the older man concludes. "Moreover, it's the first time since joining the Mafia I've seen him look so /carefree/. This will be good for him, mentally."

Underneath all that experience, Hirotsu is seriously still a softie for
+
the younger members of the Mafia.

Some things really don't change in a person.

"Maybe you can get some closure too. He is friends with--"

That makes Chuuya visibly tense. "/No/."

Hirotsu goes quiet.

"Dazai might be a sentimental coward and back himself into a corner so
+
all his plans unravel, but I'm not going to let that happen to me. I'm not going to let Ane-san get dragged into this, not when I gave everything I had to make sure they took me instead of her."

That was two bosses ago, and any remnants of those dedicated to the man have long
+
since been snuffed out, but Chuuya knows that he is just as much of a target as Dazai is, and if people learned of /his/ weakness...

He can only do so much.

To protect her, she needs to continue to believe he's gone. She doesn't deserve to be in this world. He made
+
sure to break the cycle of her family, he /promised/ that.

Ugh. Sleep deprivation is making him unnecessarily emotional.

"Just... leave it," Chuuya says at last with a sigh, rubbing at his eyes again. "I get what you're saying about Edogawa, so I'll let it go already."
+
Luckily for him, before awkwardness can settle in the air, the doors of the office open and make both of the men look over at who's entering.

There's two people that enter, a woman and young man.

The woman is striking in appearance, with vibrant pink hair that reached down to
+
the small of her back, dressed in a black sleeveless bustier with crystals lining the hem, skin-tight black jeans, and what Chuuya /knows/ are a pair of black pumps made by Louis Vuitton, because he bought them for her himself.

The man next to her is tall, around Dazai's
+
height, with silver hair split into a part. In one ear, there's a dangling red necklace, and his outfit is nothing more than any other standard black business suit the grunts of the Mafia wear. He, however, foregoes a tie entirely.

"Yuan, Shirase," Chuuya greets, watching as
+
they cross the room, with Yuan sitting next to Chuuya, while Shirase takes the space across, next to Hirotsu. "What's up?"

"Oh, you know, just twiddling our thumbs waiting for the boss man to /pick up his fucking phone/." Yuan answers, voice sugary and sarcastic.
+
Chuuya sighs. "As expected, it was his pretty little boyfriend at fault. I negotiated with him, you can get him for real in about two hours."

"Negotiated?" Shirase snorts. "You act as if he's being held hostage right now."

The redhead pauses for a very long moment,
+
regretfully recalling some of the background noise in the call with Ranpo. "... You're not that far off," he admits. "But anyway, what are you really here for? If it was just Yuan, I'd believe the waiting, but you have other shit to do."

Shirase sighs, reaching into his jacket
+
pocket and pulling out an envelope. He leans over the table for Chuuya to take.

When he does, he flips it around in his hands, a brow arching at the fancy wax seal keeping the flap shut.

/That/ never bodes well, be it immediately or in the late future. What's even more
+
worrying is the symbol on the wax. "... That's the mayor's seal."

"Yep, sure is!" Shirase sighs, resting his arms behind his head and kicking his feet up onto the coffee table. "Ahhh, being an inside agent for the Mafia is so tiring, y'know? Why'd he give this job to me
+
again? One day he's giving me information to give to the police, the next it's the police or whoever giving me papers to give to Dazai."

"Errand boys have a boyish charm requirement, and you have lots of it." Yuan jokes.

"Errand boy? Come o-- Whoah!"

Hirotsu unceremoniously
+
shoves his feet off the table, pinning the silver haired man with a glare when their eyes meet. Unsurprisingly, Shirase quickly throws away any idea of complaining while slumping into the couch. "Anyway, I got bumped up to service detail for the mayor recently, which I'm sure
+
that guy already knows. Given how the /mayor/ knew I was mafia and let me on anyway, I suppose he's got some big idea for Yokohama in the near future."

Chuuya hums while opening the letter, slipping out a decorative card. "It's an invitation to a party in two months."
+
"I think it's admirable how the city is both kissing Dazai's ass but also wants him behind bars. They hate him, but they need him, or everything falls apart without him."

"That's just politics." Chuuya returns the card to the envelope, standing up to walk over to Dazai's
+
desk and toss it onto the sleek, polished surface. "Is there anything else any of you want to tell me before I say we all get back to business and prepare a car to pick up our brat of a boss?"

For a moment, the three are silent.

But Shirase raises his hand a second before
+
Chuuya calls it quits.

"What, Shirase?"

"What are we gonna do about the boytoy?"

Chuuya can feel the long look Hirotsu gives. "... For now, nothing," he says. "Unless you want to be my guest and be dead faster than you can take a breath once Dazai gets his hands on you. When
+
or /if/ he becomes a liability to the mafia, we'll decide then."

"You kids nowadays are so cynical," Hirotsu sighs. "I don't have the energy to keep up with your negativity."

Yuan laughs. "Must be nice to be so at ease in your work life, Hirotsu-san."

"Alright, beat it
+
already you guys. We have to get our boss to his trade meeting on time tonight. If he doesn't come out on time this time -- Yuan, feel free to get /playful/."

Yuan hops to her feet while clapping her hands together. "Let's hope he doesn't! I've been dying to fire off my new
+
baby ever since I bought it. It's engraved with my name~"

"Girls and their toys," Shirase says with an amused scoff, pushing himself up to his feet.

"Because /boys/ can't give us what we need."

"Now listen up--"

Chuuya watches them start to banter back and forth as they
+
leave, a light, almost fond smile on his face. He glances over at Hirotsu, who is still sitting on the couch, and once again flipping through his magazine. "You're not going?"

"No," Hirotsu answers. "Dazai-sama told me to watch over you and ensure you didn't put your body or
+
health at too much risk on the 'home stretch'. To phrase it as you would, I'm on babysitting duty-- just not the usual target."

Chuuya huffs. "That guy can seriously never care outright, can he? I want to kill him sometimes."

Hirotsu smiles to himself. "You're not much better
+
in that area, Chuuya-kun."

They /are/ partners. It isn't shocking that habits would rub off onto the other -- not that Chuuya is exactly /happy/ over the implication he's anything like Dazai. He likes to believe, however farfetched, that he's far more adjusted than Dazai is.
+
He hasn't given in to the dangling temptation of his regrets, he doesn't do anything outright suspicious, he isn't recklessly endangering himself for the fuck of it. That's a lot more than what Dazai can say.

Still...

Dazai's upbringing and experience in the mafia wasn't the
+
same as Chuuya's.

/Dazai/ was raised and molded by the boss before him, never knowing any sort of genuine familial kindness or affection. Chuuya, he had that-- he had a semi-normal childhood with loving parents.

And then he met Ozaki Kouyou and her family, and...
+
To summarize it, as Mori Ougai always said: there is power in connections just as much as there is weakness.

And Chuuya was not old enough or strong enough for it to be an asset. All he could do was cut his losses.

"... I think from here I won't need to do much. I'll rest for
+
a while."

"That would give some ease to this old man's heart."

Chuuya shakes his head while returning to the couch to flop down and stretch out on it. "That's just not fair, old man."

"Ah... such is life."

Yeah.

Life really, definitely, was /never/ fair.

---
"You're a very cruel person, you know that?"

Ranpo doesn't bother to stop wrapping bandages slowly and meticulously around Dazai's forearm, rolling a lollipop in his mouth as he works. He gives a small glance down at Dazai, who's laying stomach-first on his bed, with his arm
+
stretched out for Ranpo to wrap. His other arm is already bandages, and so are his thighs and forelegs, but Ranpo has yet to get to his torso and neck yet.

The latter of which, combined with his shoulders, is covered in bites and glaring bruises.

Of course, Ranpo knows that
+
any marks or pain from the aftermath isn't what Dazai is talking about.

"I have no idea what you're talking about," He /lies/, snipping the bandages when he reaches the end of Dazai's wrist, clipping it down neatly so it doesn't unravel.

Dazai sighs, resting his chin on
+
Ranpo's thigh. "Now /I/ don't want to leave."

That makes Ranpo smirk inwardly. "You have to, or else your assistant says I'll get shot in the kneecap. Can't really bend you over and make you cry if that happens."

"I suppose."

"Sit up, I need to do your neck and torso still."
+
Dazai obeys, sitting upright with the blankets bunched around his lower body, letting his head fall back to stare up at the ceiling. He flinches a little when Ranpo trails his index and middle finger down his throat, lingering over a bruising bitemark.

"Shame it has to be
+
covered up," he muses, pulling his hand away. "It'd be nice for everyone in the criminal underworld to know you're mine."

Dazai laughs, but doesn't give a clever quip in response like he usually would. To him, the most important areas to hide at all cost were his neck and
+
arms, and Ranpo understood that.

(Just below the bruise, there is a thin scar across Dazai's neck, one he had even during high school.)

"To some, the whitelist gave that away already."

"Yeah? Like who?" Ranpo smiles, beginning to wrap up Dazai's neck now with /extra/ care.
+
"My very lovely and extremely unpleasant Russian friend."

"Russian. Off to a good start."

"My lawyer," Dazai adds with a sigh. "Regretfully the best."

Another snip of the scissors as Ranpo finishes wrapping up Dazai's neck. A lawyer caught up in the criminal underworld?
+
Yeah, that sounded legit. Bonus points for being what sounds like Russian mafia too.

"I'm sure a lover is a threat to any lawyer. Shall I be a proper gold digger and coerce you to put me as the sole beneficiary in your will?"

"You'll have more than my lawyer after you then."
+
"So terrifying." There's a fond smile on Ranpo's face as he starts on Dazai's torso next, glancing up every so often to notice Dazai is watching him intently with a careful, gentle stare.

He's not tense, he just seems more interested in watching Ranpo's handiwork, which is
+
meticulous and careful, just as Dazai would have it if he were doing it himself. Once upon a time, he took a lot of care in memorizing it because if it was too loose, Dazai wouldn't dare leave the room. If it was too tight, he'd scratch himself straight into another scar.
+
"There. All done." Ranpo sets the scissors and excess bandages aside, cupping Dazai's face to press a small kiss to the corner of his eye. "Everything good?"

Dazai nods, leaning into Ranpo's palm. "You still like doing this stuff, I see."

"Yep. It's my favorite part."
+
As much as Ranpo was a ruthless sadist who would be more than happy to break someone with painful precision, leave them forgetting how to speak, forgetting how to move their own body unless he let them --

Really, he enjoyed the aftercare part more somehow. Sadist he might be,
+
he is nothing if not /devoted/. What's /his/ needs to be cared for, reminded that they're important, not just a toy to wind up. He likes running his fingers over the aftermath, thrives on the fact that it will /linger/ on the body and in the mind in only the best of ways.
+
If it doesn't, then he would consider his work a failure, and worst of all, /harmful/.

That's even more important when it comes to Dazai, because even if Dazai thought he deserved to hurt, Ranpo didn't think so. The type of pain in bed should not be exact to the pain in a
+
physical fight.

"I'm not helping you with your clothes this time," Ranpo says as he stands to his feet, kissing Dazai's crown this time as he snatches up a pair of sweatpants to hop into. "I'll make you something before you go, though."

"You mean..." Dazai looks scandalized,
+
"You're going to make me a /bento/?"

Ranpo shakes his head with a snort, face shoving Dazai onto the bed. "Shut up, brat."

"There you go again! Being so cruel!"

"Yeah, yeah, go ahead and whine," Ranpo waves him off lazily as he walks out of the bedroom and out of sight.
+
Now the question becomes...

"What can I put in a bento on such short notice, anyway?"

Tamagoyaki is easy enough, that's already a part of the plan. Rice, he has some leftover meat for meatballs...

Ranpo mumbles to himself as he opens up his fridge. Ugh, right, he needs
+
groceries too.

He plucks the eggs from the fridge, then stands to open his freezer. He notices a half empty bag of frozen vegetables and shrugs, taking them out as well.

Knowing Dazai, he hasn't ate a proper meal in god knows how long. He might as well try to make this one
+
semi decent.

Next he drags out the rice cooker and rice, filling the bowl just enough for what he's making.

He feels Dazai lean into him from behind, fingers lacing in the front around his abdomen, and he's glad he's short enough for the jerk to use him as a chinrest
+
because--

God, he's embarrassed. This feels embarrassingly domestic. What is he, a housewife? Ugh.

Dazai brings out such weird things in him.

"Wha~cha making?" Dazai purrs into Ranpo's hair, kissing the spot gently.

Ranpo jabs him with an elbow. "Wash the rice, brat."
+
Dazai pouts, but does as he's told while rolling up the sleeves of his dress shirt. It's a deep navy blue, and the black vest over top is fit perfectly to his frame. It's such a cruel thing to look at knowing you can't touch, when you've had all you can for the time being.
+
The worst part is, Dazai can tell Ranpo is staring, the corner of his mouth twitching up in a smile as his hand swishes around the rice.

"Like what you see?" Dazai asks.

Ranpo huffs and goes back to his own work, whisking eggs now for the tamagoyaki. "Don't get arrogant."
+
"I was just asking a question."

"Liar. When you're done, put it in the cooker, then the vegetables on top to steam."

"So fancy!" Dazai does as he's told, jazzing his hands when he finishes, but Ranpo is already too immersed in his own cooking to notice or care. That's fine
+
with him, because he gets to watch and fall in love with Ranpo's endearing quirks all over again.

The way his brows furrow when concentrating and the childish jut of his lip, the way he snaps his chopsticks impatiently while waiting to move on to the next step, and /oh/--
+
when Ranpo glances back over at him, Dazai wishes for everything to pause for just a little while longer.

But he knows he can't ask for that. He knows that's impossible for him.

So he gets lost in being an obnoxiously embarrassing puppy eyed lover, reveling in how it slowly
+
but surely makes Ranpo turn red.

He doesn't even notice how much time passes until the rice cooker pops, and Dazai jumps upright with a start that makes Ranpo snort.

"Everything is ready now. Sit down so I can make a proper bento." He glances towards the clock on the wall and
+
frowns. "There's not that much time left anyways."

Thirty minutes left, then he goes to bed alone for a while.

Ranpo turns back to the counter, opening a cabinet and rummaging around for a bento container. He starts to carefully put in the rice and vegetables, the tamagoyaki
+
right alongside it, then a few meatballs to finish it off.

There are a few left he can pop into his mouth later, too.

And... something to wrap it in--

Next he opens a drawer, plucking out a baby blue handkerchief to wrap it up in, finishing the tie with a bow before picking
+
it up and offering it to Dazai when he turns.

"It's all done."

Dazai looks boyishly /delighted/. "Wow, a Ranpo-san bento! I'm excited!"

"Don't lose it, okay? That's my best one, with a built in compartment for chopsticks."

"I'll take /perfect/ care of it until we meet up
+
again."

Ranpo nods, leaning against the counter. His expression is... pensive. "When will that be?"

"... I don't know. I'll have a lot to catch up on when I get back."

"Uh huh..."

This is /killing/ him, come on. "You know, I said you can call me any time."
+
"I want to /kiss you/ any time too," Ranpo pouts.

This is just cruelty now.

Dazai sighs, standing up from his seat to stand in front of Ranpo, tilting the older's head back tenderly. Ranpo let's him, eyes searching, then closing when Dazai leans in to kiss him. It's with a
+
softness as if Ranpo is something he can't /bear/ to lose, something he wants to hold onto for dear life, but can't without breaking. There's so much slow self control, sweet and gentle, and Ranpo shudders while leaning into Dazai's frame.

Dazai picks him up by the thighs to
+
set him on the counter, and Ranpo is grinning fiercely against the brunet's lips as he sucks and bites, tucking hair behind Dazai's ear carefully.

/Mine, all mine./

/Yours, all yours./

It's so easy to lose himself in Ranpo, in his kiss, his touch, melting into and leaning
+
into every shift of his body or the trail of a hand up his forearm. Dazai never wants to stop, addicting consuming him in waves with maddening force--

Ring ring!

-- that only reality can shatter.

Dazai pulls away with a reluctant groan, pulling his phone out of his back
+
pocket to raise to his ear. "Dazai Osamu."

The call picks up, and the other person on the end speaks.

"Oh so you /can/ answer your phone! I'm pleasantly surprised!"

"Yuan," Dazai sighs, half because Ranpo is mouthing at his neck in a /very/ distracting manner. "Good to hear
+
from you again too."

"I'm sure. Chuuya said if you don't come out this time, I get to use my new baby on your boytoy."

"Boyfriend," Dazai corrects with a scowl.

(Much to Ranpo's delight.)

"Right, whatever greases your gears, boss. We'll be there in ten. Be ready, if you
+
could be /so/ kind. You have a meeting at the docks, remember?"

"I hardly forget, sweetheart."

"Right. Well, I'll leave you to it. See you soon~"

Yuan hangs up, and Dazai rolls his eyes while doing the same. She was definitely pissed at him for not showing up before, he
+
surmises.

"Oh, what about your clothes, by the way?"

"I'll let them stay here until next time I show up. It's clutter we don't have room for in the car. Besides," Dazai tilts Ranpo's chin up and smiles. "I'd like it if you'd wear them around until they stop smelling like me."
+
... Well, Dazai /does/ have a distinct smell, admittedly. It's high end cologne only the richest of men wear, and the only smell Ranpo has to offer is sugar and bubblegum. How well those two mix, he'll have to see.

"I'll consider it," Ranpo answers, raising his chin haughtily
+
with a smirk. "Your fashion sense /is/ a little poor for my taste."

"Aw, I'm sure you could work something out--"

Dazai smiles, tracing his thumb up Ranpo's jawline. There's a hint of reluctance, more so when Ranpo leans into his touch and blinks up at him curiously.
+
"What's with the look?"

"No, it's nothing... I just--" Dazai exhales softly, leaning in to kiss Ranpo's forehead. "I missed you. I really did. I'm happy I can see those pretty eyes of yours up close again."

Ranpo feels his face burn. "You..."

Any insult or threat he could
+
make dies on his tongue when he looks up to meet Dazai's gaze, the honey-sweet warmth in his eyes making the charade fizzle into nothing, replaced with a pleasant buzzing sensation in his chest.

Ranpo sighs, hugging Dazai tightly around his middle. "... I love you, Osamu."
+
Dazai strokes his head gently, kissing the top of it with all the fondness in the world. "I love you too. Stay out of trouble, will you?"

"I'm not taking that sort of advice from a mafia boss."

Dazai grins as he pulls away, though there's a bit of reluctance as he does,
+
giving Ranpo the chance to let go on his own accord before he turns around to walk away. He picks up his coat thrown over the arm of the couch, shrugging it on and fixing the color, checking for his wallet after.

Ranpo picks up the bento to meet Dazai at the door, holding it
+
out for the brunet to take. "Don't get killed."

"Of course. That's our motto."

Dazai gratefully accepts the bento and opens the door, but he only gets one step out before he feels Ranpo grabbing the back of his collar.

"Wait."

"You're going to make me--"

There's a familiar
+
flash of red thrown over his shoulders, and when Dazai looks down, he realizes the scarf Ranpo made him wear on their date is hanging around his neck.

"Take that with you. It completes the look."

Dazai smiles over his shoulder. "I'll take care of it."

Ranpo waves him off.
+
"Shoo, before you get me in trouble."

Dazai merely smiles before he turns away to walk down the stairs, and Ranpo watches him intently as he goes. He stands there in the doorway until he can no longer hear Dazai's footsteps, leaning against the doorframe with a sigh.

Well,
+
there he went. No more picturesque mornings, taking showers together, or spontaneous sex against his kitchen table-- at least for the time being.

His apartment feels... quieter. Bigger.

Ranpo shakes his head to try and will himself not to think too hard, turning back into his
+
apartment and closing the door.

He'll put the leftover food away for tomorrow, then--

Ranpo strokes his chin, looking across his apartment, and his gaze stops the moment his eyes land on his coffee table, and that black letter from Dazai's company is still sitting there.
+
Before, it was brushed off as a scam, then it was ignored in favor of having Dazai around in the flesh, but now that it's just him in his apartment now, and he knows this check is /real/ and /Dazai's/ money to top it off... Maybe some spontaneous plans are in order this week.
+
He reaches into his pocket for his phone, tapping his contacts and tapping on one to open the message screen.

[RANPO:] you busy tomorrow? lets go shopping ( ー̀ ֊ ー́ )

[YOSANO:] you and what money

[RANPO:] say yes and stop asking questions

[YOSANO:] 😒
+
[RANPO:] i mean you can always say no and I'll go have fun by myself. maybe I'll invite harunocchi or lucy instead

[YOSANO:] you're such a dirty bitch

[RANPO:] mwah ❤ you can pick the time and place we meet up cuz i wuv you

[YOSANO:] i'll send it later then
+
[RANPO:] tell higu-chan i said hiiiii

Yosano leaves him on read for that message, but he lets it lie. He's not going to get in the way of his best friend's relationship, no matter how lonely. He's too prideful for that, and... well, he's always been the devoted type when it
+
came to /actual/ relationships, so he respected it in others. He slept around, but never with anyone in a relationship or married.

He's a slut, not a homewrecker. He has /some/ decency, thank you.

Now, as for the rest of his night...
+
He returns to the kitchen to clean, putting away the leftovers in the fridge and cleaning what dishes were left behind, conveniently deciding on leaving Dazai's coffee cup on the table until tomorrow morning.

Then, he goes back to his room, taking a shower to finally clean up
+
properly from his time spent with Dazai earlier, throwing his clothes in the wastebasket for cleaning. He thinks briefly that his water bill is probably going to bite him in the ass, but at the same time... Well, even if he didn't give Dazai any details, it'll get paid for
+
regardless. He has enough money and connections to do whatever he wanted.

When Ranpo finishes his shower, he digs around in his wardrobe for some boring pajamas, which for him is just some throwaway t-shirt and shorts that never see the light of day outside of his apartment.
+
(You know, poor people things.)

On top of his dresser is one of Dazai's sweaters, which he picks up with a small sigh while thumbing across the fabric. Usually, most sweaters make him itchy and uncomfortable, but the one's Dazai wears... They're nice. Comfortable. Like he
+
took the time to make sure it wasn't a fabric type that would make Ranpo's sensory processing act up.

/... His fashion sense really is lame./

He hugs the sweater to his chest as he goes back to his bed, flopping on the mattress and curling up under the blankets. He's none too
+
sure about wearing these boring things, but hugging them to bed to breathe in Dazai's scent is much more like him.

The fact that he can actually do such a thing, that Dazai exists in his life, that Dazai is /alive/ starts to sink in again now that he's gone, and Ranpo is still
+
at a loss for words. It feels like a dream, or perhaps even a nightmare that seems blissful, only to hurt him in the end.

He knows that Dazai would never intentionally, it's just...

He doesn't know what he's worried about, actually. He just feels /nervous/ -- or maybe it's
+
not exactly a bad nervousness and is instead /excited/, because he's always been absolute shit at parsing his emotions, especially when he's gone so many years ignoring them or bottling them up like fine wine and /cementing/ the cork in place so it can never be opened.
+
Ranpo rolls over onto his stomach, burying his face in Dazai's sweater and the nearest pillow while kicking his feet.

He actually has a /boyfriend again/ after so long, and it's the /same/ damn person he ever genuinely tried to date -- is he just stupid, or is he lucky?
+
Ranpo reaches a free hand out, patting the bed at random until his hand slaps on the familiar, rectangular shape of his phone. He turns his head to press his cheek into the pillow, lighting up the screen to stare at his screensaver: one of the photos he had taken of Dazai on
+
one of their dates while the brunet was too preoccupied to notice.

He can't help but smile and sigh.

For now, he wants to believe he's lucky.

---
"Will you stop that?"

Dazai looks up from his bento, blinking at the pink haired woman sitting on the opposite end of the backseat. He stares at her with a tilt of his head, the tips of the chopsticks still in his mouth. "Stop what?"

"Looking so... weirdly upbeat."

"I can't
+
look happy, dear Yuan?"

Yuan frowns, clearly not buying the sudden pet name. "Well, we /are/ meeting up to do business. We should at least try to be intimidating."

Dazai hums, returning to his bento while staring out his window. They're just now turning into the port
+
warehousing grounds, and there isn't a single soul in sight. The moon is hidden by dark clouds, but an eerie glow still manages to penetrate through the thick and light the sky.

Perfect weather for doing business indeed.

"This isn't a hard business deal anyway. I'm actually
+
just claiming what I'm owed anyway. You /know/ how Americans just /love/ to keep you waiting. Fashionably late and all that, as they say."

Yuan folds her arms. "If it's that kind of deal, why bother coming? We could handle something that easy."

Dazai doesn't answer, waving
+
his chopsticks dismissively instead before picking up a bite of tamagoyaki.

The car soon comes to a stop in front of a warehouse, where another car just barely peeks out from the side to imply the presence of people inside.

Dazai waits until the door is opened for him,
+
offering the person who opened it -- Hirotsu -- a generous smile. "Hirotsu-san, might you be so kind as to accompany us?"

Hirotsu blinks, giving a slow glance to the car.

"Oh, don't worry about the car. This will be quick, but I need your expertise."

Hirotsu arches an
+
eyebrow curiously. "In what particularly?"

Dazai doesn't answer, merely giving a vague smile as he turns to begin heading towards the warehouse with Yuan in tow. While he has always walked with a practiced, deadly silence, Yuan is quite the opposite. Her heels click sharply
+
against the concrete, echoing through the air. She is the warning glint of metal before the knife that pierces your body through your second rib, searing hot pain and dying light. Dazai doesn't need to make his presence known to leave an impact when one of his trusted assassins
+
does that for him.

"The seasoning on these vegetables is pretty good," Dazai comments casually as they step out into the wide open space of the warehouse. "What's the time?"

Hirotsu checks his watch. "We're on schedule, sir. They must be taking their time again."

+
Ah, /Americans/.

Dazai doesn't bother even wasting the breath it takes to sigh. He continues eating, and he decides to call it /generosity/ that it takes a good five minutes for their colleagues to arrive, and he doesn't have to waste any food.

Ranpo would find out somehow.
+
That's not important right now, though.

From the entrance at the other side of the warehouse, a young blonde man strides in with a much taller, broader man in tow -- probably a bodyguard.

Dazai hasn't seen this young man before, who walks up with a clear arrogant swagger, his
+
silky blond hair shoulder length and swept into a part. His clothes costs far more than he'll ever be worth, and Dazai momentarily laments the /waste/.

"Mister Dazai! Sorry to keep ya waiting," the blond greets, stopping out of arms reach from Dazai with a playful grin. "I got
+
a little /distracted/ in this nice club on the other side of town. The bartenders there are so easy on the eyes -- you know what I mean?"

Dazai smiles thinly. "Of course. Yokohama is never without a place to provide a good time, but I certainly hope none of your splurging has
+
impacted the funds I am owed."

"Uhh, yeah, about that," the man sticks his pinky in his ear, shoulders lax. "I was sent here to tell you my boss said he has nothing to give you."

Obviously. That answer was expected.

"As far as he's concerned, the money you're pestering him
+
for was just a generous gift on your end, so he never put anything away to repay you. Business is rough in the states right now, you see?"

"Your boss views half a billion dollars as a generous gift?"

"Isn't it pretty generous?" The grin the man gives makes disgust curl in
+
Dazai's chest.

He's only 25, mind you, and he is nowhere near the age of men who often say this, but /god/ does he miss the sense of integrity in the underworld. Now it's all half-baked cat and mouse and an endless game of telephone.

Dazai sighs pensively. "What's your name,
+
again?"

/That/ makes his company frown. "It's Michael--"

"Right, okay-- Mary, you said? I'm going to make this very simple for you right now, as you've made it /abundantly clear/ that anything above /simple/ is too difficult for you to process."
+
Michael snarls, "/Excuse me?/"

Dazai ignores him and continues, casually kneeling down to set the empty bento box next to his feet. "Here's what's going to happen," he starts, rolling his neck slowly to crack it. "You're going to give me the money I'm owed, right here, right
+
now. If you refuse, you're going to die here." Dazai gives a slow look around, sniffing in mild, dramatized disgust. "And this is quite the pathetic, filthy place to die if you ask me. Something smells in here... But anyway-- your answer?"
+
"You have some fucking balls to say this shit to a business partner--"

"/You/ are nothing but a glorified voicemail," Dazai studies the chopsticks he's still holding in his hands. "I'm taking that as you can't afford to pay?"

"Of course not! With that attitude, it's no wonder
+
that my boss doesn't--"

(blood / gore tw)

Dazai gets tired of listening after that, rolling his eyes as he takes two long steps forward and grabs Michael by a fistful of his hair, jerking him forward to pierce his left eye with as much speed and force as he can physically
+
muster. He can feel the /pop/ when the chopsticks puncture the eye, hear the /squish/ as it digs deeper into muscle and flesh, punctuated by a /piercing scream/ that rings in Dazai's ears and makes the sound bounce off of every wall.

The bodyguard behind them doesn't even get
+
a chance to react or move to protect the other man, the pop of a gun being the only warning he gets before the bullet pierces his skull straight through, blood spurting from the exit wound as he drops to the ground instantly like solid lead.

Yuan was /dying/ for that shot.
+
And Michael-- God, he won't stop screaming like a pathetic child, in agony and some desperate, fruitless attempt to beg for his life, blood dripping out of his eye socket and trailing down his face. He claws at Dazai's arm, but that only jostles the chopsticks imbedded in his
+
skull more, and he /wails/ through cursing and shrill screams.

He's lucky Dazai is in a /good mood/ otherwise this would have been over with already.

But hey, Dazai is /so/ nice after all, so he'll let this poor idiot live just a bit longer and beg for a life he has long
+
since forfeit.

Grabbing at the front of the blond's shirt, Dazai shoves him backwards until he stumbles and trips, falling flat on his back.

One of the chopsticks clatters against the concrete floor, the hard blue plastic coated in a sheen of diluted red.

The other is still
+
embedded in the poor man's eye.

Dazai keeps him on his back with a foot in one of his shoulders, grinding the heel in painfully.

And the other--

He raises it, then rams his foot down as hard as possible, not even blinking or flinching as the plastic chopstick snaps under
+
his shoe, feeling it splinter inside Michael's skull to make him scream so hard his voice /cracks/, cut off by coughing up blood he's starting to choke on.

Dazai lifts his foot, making a small noise of displeasure at the blood on the sole of his shoe now. "These are my
+
favorite shoes. Hey, you can pay for this much, can't you?"

He gets no response, of course.

Just more choking, gasping, but the body is limp.

Maybe he damaged Michael's cerebellum? That's a shame.

(If Mori were still around, surely he'd applaud Dazai for his /accuracy/.)
+
Dazai sighs, bending down to pick up the leftover chopstick before standing up and stepping away from the body. He waves a hand dismissively towards Yuan, who gets the picture and cocks her gun to shoot again.

"Hirotsu-san," Dazai starts after he hears Yuan fire twice. One
+
through the head, one through the heart -- as it always is.

Hirotsu nods. "I'll take care of the clean up. I sent a message to the crew, they will be here shortly."

"Great! I do have a second job for you, however."

"... Yes?"

Dazai holds out the bloody chopstick he's still
+
carrying. "I need you to find an exact replica of this bento box I brought with me, or the death you just witnessed is a picnic in comparison to what my lovely object of affection will do to me for breaking my word even minimally."

Hirotsu slowly accepts the chopstick,
+
then glances over at the box on the floor. "Of course, sir."

"Also, Yuan," Dazai claps his hands and pivots on a heel. "I need you, Kyouka, Gin, and Katai in the Americas by the day after tomorrow. We'll just get our funds back ourselves."

"Katai?! You have got to be
+
/fucking/ me!"

"Oh, love, we've been down that road before," Dazai says, which Yuan /scowls/ at. "/And/ I am quite content with what I have now. At the end of the day, Katai is our technological and hacking expert for a /reason/. Unless you're going to magically learn how to
+
surpass his 13 year career in 24 hours?"

Yuan throws her hands up into the air. "Ugh, he's such a hassle though! He needs things like /this/, he needs to carry out some damn /blanket/, how can he even have a /brain/ for being a vegetable?"

Dazai turns and begins to walk back
+
the way they had come, completely unfazed. "I'm sure that's all very interesting to someone who's not me. Are you driving, or me?"

Yuan gives a dramatic, loud groan, but she quickly trails after, her heels still sharp against the pavement.

"I hope your relationship dies in
+
record time."

/That/ makes Dazai grin. "The only way that comes to pass is if I do, dear."

---
Yosano Akiko is very, very suspicious.

She would like to call herself a very laid back woman with a lot of patience for her field, so she isn't bothered by much, but that doesn't change the fact that she is /suspicious/ this morning.

For the past year, her best and closest
+
friend has been periodically considering what to do with his life since his money ran out from his inheritance, which wouldn't be an issue for a /normal/ person who would just pick up a job and make due from there --

but Edogawa Ranpo is /not/ a normal person, and he's good at
+
making enemies just as fast as he makes friends.

Yosano loves him with all her heart, he's second only to her fiancé, but he's /difficult/. He doesn't react to things as others do, he doesn't consider how others think, and often times this leads to his words coming out far
+
crueler than intended.

This being said, getting a job in retail or something -- it's impossible for him.

And while she doesn't doubt he has /some/ connections left from the past, he's hung up on things from there that prevent him from following in the footsteps of his parents
+
or even his former mentor.

Which is... a whole different issue to unpack in itself, wrapped in a layer of Ranpo being hung up on things, and trying to make Ranpo open up is /hard/. If you pushed too hard, he'd lash out and isolate, or avoid you completely.
+
She digresses.

Regardless, the bottom line is, she is suspicious over why her best friend suddenly wants to go on a shopping spree after apparently having a life crisis at 26 because his money was reaching the end of its life soon.

He's either been lying -- which she doubts
+
he would do to her, because having to ask for people to lend him money hurts his pride like no other -- /or/ he suddenly came into some money. She assumes it's the second option, but the question here is /how/ and /why/?

"If you keep frowning like that, you'll have those
+
wrinkles at our wedding, Akiko." A soothing voice says from behind her, kissing the top of her head.

It makes Yosano relax almost instantly, smiling as she turns to look up at her fiancé, Higuchi. Her white blouse and yellow skirt matches her golden hair perfectly, and her red
+
eyes, so bold and bright, stick out brilliantly in the best of ways. "Sorry, I don't mean to worry you. I was just... thinking about Ranpo."

"Again?" Higuchi shakes her head. "I'm sure you're thinking too much. He might be reckless, but it's not as if he'd ever resort to
+
stealing anything."

"Well, you're right, it's just /strange/ is all."

"Maybe he met a sugar daddy?"

Yosano would have spat out her coffee if she took a sip then. Instead, she snorts so hard she almost chokes. "Ranpo? Getting into a relationship? And one like /that/?"
+
"I mean... this /is/ Ranpo?"

She... has a point. Ranpo made no secret of his sexual adventures to his friends, though nothing came from this aside from one night stands. He never tried to pursue anything further, as if he was /scared/.

As if he wasn't ready to commit himself
+
to another human being.

As if there was someone he still loved and wanted more than all the people he slept with combined.

Yosano knows how loyal he is, and Ranpo is /fiercely/ devoted if he truly cares about you. There's nothing he wouldn't do or give to ensure your safety
+
or happiness, which is an endearing trait as much as it is possibly a danger.

She supposes that can be said for everyone, but...

Yosano shakes her head. She'll just ask him flat out once they meet up.

She downs the rest of her coffee in a few quick gulps before standing to
+
her feet and setting the cup into the sink. She gives Higuchi a kiss, light, chaste, but no less loving than any other would be before saying, "I'll buy dinner on the way home. What would you like?"

Higuchi smiles against Yosano's lips. "Surprise me?"

Cue a snort. "I'll do my
+
best."

"Tell Ranpo I said hi, okay?"

"Of course."

With another kiss, Yosano steps away, picking up her purse sitting on the desk just next to the entrance of the door. She slips into her favorite red heels, and after a small glance back at her fiancé, she leaves out the
+
front door.

While climbing down the stairs of the apartment complex, she reaches into her pocket for her phone, just to check and make sure of the location and time.

She suggested one of their usual places out of habit, and usually Ranpo would agree to that, but this time
+
he vetoed her suggestion for something /much different/.

Ranpo suggested they meet up at Queen's Square Yokohama, which is a place where people with money they definitely intend to spend go. They haven't gone there in /years/, not since Ranpo's funds weren't a concern yet.
+
[YOSANO:] i'm on my way now. need me to come by and pick you up?

[RANPO:] nah, i got a head start 💋

... He was already there?

That's another oddity. He's usually awfully slow to wake.

[YOSANO:] don't get yourself lost before i get there

[RANPO:] omg i won't geez.
+
[RANPO:] anyway hurry up i'm HUNGRY and i don't wanna eat without you

Yosano can't help but smile at that.

[YOSANO:] yeah, i'm coming.

She shoves her phone back into her pocket in favor of fumbling with her purse to pull out her keys, unlocking her car as she nears it in the
+
parking lot.

It's a nice car, her /baby/, and she can easily afford it due to her occupation. She considers herself really lucky to be as accomplished as she is in her field, especially one so dominated by men.

It would be a lie to say she didn't feel a petty sense of
+
pride seeing other men around her having /far less/, having to listen to /her/.

Well, she's always liked to order people around. She likes being the /boss/. While her intimidating demeanor had its cons, knowing people wouldn't argue with her most of the time had its perks. Not
+
even Ranpo liked to argue with her, which might come in handy considering the odd situation right now.

She digresses. She doesn't want to have a whole story imagined in her head before she even hears her best friend's explanation, so she focuses on turning the car on and
+
shifting gears.

Traffic is always a pain in Yokohama, especially on the weekend, but she supposes that she doesn't need to tell Ranpo this much. Texting him she might be late depending on the traffic is common sense, and he'll give her a response that reeks of his usual
+
know-it-all personality.

(She means that affectionately, of course.)

It takes a half an hour to reach their meeting place, and she's /very/ grateful to stretch her legs after almost being at her wits end from shitty drivers all around her. She texts Ranpo to figure out where
+
he is /precisely/, which luckily isn't very far from where she is. He explains it in very /Ranpo-esque/ terms that others wouldn't really get, but Yosano has known him a long time, and she has solved the equation that is his speech patterns.

[RANPO:] i'm under the swirly
+
metal not-rollar coaster thing.

Which is one of the main entrances, essentially. It's not hard to find because of how bizarre the architecture is, and when she steps into the area with her eyes peeled for her friend, she sees him leaning against one of the architecture pillars
+
with a phone in hand.

That's what makes her stop first, because she can tell even from this distance that's not his usual garbage of a flip phone, and is /way/ too expensive for him to manage to buy, let alone continue to pay for.

Has he finally gone off the deep end to
+
drive himself into debt because he's not willing to succumb to the life of the average working class?

She hopes not, but she wouldn't say it's not something he would do. He could be... very impulsive and emotional when pushed into a corner, this she knew well.

... But,
+
he looks to be in a /very/ good mood actually? He's even smiling down at his phone, swaying side to side as he waits, completely oblivious to the fact Yosano is staring at him. There's something almost /innocent/ about it, and she almost feels bad about getting his attention to
+
ruin the sight.

His clothes don't seem to have changed very much -- yet, at least, since they're here to shop.

Though, the sweater tied around his shoulders like the rich white college boys in some snobby college campus is new. The sleeves... are way too long for him. It
+
/can't/ be his, so --

Just where did he get it?

As if on cue, right after that thought pops into her head, Ranpo looks up from his phone to glance around, lighting up when those bright green eyes land on her. He stands upright, waving the hand holding his phone to usher her
+
over.

"Hey, there you are! You kept me waiting longer than I expected!"

Yosano sighs, shaking her head with a smile as she steps forward to meet her friend halfway as he starts trotting over to her. "Long time no see."

"It's only been a little over a week, Yosano."
+
"Yes, but it feels like much longer has passed," she gestures to Ranpo. "You seem to have changed a bit, don't you think?"

Ranpo blinks, looking down at his outfit. "You think so?"

There's no actor greater than Ranpo to Yosano's knowledge, so it's not as if she expected Ranpo
+
to even flinch at the underlying implication.

She didn't exactly expect him to crumble just like that, but she likes to give him the option to bring it up himself. Clearly he doesn't intend to, or at least perhaps not /yet/.

"So are you gonna tell me how you came into money
+
to afford shopping here today now?"

Ranpo hums, tapping his bottom lip with his index and middle finger. "Well, I was going through my mail some time ago 'cause I was ignoring them, and one of them was a check for a bunch of money. Apparently I won some sort of drawing from a
+
big company doing their yearly philanthropy to get out of taxes."

"Since when do you participate in those things?"

"I don't -- someone else put my name in."

Yosano deadpans. "I love you, Ranpo, but /no one/ likes you that much."

"Okay, that's /seriously/ mean!"
+
"You take pride in being an asshole."

Ranpo opens his mouth to argue, and after a moment of letting it hang open in silence, he closes it with a sigh. "Alright, true, but I really did get a check."

"That much is true," Yosano folds her arms. "But you're not telling me
+
everything, it feels like."

"Nope," Ranpo admits casually. "I don't wanna get into it yet, but we can later. Can we just have some fun already? You kept me waiting, I'm tired of standing, and I wanna eat! There are tons of places to eat here, so let's pick one, okay? It's on
+
me! Shopping too!"

"I can buy my own clothes, Ranpo--"

"/Yeah/, but you're saving for the wedding, so shut up and view this as a pre-wedding gift if you're gonna feel so guilty about it, will you?"

Yosano sighs. There really is no changing his mind once he's decided on
+
something. "Alright. Let's get something to eat then before you wither away."

Ranpo grins. "Sounds good!!"

They end up choosing the Hard Rock Café located in the area, one of the more notable restaurants. The last time they were here, they never went despite how glaring the
+
place was, just begging to eat up their money. This time, the bill is on Ranpo, and he shows no concern over whatever the cost is. It was just a test on Yosano's part to see if he wasn't just bluffing, and now she's a little /impressed/.

She supposes, since he genuinely wants
+
to treat her, she might as well let him... It's been hard lately, what with work and the upcoming wedding.

When they're seated and eventually greeted by their waiter, something so familiar yet completely forgotten in the heat of the moment inevitably happens without fail--
+
"Can I see your ID?"

Yosano rubs her forehead.

Ranpo looks annoyed and offended. "Are you kidding me?"

"I can't serve kids the alcohol you're ordering--"

"Jesus christ," Ranpo throws his hands into the air, digging into his pocket for his wallet, plucking out the card to
+
/slap it/ into the waiter's hand. He puts his chin in a palm, drumming the fingers of his other hand impatiently as the waiter sighs and looks over the ID and, unsurprisingly, raises his brows.

He looks at Ranpo, back at the card, then back to Ranpo.

Ranpo forces a smile.
+
"Yes, sweetheart, I'm pushing thirty in a couple of years. Now bring me my mohito."

The waiter hands back the ID, nodding his head with a bashful look. "Yes sir, sorry."

He quickly leaves, leaving Ranpo to roll his eyes before returning his ID into his wallet. "That never
+
gets any less annoying."

"Well, you haven't had the free pocket money to buy alcohol in a nice place like this or a club. I'm sure it's /very/ refreshing for you." Yosano teases.

Ranpo pouts. "Very funny."

She grins at the look on his face, tucking hair behind her ear as she
+
leans forward on her forearms against the table. "So, care to tell me where the sweater came from?"

Ranpo looks down, pinching at the fabric. "Some... one else?"

"You're seriously still not going to tell me what's going on?"

"I am, this place is just still too crowded!"
+
"Since when are /you/ secretive about relationships, Ranpo?"

Ranpo is silent, for a very long moment, then answers, "You've never seen me in an actual relationship, Yosano."

And that effectively shuts her up, because he's right and they both know it. He's never tried to
+
commit, and his words imply that this /is/ something he intends to be committed towards. Maybe that's why things feel off, because she's never seen a Ranpo that's /committed/? It feels a little wrong of her to put it that way, when he is surely devoted, but a romantic
+
relationship takes a different kind of effort.

A part of her is confused, however, because Ranpo is /incredibly guarded/. It would take someone months or even years to get him to let down his guard, especially to get to the point of /dating/, so the fact he got with someone
+
within the week they haven't seen each other doesn't make sense.

Ranpo is staring at her now, more intently than before, mouth quirking down in a frown because he can read the doubt trickling through her expression and --

Now it /definitely/ feels wrong of her.

"Okay,"
+
she relents with a sigh. "I'll cut it out for now, but you /will/ tell me later, right?"

"Of course I will! Let's just enjoy things for a while first, mm'kay?" Ranpo looks past her. "Oh, just in time too. Here come our drinks! Hey, what are you gonna order? I'm dying for--"

---
Some hours earlier--

The ringing of Ranpo's phone forces him out of his slumber, cracking his eyes open tiredly as he squints at a wall. He doesn't turn his head while reaching towards his night stand, patting around blindly a few times before locating the device and bringing
+
it to his ear after sliding the 'answer' button.

"Mmhgg... What..."

"Did you sleep well, sunshine?"

The sound of Dazai's voice first thing in the morning makes Ranpo smile tiredly. "The bed's too cold without you in it now."

Dazai laughs. "There's always my sweaters to fix
+
that."

Ranpo turns his head, staring at the sweater he has bunched up near his head in a makeshift pillow. "I keep telling you I'm not gonna wear your lame sweaters."

He never said he wouldn't happily use it any other way, though. That's his secret.

Dazai sighs, but fondly.
+
"If you say so. On a slightly different note, I got an email earlier saying you finally cashed that check."

"Yes, well, you see," Ranpo rolls over onto his back, stretching and /purposefully/ giving a slow moan, "it turns out, that check wasn't a scam, and instead a /gracious/
+
gift from such a /handsome/ philanthropist. Trying to get out of those taxes and all, you know?"

"Very rude, my tax papers are exceptional--"

"--lly falsified in a few areas."

"And in return, I keep the city as nice as I can. A very nice payout, I think." From the other end,
+
Ranpo hears a metallic click, undeniably a gun being loaded.

"Going somewhere today?"

"A meeting," Dazai sighs, "My morning has been boring otherwise, so I figured I'd harass you into waking up early."

Ranpo rubs at his eyes tiredly. /You're lucky I love you./
+
"It's fine. I have to get up and get ready to go out to spend your money."

"Oh?" Dazai sounds happier than he should. "Where are you going?"

"Queen's Square Yokohama."

"Hmm."

"... What?"

"I have a suggestion, but it's at the cost of you not getting to sleep in."
+
"Uh huh. And what's that?"

"Coincidentally, the place I'm going to for my meeting is past there, so if you're /quick enough/, we can have a bit of time together before that."

Ranpo sits upright, his smile crystal clear in his voice as he chirps, "Okay! Let's do it!"
+
From the other end of the phone, Ranpo hears a thump, which makes him tilt his head.

(Little does he know, Dazai banged his head on the nearest wall because how adorably excited Ranpo sounds over some thing so small is making his heart leap.)

"Nothing-- it's nothing, Ranpo."
+
"... Okay then. I'm gonna get dressed, and I'll meet you there! Don't make me wait!"

"I wouldn't dream of it."

Ranpo hangs up his phone, throwing it onto the mattress as he shoves away his covers to hop to his feet.
+

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh
 

Keep Current with 🌸💜 ranpo's stupid little whore » rt pinned pls!

🌸💜 ranpo's stupid little whore » rt pinned pls! Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!

PDF

Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @beastranpo

5 Feb
eeeeee uncomfortable.
i try to be chill here about the people who interact w my tweets but if you kin ranpo i may block you for my own comfort. like my main says this much but still. figured I'd say it here. its an assured block if youre a minor.
obvs if u follow my main you know i have no issue with kinnies but my comfort charas and my portrayal are ridiculously important to me and I've had kinnies of them shove their kinning onto me when i am not talking about them saying things like "haha yea i would do that cuz im
Read 7 tweets
5 Feb
u ever just think about how ranpo had no one in his life that cared for him after the death of his parents and the justice system his father told him he could rely on betrayed him and kicked him out on the streets and he could have died or been kidnapped at any point and no one
would have ever noticed or cared because he had no other family but his parents who were everything to him
YOU EVER THINK ABOUT HOW HE WAS ISOLATED, OSTRACIZED, AND TREATED POORLY BY OTHERS AND SEEN AS A MONSTER FOR THE THINGS HE COULD SEE AND NOTICE CUZ HE THOUGHT IT WAS NORMAL BC HIS PARENTS WERE THAT SMART TOO BUT THE REST OF THE WORLD ISNT LIKE THEM SO ALL IT DID WAS MAKE
Read 5 tweets
5 Feb
rengesou ring ―

au where two countries led by the edogawa and dazai families have been at war for 20 very long years, and finally, they decide to make peace...

on the condition the youngest son to the dazai's marry the edogawa's only child.
warnings:

- child abuse (irt dazai's family)
- all the war crimes you can think of in varying degrees (but only mentions at least)
- eventual nsfw but you got a while buckle up we got drama first
- mori's various bullshittery
note for no one but the flower loving motherfuckers like me: the rengesou in japanese flower language means "your presence soothes my pain".

---
Read 156 tweets
4 Feb
dazai and ranpo the second they first meet both think the same thing about each other and that is "he's pretty" bc these bitches gay
ranpo: wanna play 20 questions
dazai: sure
ranpo: ok I'll go first. do you like men
dazai: (literally just bursts with laughter
there's a few reasons why dazai is the disappointment and his lack of heterosexuality is one of them so when his parents heard of ranpo they thought wow this kid is finally useful :\
Read 4 tweets
4 Feb
man that arranged marriage au is rotting my brain what do i do help me as i am haunted by betrothed princes ranpo and dazai who get along so perfectly it's creepy
yall love to watch me be a one man circus for my otp huh
Read 4 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!


This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!