BSD Cafe AU (Title in progress) - OpheliaAster22, Stellar_Keys07 - 文豪ストレイドッグス (2024)

Chapter 1

Chapter Text

“What the hell are you doing here, you damn bastard?!” A short, well-dressed redhead yelled, pointing at the barista behind the cafe’s counter.

“Huh? What are you talking about, Chuuya,” The tall brunette asked, raising an eyebrow while staring at his current customer with faint amusem*nt. “Why wouldn’t I be here? I work here, y’know. Now, I still need your order. What do you want, hatrack?”

Suddenly, another man loudly made his entrance by slamming the cafe door open. “Dazai! You brat, where did you get all the information you handed me last week?!” He demanded, making his way to be close enough to the barista to be at an arms’ length. Behind the blonde, a woman wearing casual business attire followed him in.

Dazai, the barista, crossed his arms across his chest and pouted childishly, turning his head away from the detective. “Why should I let you know? You’re rude!” He said petulantly, turning his attention back to the mafioso. “Oi, Chuuya, I still need your order. What do you want?”

“Whatever.” Chuuya huffed. “Just f*cking get me something you f*cking think I’d like, you sh*tty bastard.”

“Ugh, fine. The insults were unnecessary.” Dazai rolled his eyes. “Guess I’ll make you one of my specialties then. Do you want it caffeinated or not?”

“Caffeinated, obviously.” Chuuya scoffed.

“Don’t ignore me, you–”

“Oh, stop it, Kunikida. Dazai, I want Ranpo’s and my usual. Do you still have those tarts we like?” The woman finally spoke up, slapping her colleague into silence.

“Hello to you too, Yosano-san. How’s it been lately? And yes, I do still have those tarts you and the people in the Agency like. I always set aside a batch for you guys!” Dazai said cheerfully as he moved between his coffee presses skillfully. “If I didn’t, I’d never have enough to sell to other customers and you would never let me live it down. Chibikko, here’s yours. If you don’t like it, tell me. That drink’s an experimental one, so I need to know what I have to change. Yosano-san, did anyone else want anything? I just got a shipment of goods from that bakery I partnered with, so I have plenty to spare today.” Both Kunikida Doppo and Yosano Akiko lit up and they immediately started spewing out requests while Dazai handed Chuuya his order and got started on his next orders.

Meanwhile, Chuuya found himself a seat near the bar and settled down to wait and observe. He did find it slightly amusing that he had been completely ignored in favor of interrogating his ex-partner who was now, apparently, a barista in a cafe just outside the edge of the Port Mafia and Armed Detective Agency territories. (And if he found that nugget of information important and a bit concerning that no one had found Dazai, well, it’s not like he told anyone anything.)

It took time but in only 15 minutes, both members of the Agency were gone and most of the other patrons in the cafe had already left for their schedules. Behind the counter, Dazai sighed in relief and melted onto the floor, having forgotten all about the mafioso who had stayed.

“Still have to check those damn things. I blame Ranpo for getting me started on making those damned alcoholic goods. Why did he even want a donut with an alcoholic filling?” He grumbled, pulling himself to his feet with great reluctance. “Do I even still have the alcohol for it? I need a drink. Curse Ango for suggesting this!” And then he accidentally hit one of his mixers, nearly tipping it over if not for his reflexes. “Oh for f*ck’s sake! sh*t, where did I leave the damn towel?”

Chuuya watched as the former Port Mafia Executive fumbled around behind his bar for a good 10 minutes while he snacked on his red velvet cake. (According to Dazai’s menu, there were two versions of it. Alcoholic and Regular. He chose the alcoholic one, obviously.) He laughed to himself quietly every time the brunette stumbled and made an even bigger fool of himself.

When Dazai finally started cleaning up the bar counters, he was startled upon seeing Chuuya still in his seat and the former mafioso froze. “Since when did you come back?” He asked, confused.

“I never even left in the first place, sh*tty Dazai.” Chuuya replied, grinning at the dark blush that erupted on the barista’s face.

“You– What– Why– Huh?” Dazai stuttered, taking a couple of steps back when the redhead advanced on him with a sly smirk. “Wait– Chibi–” He nervously gulped when Chuuya grabbed him by the collar and pulled him down to his height. The barista tried to push the small mafioso away uselessly.

“You’ve got a lot of sh*t to answer for, you f*cking bastard,” Chuuya snarled. “But seeing you like this is hilarious. So I think I’ll let you hide here for a bit longer.” He snickered.

“Uh, hiding?” Dazai tilted his head, befuddled. “I’m not hiding, Chuuya. If no one from the Port Mafia hasn’t found me since I left, then where the f*ck are they expecting to find me? I was only in hiding for 6 months and even then, it wasn’t like I went anywhere. I was still in Yokohama, in Port Mafia territory. I even saw you, Akutagawa, Ane-san, and Gin running around several times!”

Chuuya gaped at the barista blankly. “What.”

Dazai nodded, finally relaxing. “Yeah. I’ve seen you guys many times, running errands and other things. It’s not my fault none of you could find me.”

“Are you f*cking serious?”

“Yes.” Dazai stared. “I saw you flying around last week!”

Chuuya paused, released Dazai, and raised a brow at him with his arms crossed across his chest. “Really?” The barista nodded. “What day and where?”

“It was late Thursday, I was just walking home actually.” Dazai shrugged. “I was a little concerned that you didn’t notice I was just several meters away from you. I saw you land on the street and jump away again, never said or made a sound but I was there.” Then he frowned. “I still can’t figure out why you had a box in your arms that evening. It didn’t seem like it had anything inside but it didn’t look empty either.”

The redhead’s jaw dropped open and he gaped at the brunette.”What the f*ck?” He said softly.

“Dazai-san, I’m back!” A young voice called from the backrooms. It sounded like a boy in his late teens. Dazai paled and nearly tripped over himself as he tried to kick Chuuya out of his cafe in his panic. “And I already picked up the twins from daycare. Have–” His words died on his tongue as he appeared and noticed Dazai’s predicament. “Who’s that?” He looked nothing like Dazai but it was clear that the boy had some form of relationship with the former executive.

“Katsuki! You came back early!” Dazai laughed nervously. “Uh, this is–”

“I’m Nakahara. Nakahara Chuuya.” Chuuya cut in. “Who are you and how do you know this imbecile?”

“Oh, he’s my g–”

“Nope!” Dazai yelped, leaping at the boy and slapping his hand over his mouth to prevent him from finishing his answer. “Okay, no. Bye Chuuya– Katsuki, could you go do inventory back where you live? And maybe check the supplies for the other two.” Katsuki nodded, albeit still a bit confused. “Thanks! Off you go now!” He frantically pushed the boy out the back and (unknown to Chuuya) up to their apartment floors.

Once Katsuki had left, Dazai turned around and glared at Chuuya. Not that it had much effect since it was a lot softer than his harsh, cold glares during his time in the mafia. Chuuya, on the other hand, found the short moment hilarious and his weak glare adorable. “Aw,” He cooed, tone toeing the line between teasing and mocking. “Does the Demon Prodigy not want me to find out about something? And that weak glare of yours? Simply adorable!”

Chuuya watched as the barista’s expression changed into something flustered but still stubbornly glaring at him a little harder. He mentally noted that even back then, when they had been younger, back before Dazai had left the Port Mafia, the former executive couldn’t handle genuine praise very well. Whenever he had absently given Dazai a positive review, the brunette often resorted to either insulting him until he got a reaction out of him or shutting him out by becoming quiet. Chuuya had often used this fact as a tactic to get him to shut up when they had still worked together, but now, the redhead saw it in a new light: an opportunity to be the one with the upper hand for once ever since he met Dazai Osamu when they were only 15 years of age.

“Just get out already,” Dazai mumbled, hiding behind the counter and fiddling with his coffee presses instead of having his attention on the mafioso. A mistake on his part because Chuuya used his distraction against him and jumped over the bar using his Ability to assist himself. “Why did you even come here anyway? Didn’t you swear that you’d never have coffee–”

“Ah ah ah.” Chuuya tutted. “Don’t change the subject, sh*tty Dazai. We weren’t talking about me. We were talking about you!”

“Don’t you have to get back to your job?” Dazai retorted. “It’s not like I’m going to go anywhere. This place is mine. You can always come back barging in as long as you don’t break my commercial stuff. Now, shoo!” With that, Dazai physically picked Chuuya up by the collar of his clothes and tossed him out. “Bye!” He let him leave with another cup of (free) coffee.

“That bastard.” Chuuya huffed before leaving. “He makes good coffee though. I think I’ll come back here tomorrow. I wonder if he ever figured out what I made him sign that day.” With a snicker, he walked into a dark alley before activating his Ability and flying off with a single jump.

As he flew through the sky, Chuuya thought about the very specific pile of paperwork he had the former mafioso sign when they were just 16, the paperwork that signified their permanent “partnership” because there was no way he was letting his “partner” leave him.

Meanwhile, Dazai sneezed into his cup of hot chocolate. Startled, he sat in his office in silence, wondering why when his office had been cleaned the day before. “I must either be falling ill or someone is thinking of me.” He said to himself, a bit mystified.

Then his door opened and one of his employees poked their head in. “Dazai-san, your hour-long break is over. Also, it’s almost time for lunch. We need your help in preparing the lunch menu.”

“Ah,” Dazai smiled, finishing the last of his drink. “Thank you, Ichigo. Let’s get to work then, shall we?” He stood up and exited his office, joining the rest of his staff. “Everybody ready?”

“Yeah!” A cheerful reply greeted him.

“Let’s get to work!”

It was safe to say that Dazai Osamu had no idea what his former partner in crime Nakahara Chuuya had made him sign when the redhead had taught him about paperwork when they were 16 and the shorter teen had noticed the brunette’s minimal workload compared to the other Executives he had shadowed.

Yeah, Dazai would later find out that he didn’t quite mind that little secret.

Chapter 2

Chapter Text

The next morning, Chuuya had indeed returned. “Dazai!” He called, slamming the cafe doors wide open as hard as he could without causing any damage.

“Good morning to you too, Chuuya.” Dazai deadpanned from his coffee presses where he finished up another customer’s order.

After taking care of his other customers, the former mafioso called someone from the back to man the till while he talked to the redhead. Then he came out from the other side of the bar and Chuuya noticed that he was wearing roller skates and a skirt. “C’mon, let’s go.”

Dazai led Chuuya to a private booth situated closer to the back and pushed in the short man. With a sigh, Dazai left for Chuuya’s order when he heard his employee call out Chuuya’s name while Chuuya made himself comfortable and checked out the booth. Once the brunette returned, he set down the ginger’s coffee and pastry in front of him, placed a cup of coffee and his slice of cake on the table, and set aside the tray he used before finally sitting down on the booth couch.

Just as Dazai was about to take a bite of his cake, he paused, closed his mouth, and turned to look out the window, squinting at the glare of the sun. “I don’t suppose the sniper currently aiming a rifle at my windows works for you?”

“What the– How–” Chuuya sputtered. The brunette turned back to the man across from him and gave him a flat look. The mafioso grits his teeth and makes a subtle movement, one that Dazai remembered well, having used it himself many times before. “How the hell have you been f*cking hiding near Port Mafia territory, sh*tty mackerel?” He demanded.

“I’ve already told you yesterday, Chuuya. I’m not hiding. I haven’t been hiding for years.” Dazai sighed, finally beginning to consume his treat. “It’s hardly my fault no one could find me. I had my reasons for leaving the mafia, and I highly doubt you would be interested to know all about it.” He rolled his eyes before taking a sip of his coffee. “Any other queries you’d like me to answer, chibikko? I do have to get back behind the counter. So make it quick.”

“Fine.” Chuuya glared. “What I want to know is why every single one of your former subordinates, your personally trained squad, defied every order not issued by Akutagawa or myself. Did you do something to them? They don’t even listen to Mori! And whenever they get threatened with execution, they just f*cking vanish! It’s like they’re pulling one of your tricks!”

Dazai blinked before bursting into laughter, swiftly putting down his coffee and folding over. “Seriously?! That’s what you want to know?!” He cackled, wiping tears of amusem*nt from his eyes.

“It’s creepy!” The ginger shuddered. “About a week after you left, they started following me around like I was automatically their direct superior! They treated me like I was you! And whenever I wasn’t around, they were following Akutagawa’s orders. He’s not even an executive!” He growled in annoyance as the brunette across the table slowly calmed down from his laughing fit.

“They must’ve remembered what I told them when I first got them,” Dazai said, still a little breathless. “I remember warning them that there would likely be a day when I would leave the Port Mafia. I also made it clear that I expected nothing but the best out of them and told them that training would be brutal. They started thinning out when I began training them, so as a reward for any of them who lasted 4 complete, 30-day months under my command, I started giving them bonuses of their choice. Not money though.” Dazai added, seeing the look on his ex-partner’s face. He took another gulp of coffee out of his cup before continuing. “The ones that lasted 3 more months got another thing from me. Protocols. Ones that I specifically crafted for them to use whenever I wasn’t there to order them around. One of them involved me leaving the mafia entirely.”

“What? You planned that far ahead?” Chuuya asked, leaning forward a bit, a curious expression plastered on his face. Dazai shot him a slightly offended look.

“Of course I did! Most people might’ve called me the ‘Demon Prodigy’ but I did have another title only known to most of my direct subordinates.” He huffed. “As for the vanishing act they keep pulling, they’re probably just activating the profiles I made for them a long time ago. Not that anyone Mori has under his command can find anything about it. I made those things personally, and they require a specific password to be activated. I left the password settings to the profile users, so even I don’t know how to activate them. I made suggestions for them back then, and it wasn’t any of my business if they considered it.”

“Oh yeah?” Chuuya raised a brow. “I thought you only had 2 titles? ‘Demon Prodigy’ and ‘Mori’s successor’, right?”

“No, the second one you mentioned isn’t one of my official titles.” Dazai snorted derisively, shaking his head. “My other, lesser-known title was the ‘Harbringer of Chaos’. Slow to blow, but devastating results. Well, that and chaos typically followed me around.” He added. “As for the reason why they follow Akutugawa and your orders yet ignore Mori’s commands, that’s just another protocol I drilled into them. All they had to do was find someone with a high enough rank whom I trusted and they felt like they could trust.”

He conveniently leaves out the fact that the protocol also had the additional condition that it also had to be someone he cared enough about to want to protect. He didn’t think Chuuya would like knowing that little tidbit. The redhead was strong-willed and liked to be independent whenever he could which was understandable considering his origins as a possible (but unlikely) clone of a stolen child. Dazai also mentally noted that the man’s fashion choice had changed once again, though the atrocious hat still stayed. (He firmly ignored his reasons for hating the thing despite knowing its meaning and value to the shorter man and viciously stamped down the warm, fuzzy, unfamiliar feeling he felt when he thought about his mafia partner.)

“Oh.” Chuuya blinked.

“Aren’t you going to finish your order? Your coffee’s gone cold y’know.” Dazai commented, humming a bit as he started to clean up. “If that was all you wanted to know—”

Just as Dazai moved for the booth’s door, Chuuya called out. “Wait!” The short mafioso grabbed Dazai by his wrist, gently but firmly. It was clear that he didn’t want the brunette to leave just yet. “There’s another thing I want to ask.”

Suddenly, one of Dazai’s employees called for him. “Hey, boss! Some bitch wants to talk to you!” After the announcement, it seemed whoever was ordering seemed to take high offense and yelled something incomprehensible to protest.

A mischievous light entered Dazai’s eyes, and a shadowed smirk appeared on his face. It wasn’t as dark as it used to be when Dazai was in the mafia, so it was clear to Chuuya that Dazai wasn’t planning anything too bad. “It’s been a while since I had to deal with one of them.” He said calmly, ripping his limb out of Chuuya’s grip and gliding gracefully out of the booth on his skates with the redhead following after him sedately.

When they got to the bar, the air around Dazai seemed to change, affecting the entire atmosphere in the cafe. The other customers, especially the regulars, seemed to hold their breath in excitement for the upcoming show. “What seems to be the problem here?”

“He can’t get my order right!” The enraged woman screeched.

Behind Dazai, Chuuya winced at the irritating pitch of her voice. If it had been him, he would’ve killed her already.

“I see. And what exactly is your order, miss?” The brunette inquired politely. The woman rattled off her order and Dazai slipped behind the counter and quickly made it. Before she could take a sip, Dazai spoke up again. “I made this exactly as you said you like it. If you have any complaints about it, do remember that it was made to your specifications. And do not screech like some banshee. It is unbecoming.” He sneered, giving her a stern look.

The unknown woman nodded hesitantly and took a tentative sip of her drink before making a face. It looked like she heavily regretted her choice but paid her bill nonetheless and left stiffly. Once she was out the door and a minute had passed, Dazai, his two employees, and at least half of the customers in the cafe burst into laughter.

“Did you see her face?! Oh my gods, I’ve never seen something so smooth yet so hilarious–”

“Dazai-san strikes again!”

“Someone please tell me they managed to record it!”

More and more comments came, and throughout it all, Dazai was cackling. He was bent in half and trying to support his weight with the bar, but he was laughing.

It took a while for everyone to settle down since now and then, when someone glanced at another in the cafe, the giggling would be set off all over again. Then the cafe doors were slammed open once more. This time, it was two armed men. Chuuya almost leaped into action if not for Dazai shooting him a look to let him handle it. The redhead didn’t know what he was expecting but noticed that none of the people in the cafe were particularly concerned about the whole thing. If anything, they seemed more annoyed and resigned about it.

“Oh for f*ck’s sake, we just had someone do this sh*t yesterday–”

“Shut the hell up, man. Just f*cking watch!”

“Hello, gentlemen, what seems to be your business with us today?” Dazai asked serenely with a smile on his face. It wasn’t a warm or cold expression. Just polite, the customer service kind. (It also almost looked disgustingly submissive to Chuuya who felt that the look on his ex-partner’s face wasn’t fit for the brunette to have. Ever.)

One pointed a gun straight at his face and Chuuya stiffened. “I want everyone’s hands up and I want all of your money in the bag!” He demanded, throwing down a duffle bag before the brunette’s feet. “Now!”

A beat.

Dazai looked down at the bag before raising his head back up to stare flatly at the gunman. “It seems you brought us trouble today.” He paused. “Ichigo, would you mind taking care of the trash?”

“No problem, boss.” In the same instant that Dazai’s title was uttered, the duo crumpled to the floor, a pair of shiny darts sticking out of their necks. “Damn, those were my last doses.” The barista with Dazai sighed.

The tall brunette merely smiled and patted the man’s shoulder. “Thanks for your hard work Ichigo. Let me know if you need anything to make another batch.” He told him before sauntering back to Chuuya’s side and dragging the mafioso back to their booth. “What else do you want to know, hat rack?”

“Why?”

“Why what?”

“Why a cafe? Why own one at all?” Chuuya asked.

“I like coffee but hate buying it. So I made my own.” Dazai hummed. “The cafe idea was suggested as a joke, and I was feeling petty at the time, so I got this cafe!”

Chuuya stared, unable to comprehend his former partner’s motives again. (Sue him, he was a bit out of practice, okay? It's been four years since he last saw him and the brunette was as crafty and unpredictable as ever! Well, he was weirder than unpredictable to Chuuya anyway.) He sighed. “I doubt I’ll ever understand that, so I won’t try to.”

Chapter 3

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

“Of course, you won’t,” Dazai agreed. “Since you have the subordinates I left behind, I guess I should probably let you know that there are some with families they started themselves. While I trained them all to be well-rounded, I also split my people into 3 categories based on their preferences or specialties. Intelligence, Covert, and Brute. I’m sure even someone like you can figure out what each one does, right, Chuuya?~” With a smirk, the ex-mafioso left the booth cheerfully, his hips swaying just enough for Chuuya to pick up that the brunette was smug.

“That damn bastard.” Chuuya groaned, quickly drinking the last of his coffee. “Why can’t he ever just tell me things without all the secrets?” He savored his pastry for a minute before making his way back to the counter and paying his due.

“Thank you for your patronage. We hope you come again, dear customer!” Ichigo said in farewell, accepting the cash and giving him his change.

Chuuya nodded his head absentmindedly. Something about Ichigo didn’t feel right. Like he’d seen him from somewhere else before. Despite the odd feeling, Chuuya left for his job.

“Hey, boss?” Ichigo called, snickering. “Nakahara-san just walked out without noticing who I was.” Dazai laughed with him for a good while. “I think it’ll take him a while to figure out we left the mafia to follow you instead after getting a death threat from Mori and managing to finally find you.”

“I did find it hilarious to see you guys run around the city without noticing me for more than 3 months when I came out of hiding for the first time after 6 months.” Dazai smiled at the memory before turning to the barista with a frown. “I never thought you guys would come running to me instead of staying with the Port Mafia. I used to threaten you guys with worse consequences than just execution. Do none of you have any self-preservation? Or loyalty to the organization?”

“Oh, we do.” Another employee agreed, nodding. “But you also made it a direct order that in any case, if Mori tried to threaten our lives while you were gone, we were to preserve our lives as we see fit. We just found it a lot more convenient to go to you for protection.”

Dazai’s jaw dropped and his eyes widened with surprise. Another employee who had been cleaning up a table returned and eyed their slack-jawed employer. “Oh? What’s this? It seems our boss has been doubting himself again!~”

Dazai froze.

“We can’t have that, now, can we?” Ichigo picked up his cue and lunged for the brunette. “Kosuke, help me keep our boss in place before he manages to run!” He said, laughing as the younger man in his arms tried to squirm out of his embrace. Kosuke, the employee who’d been cleaning tables, joined the hug without hesitation and helped Ichigo restrain their boss from vanishing before they could inflict their “punishment” on him.

“I’ll go call Yosano.” The other employee said, reaching for the cafe’s telephone.

“Wait! No!” Dazai cried out, wiggling to try and escape.

“There’s no escape boss!” Kosuke crowed. “You’re the best boss we ever had!” Dazai stiffened at the compliment. Seeing the crack in the brunette’s armor, Kosuke quickly shot him another compliment. “Even though you usually use it to talk about suicide and death, you’re really creative!”

“Stop!” The brunette wailed. “Please stop!”

“You’re so nice to us! When we were still in our old jobs, you did your best to make it more bearable for us without letting the higher-ups know.” Kosuke said. “Even though you were harsh about it, you trained us well!”

“It certainly made running easier.” Ichigo snorted. “You knew what you were doing with us, boss! Even back then, you were a genius!”

“Stop!” Dazai begged under the onslaught of compliments and praise that he was showered with by his employees and the occasional regular customer. “I’m gonna die! I get it! I’m great! I’m smart! Just please stop!” He cried out.

Suddenly, the bell above the cafe door rings, drawing the attention of the staff. “What the f*ck?” Dazai paled at the sound of Chuuya’s voice. “What’s going–”

“Ichigo! Kosuke! Let me go already!” He screamed breathlessly, trying to wiggle his way out of their tight and firm grips again. “Izuku! Tell them to let go!”

“Sorry boss, but no,” Izuku said, shaking his head. “Not even the presence of someone like him is going to get you out of this! Besides, Yosano-san already agreed to bring as many of her coworkers to help!”

“That thing you guys do to me is not help!” Dazai denied it vehemently. “All it does is make me want to jump off a bridge!” He hissed.

“You already do that at least 3 times a week anyway,” Ichigo said dismissively. “Plus, despite your claims of the tradition not being helpful, boss, you started talking less about suicide ever since we got it started here too!” An evil smirk appeared on all three of Dazai’s present employees.

“Yeah!” Kosuke agreed. “You used to talk about it every hour or so, but now, you only talk about it 13 times a day at maximum! Did I get that number right–” Dazai suddenly makes a triumphant noise as he manages to free one of his arms and both Ichigo and Kosuke yelp.

“sh*t!” Izuku cursed, dropping the telephone and lunging for Dazai’s arm with rope in his hands. “You’re so gonna regret that when Yosano and the others get here.”

“We’re here!” Yosano announced as she entered the cafe, pushing Chuuya out of her way as she and her entourage made a beeline for the restrained man on the floor. “Kenji! Mind helping us restrain the idiot so we can finish tying him up?”

“No problem, Yosano-sensei!” A blonde teen cheerfully agreed, grabbing the bandage-covered man firmly but not harshly enough to bruise. Kenji held Dazai still while Izuku, Ichigo, and Kosuke tied him up.

“I hate all of you!” Dazai declared, glaring at them petulantly. “Why am I even associated with any of you pricks?”

“Because we’re friends/your employees!” Was the combined reply the brunette got.

Chuuya snickered.

“So, who’s getting this thing started?” Yosano asked, charging the air with anticipation.

“I’ll go first!” Kenji volunteered. “Dazai-san, you’re the best cafe barista I’ve ever met!”

Dazai looked horrified and mortified all at once, and Chuuya was here for it. The mafioso decided to watch the scene with sad*stic glee as he gathered mental pictures as blackmail against the genius.

“Wait– No–” Unfortunately, Dazai had trained his men a little too well in the art of restraining a person and couldn’t get out of the ropes as quickly as he would if anyone else had done his restraints. “sh*t– Izuku! Untie me right now!” He demanded, wanting to escape any further compliments and embarrassment.

“Nope!” Izuku booped his boss’ nose playfully, snickering when Dazai froze and looked like his brain short-circuited from the childish action and couldn’t comprehend the fact that it had been done to him. “You’re the best boss that Ichigo, Kosuke, the others, and I have ever had. Always protecting us even if it didn’t look like it to others!”

“I wasn’t!” Dazai protested.

“Oh really? Then was it someone else who pulled us out of a mission when you noticed it was too difficult for us?” Ichigo looked like a cat who caught the canary as they collectively watched Dazai slowly flush pink. “Someone else who taught us how to do our best? Hmm?”

“Anyone else could have done that!” The poor brunette shot back.

Chuuya noted that his presence had been forgotten, and most of the cafe’s current audience was watching it all as if it was a regular occurrence. Some even threw in their own comments. Since it was about Dazai, the short mafioso figured that it probably was a somewhat common scene in the cafe.

“So you weren’t the one who rewarded us with a way out back then? Way before you left our old job?” Kosuke crooned. “It helped save our skins, y’know. The company would’ve worked us to death if we stayed there and you gave us the key to running!”

“Wait, you guys ran away from your old company?” Kunikida asked.

Izuku turned to him to answer. “Oh, yeah. It was the kind of company where the moment you apply, you’re essentially signing your life away in there. Dazai here managed to get out. The poor guy was already around the time our department was made, and as soon as the CEO changed, he was promoted to a higher position, and we were placed under him.”

“He told us before that there was a high probability that he would run in the future, but we were some of the few who stuck with him as our superior,” Ichigo added, still grinning. “Dazai also told us that our work was lacking, overhauled the entire department, and took over our training. He was brutal about it but also fair, and he got results.”

“This guy?!” Kunikida looked flabbergasted. “He barely does his paperwork! You’re telling me that he used to work at a company?!”

“Well, yeah, of a sort.” Ichigo shrugged. “He was a bit of the boss’ favorite. Normally, if the CEO had been anyone else, that would be a good thing but the CEO that took over was… bad.”

Kosuke snorted. “That’s an understatement. That asshole tormented Dazai, used him like some puppet, and Dazai let him because he thought the bastard would follow up with his request. According to Dazai, or what we managed to get out of him anyway, he met him during one of his suicide attempts. Promised to kill him painlessly if he did a few things for him. Then ended up using Dazai as a witness to something.” He scowled. “Everyone knew that there was no way the former boss had died just out of illness, but no one could prove anything because the only witness had been Dazai and the little sh*t wouldn’t say a f*cking thing about it other than what was so obviously a scripted lie. It was that bad.”

“Dazai started neglecting himself. Eating less, sleeping more, that kind of thing.” Izuku said, careful not to drop any more major hints about Dazai’s past. “From what I know, Dazai used to be monstrously strong when he was healthier. It was said that he used to be able to break down a concrete wall with a single, proper, two-inch punch when he threw his entire force behind it. By the time I got a Key made for me, Dazai’s strength had severely dropped and he was only able to send a grown, healthy man, flying for only 3 feet instead of the former kilometer or so.”

“Seriously?” Yosano looked at Dazai in disbelief. Chuuya stared, mentally agreeing with the woman. In all the years that he knew Dazai, he was near-literally holding himself back by debilitating his health?! This was the guy who beat up a kid as training!

“Oh, yeah.” Ichigo nodded. “I’ve seen him fight when he was both healthy and unhealthy. There’s a massive difference, and I’m almost sure that he weakened himself purposefully to try and stay out of the—” He paused, trying to find the most understandable explanation he could give without tipping off their history. “— more heavyweight stuff. As far as I know, he had training before he was dragged to the company by the guy who became CEO.”

Notes:

Reading this, I feel like I wrote it half-asleep and drained after doing my math homework. What the hell was I thinking? I really don't know. But I've already spotted at least three references so... Eh? I know I couldn't have possibly been drunk since I've never drunk a single drop of alcohol before and everything is (mostly?) grammatically correct. As one of my tags have said, send help! DX

Chapter 4

Chapter Text

“If I was able to,” Kosuke glared at a random wall. “I’d get rid of the CEO myself, but I wouldn’t do that to Dazai. The bastard had made sure that if he ever died, everything would be left to Dazai which would mean that this guy,” he ruffled Dazai’s hair, ignoring the small pouty look he got. “— would be dragged back into his hell and this time, he wouldn’t have a way out at all.”

Suddenly, Dazai perked up and his head snapped toward one of the cafe’s windows. “Get down!” He yelled, bursting from his restraints (Chuuya guessed that maybe there was some truth to the employee’s words earlier. He knew very well how much force is needed to break out of a lot of different kinds of bondings.) to pull down the nearest two who happened to be Kenji and Kunikida. Everyone else had followed Dazai’s command without hesitation, each one of them dropping down to the ground just as he had instructed.

The place exploded with bright light and a moment later, gunfire rained across the room. Very few people yelped which meant that the cafe had been attacked more than once before. Chuuya tried to compose himself but the loud noise and the effects of the flashbang were still lingering and giving the ginger a headache.

Dazai slammed a hand hard enough against one of the star decorations on the floor that the pressure allowed the brunette to push it down. The star, after sinking half an inch, lit up like a fingerprint scanner, and to Chuuya, several customers, and the Armed Detective Agency’s surprise, the cafe’s blinds slammed shut. “Okay, everyone! I guess we’re scheduled for a lockdown today! I apologize for the inconvenience but if you sustained any injuries, please inform one of my staff while the Armed Detective Agency and I deal with the mess outside. Thank you!” With that, Dazai skated into the backrooms, followed by the detectives.

By the time Chuuya manages to get out to see the fight, it is already almost over. He was, however, early enough to see Dazai drag a heavier man a few feet then threw him into an open trashbin a meter or two away without so much as a grunt of effort. Though he did comment about “getting better distance”, whatever that meant.

Standing beside the executive, Ichigo laughed, startling the short ginger. “He’s finally getting back to his former health but that’s probably still far off. Dazai-san still tries to skip meals and run from us because we force him to do some self-care.” He said, picking at his nails as if they were more interesting. “He says that being in his current state is for the best, even if he could be better. Dazai also runs whenever we try to get him to go get therapy. He always had been the most mysterious and weirdest one.” Ichigo huffed. “By the way, Nakahara-san, have you figured it out yet?”

“What?” Chuuya turned to face Dazai’s employee (and former mafioso lackey, but he didn’t know that yet). “Wait, what do you mean by that?” Ichigo only hummed as he turned to walk back into the cafe. “What do you mean by that?!” He demanded loudly trying to catch up to the taller individual.

“Figure it out.” The redhead blinked once and then Ichigo was gone.

“Huh? Chuuya?” Chuuya jumped at Dazai’s voice. He turned around stiffly and gulped at the innocent confusion on the brunette’s face. “What are you doing out here?”

“Nothing.” Dazai raised a brow at the redhead, unbelieving of his lie.

“Uh-huh. If you say so, Chuuya.” The brunette turned back to look at the street in the direction of Kunikida who had called his name. “I guess he needs to get something from me?” Dazai mused with already one foot in front of the other on his skates. Chuuya followed after him dazedly. “Kunikida-kun! What did you need from me?” Dazai asked, enunciating and dragging every vowel of the man’s name with an impish grin on his face, mischief radiating from his body language.

“Information, Dazai.”

Dazai pouted at the lackluster reaction and starts poking the detective while spouting off details. Everything he said sounded outrageous but Chuuya noted that the detective still wrote everything down. It said something about their relationship. Kunikida had likely once gone off without listening between the lines of Dazai and something had gone wrong after he dismissed the eccentric brunette.

Chuuya knew that experience, having done so himself repeatedly when he was younger and still partnered with Dazai Osamu, the Demon Prodigy himself. While the Demon Prodigy hadn’t been quite as loud or expressive as Dazai Osamu now was, he still had a very strange and confusing way of imparting information to anyone. Back then, it seemed like the only people who ever understood even half of whatever the Demon Prodigy said were his subordinates, who according to rumors, had been trained personally by Dazai himself.

Rumors, Chuuya thought to himself. Well, they were true for once.

From what the redhead could infer, Dazai had been a brutal trainer and taskmaster, but Chuuya was also certain that he provided excellent results. After all, Chuuya’s best men were the ones who had taken to following him and Akutagawa after Dazai had left the Port Mafia. According to Dazai himself, his former men had emergency files they could activate to escape the dark underworld in case they ever decided to run. A reward, for having stayed with him even through his harsh training.

Another fact that Chuuya had gathered about Dazai’s men was that they had picked up more than just his training. Since Dazai’s men had risen to be several of the best in the entirety of the Port Mafia’s troops, Mori had tried to order them to train the underlings only for his order to be completely ignored by Dazai’s 24 former subordinates. It wasn’t until Chuuya had given them permission to train whomever they deemed worthy to join their group that they began training anyone. The first thing they did was snag their executive (Chuuya), the pair of siblings Dazai had left behind (the Akutagawas), and as many orphans as they could who weren’t old enough to be legal, which meant any orphan under 19 years of age.

Hilariously enough, Dazai’s subordinates had met both Oda Sakunosuke and Ango Sakaguchi before Oda died and Dazai left. They had picked up Oda’s values when it came to children, strengthening their loyalty to their young executive, and when the former assassin had passed, they had become near-obsessive with protecting every minor in the mafia. They didn’t coddle the kids, but if a young recruit wants out? There was no stopping them, Dazai’s men would just clear a way for the youth’s escape and help them vanish. Chuuya didn’t see anything wrong with their methods so he let them be so long as they kept it under wraps and controlled.

(No one would ever be able to prove that he had— as Dazai’s men called it behind his back, “pulled a Dazai” — and arranged a meeting with his men somewhere secret outside of Mori’s influence and talked with them about what they were comfortable with, what they could tolerate, what they couldn’t stand, and what they would never do. Human trafficking- especially considering children were on the top of their Never-Doing list. They’d rather leave that to someone else. However, they wouldn’t turn their back on it either.

And if children who were discovered to be kidnapped or victims of any of the Port Mafia’s enemies were found again by authorities after a Port Mafia raid, well, no one had to know. Right?

Especially not Mori Ougai.)

When Chuuya snapped back to reality, Dazai was already heading back to his establishment and Kunikida was walking off toward his own. The redhead quickly jogged after the tall brunette in a skirt. (Chuuya quickly locked that thought into the deep trenches of his mind, unwilling to even think about it for longer than half a minute.) “Oi, Dazai, what was that thing they were doing to you earlier? Before those bastards started shooting down your cafe.” Chuuya asked.

“Hmm?” Dazai stopped and turned to him with his full body. “Oh, that? That wasn’t anything special. The detectives from the Agency were the ones who started the tradition. It wasn’t until Ichigo saw them do it at Kunikida-kun, I think it was, that they started doing it here in the cafe too.” Then he pouted, crossing his arms childishly. “They do it to me every month!” Dazai complained theatrically. “And it’s not just them either! Somehow, they got the kids I sometimes babysit to do it whenever they feel I’m too sad or upset! They taught the brats that the best way was to f*cking corner me like some stray! Can you believe it?! A stray? Me?! I–”

“Yeah, I can see that.” Chuuya blurted out. “You are a lot like a feral, stray cat now that I think about it.” He mused.

Dazai gaped at him in surprise. "What?! I'm not a cat! Much less a stray or feral one!" He hissed. Chuuya could almost imagine a pair of cat ears on the brunette’s head, pinned back similarly to a feline’s ears would when they felt threatened. (In the back of Chuuya’s mind, he mentally reminded himself to get his hands on some mechanical cat ears. He would research such technology when he returned to his living unit.)

“Sure.” Chuuya snorted before swiftly leaving.

“I’m not a cat, you stupid slug!” Dazai screamed at his back when he heard the mafioso laugh. “I’m not!”

Later, Chuuya would spend the night reminiscing his memories with Dazai Osamu. He found himself comparing the man’s character, habits, and quirks to that of a feline and then spent a good amount of time laughing himself hoarse.

“He truly is a cat.” He said to no one in particular. “Even back then, he was always weird. At least now, I have something to compare that sh*tty mackerel to. Despite looking a lot like a fish, he acts more like some stray cat.” The ginger paused a moment before adding, “A feral, suicidal, stray cat.”

Chuuya wistfully eyed the only photo he had left of his partner which he kept safe in a picture frame on his bedside table. He sighed, finishing the last of his wine, and tucked himself into bed. He couldn’t deny that compared to the past, Dazai seemed to be happier away from the Port Mafia. As if the weight he used to have had been lightened a little. Then he decided that perhaps he’d say nothing to his boss the next morning about his discovery of Dazai Osamu’s whereabouts. The brunette had suffered enough during his time in the mafia.

“What the f*ck are you so happy about this goddamn morning?” Chuuya grumpily asked, sipping on his coffee.

The redhead didn’t get an answer. He sighed, lifting his head to look at Dazai who sat across the room behind his desk, doing his monthly paperwork. Soft, relaxing music played in the background, filling the room with soothing white noise. The only other sound was Dazai’s pen scribbling away on paper and the occasional shifting.

It had been a couple of days since the shootout and Chuuya had made sure to clear his schedule for the day just to spend some time in the presence of his ex-partner. Despite it being his day off, he still kept his phones on him, both the one for his work— knowing that Mori only allowed him days off if he finished everything he had to do and if he was on-call— and his private cell. He hadn't expected the brunette's day to be so... calm despite the chaos he could hear outside in the cafe.

“Don’t ignore me, you asshole!”

Dazai finally looked up, making eye contact with the only other living being in his office. “Eh? Chuuya’s getting mad already?” Amusem*nt danced in the brunette’s eyes, reminding Chuuya that he was probably being manipulated again. “And why do you care? I’m a traitor, remember? Or was there something else you wanted to know?”

“Hah? Well, if you’re up to answering some of my questions without f*cking lying, then hell yeah! I got some sh*t I want you to f*cking answer.” Chuuya spat out, glaring at the man. “Why the hell did you leave the Port Mafia?”

Chapter 5

Chapter Text

“I wanted to honor a dead friend’s last wish,” Dazai replied honestly, his eyes misting over, his mind reminiscing the heartbreaking moment he had found his friend’s dying form. “It just so happened that it meant I had to leave the Port Mafia. Of course, there was also the fact that I knew if I stayed any longer than I had to, the chances of me killing Mori would no longer be a doubt but a fact. This meant that in murdering the bastard who named me as his heir as a trap, I would become the new boss of the Port Mafia– which meant more responsibilities and fewer chances for me to honor a friend’s dying request.” The brunette explained. “I didn’t mean to leave without saying a word to you, but I knew that if you had asked me to, I probably would’ve stayed. According to the therapist that my employees and acquaintances have been forcing me to see, my time in the mafia had made me a ticking time bomb. They also made me take an IQ test and figure out how smart I am. Believe it or not, I’m smarter than Mori.”

“Seriously? You’re not f*cking with me, are you?”

“Nope! From what I gathered, Mori’s IQ is only around 135 or something. My IQ is around 200.” Dazai revealed. “Not only that, but I also apparently have ADHD, my zodiac is Gemini, and I have more than one mental illness– half of which I gained while working with the Port Mafia. There are also several physical issues that Yosano diagnosed me with but I don’t feel like talking about those.” He sighed, signing another form before setting it aside. “That said, it doesn’t mean much but I’ve been told that I should warn any relationships I have that I have trust issues, depression, and am touch-starved. I’m informing you of this because, despite your hatred of me, I still consider you to be one of my relationships. I’m still learning about the differences between the different types of relationships so you’ll have to be patient with me on that because I currently consider all of my relationships to be friendships.” Dazai’s voice was flat though it took a slightly questioning tone near the end of his last sentence.

Chuuya chuckled. “I guess even someone like you can learn something new, huh.” Despite the nonchalant way the redhead spoke, Dazai could spot the light blush on his cheeks when he glanced at the man. “So, you consider me a friend?”

“Maybe,” Dazai said noncommittally. “I’m not quite sure yet. But for now, I think I’ll use ‘Partner’ as a label for our relationship. That was what Mori said we were anyway.”

“Alright,” Chuuya agreed, thinking that maybe if the brunette could finally put a proper, appropriate label on their relationship, he would be able to do the same. It was how they had always done things before. Dazai would make a plan, then they would execute it with Chuuya usually doing the heavy lifting. “Do you have any other relationships you’ve managed to label yet?” He asked.

“Well, yes,” Dazai replied hesitantly. “Yosano-sensei helped me with it. Uh, Mori is my abuser. She said that she knows what it’s like to be under him like I was. She said that until I make as full of a recovery as I possibly can and escape him, even if Mori died today, he would still be my abuser.” The brunette finished shakily, already eyeing the few exits of his office and anything he could throw.

“I see.” Chuuya had known that something was going on between his boss and his partner back when he was younger but because Dazai had never admitted to anything, Chuuya had never been sure. He had never hated the brunette for the fact that he left. He only despised the fact that Dazai had vanished without giving him an explanation as to why.

“But Chuuya,” Dazai spoke up again after a minute of tense silence. “I’m sure I always meant what I said to you that night. I know you might not remember it anymore but I’ll tell you again anyway. There was never a punchline.”

“Wha–” The redhead tried to ask but Dazai had already thrown him out of his office.

That evening, just as Dazai finished closing his cafe, someone bumped into him. He turned to look and found a pair of little girls who seemed desperate to hold onto him. “Wha–” Dazai spotted a group of three men casually walking towards them with a familiar glint of perverted, ugly light in their eyes which had the brunette immediately reopening the cafe’s doors and shoved the girls inside, locking the door behind them and quickly hiding them in the backroom with him. Both of the girls were shaking, terrified out of their minds.

“Please don’t let them take us, Dazai-san!” The blonde one cried, one fist tightly clenching onto Dazai’s beige-brown coat. At the address, Dazai finally recognized the girls. They were both daughters of some of his regular customers and were sometimes left to the cafe staff to babysit whenever their parents had an emergency and couldn’t find anyone else to watch over them. “We don’t want to go with them! We just want to go home!”

“Okay, okay, okay,” He said quickly, trying to soothe them. “What’s wrong? Is someone following you? Or kidnap you two?”

“There’s been a group of men following us since we left our school,” The second girl said, managing to push words out between her fearful sobbing. “At first, we weren’t sure about it so we followed what you told us to do if we ever suspected that someone might take us. They kept following us for a couple of hours until we got here!”

“Shh,” Dazai crouched and embraced both of them, rubbing their backs to comfort them. “Let me just call Akira down for you two while I deal with them, okay? I’ll be right back.” He promised when the blonde started sobbing again when he tried to stand up. “Here, you two can hide down here if it makes you feel safer.” He said, presenting them with the secret space under his desk.

Under the wooden desk, there was a small trapdoor that led to a small but cozy bunker. Fairy lights were hanging around the ceiling borders, the walls were painted in beautiful pastel colors, and the floor was covered with beanbags, blankets of varying colors, thicknesses, quality, and textures, stuffed toys, and in the middle of the whole mess was a little dip that looked like a nest covered in cushions and pillows. A grid of 9 screens was attached to a wall, making up a large TV. Underneath the TV was a shelf built into the wall, showcasing a few gaming consoles, a pair of remotes, and a row of games available.

“It’s not much but–” Dazai was cut off by twin squeals from the girls who practically dove into the soft haven. “Ah. Well, there should be food in there as well as a phone you two can use. I’ll be right back!” He announced, shutting the trapdoor after hearing confirmation from them.

Five minutes later, Akira and Dazai had already taken care of the three men who had tried to follow the two girls. Chuuya, who had been passing by, had taken the trio somewhere and came back with some blood still on his gloves. Dazai frowned but said nothing and only greeted him with the same smile he usually did. “Hey, Chuuya! What brings you here at this time? It’s already almost dark, y’know.”

“I…” The redhead hesitated.

“I’m going home, Dazai-san,” Akira said, after a moment. “I already called the girls’ parents, so they should be coming here soon.”

“Alright, Akira. Stay safe going back, okay?” Dazai ruffled the boy’s hair with a grin that he returned in full, nodding. “Off you go, then.”

“By the way, Dazai-san,” Akira added, pausing. “You still have your therapy session on for tomorrow! And there’s no way you’re going to get out of it like we let you do it last time!”

“What?!” The brunette squawked. “I don’t need or want therapy!”

“You do need it!” Akira rebuked, sprinting off before Dazai could protest even longer.

Beside the tall man, Chuuya laughed at the disgruntled yet reluctantly fond expression on his face. “He’s right, you do need therapy, sh*tty Dazai.” The redhead smirked. “I knew that even when we just met when we were 15.”

“Not you too Chuuya!” Dazai whined childishly, his voice was high-pitched compared to what it used to be when they had been teens before Dazai had left the Port Mafia. Back then, he hadn’t bothered to change his voice unless it was for a mission.

Now though, Chuuya noted thoughtfully. Dazai regularly kept his voice high instead of its natural low, smooth tone. He sort of wondered how deep the brunette would sound if he allowed himself to stop forcing his voice to sound higher now that he had grown past puberty.

“Anyway, what brings you here at this time?” The brunette repeated. “You didn’t finish—”

“Nothing! Forget it.” Chuuya blurted, feeling his face burn, and turned around to hide it from his ex-partner. He abruptly escaped the scene, leaving behind a confused Dazai.

Then one morning, someone makes a mistake. “Someone” being Chuuya Nakahara, and his mistake? It was sending one Ryuunosuke Akutagawa to Osamu Dazai’s cafe for his usual order of coffee and pastry. Luckily, Ichigo had noticed the young man before he could see his boss and had quickly dragged Dazai into the back rooms while Kosuke shifted toward the till and blocked anyone’s view of the brunette, having also picked up on the mafioso’s presence.

“How may I help you today?” Kosuke greeted him with a perfect customer service smile.

“Nakahara-san told me to ask for his usual.” Akutagawa said shortly. “He mentioned that one of your employees would know exactly what he meant.”

“I see. Well, aside from Nakahara-san’s order, is there anything else you would like to have while you wait? You seem to be the type to enjoy a good brew once in a while.” Kosuke suggested, gesturing to the open menu behind him. “We have many options available as well as other pastries and sweets we make here ourselves. I’m sure we have something you would like to try.”

“I suppose a small strawberry shortcake won’t hurt. Gin has been wanting something sweet for a while now.” Akutagawa mused, nodding in contentment with his choice.

“Your order will be right out in a moment then.”

Meanwhile, in the break room, Dazai sputtered after his employee finally released him. “Your former student just came in.” Ichigo quickly explained. “Sorry about dragging you in here so suddenly but you didn’t notice him and I figured you didn’t want to see him yet.”

“He’s probably here for Chibi’s order.” Dazai speculated. “Something must’ve happened or the hatrack forgot who he sent down here. Either way, I’ll get started on Chuuya’s usual. You go check with Kosuke what Akutagawa wanted.”

“Probably something for Gin.” Ichigo chuckled, remembering the two orphans Dazai had brought to the Port Mafia. “That boy never gets anything for himself that wasn’t something he needed.”

“Then you should prepare one of our small strawberry shortcakes. If I did it, he would likely notice since I have a particular way of doing it.” Dazai said, pointing the man toward the boxes and cakes while he finished making Chuuya’s usual coffee. Suddenly, the brunette perked up. “Oh! It’s almost time for me to visit the Agency, isn’t it, Ichigo-kun? What do you think I should bring over for them this time?” He asked, already passing along Chuuya’s packed order to the man.

Chapter 6

Chapter Text

“I think they’d be happy with whatever you give them, boss,” Ichigo replied, before taking both orders out of the breakroom.

Now alone, Dazai slumps in exhaustion and sighs. He spends a minute doing nothing but existing, living, and staring at a clock hanging on the wall. Then he prepares a couple of large boxes while mentally trying to decide which pastries he should pack.

By the time both boxes were filled, 5 minutes had run by and Dazai was still in his work uniform. Slipping into his office, the brunette changes into another set of clothes. He brings with him a loaded gun, an extra magazine, his lockpicks, a few hairpins stashed in his hair, and a knife. “Now I’m ready!” He cheerfully proclaimed in the empty room.

As Dazai left the cafe for the Armed Detective Agency establishment, he let out a quiet giggle at the sight of three mafiosos he recognized from his time in the Port Mafia. The trio was wearing casual outfits, blending in with most of the crowd, and from Dazai’s memory, he remembers having used them for a few missions before Oda had died.

Dazai reaches the Agency without a problem and gleefully barges in knowing that by Kunikida’s schedule, he would be exactly 4 minutes late. “Dazai! You’re late!” The man scolded him while Kenji accepted the pair of boxes from the brunette.

“Sorry, Kunikida-kun! I just got lost on the road of life!” He lied, laughing as Kunikida ranted at his face furiously, reminding him of a short, redhead mafioso who used to do the same. “Besides, it wasn’t like anyone’s life was at stake, right?”

“Calm down, Kunikida,” Yosano piped in. “He’s not wrong so let it go. Ooh! A raspberry tart! Don’t mind if I do!~”

“Oh, no, you’re not!” Kunikida objected, swiftly turning around and going after the woman for the baked goods with a determined snarl. Dazai laughs from his perch near the door, watching as the normally-composed man chases after a woman for some treat that he brings over with him during his bi-weekly visits at the Agency.

Once everyone calmed down, Dazai finally spoke up again. “So, are there any cases you’d like my help with?”

“Yes, we just got a case about a man-eating tiger–” Kunikida started, only to be interrupted by Dazai- or rather, the excited look on the brunette’s face. He sighed and handed over the measly report for the brunette to read.

“I see.” Dazai hummed, still quite cheerful and bright. “I got it! Let me just check with my sources to make sure I have everything right, okay Kunikida? In the meantime, why don’t we start investigating?” The blonde nodded and walked around Dazai, dragging him by the collar of his clothes as he passed him. “And by we, I mean you start investigating your case! I’ll join you while I wait for confirmation!”

Kunikida sighed but said nothing, already somewhat used to his temporary partner’s antics whenever he volunteered to help with a case. Especially when it was one with him as the detective. Behind him, Dazai cackled. “Shut up!” He yelled, smacking the brunette who went limp and dropped to the floor. “And get up. There’s no time to waste, Dazai!” Kunikida checked his notebook and when he looked up again, Dazai was already gone. Kunikida cursed and started looking for his part-time partner instead of investigating alone as he had planned.

As in Bungou Stray Dogs’ canon show, Dazai meets Atsushi after the youth fishes him out of a river. Just as the both of them are getting acquainted, Kunikida finds them and yells at Dazai from the other side of the bank.

Dazai invites Atsushi to join him and Kunikida for lunch. Then they part for a short while until they meet again. Dazai manipulates Atsushi into following him to an empty warehouse as “bait” and later reveals to the teen the truth about the tiger. Dazai knocks out Atsushi and eventually pushes him into joining the Armed Detective Agency. Most of the story goes as the series shows until Kyouka joins the Agency. Then the mess begins!

Surprisingly, the chaos wasn’t anything related to either the Port Mafia or the Armed Detective Agency. Instead, it was entirely about Dazai’s cafe and its partnered club that Dazai may or may not have had a hand in starting.

(Look, how was he supposed to know that his former subordinates would take so many of his old suggestions seriously?! Sure, he did tell them that if he ever left the mafia before they ran too, they could try to come to find him for help. And yeah, maybe he did suggest they open a bar and a club near his cafe when they found him and wanted a new life but told him they couldn’t have regular jobs— but he was somewhat drunk or high and barely remembered making that suggestion!)

During one of the meetings between the Port Mafia and the Agency, Dazai’s phone rang.

There was an awkward silence as the two organizations stared at Dazai while he fished his phone out to answer. As to not be rude, Dazai had tried to excuse himself but Ranpo himself had prevented the ex-mafioso from leaving and told him to just answer it and put it on speaker. So Dazai did.

Embarrassingly enough, the first sound that came through was an incoherent screech followed by party music, cheering, and gunshots which somewhat startled everyone, but Dazai only groaned, looking very tempted to find a way to melt into the couch he sat on or quickly end his life.

“Dazai-sama!” Several voices called with party music blasting loudly in the background. The rest of the greetings were a mess but ultimately boiled down to “Come to celebrate our shared anniversary” and an open invitation for everyone to join the party.

“First, I’m not your superior or boss anymore!” He whined. “Why are you lot still addressing me like that?! Second, where the hell are you guys right now? Third, how did you manage to call me?! I’m familiar with your drinking habits and none of them involve any of you being able to contact me through your phones! Lastly, did you at least close the bar before any of you started? Actually—”

“Dazai-san, why would we have to close the bar? We’re the ones using it, so it’s technically always reserved for us!” Ichigo giggled.

Dazai looked at his phone incredulously. “Ichigo?!”

“Don’t worry, we made sure to close the cafe on time, boss! We even cleaned up after ourselves!” Kosuke piped in.

“Kosuke?!” Dazai looked ready to faint, much to the amusem*nt of Mori Ougai, Chuuya, Kouyou Ozaki, f*ckuzawa, Ranpo, and Yosano. “That’s not the point–”

“Is it that one bar you once sent me to, Dazai?” Yosano asked, already getting up, her purse in her hands.

“Yes–” Again, before Dazai could finish his reply, at least half of the Agency cheered and were already heading for the door, dragging at least one of the less enthusiastic members of the Agency with them. Dazai himself was dragged by Yosano and had instinctively reached for the closest person with his other hand, the other person ending up being one of the mafia grunts. “Yosano-sensei!” He protested, his grip tightening around the mafioso as he escaped Yosano’s hold and hid behind the random mafioso, pouting.

“Hey, it was an open invitation!” Yosano brightly reminded him. “That means anyone you bring is welcome!” A dark smirk appeared on her face. “Since you’re holding on to that mafia grunt, guess that means the Port Mafia gets to come too!” She cackled.

“We’re still waiting on you boss!” Izuku sing-songed teasingly. “You still have to honor that promise you gave us! C’mon over already and sing Dazai!”

Ranpo snatched the brunette’s phone. “We’ll be over in fifteen.” He said quickly, cutting the line. “Ladies!” At his call, every female member of the Agency turned to him. Ranpo opened his eyes and a sinister smile spread across his lips. “Sic ‘em!” He commanded, a finger pointed at Dazai who gave him a horrified look.

“Ranpo!” He screeched as the closest women pounced on him, dragging him out of the office and into Yosano’s clinic. The Port Mafia only stared bewilderedly at the strangely ominous event.

Meanwhile, Chuuya thought to himself, Dazai had truly found his kind here. Aren’t they detectives? Weren’t they supposed to be nicer than this?! He grimaced at the terrified expression Dazai had when he had been caught by the women of the Armed Detective Agency.

(Several men shuddered in fear, aware of how scary women could be. Especially when they were either a mother or their wives. Kouyou, despite not being either, was an excellent example.)

None of the present Port Mafia members dared to try and peek to see what the women of the Armed Detective Agency were doing to their former Executive-turned-runaway. Especially not any of the men. They even saw f*ckuzawa visibly shiver and walk out the door before Dazai and his female employees returned.

“I’ll meet all of you at the bar.” The man said before quickly escaping, followed by Atsushi and Kunikida. Neither of them bothered to hide their unease, but it didn’t seem like they found the event too concerning, suggesting that it happened somewhat regularly.

Dazai’s screams were heard for five minutes until the girls finally emerged, wearing clubbing outfits, and behind them, Dazai was pushed out by Yosano and pulled along by Naomi and Kyouka. Similarly to the girls, Dazai had been forced into a new wardrobe. His bandages were untouched and even somehow enhanced the look of his clothes, but it was still quite clear that he was wearing a club outfit. Dazai was even wearing makeup! (All of it also somewhat made him look like a slu*t, but it’s not like he’s ever had a proper reference before!)

“We’re ready! Let’s go!” Yosano commanded.

“No!” Dazai cried dramatically, dragging the vowel as he tried to resist Yosano, Ranpo, and Naomi who all dragged him out of the Agency. His protests were heard and largely ignored.

The entire group then relocated to the bar where they were immediately greeted by Dazai’s three employees, Ichigo, Kosuke, and Izuku. The trio had latched onto the brunette who was still trying to escape but each attempt was prevented by someone from the Agency.

By the time everyone was inside, Dazai had already been handed a bottle of sake. He was also goaded into drinking the entire bottle by himself by Izuku who gleefully made an announcement when he deemed his boss sufficiently tipsy. “Alright! Dazai-san’s ready to go!” The man cackled, passing a glass of whiskey to the brunette which he immediately drank. “Whose turn was it to pick tonight?” He asked the crowd (which the Port Mafia had finally recognized and realized had all been their runaways, the ones who had been part of Dazai’s loyal men. Hell, even those that were still part of the mafia were present!).

Chapter 7

Chapter Text

“We’ve got a whole playlist request!” Someone responded as the group parted for Dazai who was pushed onto the mini-stage with a headset like those of professional idols had already been forced onto his head. “First up,” They paused to snort. “I guess we’re starting strong tonight because the first request is ‘Courtesy Call’ by Thousand Foot Krutch!”

The bar roared in excitement, and two men joined Dazai on the stage. “I assume you two were the designated backups tonight? Yuki and Yuri, right?” Dazai laughed.

“Yep! I’m Yuki, for those who don’t know!” Yuki chirped.

“I’m already regretting this.” Yuri commiserated, taking his position behind Dazai’s left while Yuki moved to be behind Dazai’s right.

“Just be glad you’re not being forced to stay up here for the night.” Dazai snorted, taking a drink from the water bottle he had been given. “You’re both only up here for a few songs.”

“Fair enough.” Yuri conceded, giving the DJ a nod.

The entire club lost all of its lights except for the bar and the DJ booth. The music stopped and silence filled the room for a moment until the song’s opening was sung by Dazai’s backup singers. Then the stage lights slowly began glowing. As the song progressed, the lighting followed the mood. The entire thing looked like an actual, mini concert and Dazai was the lead.

Unknown to everyone but Dazai and the club’s regulars (who were mostly Dazai’s former subordinates), when the lights had been out, the whole floor had subtly moved down.

Just as the announcer had predicted, the impromptu concert had a powerful start and to the surprise of nearly everyone who had never been part of Dazai’s force or been to one of Dazai’s parties, the trio on the stage danced as they sang like idols. It looked practiced but natural. A lot of people from the Agency started cheering along with Dazai’s ex-subordinates.

After Courtesy Call, the next song was The Storm by The Fat Rat and Maisy Kay. This time, instead of his backup singers, Dazai opened the song. The song’s regularity was made apparent when at least twenty-five other people joined him from the crowd on the third repeat. It was much calmer than Courtesy Call which gave most of the guests an emotional whiplash from the sudden change in mood triggered by the music.

After The Storm, there was a brief break when Dazai was told the next song while he was drinking water to soothe his throat and the brunette tried to run again. Dazai hadn’t gotten three feet from the stage when he was dogpiled and put back on stage. His face was flaming red, and he had a pouty look. “Does it have to be this song?” He whined, protesting again.

“Sorry, not sorry Dazai!” Yuki cackled. “You promised to sing whatever we wanted whenever we partied when you lost that bet a long time ago! You’re not getting out of this one, Dazai!”

Several other people laughed with him but it was clear that it wasn’t malicious.

“This is a love song! I never agreed to love songs!”

“It’s either this or ‘What A Shame’ by Leyla Blue.” Yuri grinned.

Everyone saw Dazai pale, and Dazai’s former subordinates started chanting for him to choose. At least half, if not the majority of the Agency had also joined the chanting. (Ranpo might’ve explained a few things to Yosano and Naomi about Dazai’s love life. The two females had spread the gossip around in the Agency and now, having witnessed at least two interactions between the cafe owner and the short, redhead mafia Executive, a lot of them were rooting for it.)

After a whole minute of relentless chanting and peer pressure, Dazai finally broke and gave in. “Fine! I’ll sing the stupid song if it gets this over with already!” He yelled. “I’ll just go with the request instead of ‘What A Shame’.”

A triumphant cheer rose from at least half of the entire audience.

“Just so all of you know, I hate all of you for making me do this!” He grumbled.

“Liar!” Yosano yelled from her seat near the bar, raising her champagne glass.

“You just don’t wanna do it ‘cause your crush is here!” Ranpo added, snigg*ring.

“Shut up!” Dazai blushed, flinging his water bottle at the smug detective who only caught the plastic bottle. “I don’t have a crush!” He denied.

“That expression on your face says otherwise Dazai!” Naomi laughed.

Then the music of the song started, the DJ subtly preventing Dazai from saying anything else. As soon as the first few words left Dazai’s mouth, everyone who had been late to pick up on exactly why Dazai was so hesitant to sing the song realized exactly why. Kouyou herself started cackling when she saw the gobsmacked expression on Chuuya’s face. The gravity manipulator looked as if he'd been smacked with a fish across his face. She had recognized the song. It was Take You to Hell by Ava Max, and Dazai had been right, it was a love song. A very suggestive one. When Chuuya noticed her staring, he flushed in embarrassment and tried to hide his red face behind his wine.

Throughout the party, snacks, pastries, and even actual meals were served along with all the alcohol, juice, and other drinks. Dazai himself was kept on the stage just like he had predicted he would be, though he had been given a break from singing and forced to eat some semblance of dinner before he was once again given enough whiskey to keep him tipsy and somewhat compliant. His main watchers were his three employees who prevented him from running off.

Amazingly, the party kept going strong until around five the next morning when it finally started dying down. By the time it did stop, the whole place was a mess. Approximately two-thirds of everyone in attendance was passed out cold while the remaining third were exhausted or cleaning up. Several people woke up within four hours but most had only woken up after ten hours had passed since they passed out.

“Mmm.” Dazai groaned at the sound of Chuuya’s voice, unaware that he had indeed passed out next to his former partner. “Get off of me, you bastard.”

“Shut up.” He moaned, pulling the jacket that was his blanket over his head. He also snuggled further into the warmth (Chuuya) next to him. “I feel like I’m dying. What time is it?”

“It’s already three in the afternoon, mackerel. Now get off!” Chuuya grunted, pushing off the brunette who yelped in pain when he landed on the hard floor.

“Has anyone seen Boss?” Ichigo called from the other side of the room.

“Who? Dazai?” Kosuke, Dazai’s mind recognized. “I think he should be somewhere over there.”

Then Chuuya’s answer finally registered in his mind, and he screamed, scaring a lot of people. “It’s already three?! The cafe!” He wailed, sluggishly trying to pick himself up and tripping over the couch and (unfortunately for the redhead) Chuuya when he tried to leap over the piece of furniture. “Why didn’t anyone wake me up?!”

“Boss?!” Izuku yelped, his head snapping toward the panicking brunette. “Hold on– Dazai! Wait– Calm down!” He tried to reach Dazai, but due to the chaos, he had unintentionally jump-started by screaming and accidentally squishing Chuuya who let out a strangled squeal, alerting some Port Mafia members, most of whom had headaches from the long party and hadn’t recovered at all.

The club devolved into a massive mess as more people woke up with banging headaches and abrupt scares from either the noise, whatever positions they found themselves waking up in, or the sudden items flying around the air.

Then both Mori and f*ckuzawa awoke. Abilities started to come into play.

Dazai reached the door but had forgotten that the room was technically on lockdown ever since the party had been an hour in, and he accidentally banged his head on the concrete barrier on the other side of the door and knocked himself back out.

Everyone stared.

“Oh sh*t.” Kosuke groaned. “Dazai’s gonna kill us when he wakes up again and sober.”

“Never mind that,” Ichigo said, smacking Kosuke. “Who put the boss in that outfit last night? We were lucky we had the room in lockdown, otherwise, Dazai would’ve run out of here and gone straight for the cafe! He also would’ve been jumped by at least three women trying to get into his pants on his way there. Remember last time?” He snickered, turning to Izuku and wiggling his eyebrows playfully. Several of Dazai’s older former subordinates laughed.

“That had been a sh*tstorm,” Kosuke said exasperatedly. “We were caught unprepared for it and nearly lost Boss to a group of civilian college girls!”

“Oh yeah,” Izuku nodded, picking up Dazai’s body and dumping him on the couch that Chuuya had just vacated. “They didn’t even care about the blood on him! They nearly managed to rip off his shirt. It only stopped happening when we managed to get him to go back to wearing that boring, regular, black-and-white suit he usually wore whenever he was outside.”

“Wait, that’s the reason he never wore anything but that suit unless it was necessary for a mission?!” Chuuya asked disbelievingly.

Kosuke’s head snapped toward him so fast, that the gravity manipulator almost thought that he got whiplash from swiveling his head so fast. “Why are you so concerned about it, hmm? Curious?” He raised a smug brow.

Chuuya narrowed his eyes at him and scowled. Kosuke gave him a cheshire grin.

“If you really want to know, Chuuya-san,” Izuku said, cutting in with a similar smirk. “You can just ask some of Dazai’s oldest subordinates. They can share some stories. They were there for most of Dazai’s shenanigans, and probably have a few videos stashed away too. I know Rei has a few that Dazai missed when he had that mass destruction phase where he got rid of as much evidence of his dorky ways as possible because your boss was starting to ‘train’ him harder.”

Kosuke frowned. “It took us months to hide sh*t from the little brat and Mori. It got to the point we began stashing away stuff by passing copies around, downloading everything into flash drives, and hiding originals and copies everywhere we could. I remember hiding thirteen different flash drives inside my bike.” He groaned.

Ichigo cackled at the reminder. “Oh yeah, Dazai hated having to hunt them down. I know I remember giving a couple of copies I got my hands on to Kouyou-san.” He giggled. “She invited me over when she managed to trap Dazai into putting on another fashion show for her and her girls. They shoved him into so many dresses and skirts that for an entire year later, Dazai refused to wear anything that wasn’t shorts, jeans, or pants! He also didn’t wear any blouses at that time either. Even for a mission!”

“I heard that your mission with him that week was a mess and a half because Dazai didn’t even try to follow through with the disguise the target supposedly would’ve preferred.” Izuku snickered. “From what Minato managed to tell me before Dazai got his hands on him about it, Dazai just straight up did all the work himself after he made sure to send Chuuya-san somewhere else to do something that had nothing to do with their mission–”

“I f*cking knew it!” Chuuya crowed, remembering which mission the two former lackeys were referencing. “I knew getting all of that damn sh*t was totally f*cking unnecessary!”

Chapter 8

Chapter Text

“— while he just completed everything alone and quickly before his partner got back and gave him his reward for doing work without even knowing that he was rewarding him.” Izuku continued as if he hadn’t been interrupted. “Sure, we rewarded him for doing a good job whenever we worked with him, but we also did it whenever he got a mission done with Chuuya since Mori only nitpicks at everything he did, and Chuuya wouldn’t have had any idea about Dazai’s condition back then.”

“Condition? What condition?” Kouyou asked.

Kosuke turned to her, slightly confused. “You didn’t notice?” When she only stared at him, Kosuke turned to Hirotsu and repeated his question only to get a perplexed look. “Oh gods, neither of you knew. Suddenly I’m just getting an epiphany that nobody who could’ve helped Dazai knew about it!”

“Holy sh*t! It makes sense now!” Izuku exclaimed, staring at the sleeping form of his employer. “Why he hated going anywhere alone. Why did he never go far from any of his subordinates if no one else he trusted was around? Why did Dazai never leave either of the Akutagawas alone anywhere near Mori? Think about it!” He said, ignoring (or forgetting) the fact that Mori Ougai himself was in the same room with him. “There were a lot of rumors in the other divisions about how Mori was raising him, or that he was set to be the next boss of the Port Mafia before he ran.”

“The smarter ones knew that being Mori’s favorite was never a good thing.” Ichigo sighed. “And Dazai was one. I’m fairly certain that one of the Agency employees also has a history with Mori-san. Another favorite.” At that insinuation, a few Agency members turned their gaze to Yosano, shooting her concerned and worried looks. She frowned but didn’t flinch.

“I always did say that if he wasn’t important to that plan,” Kosuke glared at the floor. “I would’ve gone after him myself after I graduated from Dazai’s training program. Or at least brought my concerns to one of the other Executives like Kouyou-san or someone like Hirotsu-san. And no, that wasn’t a threat.” He added, seeing the few guns aimed at him.

“You’re not the only one.” Izuku scoffed from his spot next to him. He also ignored the firearms that shifted their aim from Kosuke to his person. “I know that at least half of the Brute division under Dazai’s command wanted a shot at him, the entire Covert division wanted a chance or a decent cause to assassinate him– I'm sure that’s why they’re so good with poisons and why there were so many new developments in that particular skill.” He winced before moving on. “And nearly everyone in the Intelligence division wanted evidence and a real reason to destroy his reputation before letting the Brutes and Agents take a crack at him and deal with having to cover everything up.”

“Wait, weren’t you in the Intelligence division?” Ichigo asked, a bit perplexed.

“I was.” Izuku deadpanned. “You were in the Covert section with Rei. Kosuke was a Brute but even now, out of the mafia, you three are still knuckleheads.”

“Hey!” Many of the Brutes and several Covert agents protested.

“He’s not wrong though. You Brutes are knuckleheads.” One of Dazai’s former subordinates said, presumably one of the Intelligence or Covert divisions. “I keep having to be sent in to clean up after your messes when you get a mission done and leave behind a couple of people alive.” They grumbled. (Covert division then, many corrected.)

“And you don’t even listen to my debriefing whenever I have to tell you what your job’s supposed to be!” Someone added, clearly a member of the Intelligence division.

A beat. “Uh oh” was the only thing Atsushi could say as he and everyone else who wasn’t part of Dazai’s sector/classification system watched all of Dazai’s former subordinates and pseudo-subordinates fall into chaos, fighting and complaining about how they were being affected by the other classes or bragging about how they were better than the other classes.

Other members of the mafia, including Chuuya and Kouyou themselves, had tried their hand at de-escalating but none of them succeeded in doing so. The gravity manipulator was even dragged into the argument himself seeing as he had been classified as part of the Brute division. When Kouyou had asked what her classification would be, they took a look at her and quickly answered in unison. “Covert.” To her surprise, she was nearly instantly adopted by the Covert division. When she tried to eliminate one of the Agents, they simply dodged both her and her Golden Demon Ability.

It wasn’t until Dazai had regained consciousness that anyone had any hope of controlling the racket. The brunette had taken a minute to analyze the situation and his surroundings before he took action with a hint of irritation. Dazai threw an empty wine bottle that hadn’t been collected by the clean-up crew into the middle of the fight. The sound of its crash gained everyone’s attention.

“That’s enough out of all of you.” He said coolly with a sinister yet deadpan expression. “Clean up this mess before I put OdaSaku’s will on hiatus and deal with you myself.” He ended with a snarl and a murderous aura radiating from him.

At the order, all of them except the two Executives in their midst nodded stiffly and moved quickly to complete the order. “Sorry Dazai-sama/Boss/Dazai-san!” A few of them yelped. He waved them off dismissively before sinking back into the couch cushions underneath himself with a quiet sigh. Near him, Atsushi carefully made his way over to his side and poked him gently to draw his attention.

“Eh? What is it, Atsushi-kun?” Dazai asked the boy, aware of Akutagawa’s presence- both Akutagawa siblings. Atsushi squeaked, flinching when he was addressed. In the back of his mind, Dazai snarled, mentally noting that he had missed a few establishments seeing as Atsushi’s mental profile clearly labeled him to be an orphan who had likely been kicked out after being abused.

“How did you do that?” Atsushi inquired curiously.

“Conditioning.” The brunette easily answered. “Though I don’t know about the newer ones since I left the mafia quite a while ago. I am, however, aware that only a little more than half of my former subordinates remain in the Port Mafia’s ranks. Half of those who had been under my command and have also deserted, as far as I know, have gone to live their lives elsewhere or begin something new. The rest,” Dazai paused to shrug. “Decided that the best thing for them to do was find me- which they did after three months. Seeing them run around was hilarious.” He giggled.

A good chunk of those who had been in the little scuffle whined and pouted at Dazai, his cafe employees were a few of the louder ones. “But Boss! You give so many good benefits!” Kosuke wailed dramatically. “Even when you were our Executive, you were one of the few best! I mean, Kouyou-san is great, but you’re a lot more rounded when it comes to training, even if you were brutal about it.”

“Wait,” Yuri yelled. “Did anyone remember to turn off that training robot copy of Dazai-san before we left last night?” Every single one of Dazai’s former subordinates paled. “Oh sh*t!” He cursed, already scrambling for his stuff just like the rest of his fellow mafiosos.

“We’re so f*cking dead!” Yuki cried.

Meanwhile, the Armed Detective Agency members stared at the chaos. Next to Atsushi, Dazai burst into laughter with Ranpo. “Was Dazai-san really that terrifying when he was still in the Port Mafia?” Atsushi wondered innocently.

Izuku, who managed to overhear him, snorted. “Kid, Dazai had a saying about him already in circulation when he was only fifteen. It was still going around before I left the mafia and that was around a year ago.” He deadpanned.

“What?!” Many Agency members exclaimed. (Ranpo only sat smugly on his perch.)

“They even gave him a moniker,” Izuku stated before pausing and correcting himself. “Well, he had a few but the most infamous title he had was ‘Demon Prodigy’. Dazai used to specialize in interrogation and information, he still has a really wide web of influence, even today.”

“Izuku!” Dazai childishly protested. “I left that behind when I left the mafia!”

“You did.” Ichigo agreed, finally having calmed down after remembering that he was no longer part of the mafia, having left only a few months ago. “But that doesn’t mean you never had the title. It also means that there are people who will still or will always see you as the Demon Prodigy, just like how we, your former subordinates, will always see you as the Harbinger of Chaos. With the amount of bullsh*t you used to make or did, I’m more surprised that we didn’t have more paperwork to do when you were our Executive.”

“You were so lazy about doing paperwork back then.”Izuku laughed. “I remember your horrified face when we dumped an entire thirteen-inch tall stack on your desk one morning as a report! Did you know that out of everyone who wasn’t a higher-up like Dazai, all of his subordinates had the most amount of free time?” He said. “We all used to schedule around three hours every other day dedicated to doing paperwork. With how Dazai had restructured our sector, that time was cut down in half and the amount was also reduced by at least a third.”

“It eventually got to the point where even all of our backlogs were gone because we already did them!” Ichigo exclaimed. “Of course, that also meant less work for Dazai, but there was generally a drop in the amount of work to do, and suddenly there was an increase in our amount of free time. According to some friends I have in the Covert division, the others don’t have it as easy as we did. The one who had the closest, decent one was Kouyou-san and her girls.”

“Is that why I always have less paperwork compared to the other Executives?” Chuuya wondered. “I just thought someone was either picking up the slack I couldn’t find or someone was just messing with me. I know how much paperwork Ane-san has; I only do a fraction of what she does.”

Ichigo and Izuku laughed. “Yeah, that tracks. If someone bothered to do a survey in the Port Mafia about how much paperwork they have to do, I’m sure that everyone who got adopted into Dazai’s class system would have the least amount of work to do. We were just trained differently.” Ichigo said smugly, grinning. “I think a few of Kouyou-san girls were also adopted to the system and the last I heard about it, I think someone had tried recommending it to her. I don’t know the exact details but if you want more free time, I’d recommend you adopt Dazai’s system. You’ll probably be able to blaze through all of your work in a year and a half since you’re just beginning to use it if you do put it in place. You’ll also probably have different classifications than we use since our sector was different from yours.” He added, directly looking at the female Executive.

“Wait,” Chuuya snapped toward Dazai, enraged. “This was how you had so much f*cking free time to f*ck with me, you sh*tty f*cking waste of bandages?!” He demanded, only to get a cackle from the man in reply.

“To answer that, yes, the system he made was the reason why he had so little work to do and why he had so much free time compared to the other Executives.” Izuku snickered.

“I see.” Kouyou intoned politely. Despite her calm and graceful act, Ranpo, Dazai, Ichigo, and Izuku could all see that she was itching to get back and get started on implementing her personal classification system.

Suddenly, Dazai lit up and turned to Kouyou with the most childish expression on his face anyone had seen for a while. “Ne, Ane-san, can I still get those if I volunteer to build your system for you?” He offered. “I grew out of my old ones and you banned me from ever going clothes shopping because you said I didn’t know fashion.”

Chapter 9

Chapter Text

The woman quickly turned to him and grabbed him with both of her hands, an excited look on her face. “You’re coming with me” was all she said before they disappeared from the club.

“I guess my boss is gonna be gone until next week then.” Ichigo sighed.

Izuku bent over the bar counter as he quickly ran out of breath from laughing so much, gasping for air. “I bet Dazai’s going to come back with a whole makeover. How much do you wanna bet that he gets given another new wardrobe of clothes?”

“That’s a sucker’s bet.” Ichigo kicked him, only for his lousy attempt at an attack to be blocked. “How much do you bet he’s going to be put in shades of red or blue? More red than blue, but to be honest, he was never the sharpest when it came to emotions. Especially his own.” He deadpanned.

“Fair enough.” Izuku agreed.

Just as Ichigo had predicted, Dazai was missing for an entire week. When he was finally seen again, he was found wearing a red-themed outfit and hair extensions. Dazai was mistaken for a civilian girl several times by mafiosos until Yuki found him, knocked him out before bringing him to Chuuya, and dropped the unconscious brunette in the redhead’s care while he wore a crimson dress in the Executive’s arms before running off with a cackle. Dazai had tried to escape but out of reflexive instinct, Chuuya didn’t let go of him and instead brought both of them to the cafe, made a short announcement, and vanished with the former mafioso. (Kouyou had made sure the ensemble was in Chuuya’s colors before shoving Dazai out of her headquarters and sending a delivery to the brunette’s cafe filled with the new clothes she got for Dazai to have. Everyone knew what she did.)

Once Dazai regained consciousness, he found his wrists tied together by a rope behind his back (courtesy of Yuki) and a chain attached to his left ankle. He woke up in a large poster bed in a bedroom that seemed to be themed around the color blue. His shoes were gone, and a choker was fitted around his neck over his bandages.

When he tried to move, he became aware that something was weighing him down and preventing him from getting up. Dazai looked down and swallowed a gasp of surprise when he found Chuuya asleep next to him with his arms wrapped around his waist and a leg over his. “Chuuya?” Dazai called softly as he nudged the sleeping redhead carefully. Chuuya only groaned and squeezed him before settling once more. Dazai sighed and worked on removing his bindings instead, watching the clock on the wall as he did, counting the minutes as they passed quietly.

It took him roughly half an hour to remove the rope around his hands, and when he reached for the manacle around his ankle, he pouted in disappointment, having found that it was no regular manacle. It appeared to be welded around his ankle, and when he followed the chain to its source with his eyes, Dazai deduced that the only way for him to remove it was to either crush the manacle and risk injuring himself or destroy one of the chain’s links. He also theorized that breaking a link would be difficult and did his best to relax as he waited for his current bedmate to awaken.

It wasn’t until the hands of the clock displayed the time to be 8:23 a.m. that Chuuya finally woke up. By then, Dazai had fallen into a somewhat light slumber, aware of what it meant for himself. But he didn’t care. He had always trusted Chuuya the same way the short mafioso trusted him, maybe even more so because he certainly didn’t trust himself with his own life.

No, he had lost that specific privilege to Chuuya Nakahara a long time ago when he had been saved from an untimely death by the ginger when they were sixteen.

It hadn’t been another one of his suicide attempts, but a result of a dying man who had managed to gather enough strength to push Dazai off the roof they had been standing on that night during a mission. Not that Dazai put much effort into fighting back.

Not until he had heard Chuuya scream for him. Then he just slipped out of the man’s weakening hold and nudged him off the rooftop to fall to his death.

“Oi, wake up you bastard.” Chuuya greeted him, lightly pushing his shoulders back.

“Chuuya?” Dazai absentmindedly replied, blinking blearily. “Where–” He blinked, rubbing the vestiges of sleep from his left eye, his speech cut off as he yawned. “— am I? Wait, Chuuya?!” He yelped after doing a double take, falling off the mattress as he did. “Ow! Why am I in Chibikko’s room? What ha– Yuki.” Dazai deadpanned, finally remembering what had happened to him before he lost consciousness.

Chuuya snorted. “Yuki.” He agreed easily. “Had a nice nap, princess?”

“I was having a nice walk back to my cafe until Yuki knocked me out and kidnapped me,” Dazai grumbled. He ignored the feeling the little nickname gave him and picked himself off the floor. “Now, if you don’t mind, could you take this off me?” He requested, pointing at the manacle around his ankle. “I’ve got places to go and an honest business to run.”

“Nope!” The mafioso denied, scooting out of the brunette’s reach when the detective tried to grab him. “I already told your subordinates- sorry, employees,” Chuuya corrected himself at Dazai’s glare, rolling his eyes. “That you’ll stay with me for the time being until I get tired of you.”

“What?! Why?!” Dazai demanded, bewildered at his attitude. “You don’t even like me!”

“Because I f*cking said so, sh*tty Mackarel.” Chuuya scoffed. “This is f*cking payback for running off all those damn years ago without saying sh*t to me.”

“Huh?! Why would I have had to tell you anything?! You’re not my parent or anything!”

A wicked smirk spread across Chuuya’s lips. “That’s where you’re wrong, sh*tty Dazai. Y’see,” He paused, grabbing Dazai by his choker, pulling him down, and forcing him to look up. “You’re mine.” Dazai’s eyes widened and his jaw dropped. “You’ve been mine since I was sixteen and you were fifteen. And because you’re mine, you have to tell me when you’re going somewhere.”

“No, I don’t!” Dazai spat, eyes narrowing. He grabbed the wrist of the hand tugging at the accessory around his neck. “I don’t know what you’re talking about, Chuuya, but you need to let go of me.” He huffed, pulling off Chuuya’s hand, standing back up to his full height, and dropping his wrist. “I never fit in with the mafia. I let you go when I left.”

“Ho?” Chuuya raised an eyebrow. “Really now? You might’ve let me go, but whoever said I let go of you?” The emphasis on the words “I” and “you” was clear and it was then that Dazai realized, he hadn’t been the only one who claimed his other half of Soukoku.

Dazai’s eyes widened in surprise, caught off guard by both the realization and the ginger’s confession. When he tried to say something, Dazai only choked on his words and the only noise that came out sounded like a strangled cat.

“You used to call me your dog, Dazai,” Chuuya said, a grin still on his face. “And I might’ve told you to stop so many times when we were younger but y’know,” He paused, eyes inspecting the brunette’s figure speculatively. “I don’t mind it. Not at all! And until I’m satisfied, you’re not leaving me again.” Despite the bright tone in Chuuya’s voice, the words he used were dark and possessive.

In a flash, Dazai grabbed the manacle clamped around his ankle and despite knowing the risks of crushing it himself, he pulled with the intent of breaking its vice open. Thanks to his healthier body, which he had begun to care for again, Dazai was much stronger than he had been when he had let himself decline into the pitiful state that Chuuya had seen him in when they first met. He successfully destroyed the manacle and even found the heels he wore before he was kidnapped by Yuki.

“I’m leaving.” Then Dazai slipped his feet into his shoes and ran like a bat out of hell. He dodged when Chuuya lunged for him.

He had known from the view outside of Chuuya’s bedroom window that they were in a very high position and from his memories, Dazai also knew that Chuuya would’ve gotten a penthouse for himself. And when he had managed to make his way out of the mafioso’s unit, just as he had deduced, Dazai came out to a hallway several meters away from the ground.

Without pausing, Dazai booked it to the stairway and jumped (ignoring the fact that he wore heels), making use of his old but efficient skills as he kept flying down the stairwell by landing on the handrails and dropping himself further down onto another. He could also hear Chuuya’s loud entry into the stairwell and quickly hid by slipping out of the stairwell through a door that indicated he was on the twenty-first floor of the building. Dazai mentally calculated that he had managed to go down more than two dozen floors. He let himself smirk smugly for a minute as he walked, slipping through the establishment’s surveillance with an ease born only from practice and long-forgotten training.

Dazai kept calm and internally snickered as he easily snuck out of the building in a suit. He had stolen the suit of course, but he didn’t really care about that detail since he knew that Chuuya would be looking for him and expected him to still be wearing his new, red dress. Dazai kept up his facade until he managed to steal another outfit from a nearby chain store that he knew had no connections with the Port Mafia. He also left the stolen suit behind inside the changing room. Knowing that walking out the front door would get him caught, Dazai instead slipped out the establishment’s back door with all the practiced ease any experienced assassin or spy would have.

Yes, even before Dazai had met Mori Ougai, he had been trained in several forms of martial arts, the use of standard weaponry, and the use of more uncommon weapons. Dazai had been encouraged to increase his physical strength until it surpassed common expectations, enrolled in dance classes for several forms of dance, ballet and hip hop being two examples, entered into gymnastics, trained to be a near-perfect actor, and had even been given assassin training when he turned 6 until he lost his family just days before he met Mori. Dazai had been twelve at the time and promptly lied to him about his information, specifically his name, age, and birthday. He didn’t want a disgusting man like Mori Ougai to taint his core truths after all.

While Dazai had known better than to agree to Mori’s offer of taking up his legal guardianship, his intuition had told him to go, that he would find something worthwhile if he went with the man. He let himself fall into Mori’s control, knowing that he could take Mori’s strings himself, but Dazai only watched, waiting to see his match. He allowed himself to be influenced by Mori. Dazai had learned tactics, business, medicine, torture, and more, all under the suggestion of the man who fancied himself to be his adoptive father. Whenever Dazai was sent undercover, he favored taking up names from the friends his family used to have, mixing them around however he pleased just to baffle Mori, finding amusem*nt every time the man unsuccessfully tried to look for his past for blackmail.

By the time Dazai had met Chuuya, he allowed himself to waste away enough to be considered weak. His talk about suicide began three months after Mori took him in, and in the beginning, it had been an act. When he turned fourteen, after witnessing Mori kill the former Boss of the Port Mafia with a scalpel, the talk started to get real. Then he met Chuuya a year later and some light returned to him until Mori had orchestrated Sakunosuke Oda’s death. Knowing it had been a sign from Mori to show the amount of control he had over him, Dazai left the mafia and burned as many bridges as he could, even going as far as to let go of his connections to Chuuya by blowing up the ginger’s car.

Chapter 10

Chapter Text

Dazai hadn’t lied to Chuuya when he had said that the cafe had started as a joke. Dazai had amused himself with watching mafiosos run around searching for him and kept himself busy by checking on his family’s business, designing new clothes, creating and following a new meal plan for himself, writing short stories and drafts of incomplete novels, and making paintings as a form of therapy. When he came out of hiding, the first things Dazai had done were sell his paintings, publish his short stories, and release his designs using his family’s company branches around Japan, France, and China. (His choice of locations had been highly influenced by his roots.)

When he had finally gotten bored, Dazai had gathered his executives and asked them for suggestions. Among their proposals was the idea of expanding the company into the food market like opening a cafe chain or a restaurant chain branch. He had preferred the idea of cafes and agreed to open one at Yokohama as a trial and even announced that he would work there himself with anyone else he would hire. Dazai had named his cafe WolfStorm as a subtle nod to his partnership with Chuuya during his time in the Port Mafia. He hadn’t expected to find several of his subordinates running and near-begging to be under his command again. Dazai had also never expected to find himself adopting orphans off the streets whenever he found them.

By the time Chuuya had returned into his life by walking into his cafe on his shift, Dazai held guardianship over a dozen children with only a third of them having an Ability. At least half of them were also under the age of eleven, much to the amusem*nt of his former subordinates who became his cafe employees.

Due to the number of people who had come looking for him, Dazai had also spent more than five million yen to gain ownership of roughly a third of the block his cafe stood on. He then renovated all of his property, spending more money than was strictly necessary to get it all done as quickly as possible. With his wealth, Dazai even managed to get three levels under the surface for his basem*nt system. The first, which was closest to the surface, was utilized for company business. The second was for his armory and training rooms and ranges. The third, which was farthest from the surface, was for Underground business which also involved the Armed Detective Agency and the Port Mafia.

The next time Dazai sees Chuuya is when the short mafioso walks into his cafe with a heavy glare aimed at his ex-partner-in-crime. The brunette simply flashes him a smirk before going on with taking another customer’s order. The ginger gritted his teeth at the little action but waited patiently for the former executive’s break, already having some clue about Dazai’s regular weekly schedule.

Dazai worked the till and bar for a couple more hours before he finally switched off with one of his employees. As soon as he took his break, he squirreled away some food for himself and swiftly hid inside his office where he opened his little secret hideaway under his desk and its carpet.

Before Chuuya entered the office, Dazai hid away and ate his lunch in solitude. He sent one of his employees a text saying he would not be returning on shift after his break to not cause them panic. Dazai was already asleep by the time Izuku led Chuuya to his office.

When Dazai woke up from his nap, he found himself curled up beside one Chuuya Nakahara. He stared. Then when his bedmate shifted, Dazai froze but didn’t stiffen, having had that instinct trained out of him years ago. Instead, he kept his breathing even and faked sleep. (He then proceeded to fall asleep again by accident.)

About an hour later, Dazai is roused from his sleep by gentle movement and Chuuya’s voice. “— can handle it from here. I won’t hurt him or anything,” The redhead promised someone. (Dazai blearily blinked and managed to catch a glimpse of Izuku though his identity didn’t register fast enough for his reflexes not to kick in.) “I’ll just bring him back to my place and—”

Suddenly, Dazai moved when he felt a familiar insidious presence. The brunette practically leaped out of Chuuya’s arms before rising just as quickly to catch a needle. For a second, the air stilled. Then the next moment, Dazai was catching a lunging body.

An assassin, Dazai realized. But who?

His eyes widened as his sharp hearing picked up a whisper. “Akuma Kuro.”

You.” Dazai snarled and mercilessly tried to crush the assassin’s fist. He was, however, unsuccessful since the other man had quickly put some distance between them. “Why are you here? You know I’ll never go back there. So why are you here, Akio?”

“You’re still sharp as ever, Shu–”

Don’t call me that,” Dazai growled. “He’s been dead for a long time and I was the one left behind. And don’t even try to act coy with me, I know you sold me to that bastard. It’s been longer than a decade since we last met, Akio, but don’t think I ever forgot how to use myself.”

“So what?” Akio shrugged. “You survived, so what’s the big deal about it?”

“Oh, I’ll tell you what my problem with it is.” Dazai hissed angrily. “You sold me, the one you stole away, and forced me to learn a lot of things for something that I could’ve told you years ago would never work. You always were a dick. Until now, you’re still looking for her, right?” He smirked.

“You know where she is?!” Akio demanded, grabbing hold of Dazai's collar. “I made you what you are, Shuuji. I f*cking made you, so f*cking tell me where she is!”

Dazai didn’t answer him verbally, instead, he used the needle he’d caught earlier from Akio’s attempt at his life and stabbed it into the other man while he kept his other hand wrapped around the other’s wrist in an iron grip.

“f*ck you and you can f*ck off, you piece of sh*t,” Dazai said, his voice filled with pure malice. “I don’t owe you sh*t, and unless you were the one who gave birth to me— highly unlikely since you are biologically male— or f*cked the woman who then gave birth to me after 9 months of incubating your sperm with her egg inside her uterus, then you did not make me. And even if you were my father, you are nothing but dead to me.” He paused, letting Akio digest his words before saying one last thing. “Get out of my sight before I kill you. And stay far away from me, or the next time we meet again, I will end you without question.”

Then he threw Akio out the closest open window with all of his strength and stalked out of the cafe without a word to his employee or Chuuya who both stared at his back with surprise. Dazai didn’t stop walking and had not even paused when he noticed Chuuya following him. He kept going until he reached a specific alley nearly five blocks away from his cafe and roughly half a block away from Port Mafia territory.

Dazai eyed the dead end of an alley that he walked into, looking for a specific brick which he then slammed a lot of force on with ease to push it further into the wall, activating a mechanism that he’d installed so long ago. He didn’t even care that he was indirectly showing it to his ex-mafia partner. All Dazai wanted at that moment was to let go and release his burning rage on something.

As soon as he reached the training room, he slammed the door close behind himself and activated the locks which then activated the observation deck. (He also knew there would be lights leading his Chuuya to the deck where he could safely watch him.) There was a minute before the room started shifting into something more suitable for a fight. Robot dummies were attacking him, targets on several vital points on their bodies, various weapons in their hands, and flying drones that also tried to attack him until he managed to shoot a perfect bullseye at their painted targets.

Dazai was slammed down on the floor, walls, and even the ceiling as he vented his anger on his current “enemies”, screaming profanities and about his grievances against Akio and Mori as he defeated them with ruthless efficiency. Time blurred in his perspective and the world shrunk until the only things that existed for him were his “enemies” and his overwhelming emotions.

Three hours pass until Dazai finally places his hand against the door, deactivating the room’s functions. When he had finally calmed, Dazai opened the door only to be face-to-face with Chuuya.

Dazai stared for a moment before sighing. “Hello, Chuuya.”

A beat of silence floats before Chuuya opens his mouth and asks, “Since when could you fight like that, Dazai? And who was that Akio guy?”

“Just someone from before Mori and the Port Mafia,” Dazai said easily as he walked deeper into the secret little hideout. “As for fighting, I was trained in combat ever since I could reliably command my limbs, control my body from pissing or sh*tting unexpectedly, and think about how something can turn into another thing or how one movement can shift into something else.”

Then he stops in front of a door. Chuuya, who had been walking by his side, takes his cue and also stands before the door with a curious look. Then suddenly, Dazai grabs one of his companion’s hands and pushes Chuuya’s open palm against a panel next to the door before blurting out a series of commands. To Chuuya’s surprise, a voice answers the brunette. “Scanning handprint.”

Chuuya flinched when the panel came to life with light and began to perform a scan on his palm. Dazai didn’t allow him to take off his hand and firmly kept it still on the panel. “Relax, Chibikko. It’s just a scan so I can add you to the system.”

“System?!”

“So you can come here whenever you want without setting off the security. Less chance of you getting killed off by accident and I suppose, indirectly by my hand too.” Dazai hummed. He finally releases Chuuya’s hand when the panel flashes blue and beeps. “This was installed here before Mori was ever even alive so I know for a fact he doesn’t know about this. It’s also been in my blood family for generations and has since been expanded and improved by every generation. Yes, that does mean I have several personal modifications integrated into the system.”

The door lets out a soft hiss as it slides open. He walks in with Chuuya following right behind him, his head swiveling around as he does his best to both listen to the brunette and take in the sight of the new room.

“The AI– her name is Luna and she’s in charge of security– was a concept created by my great-grandfather. The beginnings of her program were made by both my grandfather and father and her current program was completed by me when I was only eight. About four years before I met Mori. She has a sister program named Celeste who oversees almost everything. Recently, Celeste has helped develop four other AIs named Twilight, Sunset, Cadence, and Opal. Cadence already has a designation, however, Twilight, Opal, and Sunset do not.” Dazai pulls up the holographic table with a short, soft-spoken command. “I’ve been meaning to grant you Sunset for quite a while now and I figured that since we were both here already, I might as well introduce you to each other. I’m still working on his physical body though, so for the time being, you’ll only have his holographic forms to interact with. I think you’ll find him quite useful. Why don’t you say hello, Sunset?”

Chapter 11

Chapter Text

A holographic image of a male with hair in the colors of a soft, warm sunset appears floating above the table. “Hello, Shu-chan! You finally got a job for me?” Then he noticed the other presence in the room. “Oh? Who’s this?” He asked curiously, leaning toward the mafioso.

Chuuya stared with an open mouth and his eyes as wide as dinner plates. “Dazai?” The brunette hummed in reply as he rummaged around the nearby closet that was filled with technology, gadgets, tools, and blueprints. “What the f*ck is the damn place?”

“You want the easy answer or the real answer?” Chuuya glared. “I can feel you glaring at me, Chibi. Besides, you can ask Sunset. I just handed him to you as his designation.”

“Oh, you’re Chuuya Nakahara?!” Sunset exclaimed, an excited look coming onto his face. “Oh ho ho ho! Oi, Shu-chan! Isn’t this guy your—”

“We do not talk about that!” Dazai yelped. He swirled around and instantly had a glare set on the hologram. “And don’t you dare talk about it unless you want me to reset you!”

“Oi! Don’t talk to him like that!” Chuuya snapped at him. “He’s my AI now so don’t f*cking threaten him!” Sunset cackled at the surprised expression that appeared on Dazai's face. “And I still don’t f*cking know what this damn place is supposed to f*cking be!”

“According to Celeste and Luna’s memories and files, this base is part of a network spanning the entire country along with a couple of satellites and a whole, complete space station in space. Are you familiar with the DC comics series from America?” Sunset asked. When he received a nod from the ginger, he continued with, “The space station is basically like the Justice League’s space station. And yes, the bases that make up the network, including this one have a zeta tube that allows you to reach the station and gain access to it along with its many vehicles.”

At the mention of space vehicles, Dazai sighed wistfully. “Hmm. It’s been a while since I went up there for a drive. Maybe I should get Twilight to open my schedule so I can disappear for a few weeks and just play up there again.”

“That would be irresponsible of me to do, Osamu.” Another humanoid hologram appears above the table. “I’ll allow you three days to play in space but any more time than that will be highly excessive and unnecessary.”

“But Twi!” The brunette whined. “It’s been years since I last had fun in the sky with the stars!”

“Shall I share the recording of your first trip to the station, Osamu?” Dazai paled at the threat. “I still have a copy stored with Celestia and Luna. Celestia likes to watch it whenever she feels down and says that the look you used to have whenever you came up was adorable and always lifts her mood. Luna likes to watch it whenever she needs a laugh. I find the part when you made a game of cleaning up the mess several governments have made, sending their satellites, and letting them die, hilarious! You used to be so adorable too!” Twilight cooed. Dazai felt his face burn as blood rushed to his cheeks in response to his embarrassment. “Sunset and I play it when we get bored since you barely come around to play with us anymore.”

“What?!” Dazai’s head snapped toward Twilight who looked to be an androgynous female. “You two play upstairs without inviting me?! How rude!”

“We did try to invite you three times before. However,” Sunset giggled behind Twilight who continued. “You brushed us off all three times stating that you were busy working.”

Dazai wailed dramatically and pulled on a pair of handles in the wall, opening, and revealing a whole new rack of weapons on his left and a rack of clothes on the rack on his right side. He snatched an entire ensemble off and without hesitation or shame, began stripping himself of his clothes, drawing a startled scream from Chuuya who had been watching him with confusion.

As soon as Dazai had finished changing his outfit, he pulled another set of clothes off of the rack and tossed them over to the redhead. “Change.” He demanded with light shining in his eyes, excitement written over his face in clear, bold, metaphorical print. “We’re going for a game in the stars!” He laughed, before turning back to the rack that held weapons.

Chuuya, for his part, wasn’t certain if he liked the look on the brunette’s face or not. He had discreetly asked Sunset for a changing room though and had quickly changed into the suit Dazai had given him. The ginger checked himself out in the nearby, convenient mirror and found himself surprised that not only was it perfectly suited to his body, but it also looked quite nice on him.

“Chuuya! Hurry up! Let’s go play!”

“Shut the f*ck up! Don’t f*cking tell me what the hell to do!” Chuuya yelled as he emerged from the little changing room Sunset had directed him to. “What’s this sh*tty game you want to f*cking play anyway?”

“Target practice with asteroids while you drive an armed spaceship pod!” Dazai giggled, tossing him a helmet. “And if you want to try standing on your pod, you can have that helmet to wear!” Then without further explanation, he left the room sprinting with Twilight’s holographic image floating after him. Sunset gasped with delight and quickly urged Chuuya to grab the wristwatch Dazai had left on the table.

And so he did. (He always was a little helpless whenever it came to something Dazai actually wanted, knowing that the younger man rarely- if at all allowed himself to act on his desires.)

Chuuya cackled as he blasted another dead satellite, disintegrating it with a single shot thanks to the advanced technology his ride was equipped with. “I’m on 1019, Chuuya~!” Dazai taunted him.

“Wha-” Chuuya sputtered, quickly aiming and shooting three more, watching his counter go up. “How the f*cking hell are you already on that high of a goddamn number?!”

“Talent!” The brunette cackled over the comms. “Oh sh*t!” He suddenly yelled.

Across the sea of floating debris and satellites, both dead and active ones, Chuuya saw Dazai’s ship swerve out of a large, broken piece of a satellite. He watched as the other man’s pod tumbled around, bumping into other, smaller debris, listened over their comms to hear him curse, and saw him flail a bit inside his ride thanks to the video call set up between their pods before the brunette managed to right himself and demolish the piece he’d avoided.

“What the f*ck was that?” Chuuya laughed.

“A large safety hazard, that’s what.” Dazai pouted before adding, “And also my 1020th target.” Chuuya groaned as the brunette chuckled. “I don’t suppose you feel like going back yet, Chuuya?”

“Yeah, I’m getting hungry.” The redhead agreed, his stomach grumbling. “It must be near time for dinner now.” He tacked on before doing a double take as he checked the time. “What the f*ck?! We’ve been up here for hours?!”

“Hmm. Twilight? What’s for dinner?”

“Don’t ignore me, Dazai!” Chuuya yelled over their communication system.

“I suppose you’d like something with crab as usual, Osamu?” Twilight hummed.

“I don’t think the chibi’s gonna let me get away with it tonight.” Dazai replied with a theatrical sigh and a half-hearted pout, ignoring the short (“Damn right!”) exclamation from Chuuya. “Hmm, perhaps something simple? I don’t feel like eating but I don’t think Chuuya’s going to let me skip dinner either.”

“Something simple and light. Understood.”

Then Dazai let go of all the controls on his pod and had Twilight drive him back to base.

It quickly turned into a competition between Sunset and Twilight between who could get their passengers back to the space station the fastest without hitting a single piece of floating debris. Dazai, for his part, was incredibly entertained while Chuuya screeched his lungs out.

An hour or two later, Dazai and Chuuya were back on Yokohama soil, inside one of Dazai’s many safe houses. They had both changed out of their space suits and into sleepwear, ate their dinner together, prepared themselves for bed, and finally, after deciding between sleeping in separate rooms or the same room, they turned in for the night and surrendered to their exhaustion.

The next day, the first to wake was Chuuya. The mafioso noted that, unlike his time in the mafia, Dazai was more open now. A little more vulnerable but also more protected. If he told his 18-year-old self, the one before Dazai left the mafia (but apparently not their partnership), Chuuya knew his younger self would’ve tried to crush him with gravity after laughing in his face and calling him insane or stupid. Chuuya huffs, jostling the bed a little and freezing when he hears his bedmate (Yes, they slept in the same bed.) groan and shift.

Suddenly, at exactly 6:30 in the morning, an alarm went off. Or rather, a wake-up alarm. Dazai, who had only been at the edge of waking, still mostly asleep and largely unaware, yelped in surprise and rolled off the bed, letting out a squeak when his ass hit the floor. Disoriented, he paws at the sheets and carefully flops back onto the mattress. “What’s that screaming thing?” Dazai asked, eyes still glazed with the leftovers of sleep.

(Chuuya would forever deny that he ever cooed at the cute expression on Dazai’s still half-asleep face. He would also never tell anyone that he had momentarily compared the brunette to a yawning kitten when the younger man (by only two months) yawned and rubbed the last vestiges of sleep from his eyes. That same morning, Chuuya also swore to himself that if anyone whom Dazai didn’t trust or wasn’t comfortable with ever saw him in this vulnerable state, he would kill them slowly and painfully after he finished instilling the fear of god into them. Dazai was his husband damn it! The former executive mafioso might be unaware of their marital status but Dazai was still his husband!)

The alarm stopped. “Good morning, Osamu. Chuuya.” Twilight’s voice greeted them. Dazai groaned in displeasure, burying his face further into the mattress.

“It’s too early,” Dazai whined, his voice still rough with sleep.

“It’s already 6:30 in the morning, you big brat.” Twilight deadpanned. “Your cafe has been open for three and a half hours already and I know your employees came to work about an hour before they opened for business.”

“It’s my day off.” Dazai rebutted, still refusing to move from his position on the bed, having gotten himself back under the sheets. “I don’t have to go to work today. Therefore, it’s too early for me to be awake.”

“Now that you mention it,” Sunset spoke up. “Didn’t you have a flight scheduled for France at 2 this afternoon?”

The brunette abruptly shot up with a shriek. “Why didn’t you tell me that earlier?! I haven’t told anyone that I’ll be gone for the next seven weeks! Thankfully, I don’t need to pack anything since I do have somewhere to live in France, but I still need to warn people about my absence!”

“This is exactly why I keep telling you to inform everyone you need to about your schedule, Osamu.” Twilight sighed.

Meanwhile, Dazai darted around the room, pulling out articles of clothing from drawers and racks in the walls, making a mess out of the other clothes he didn’t want to wear by leaving them in piles on the floor. “Do you need a reminder of what the meeting you’re going to be attending is about? It’s been more than a month since you scheduled it.”

Chapter 12

Chapter Text

“No, I don’t. Thank you, Twi– Did we ever get that shipment for Sunset’s parts? Or that shipment order for my projects?” Dazai asked, finally getting a towel and walking into the adjoined bathroom.

Chuuya didn’t hear Twilight’s answer but he did see Sunset’s image appear in the mirror across the room. “Morning Chuuya! I’ll light up some drawers and racks for you to choose from. Don’t worry, they’re all in your size! Shu-chan made sure of it.” The AI winked at him as the room’s lighting dimmed and as promised, several drawers and racks lit up with soft but bright orange light. “There. You can leave them on the floor like Shu-chan did if you don’t like what you pull out. Celeste-nee needs something to do other than watch empty safehouses anyway.”

“What did sh*tty Dazai mean by your parts?” Chuuya asked as he got up and started picking out his own ensemble.

“Hmm? Oh! Shu-chan’s making me a body!” Sunset replied cheerfully. “Like Luna-nee’s physical form, I’m going to have combat abilities! Celeste-nee and Cadence-nee both have defensive-oriented bodies. Twilight’s hasn’t even been planned but Shu-chan did say that they were going to have a hybrid design, something that was going to have both defensive and offensive capabilities. Our bodies are really complicated though and only someone from Shu-chan’s family– or more specifically, only Shu-chan would be able to fix us. Since our bodies look a lot like automatons, act more like robots with an AI, and are designed by Shu-chan, we’re extremely complicated. Not to worry though, Shu-chan made sure we were really durable too!” He informed Chuuya with a grin. “Celeste-nee and Cadence-nee can withstand grenades and bullets but Luna-nee can go against armor-piercing shots, grenades, and even a tank! Shu-chan promised me that once my body was done, mine was going to be as strong as Luna-nee-chan’s body!”

“Do I even want to know how he tested your bodies?” Chuuya inquired.

“Nope!”

By 8:30, both Dazai and Chuuya emerged from the safe house and were heading toward Dazai’s cafe. Dazai had also fitted Chuuya with his own set of devices from the safe house. He replaced the mafioso’s phone and supplied him with a laptop, a new watch, and even jewelry. Dazai quickly taught him how to use his new gadgets just before they left. Then during their walk to WolfStorm cafe, Dazai kept getting sidetracked and entering several stores, only coming back out with a small bag or two containing his purchases. He would attach a tag to his bags, tap twice on his watch, and drop his newly bought items into the closest hidden sewage access hatch.

Confused, Chuuya asked Sunset about it, knowing that Dazai wouldn’t tell him anything or explain himself. Sunset had explained that by doing as Dazai did, any purchase that he dropped into a hidden manhole would be automatically transported to the nearest safe house. The tags were to alert the system that they were the items to be collected and tapping twice on his watch would inform the system of his location.

Half an hour later, Dazai enters WolfStorm with Chuuya trailing right behind him. He quickly pulls Izuku, the most responsible of his cafe employees, into his office. “Morning Izuku. Uh, look, I might’ve forgotten to tell you and everyone else that I have a meeting in France that I’ve got to go to and my flight’s this afternoon at 2. I’m going to be gone for about two months so I’m going to have to trust that you guys can handle yourselves here.” Dazai babbled, verbally bulldozing his employee without warning other than a quick greeting. “Got it? Okay. Great! I have to go!”

Without pause, Dazai then tried to leave, only for Izuku to grab his wrist. “Wait, what?! Who’s going to manage everything here then?!” He demanded, shaking the brunette gently but furiously.

“I’m sure you guys can figure it out. It’s not the first time I left you all to your devices, right?” Dazai tilted his head. “I usually left you alone. In fact, if I remember correctly, I only gave all of you parameters and baseline orders from Mori before letting all of you take care of it yourselves. I only stepped in whenever I decided or thought your plans were either going to fail, were completely stupid, or would kill a lot of you despite the mission’s success. So what’s the problem?”

“You can’t just leave us here without warning or some supervision!” Izuku protested.

Dazai blinked. “But you’re the ones running the place. I only do the paperwork we have for it.” He rebutted. “You’ll be fine! Besides, the meeting I’m going to is going to decide if I should open more cafes in other locations here in Japan, France, China, and America. Even when I get back here, I’ll be too busy to even do much for the cafe other than plan for more openings. You’ll all still be the ones running this place anyway.”

Izuku gaped at the brunette.

Behind Dazai, Chuuya snickered as he accepted his order from Kosuke and paid his due. He always found it amusing when the former executive got confused or didn’t understand someone’s reaction to one of his abrupt announcements. When he’d gotten Dazai’s former subordinates, Chuuya had been poleaxed at how smooth and efficient his new faction ran. It was like they were used to being given baseline orders and being left to their own devices. The problem he had with them was having to figure out how to restrict them from doing anything too outlandish.

Eccentricities aside, Chuuya’s (formerly Dazai’s) subordinates were good. They were always precise, and on point, and he never had to do much work. If anything, he had to go looking for something to do other than his paperwork which wasn’t even enough or much to fill his time with anyway. So he made frequent appearances in his own subordinates’ missions just to watch the chaos go down or limit them himself.

I should’ve f*cking known the bastard would make his damn subordinates do the work for him. Chuuya mentally scoffed, kicking himself. There’s no f*cking way my subordinates were f*cking normal. I’d bet one of my Petrus bottles that it was his damn fault they’re all such f*cking gremlins. Then he remembered Dazai’s admittance of his second, much lesser-known title as the Harbringer of Chaos and internally groaned. Scratch that, it was definitely his fault!

“That’s enough.” Chuuya stepped in, pulling Dazai away from Izuku by his coat. “Didn’t you say you had to f*cking tell your sh*tty buddy detectives about it too? Start walking!”

“Wah- But Chuuya!”

“Shut up!” The mafioso smacked him before turning his head toward Izuku. “As for you, I know you can think for yourselves. Just treat it like a mission or whatever.”

“Wait! You can’t just—” Neither Chuuya nor Dazai heard the end of Izuku’s protest since they were already out the door which had closed.

“Walk,” Chuuya ordered, though he still dragged his companion behind him as he marched down the direction of the Armed Detective Agency’s office.

“I can’t walk properly, Chuuya.” Dazai deadpanned. “You’re dragging me.”

“Then f*cking shut the hell up.” And Dazai did.

For the next half hour, Dazai was quiet while the two of them walked.

When they walked into the office, it was roughly 10 o’clock. Dazai was the first to walk in again and Chuuya followed him in with a scowl. Before anyone could ask him about his unscheduled appearance in the office, Chuuya simply explained himself. “I’m just here to make sure this brat,” He pointed a finger at Dazai’s back. “Gets out what he wanted to tell you before he vanishes again. And no, it’s not Port Mafia business. It’s something he apparently had in his schedule a while ago.”

“That’s true.” Dazai agreed, waving off the concerned looks he was shot by Atsushi, Kyoka, Yosano, and Kunikida. “I have some business to take care of in France, so I’ll be gone for about two months. I forgot all about it until I got reminded this morning and my flight’s going in a few hours.”

“At 2, you bastard.” Chuuya reminded him. Then the ginger checked the time and scowled. “It’s already 10, you barely ate breakfast, you haven’t packed sh*t, and I haven’t told Ane-san where I’m going. sh*t!” He cursed, jumping out of one of the office’s open windows, planting a foot on the windowsill, and launching himself away.

Dazai, having been left behind by the ginger, cheered. “Finally! He’s gone! Okay, see you in roughly two months! Hopefully without a minuscule shrimp following behind me like some dog but that would be highly unlikely.” The brunette sprinted out the door with a cheery wave.

“Dazai-san’s going to pay for that, isn’t he?” Atsushi sighed. Beside him, Kyoka nodded in agreement. “Chuuya-san’s going to punish him for that once he finds him again, isn’t he?” Again, Kyoka nods. (Meanwhile, they ignored Ranpo’s cackling in the background.)

A week later, Dazai stiffened as he felt the familiar aura of For the Tainted Sorrow. Having warned his executive who then spread the information around the company and kept it in the company through the use of NDAs, no one was too alarmed when a certain ginger came crashing into the meeting room through one of the room’s windows.

“Dazai f*cking Osamu,” Chuuya growled menacingly, marching toward the brunette who flinched with a nervous smile. “You left. Without me. Or my permission.” Before Dazai could retort, Chuuya added with a snarl, “Finish your gods forsaken meeting quickly. It seems like you need me to remind you about your punishment.”

“Damn it.” He cursed under his breath, drawing snickers from his executives and their assistants. “Fine. Could someone get this shortie a seat? He’d sit on the table if we give him the chance to but it’s glass and we’ve got paperwork on it. Chibi also has his Ability over gravity so better safe than sorry.” Dazai added, groaning when his former partner smacked him.

Once Chuuya had received a seat of his own, the meeting finally resumed its course. “Where were we again?” Tanjiro asked, flipping through his notes. Beside him, his sister poked him before pointing at something in his notepad. “Right. Sorry about that. Please carry on!”

“Our business avenues are currently going stable and the cafe has been beneficial–”

“Could we open one in the building? Or at the very least, somewhere nearby? I’m craving coffee.” Someone cut in. “And maybe a donut or two.”

“Oh, dear. Here we go.” Dazai muttered under his breath while the room devolved into chaos. He allowed the chaos to go on for five minutes before finally having enough of it and regaining everyone’s attention by using a toy gun he’d reconstructed into a noisemaker in the shape of a gun. “Shut up!” He put down the toy and briefly checked the clock. “Thank you! I think we need a break right now. It’s nearly lunch so I’m sure everyone’s hungry. Are we all in favor of getting back to this after lunch? Who wants pastries and donuts? I’m not bringing any drinks.”

“You are such an asshole, Boss.” Someone said playfully, throwing a wad of paper at him. (It didn’t reach the brunette but it did amuse him.) “We still love you though, so no offense.”

Chapter 13

Notes:

Aside from Kyouka's ability Demon Snow, BSD doesn't really pass on abilities- though technically Kyouka's ability was only passed down to her because her mother, the first owner/user of the ability had given Demon Snow the order to "protect [her] daughter" just before she died. Because of how little Abilities are actually discussed/explained, I (probably?) decided to just weave in my own take on how they could get passed down to another person. If someone can figure out what the idea behind the "rules" of "Ability succession" that I made up, just comment because I remember absolutely nothing and I did not write down notes about it anywhere. (-_-' )

Chapter Text

“By the way, we heard about that little thing your cafe employees do whenever someone’s being negative!” Another chirped. “We actually implemented it here too!” Dazai audibly gulped. “So! Boss…”

“You no longer have an escape or excuse!” The majority of the room cackled, lunging for the former mafioso who yelped and tried to jump out the window (The one Chuuya shattered).

Dazai’s attempt at escape, however, was foiled by his former partner who merely gave him a sinister smirk. The brunette whimpered and frantically shook his head. “He’s all yours for now. sh*tty Dazai tried to jump out the window.” With that, Chuuya tossed him back into his chair.

“f*ck you Chuuya!” Dazai cursed as he was swiftly tied to his chair. He tried kicking but his legs were also just as quickly tied to the leg of his seat. “I hate all of you.” He deadpanned.

“Aw, don’t be like that, Boss! You know we love you!” Fleur, his executive over the Fashion design department cooed. Dazai hissed and bared his teeth at her. “But seriously, you really need better self-esteem, Dazai. You might be our CEO by blood succession, but we do care about you. You need only ask if you need help and we’ll do our best to support you no matter what you choose to do! Just, maybe give us the choice of whether we can handle the task you assign us if it’s something under the table, yeah?” She winked, patting Dazai’s shoulder lightly.

Dazai gaped at her with wide eyes. The brunette had been shocked for the first time in 4 years. The last time he’d been caught off guard had been when his friend Oda Sakunosuke had died in his arms because of Mori’s schemes. (And if he had sharpened his intuition and predictions as much as he could that it was borderline another Ability, then that wasn’t anyone’s business. No one needed to know that his father figure, OdaSaku, had passed him his Ability: Flawless either. It wasn’t like he turned off No Longer Human long or often enough for Flawless to come through and warn him anyway. After all, Dazai never shut off No Longer Human without having Chuuya’s presence nearby to guard his back. He never felt secure enough to do so.)

Unable to properly process Fleur’s words, Dazai’s eyes roll into his head, and his entire body sags further into his chair as he faints from being too overwhelmed. “Alright! Boss is finally asleep, our job’s done,” Tanjiro said quietly. “Now, we just bring him to his suite here, tuck him in, and we can have our lunch break while he gets some rest! Er, Mr. Nakahara?” He tentatively turned to the amused, grinning Port Mafia executive.

“Just call me Chuuya.”

“Right, Mr. Chuuya, I guess you can stay with him in his suite?” Tanjiro offered hesitantly. “You’ll have to order your lunch through the telephone on Dazai’s bedside table. Someone from the staff will pick it up from the lobby and bring it up to you. If you’d prefer to make lunch yourself, there’s an adjoined kitchen to his suite too.”

“Oh, uh, thanks.” Chuuya blinked. “Wait, he’s got a suite here?” He asked, surprised.

“Hmm? Oh, yes. We used to find Dazai passed out from exhaustion in odd places and got tired of having to hunt him down in the building because he fell asleep somewhere and forgot to let anyone know that he’d stayed behind to work through the night.” Fleur explained, fondly chuckling. “Everyone who works here has found him sleeping somewhere impossible at least once and we got worried for him so we tricked him into signing an approval form that let us turn one of the empty floors into a suite for him to sleep in without having to leave the establishment. Dazai hadn’t noticed the renovations we made for the five empty floors in the middle of the building either. We turned the highest empty floor into his suite here and the other four into dormitories that have 15 rooms each with a bathroom fit for 5 and a single kitchen for each floor.”

Chuuya hummed to signify that he understood as he followed Tanjiro and Fleur who were dragging Dazai’s body (which was still tied to his chair and unconscious) before freezing when her words finally sank into his mind properly. “Wait, you tricked him?!” He did a doubletake at the two seemingly harmless employees who were Dazai’s civilian business executives. “How?!”

“We took advantage of his exhaustion and snuck in the paperwork between his actual work.” Fleur shot him a devilish grin while Tanjiro gave him an innocent look, one so disgustingly bright that it looked fake to Chuuya. (It was obvious that Tanjiro wasn’t as innocent as he looked at that moment but unknown to the mafioso, the other executive had purposely made it obvious whilst making it look as though it was not on purpose.) “Of course, after renovations were completed, he finally got to see those floors. No one told him that they’d been empty before or that they’d been renovated into a semi-decent living space. There aren’t any official records of the renovation either in the company’s history. Just in the other small-time, local, renovating company, and even then, they only vaguely mention it between the lines of another request they were working on while they performed the renovations for the five floors.”

Suddenly, their contrasting looks turned into sad*stic, scheming ones. Chuuya gulped nervously.

Dazai might’ve found more than one den of demons to join after leaving the Port Mafia. He thought to himself. Even his civilian executives are lunatics! Not on the same level as those damn detectives in Yokohama, but still way weirder than the ones he left behind in the mafia after recruiting and training them!

They resumed their walk. “Of course, we still take advantage of Dazai-san whenever we think he’s overdoing it again but we try to make sure we don’t hurt him,” Tanjiro said. “He might’ve had a dark, dirty past but we don’t care much for his history. To us, he’s just our favorite CEO, the one who brought the company back to its roots. Before Dazai-san took control, Zodiac had gone to the pits with its management and its work lost its old reliability. When Dazai-san came, the company as a whole was overhauled. From its management and procedures to the factories and developments, he rewrote everything and had it all in place and running within half a year.”

“From what we heard, Dazai had rearranged the Port Mafia within a couple of months, give or take a few days. He didn’t give any important information or actual details, but he did complain about how it was so much quicker when he’d put the mafia in order than the absolute mess he had to deal with and fix Zodiac Enterprises.” Fleur chuckled. “Dazai had thrown several fits at the old higher-ups who are now fired or demoted for resisting the changes he kept trying to put in place without them blocking him. The scariest part of it was that Dazai had nearly gone ballistic when he found out that at least three of the former executives had used the company as a cover for their white-collar crimes and illegal deals.”

“He wasn’t mad about the illegal stuff,” Tanjiro quickly asserted when he saw the look on Chuuya’s face. “Dazai-san was pissed that they used the company as cover and nearly implicated all of us who were completely unaware that they were using us to commit white-collar crimes behind the scenes. He somehow got a list of the deals that were made illegally and could have possibly gotten us all in jail and released them into the open market for the sharks. Dazai-san kept track of whoever took up the bounties too.”

“Dazai was in high spirits for an entire week straight when he saw the Port Mafia take six of his requests,” Fleur admitted. “He also cackled for an entire hour when the mafia first took one of the hits. When we asked about it, Dazai explained that your organization had picked up his hit requests and he was laughing because he’d discovered that a faction had been put on his case— specifically, your faction.” They entered the elevator and she punched the button for floor 16.

“He even made a whole show about your hunt for anyone with a strong enough stomach or incredibly loose morals. Admittedly, I was one of them who watched it with him.” Tanjiro sighed. “It was very… inspired?” He sheepishly offered.

“Mind elaborating on that for me?” Chuuya requested, raising a brow.

“We all saw how you had trouble keeping Dazai’s former subordinates in line.” Chuuya choked.

“What?”

“Uh, we saw how you had trouble keeping Dazai’s former minions in line,” Fleur repeated. “And I honestly don’t blame you. Ever since Dazai took over Zodiac, all he’s done is the bare minimum yet somehow managing to make everything at least five times more efficient and more than ten times at best. Our workplace is brighter and more eventful but it’s also become chaotically orderly.”

“You could be passing someone a file but you’d be picking up another folder of the same kind of paperwork a minute later and have to work on it while the file you gave someone gets passed down further the line until it stops somewhere. You could be talking to three people at once and still pick up a couple more while you walk down a hallway despite your conversation literally won’t change its topic, be it gossip or about actual work.” Tanjiro explained. “It’s an absolute headache if you’re not used to how things work in the company. According to reports, even the workshops and other Zodiac locations also run similarly. We simply have the worst case of it since Dazai-san does most of his CEO work here instead of the other headquarter-locations.”

Chuuya gaped at them, trying to imagine what it would be like to be in a work environment that was both chaos and order. “How do you not lose your mind?” He wondered, feeling a small sense of awe as he reevaluated the two civilian executives again. “I work in the mafia and even then, it doesn’t sound as bad to work there instead of here! And we do more than just kill people!”

Both Tanjiro and Fleur laughed.

“Sorry Chuuya, but while we do conduct an honest business here, there’s always competition and we're supposed to stay on top of things to keep bringing in a profit. We got used to it.” Fleur giggled.

“Well,” Chuuya huffed. “Kudos to all of you then.”

When Dazai woke up, he noticed the sun already setting in the distance and groaned as he tried to bury himself further into his bed. The sound he made and the weight shift on the mattress– alerted Chuuya who immediately snapped to attention. “Well, well, well. Finally up, Sleeping Beauty?”

“Urgh.” Came Dazai’s grumpy reply.

“Get up sh*tty Mackerel. You need to eat.” Chuuya said, pulling the blanket off the bed and revealing Dazai’s form. “I had them send up some crab for you.”

“Crab?” Dazai peeked at him, looking like a child trying to decipher if it would be worth expending energy to move for. “Did they get me my favorite juice too?”

Chuuya stared at him with the tray of food floating beside him. “Juice? What are you, a little kid?”

“Given that I was under the age of twenty when I took over the family company and stayed here for a little longer than a year and a half,” The brunette started, sitting up. “The time I spent in so-called hiding here from the Port Mafia was the only childhood I had.” He said, deadpanning the mafioso. “And before you say that I was a rich kid, I will confess that even when I had blood relatives alive, close or not, I grew up under the hands of the staff we had in the manor, my tutors, my trainers, and my manager. From birth until the night my blood-kin was slaughtered, I was never allowed to interact with others in a normal setting. It was always business, especially when they had my IQ tested and I got evaluated as a genius.”

Chapter 14

Chapter Text

“So, you never interacted with your parents?” Chuuya asked, tilting his head a bit.

“No.” Dazai sighed, shaking his head. “Not unless my sperm donor was teaching me about the business like he was already handing it off to me and I wasn’t a child. Not unless my egg donor wanted to look good at some tea party or another. It was always about public appearances for her and business for him. So I grew up numb.” At his admission, the ex-mafioso turned his head to look Chuuya in the eye and shrugged, faking nonchalance despite knowing that the ginger knew him too well to believe it didn’t hurt him. “As soon as I was old enough, my ‘mother’ hired tutors and my ‘father’ had me put in training when I had control over myself. It didn’t matter that I was only five, I was old enough and already in control of myself, so there wasn’t a problem about it in their minds.” Dazai had rolled his eyes and spat out the parental titles like they were venom but his tone was dull.

“And what kind of training did your father put you in, Dazai?” Chuuya asked, taking the tray and setting it carefully on the brunette’s legs. “Here, you can f*cking eat your damn crab. There’s juice in your damn fridge but you’re only getting water until you f*cking finish eating your sh*tty crab.”

Dazai nodded meekly and got started on his early dinner. He also gave Chuuya an answer.

“At first, it was simple training. Everything was only theory and the little physical training I had to go through was basic— Y’know, like running laps, performing pushups and situps, that kind of thing. As I got older and stronger, other things like weaponry, martial arts, espionage, and turning anything and everything available into a weapon were added. You could put any kind of weapon in my hands and it's almost always ensured that I’ve held one before.”

He periodically paused to eat and slowly, his meal disappeared into his body. Dazai’s eyes also gained a light yet weighted glaze as he slowly went through his memories.

“From modern weaponry such as guns, bombs, and poison gas to more archaic weapons such as swords, knives, bows, whips, and even maces or axes. I know how to fight using them but only in one way; to kill. It had been when Mori picked me up and started ‘mentoring’ me that I started to use my skills to incapacitate and knockout so I could work on them by Mori’s orders instead.” At that, Dazai lets out a small, quiet whimper. “If I killed them instead, I would be the dummy for Mori’s practice as a lesson because according to him, the best way to learn was to experience it yourself. And I did. I killed too many of my targets and for each failure, I suffered a week.”

Chuuya paled. “But wouldn’t that mean that every kill–”

“— meant a week of torture?” Dazai finished his thought and grimly nodded, his eyes losing more focus. “Yes. It meant exactly just that. However, I was raised numb and had developed a high pain tolerance from my younger years. Mori liked to make me scream. His sessions increased my pain tolerance, so he used different methods. I learned of course, out of necessity. But it didn’t change what he was doing and something had to give. I fractured and the Demon Prodigy was born. When I met you at fifteen, Dazai was made. When I met Odasaku, Osamu came.”

“You don’t have to keep going, Osamu.” Dazai shook his head.

“Then Odasaku died, Ango was a traitor, and Osamu ran with Dazai and the Demon Prodigy because Odasaku asked with his dying breath for the friend he knew to leave the darkness in search of something better than death, blood, and apathy.” The brunette then finished the last of his meal and washed it down with a rather large gulp of water. “I spent some time hiding in Yokohama before moving on to taking control of everything my clan had left behind including Zodiac Enterprises. I didn’t want anyone to suspect the company was dealing in anything illegal so I had my secretary act as the CEO for the public. I had him using my real name, the one on my original birth certificate, as his alias.”

“You mean Osamu Dazai ain’t your real name?” Chuuya frowned.

Again, Dazai gave him a deadpan look. “No, chibikko. Osamu Dazai is my real name. But my first legal name was Shuuji Tsushima. Since then, I’ve had two other legal names before I chose to be Osamu Dazai.” Suddenly, the brunette lit up. “Oh, and I managed to get you registered on the national database! Well, on official records anyway. They had your template registered as dead so I just recycled it and turned it into your account instead!”

“You what?!” Chuuya screamed, barely holding himself back from lunging at the younger man (only by a few months damn it!) who still had a tray on his lap.

Dazai tilted his head like a curious child, suddenly looking much younger than usual. “I got you a legal identity? You can go wherever you want without being questioned by authorities now, so long as you use your template’s recycled account.”

Suddenly, the room flooded with red light and the sound of alarms began blaring. Dazai sighed and slipped out from under the tray on his legs and swiftly pulled open the door. “I should’ve had the research department moved farther from the break-floors.” He muttered under his breath as he marched into the stairwell and gracefully dodged several employees who were practically flying down them as he made his way up.

“Shouldn’t you be going down with your employees instead of up the stairs?”

“Not according to the alarms. The one currently blaring at everyone means that I can put whatever the incident is down and fix it.” Dazai informed the flying ginger flatly over the loud alarm. “It’s probably June’s fault again. Or May had another accident. Which means that everyone is only evacuating to the lower floors, not outside of the building.” He scowled, picking up speed as he ascended to the twenty-fifth floor where he slipped into the emergency door, and entered the level.

Two voices were heard, a screaming man and a cackling madwoman. “I can’t wait to put this baby to the test once I finish welding–”

“Stop it! You’re going to overheat—”

“Don’t shove me!”

Dazai burst into the room with wooden dowels in his hands and threw them at both individuals with terrifying accuracy. “June. August.” The tall brunette flared his aura, making the air feel a hundred times heavier to Chuuya. Dazai also disabled the alarms, having grown tired of the loud, irritating noise.

To the mafioso’s surprise, both of them didn’t flinch under the heavy, oppressive glare comparable to the constant bitch-face Dazai used to hold during his stint in the Port Mafia that Dazai was giving them. Chuuya was almost afraid that the ex-mafioso would whip out a gun and start shooting the two people who were responsible for the evacuation of the closest floors.

“Boss!” Both of them cheerfully greeted him despite the pressure Dazai was emitting.

Are they idiots, clueless, or just suicidally fearless?! Chuuya thought to himself incredulously. Though his ex-partner was not aiming his intent at him, even he had some trouble forcing himself not to cower or flinch from Dazai’s current presence. How can they withstand such an oppressing presence?! Especially one as heavy as Dazai’s current state! He wondered, mentally screeching.

“June, Get rid of that thing,” Dazai commanded sternly. “That prototype will explode once it is activated and will take out the entire floor, two more downstairs, and destroy the other floors above as well. If you really do wish to test it, arrange for your tests to be elsewhere.”

“Yeah, yeah. Sorry, Dazai.” June apologized, picking something up from the table and moving it.

“Sorry Dazai, I’ll try harder to control her next time.” August sighed, looking haggard.

“It’s June, August.” Dazai deadpanned, finally letting up his aura. “I highly doubt you’ll be able to control her. Haven’t you seen May’s assistant? Poor thing has to keep their eyes on her to make sure she doesn’t accidentally cause another incident. Do you need me to hire another assistant so you have help in reining her in? I already had someone looking for two other people for May’s case anyway. Her other assistant handler just quit recently and we’ve been looking for a replacement.”

“Please?”

“Got it.”

“Oh! And don’t forget to restock your arms, Dazai-sama.” August reminded him. “The developers recently made something new and they have another set ready for your use. And yes, they were specially crafted for you.”

“Thanks.” Dazai nodded, clapping the man’s back gently. (Well, it was gentle according to his strength but it felt harder to poor August who wasn’t quite above average in physiological terms.) “By the way, you wouldn’t happen to know if the White branch actually managed to stabilize itself, do you? I didn’t get an update on its progress yesterday from the other executives.”

August shook his head. “No,” He said. “They’re still trying to pull the right employees but are having a bit of trouble trying to keep the roads clear. Project Tartarus, on the other hand, has had significant progress made and they’re mostly just installing the essential basics for now until other technological advancements become available.”

“Great!” Dazai beamed. “That’s my work here done then, I suppose. I still have other things to get done, so I’ll be taking my leave. I only got myself excused from Yokohama for a week of absence, so any more than that time will have people hunting for me on three sides. The Port Mafia, if Chibi doesn’t report back to his boss, would execute a manhunt for us both. The Armed Detective Agency would try to look because they’d worry and they’d have temporary command over my escapees to help them. And the government likes to know where the resident geniuses are.” He pouts.

The man chuckles. “Poor you.” He teased, playfully wiggling a few fingers at Dazai.

“August!”

“Though to be honest, I find it very strange that you somehow managed to find people named after every month of the year and put all of us on the same floor,” August said, tossing a bolt at May when she tried to resume her work on the banned experiment. “From January to December, there’s literally only twelve people on this floor and none of us even work in the same department.”

“It’s not my fault the twelve of you were interesting!” Dazai protested. “Besides, Janus’ name isn’t January! And Fabian isn’t even remotely close to sounding like February!”

“Then explain why all twelve of us who work on this floor have names that correspond to the year’s months?! And only one of us has our birthdays every month!” August rebutted. “And I know it’s not my fault, but I was born in August which is also my name.”

“Maybe your parents were just unimaginative.” Dazai offered. “Or they named you August as a joke.”

August narrowed his eyes but said nothing more, conceding.

Chuuya, for his part, huffed quietly in amusem*nt. It was just like Dazai to have a floor dedicated to twelve people with a birthday and names somehow connected to every month of the year.

For the next five days, Chuuya followed Dazai everywhere. The only time the brunette was ever allowed out of Chuuya’s sight was whenever they used the bathroom or Dazai was unconscious. Even then, the redhead didn’t leave or allow Dazai to go far from his side.

Chapter 15

Chapter Text

“Is that everything?” Dazai asked, hopeful. “Please tell me we’re done.” He begged, groaning with his face on the table buried in his arms. The brunette mentally ran over everything, confirming that yes, they have gone over everything important. “Thank whatever gods there are. Yeah, we’re done!” He decided, pushing himself back up to a proper seating position. “Send any updates to my email and contact me in case of emergency or necessity. Great work everyone! We got through this boring meeting sane and thoroughly drained of any energy! Yay.” He joked flatly, drawing chuckles.

“You’re good to go, Boss. We managed to run over everything faster than expected despite the short interruption your former Underworld colleague made by breaking in.” Fleur agreed. Chuuya winced at the small jab and gave her an apologetic look. She only waved him off in assurance. “You can have the rest of the day to go over documents that need your attention and by tomorrow, you won’t have any more work to do, so you can at least have a day to have fun around here.”

“No. Fleur-san, no more.” Dazai moaned. “My brain is mush!”

“Mhmm. You get the whole day off tomorrow if you do all your work today, Dazai-san.” Tanjiro coaxed. “You can go wherever you like and do whatever you want tomorrow if you finish all of it today! Maybe you and Chuuya-san can go somewhere fun together tomorrow! Besides, I’m sure you want to get your friends in Yokohama some souvenirs, right?”

“Fine.” Dazai sulked.

“If he doesn’t get to it, I’ll force him,” Chuuya promised, dragging the ex-mafioso out of the room with a cheerful little wave.

The door shuts ominously and despite being translucent, none of the occupants of the meeting room could bring themselves to look through the door. Or the windows. They were familiar with their CEO’s antics, and from the stories he had told them of his time with Chuuya in the Port Mafia when the two boys were often sent on missions together, Dazai became more himself. More in the sense that he was actually mentally present at the moment.Judging from the light screams they could hear from outside, the duo were at it again with their bickering. They could all hear the two men argue loudly enough that they could pick out a few choice words. Given that nothing was breaking or being thrown and no one was being hurt (with malicious intent), everyone opted to ignore both men.

Writing his legal signature on the last file, Dazai sighed with relief as he placed it on top of his completed work pile. “Finally! That’s the last of it!” He cheered, dropping his pen and using the opportunity to stretch his stiff body as he turned his head to look out the window. Dazai lets out another sigh at the sight of the sun dipping down the horizon as the beautiful sunset slowly turns into night. He swiveled his head to look at Chuuya whom he found asleep on his couch. “Chuuya?” He whispered, softly poking the ginger’s cheek.

When the mafioso didn’t react other than wrinkle his nose, shift a little to be more comfortable, and sigh before settling down again, Dazai huffed. He carefully prepared the ginger so he could carry him on his back and once he was sure that he wouldn’t leave anything important behind, Dazai gingerly moved Chuuya from the couch and onto his back, grunting a bit when he was hit with Chuuya’s whole weight.

“You really need to start working on your weight more, Chibi,” Dazai muttered to himself. “Or do I need to start regaining more of my strength? Urgh, but that means I have to recalibrate my strength perspective again!” He whined quietly.

“Shut up sh*tty Dazai.” Chuuya, still asleep, murmured, whacking him in the face several times.

Dazai nearly froze, afraid to wake up his passenger, but relaxed when Chuuya did not wake.

It took Dazai nearly an entire hour to even start getting ready for bed. By the time he reached his suite in the building, Chuuya was beginning to be more active despite still being very deeply asleep. Dazai had also started to feel the slightest bit annoyed, which did raise some minor concern in the brunette since he was aware that losing even the slightest bit of his temper would result in him not only waking the mafioso on his back but also highly likely that he would accidentally injure Chuuya. An event that he didn’t like, even as an idea let alone a plan. He stripped Chuuya of his clothes and slipped him into a pair of pajamas before tucking Chuuya into his bed. Then Dazai ordered himself some takeout from a nearby small, family-owned and -manned restaurant that he knew was open.

According to the daughter of the current owner, the night shift had been made when more than three of their family members began to have some trouble with their sleeping schedules. The problem wasn’t that they couldn’t sleep at the right time, it was that they were more content working in the later hours than any time earlier than 8 in the evening.

Dazai had jokingly suggested that they should just never close their business for anything other than family events, emergencies, or celebrations since they had someone who preferred to work at certain times so that if they filled in a wheel with every hour of the day and night, there would always be someone awake anyway. And it wasn’t like any of them didn’t know how to cook or work at their restaurant, so it was a win-win either way, even if the night shift would have a lot of free time. More often than not, Dazai was one of their night-customer patrons.

“Marie-chan~!” He greets when he hears the other side pick up the call.

“Uh, who is this?” A male voice asks in reply. Young, but not young enough to be anywhere older than a first-year high school student.

“Ara? You may call me Dazai. I’m one of your late-night regulars but I haven’t been around for quite a while so I may be a little out of touch.” Dazai admits before returning the question. “May I know who you are, young one?”

“You talk like you’re some kind of fae. Are those real? Hold on.” The phone picks up some commotion from the other end until it stops and a new, more familiar voice answers the phone.

“Dazai-kun! I was wondering when you would finally call again!”

“Marie-chan! It seems like you’ve been practicing recently.” Dazai chirps as he digs through his drawers for a change of clothes. “I do certainly hope you still remember my order?”

“Of course, Dazai-kun! I do apologize that I wasn’t the one to greet you first tonight, that particular honor goes to my younger cousin who recently came and moved in.” Marie sarcastically added. “Given that you called us, specifically answering by using my name, I assume there’s something else you want to add to your usual meal order tonight? Oh, and did someone force you to call for dinner? You usually don’t bother getting yourself dinner. If I remember correctly, you call for our lighter meals more often than a full course made for dinner.”

“My, oh my! Is Marie-chan trying her hand at being a detective?” Dazai jokingly cooed, laughing when she protested. “But teasing aside, I actually do need to inform you that I am ordering for two people, myself and my current living partner.”

“Oh? Is he your boyfriend or something, Dazai-kun?” The brunette flushed at the question and quickly shushed Marie, taking the call off of the loudspeaker as it had been while he was gathering his clothes and towel. “Ah. He’s your love interest then!” Marie corrected herself when Dazai furiously denied it. “I wish you the best of luck then. Now, what did you want?”

Dazai quickly rattled off a couple of choice dishes that he had long since realized Chuuya would’ve liked had he brought the ginger with him years ago. “And Marie-chan?” When she hummed questioningly, Dazai added, “Thanks for being my emotional teacher. Or therapist. I think everything you helped me learn is, uh, truly beneficial.” Before Marie could say anything in reply, Dazai cut the call, too embarrassed to hear from her any further.

“Dazai?” Chuuya called for him groggily from his spot on the bed.

“I’m here Chuuya,” Dazai answered, pulling himself together. “I ordered dinner. You keep napping while I take a bath.” He quickly disappeared into the bathroom with his supplies. Then dropped to his ass, slapped his hands over his mouth, and silenced his flustered screaming as much as he could.

On the bed, Chuuya blinked. “What the hell?” He asked the empty room, oblivious. “What the f*ck was that sh*t about?”

After Dazai had his shower, as the brunette was walking out of the bathroom, his phone pinged with a notice. Glancing at it, Dazai hummed as he remotely opened the back lobby (The common entrance used by any delivery personnel.) and cheerfully poked Chuuya awake.

“Quit that goddamn sh*t, you bastard!” Chuuya snarled, swiping at him.

“Dinner’s coming, so get up already.” Before the ginger could protest, Dazai added, “I made sure they would send something you like. Before you ask, no, I did not wake or bother anyone to cook for us. There’s a nearby small, family-owned restaurant that’s literally always open.”

“How the f*cking hell did you find someplace like that?”

“Someone introduced me to their place,” Dazai explained. “I was tipsy one early afternoon, and I heard one of their staff complain about their schedule and how they didn’t like working with people and got the idea to suggest that they fill out a time circle with their whole staff and if it was covered in at least two colors– each of which would represent a member of their crew– at every hour, then they could likely just keep their place semi-perpetually open and running unless they had some holiday, emergency, or a celebration to celebrate.”

“Dazai-kun! It’s Marie and I’ve got your order!” A muffled yell called from the beyond foyer. They then heard a yelp and a loud thud. “Julius!”

Dazai left the bedroom and sauntered out to open the door, greeting the two with a cheeky grin. “Marie-chan! It’s been quite a while since we last saw each other! How have you been lately?”

“Me? I’ve been doing quite well if I do say so myself.” Marie replied, passing over a package to the tall brunette. “Now out of my way, I wanna see your future boyfriend!” She squealed, pushing the man aside and letting herself in.

“Marie-chan, no!”

She ignores him and runs straight for his bedroom, slamming the door open and smoothly dodging the glowing projectile that flies at her courtesy of Chuuya Nakahara. Marie grins. “Oh, he’s got taste.” She commented, cackling when she saw the mafioso blush bright red. “Dazai-kun!~”

“I swear I would have you killed if it weren’t for my promise to Odasaku, you little cheat!” Dazai snarled, tackling the young woman. “And he’s not my boyfriend!” He repeated, managing to slap her.

Marie only wrestles with him in return, hitting him twice. “But you didn’t deny that you are interested!” She quipped. “Besides, you wouldn’t dare hurt me, ne, Dazai-kun?” Dazai gritted his teeth as he paled the slightest bit. “Or would you rather I send him my album of you? You know what’s inside it, right?~” Marie shamelessly gives him a sh*t-eating grin.

“You bitch.” Dazai hissed through his teeth. Instead, he viciously glares at Marie as he petulantly plants himself on a seat at the table away from her. “Screw you.”

Chapter 16

Chapter Text

“No thanks. You’re not my type, Dazai-kun.” She shot back. “And I’m fairly certain I’m not your kind of interest either. Plus, unlike you, I already have my boyfriend while you’re still stuck in Egypt.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?!” He squawks.

Marie smirks at him smugly in reply and says nothing. Julius, Marie’s cousin, grinned but stayed quiet, content to watch the infamous interaction between his older cousin and their well-known customer whom he’d heard plenty about.

During their conversation, Dazai starts opening the packages of food Marie and her cousin had brought over. Marie also pulled out a chair for herself and beckoned Chuuya and Julius to take a seat, snatching a couple of the Tupperware and opening them for herself and her companion.

“Oi, sh*tty Dazai, where the hell did you find this chick?” Chuuya cuts in.

“Hey Ginger, ‘this chick’ has functioning ears and a mouth.” Marie snaps. “As for finding me, he was introduced to me by a friend. You can call me Marie.”

“Oh, sorry Marie-san.” He apologized before returning his attention back to his ex-partner. “If you don’t eat your dinner, I’ll kill you myself.”

“Or you could ply him into submission,” Marie suggested, giggling. “He’ll eat if he’s relaxed enough. I’m assuming you know how a dominant and submissive relationship works?” When Chuuya nodded, she continued. “While he may seem like a dominant on the surface, Dazai-kun is a sub. Despite how he acts, he craves having someone else take care of him, to let go of every piece of control to someone he trusts. Well, every kind of control except for consent, obviously.”

Dazai tries weakly to protest but once again, Marie subdues him with ease. Once Dazai settled, they all began to eat together.

“What does BDSM have anything to do with him?” The mafioso asked her and raised a brow, confused about where she was going with the topic.

“From what Dazai-kun had told me of his history, he was given control over a lot of things against his wishes. He might’ve been highly suited to controlling things, but Dazai-kun doesn’t like having control over too many things.” Marie explains, dodging the knife Dazai throws at her. “Dazai-kun prefers to be pampered and cared for. Partly due to his upbringing and the other is because while he knows he has people who care, Dazai-kun’s subconscious doesn’t believe that he matters to anyone.”

“But– that’s not–?!” Chuuya sputters, trying but unable to deny it. He knew Marie was right.

“He also learned at a young age that being in control is better than being controlled like a puppet and getting hurt by the consequences of the mastermind behind the strings. So he puts on an act to keep himself safe and controls things because in his mind,” Marie pauses. “It’s better the consequences are a result of his manipulation and knowing that he made everything run as smoothly as possible and that it was the best decision available and possible within his power. Dazai-kun uses his influence to soften every blow as much as he can, and has done so even during his time in whatever organization he used to be in, even when he was working with you.”

“I’m going to turn in for the night,” Dazai announces, excusing himself and quickly escaping the scene with a poorly hidden flush, leaving behind an empty Tupperware on the table.

Marie waited until the brunette slammed the bedroom door closed before she started cackling like some deranged witch. “Basically,” She resumed her talk with Chuuya after calming down. “Dazai-kun is a high-functioning, undiagnosed depressed genius with high IQ, too much responsibility, a lot of work, and an emotionally stunted brat.” Marie deadpanned. Chuuya snorts at her description of his ex-partner. “When I met him, I pegged him to be someone who didn’t understand ordinary people. After an hour of speaking with him within the day we initially got introduced, another label got added to his list in my mind palace: Dazai-kun sees himself to be inhuman because everyone else is on a different wavelength than the one he runs on, which is typically common for geniuses.”

“So?”

“What makes Dazai-kun different is that while most other geniuses don’t make efforts to connect with people unless necessity dictates them to do so, Dazai-kun tries to understand what he doesn’t because he is interested to learn and understand something that most people find to be instinctually easy to understand but near impossible to explain.” Marie sighs. “For example, why do you try so hard to work or live? If you say it’s because you have to or because someone you care about is waiting for you or something like that, then imagine being someone who doesn’t understand anything about human relationships at all because no one taught them how to feel or what their feelings are beyond the basic emotions such as apathy, sadness, content, exhaustion, and anger. From what I’ve heard from Dazai-kun, no one taught him how to care or love until his friend, whom he calls ‘Odasaku’, taught them to him along with depression and pain upon his passing.”

Chuuya gapes at her, horror beginning to fill him as a new perspective builds itself in his mind.

“There’s also the fact that I managed to get him halfway into a sub-drop that I know my theory and observations are correct,” Marie confessed sheepishly. “We were talking and I noticed his habit of skipping meals. I just carefully prodded him into eating and treated him like any other abused victim who was exploited and neglected in equal, extreme measures. By doing so, I accidentally triggered him into realizing that he truly was out of the toxic situation he had been trapped in and it resulted in an emotional breakdown for him along with a full shutdown. I did my best in taking care of him while he was dissociating.”

His jaw drops at her admission. Chuuya stares. His mind was silent and loud with static as he finished constructing the new point of view Marie had prompted him into considering her insight and observations of his former mafia partner.

For the remainder of Marie’s visit, they didn’t talk about Dazai again. They talked a while before Marie and her cousin left with the Tupperware— which had been washed and dried before their departure. Chuuya and Marie exchanged phone numbers and bade each other farewell.

That night, Chuuya slept next to Dazai with a restless mind. Instead of sleeping or getting some rest, the mafioso found himself remembering the past and paying sharper attention to his former partner’s behavior. He compared the brunette to the interpretation Marie had placed on Dazai’s character. Despite Marie’s blunt presentation of her thoughts on the ex-mafioso, Chuuya conceded that she was quite accurate in her account of the younger, yet taller man.

When Chuuya finally surrendered to Morpheus, it was already a quarter before 2 in the morning.

The next morning, Dazai woke up first and stiffened when he felt arms around him again. Unlike before, when Chuuya would only firmly wrap his arms around him, the sleeping ginger was actually hugging him tightly like a teddy bear, unwilling to let go of his bedmate. Dazai also realized, after several attempts, that he couldn’t escape Chuuya’s hold. After all, in a contest of strength, Chuuya was still the physically stronger one between the two of them even without the use of his Ability— though Dazai, if he brought himself back to perfect health, would outclass him given that the brunette truly recovered in full.

“Damn it, Chuuya.” Dazai sighed, finally giving up after his umpteenth unsuccessful attempt at leaving the bed.

“Stop moving, sh*tty Dazai.” Chuuya rumbled unhappily. He pulled the brunette closer before settling again.

Then Dazai’s phone started ringing. Recognizing the ringtone, Dazai groans and tries to get closer to Chuuya (to the ginger’s surprise), trying to hide and ignore his phone. “I don’t wanna have to talk to that guy this early.” He whined.

“Do I want to know who that ringtone is for?”

“No.”

“Are you required to answer it?”

“Unfortunately.”

Chuuya pushes him off the bed and orders him to pick up the call. Dazai obeys, sulking. A single look from the mafioso had the CEO answering the phone and putting it on loudspeaker. “Cloud.”

The single word darkens Dazai’s entire expression, even as his face pales. “Sun.” He replies, his voice cold as ice. “What do you want from me?”

“I’ve got a new brat. I want you to train his violent Amethyst.”

“And what do you want me to do about that? You know I don’t train other Amethysts.” Dazai quietly groans, glaring at the device. Chuuya stares at him inquisitively and he mouths at him that he’d tell him later. “The last time I trained someone, I just turned them into a vicious mess. Why do you want me training your brat’s Guardian anyway? I know you have other, more qualified people you can contact.”

There was a half-minute-long pause before the man on the other side spoke up again. “They are not the right people to tutor this particular color.”

“Sinclair, I don’t—”

“You are an Active Cloud, de Mort.” Sinclair interrupts. “Even if you say you’ve left the scene in the Underworld, you will always be a part of it because of your nature.”

“... Give me a reason to care.”

“My new brat is in high school and his set is almost completely made up of other brats near his age with the Emerald being the exception.”

Dazai took a deep breath and counted to ten twice, once forward and back again to calm himself. “Affiliation? Location?”

“Vongola. Namimori, Japan.”

“Fine. Expect me to be there in 36 hours.” Dazai huffed. “I have to wrap up some business and let people know where I’m going before they start hunting after me again. Oh, and Sinclair?”

“...”

“I’m bringing Arahabaki with me. The chibi refuses to let me go anywhere without him so I have no choice on the matter. If you have complaints, you can tell him yourself. This call is currently on loudspeaker.”

A short pause. “What the f*ck Skull?! Arahabaki?! You’re bringing him along?!” Sinclair, the man on the other end, yells. Dazai only lets out a mad cackle in reply before tossing his phone onto the bed next to Chuuya. “Skull?! How do you know Arahabaki?! Lackey?!”

“Oi, who’re you calling a lackey, bastard?” Chuuya growled.

“I’m going to get ready for work now. Have fun talking to Sinclair, Chibikko-kun~!” Dazai giggles as he leaves for the bathroom. “I can’t wait to see his face when he finds out!”

Back in the bedroom, Chuuya picks up the phone and takes the call off of the loudspeaker. “So… Who the f*ck are you, Stranger-san? And how do you know the idiot Mackerel?”

“Mackerel?” The other man sounded confused. “What does a fish have anything to do with Skull?”

Chapter 17

Chapter Text

“Eh? Skull? Who the f*cking hell are you talking about?”

“Skull de Mort? The name of the one who gave you the phone?”

Finally realizing his former partner’s ploy, Chuuya rolled his eyes and sighed exasperatedly. “That damn bastard really couldn’t keep his sh*tty self from messing with people, couldn’t he?” He muttered to himself. “Yeah, I know who the f*ck you’re talking sh*t about. What I’m f*cking asking you is, how the hell do you know the damn bastard?”

“We, er,” Sinclair hesitated. “We were cursed together? With seven other people.”

Chuuya felt the vestiges of sleep disappear from his mind as his attention sharpens. “Explain.” He demanded, already mentally cursing the nullifier and his antics.

When Dazai emerged from the bathroom, Chuuya had already gotten his explanation of the curse and was absolutely livid. As soon as the brunette was out of the bathroom, Chuuya pounced on him with a snarl. “When the f*cking hell were you going to f*cking let me know that you were forced into a twice-damned curse by some asshole who’s probably in some kind of sh*tty power high?!”

Dazai blinked. “What?” He blinked again before his face lit up. “Oh, that thing? I kicked it.”

“What do you mean you ‘kicked it’?!” Chuuya demanded.

“I was only cursed for the years I wasn’t around Yokohama. I managed to break my part of the curse after researching it.” Dazai explained calmly. “Checkerface was stupid and self-centered enough to destroy himself. The Arcobaleno curse had been designed to be a punishment, not a way to power the world or whatever he thinks it does.” Then he scowled, rolling his eyes. “Clearly, he was an idiot who also happens to hold his race above humans despite him being the last— or so he claims to be. Highly delusional as well. It’s likely his Sky has long passed and he’s stuck.”

“And what’s this about gems, guardians, and the weather thing about?”

“Ah. That.” His scowl turned into a childish pout. “I was dragged into it, Chuuya! It wasn’t my fault! I was just performing at a circus on a whim and the next thing I knew, stupid Checkerface came and shoved me into the Underworld!” Dazai wailed, trying to squirm out of the ginger’s hold.

Chuuya narrowed his eyes and as quick as a snake, he grabbed the brunette by the neck and held him down. “What is going on with the talk about jewelry, guardians, and the weather, Dazai.” He repeats. This time, Chuuya turns his question into something more of a demand than an inquiry.

To Chuuya’s surprise, Dazai blushes bright red. To his increasing delight, the man under him gulps (which due to the hold Chuuya had on him, he could feel it) and his breath hitches as his gaze begins to mist with lust and sweet submission.

Marie-san had been right. Chuuya thought to himself gleefully. In complete opposition to his thoughts and current emotions of his discovery, it takes every ounce of self-control Chuuya has to prevent himself from jumping his vulnerable ex-partner. Dazai really is a sub! One without a dominant he currently trusts enough to hand over control to. I should be careful.

“Answer me, kitten.” Chuuya purrs, putting a little more pressure on Dazai’s windpipe.

The flush on Dazai’s face darkens in tint as the brunette finally spills his information to Chuuya.

“Good kitten.” Chuuya praises him, watching as the CEO melts underneath him. “Hmm, Marie-san was right.” Then without elaborating himself any further, the mafioso releases his captive’s neck and starts petting him like a cat instead. “You’ll keep being good for me, right?”

“Mmm.” It took Dazai a few moments to finally get around to directly looking at him, his eyes were out of focus and his irises were blown wide. He slowly blinks, reminding Chuuya of a domesticated feline. With some difficulty, Dazai dazedly mewls out a sound of confirmation.

Chuuya smiles. “Good kitty.” He repeats as he gives Dazai one last stroke.

They eat breakfast and throughout the entire morning, Dazai doesn’t speak a single word unless he requires Chuuya’s attention. Even as he worked through his paperwork, Dazai remained soft and perfectly docile. He was also quite obedient to the redhead.

By noon, Dazai only had a fifth of his work left to do. Chuuya ordered lunch, coaxed his ex-partner into abandoning his paperwork in favor of eating lunch, plying him with soft compliments and pet names, and then having a half-hour-long petting session before Chuuya allowed Dazai to return to his work.

When Dazai finally sobered, he found the sun to be already halfway down the sky, halfway to sunset and he was already done with his paperwork. Confused and unable to remember anything but his work, Dazai turns around and yelps when he finds Chuuya staring at him with amusem*nt in his eyes. “What happened?” He asked, bewildered. “And why are you staring at me like that?”

“Nothing important.” Chuuya snickered. He looks so much like a lost kitten! Adorable!

Dazai eyes him curiously, tilting his head as he narrows his eyes as if attempting to see through the light facade Chuuya is showing him. “Did Chibi find something out… about me?”

“Maybe.” The ginger snorts. “Anyway, shouldn’t you be arranging for that trip to Naminori or wherever the f*ck Sinclair is?”

“Er.” Dazai blinked. Then he checked his written notes— which Chuuya had told him to write while he was mentally compromised— before looking back at the mafioso. “I guess I’ve already made arrangements? These notes say I’ve already done all my paperwork and have sent emails and text messages to everyone I have to inform my altered plans to prevent anyone from going on a manhunt for me. Chuuya, what happened? Why don’t I remember anything after you held me down on the floor by my neck?”

Chuuya stared for a moment before pulling out his phone and fiddling with it instead.

“Chuuya?!”

“Not right now, vagabond! I’m planning preparations!” Chuuya snapped, glaring at the CEO. “And I’m already telling you, nothing big happened while you were mentally in space.”

Dazai pouted but relented.

However, not even an hour passes when the air in Dazai’s office begins to warp. “Not this again.” Dazai sighed, sounding resigned. Then his image changes in an instant and in his place, a male with purple hair and eyes replaces his visage. He also shrinks in size.

“What—” Before Chuuya could finish his question, someone the size of a toddler appeared, floating in the room. “What the f*ck?!” He exclaims, jumping to stand by Dazai’s (?) side.

“Keep it down, Chibikko. They’re not hostiles.” Dazai (?) whispered lowly. Then, turning to the other person in the room, he cheerfully greeted them with, “Hey Snake-san! Long time no see!”

“Zip it, idiot Skull.”

“Aw, don’t be like that, Snake-san!”

Chuuya smacked him. “Quit being a menace, you little sh*t.” He chided, though both he and Dazai (?) knew that it wasn’t meant to be anything offensive. “Sorry about him. Uh, who are you?”

“You may call me Mammon.” The person replied. “I assume you’re an acquaintance of this idiot?” They asked, somehow manifesting a tentacle to point at Dazai.

“Unfortunately so. He’s a dumbass but he’s a crafty little sh*t. The bastard left me behind when he ran off.” Chuuya grumbled, planting a fist on his shrunken ex-partner’s (?) head and grinding it down. He ignored his whining. “I finally found this bastard a few months ago and then he proceeded to f*cking vanish on me again. You can call me Arahabaki.” The individual twitched.

“Skull-sama already told Arahabaki-kun that it wasn’t his fault!” Skull protested, squirming under Chuuya’s hold. “Mori wanted Skull-sama to leave, so Skull-sama left! Besides, stupid Mori killed Skull-sama’s first friend who actually had some idea about what they were doing!”

“Hah?! Are you saying I didn’t know what I was doing?!”

“Stupid chibi— What else do you think Skull-sama’s trying to say?!” Skull shot back. “You were always too busy fighting whoever you were pointed to and Skull-sama whenever Skull-sama distracted you!” Then he turned back to their visitor. “Anyway, why are you here, Mammon?”

“I assume the Sun has already contacted you, Cloud?”

Skull’s eyes sharpened. “He has, yes. Why are you asking, Mist?”

“It’s about that new protege of his.” Mammon started. Skull tilted his head to show his curiosity instead of raising a brow, suggesting to Chuuya that Dazai likely already knew the reason.

“What about them?”

“The Storm Amber I work under has issues with our Sun’s latest student.”

Skull frowned. “I see.” Then he jumped down from his spot on the table and got closer to his floating acquaintance. “I don’t see a reason why I shouldn’t head Reborn-senpai’s request.”

“Oh, I’m not telling you to not take it, idiot.” Mammon snorts, waving their hand at him. “I’m telling you to go with Reborn’s call. Make whoever he called you for an actual challenge.”

“But I’m a terrible teacher!” Skull protested obnoxiously. “Why are people still giving me pupils?!”

“Wait— How many have you trained?!” Chuuya sputtered.

Skull turned around and gave him a deadpan look as if to say, ‘Why are you so dumb, Chibi?’ “Believe it or not, Slug, this incredible Skull-sama has unfortunately trained or has overseen the training of more than four dozen people. They all came out of it heavily traumatized and unfortunately, very efficient in any way I taught them to be. I don’t like it,” He says, pouting.

“Where the hell did you find that many poor f*cks to train?” Chuuya asked, baffled.

“Unfortunately for all involved parties, everyone other than Diablo of the Port Mafia was thrown into my hands.” Skull sighs, slouching. “Though I think that Diablo himself had also been thrown into my hands by the Boss of the Port Mafia. I know his type.” The purple-and-black-themed chibi scowled before continuing. “Diablo’s sibling had also had the chance to train under me but I told them to go train under someone else farther from the filthy boss.”

Chuuya opened his mouth to say something but found himself speechless. IF Dazai was sincere, then everyone Dazai had trained had been forced on him or his partner had a motive for a reason. Chuuya quickly thought back to the past, scanning his memories for everything he remembered about how Dazai had treated his personal subordinates and the Akutagawa siblings whom he’d trained. Then he compared his treatment of them outside of training to his attitude toward everyone else in the Port Mafia whom he held no care for.

He internally berated himself for missing the details as he finally realized why Dazai’s former subordinates were so loyal that once he had left, they had immediately rallied around someone else in the high ranks that Dazai had high faith in. Chuuya mentally screamed at his ex-partner but released most of his grudges against the CEO. He also felt honored that Dazai trusted— and to this day, continues to trust— him enough to leave the lives of his former subordinates in his hands. Chuuya made a mental note to do his best not to lose that fragile trust knowing that if he makes an irredeemable mistake, he might lose the bastard who— despite every sh*tty thing Dazai had done to him— had managed to worm his way into his circle.

Chapter 18

Chapter Text

“So, what did you come here for, Mammon? Other than tell me to take Senpai’s request, that is.” Skull shot the floating miniature human a poor stink eye. “You always say that time is money, so out with whatever else you want to say to the great Skull-sama!”

“Humph. The Sun wanted to know how you knew Arahabaki.” Mammon stated bluntly.

Skull scowled. “He’s still as nosy as I remember.” He sighed before straightening up as much as he could. “As for how I know Arahabaki, that bit of information is better left unknown. As much as I’d like to tell you all about it, I leave that particular decision to the Slug,” Skull said, jabbing a thumb in Chuuya’s direction. “It’s not that I’m sensitive about it, though it is quite a heavy topic for him. You know me, Mammon. Unless it’s just harmless teasing, I don’t discuss personal secrets.” He crosses his arms across his chest with a smug look plastered on his face. “If that’s all, you can leave now, Mammon. Oh, and here.” Skull tosses a roll of something over to Mammon. “I’m sure you know what that’s for. Have a relatively good day!”

Mammon nodded and disappeared in another swirl.

After a minute, Skull reverses his transformation and turns back into Dazai who then flops onto his couch with a theatrical groan. “That was exhausting.” Then he curled up around one of the pillows and played with two of its tips.

He is such a cat. Chuuya thought again, imagining a pair of cat ears and a tail on the brunette, and snickered at the thought. If someone had told me I would be comparing this brat to a f*cking cat, I’d have laughed and killed them before they could claim another outlandish notion.

The redhead watches as Dazai checks a nearby clock with a pout already settling on his face. “Ugh. It’s getting late again,” He says, finally moving to get up. “C’mon, Chibi, Let’s go.” Without waiting for a reply, Dazai grabbed Chuuya by the wrist and began dragging him out of the office, intent on leaving the building for the first time in days.

Just before they exited the front lobby, Dazai caught a phone that had been thrown at him by one of the attendants behind the counter. “Don’t lose that prototype! You know May can and will trace you so she can sabotage your armory equipment!” She yelled.

“Thanks, Lena!” He returned, not looking back as he waved goodbye with the device in hand while his other tugged Chuuya behind him.

Once they were out of eyesight, the duo disappeared into the streets of Paris.

“Alright! I know it’s getting late, but I know a few places that only open at night. What do you wanna do, Chuuya?” Dazai asked, his hand still wrapped around Chuuya’s wrist but no longer pulling him to follow. “If I know a place for it that’s still open, I’ll get us there.”

“I want to go see Marie-san’s place.” Chuuya decided after a moment of consideration. “You said that their restaurant will still be open at this time, right?”

“Yep!” Dazai chirps, nodding at his companion. “They’re just a block or two up ahead.”

The brunette cheerfully leads them down a quiet street to a small establishment with a few apartments above its business.

“Oh?” Marie looks up, already grinning. “Julius! We’ve got Dazai-san incoming! His so-called friend is with him too!” She announced, having spotted the two individuals across the street.

“Marie-chan~!” Dazai entered loudly, releasing his grip around Chuuya’s wrist in favor of walking behind the counter to greet the woman with a smile and a smack which she quickly returned with the same amount of force.

“Dazai-san! Chuuya-san.” Marie nodded in greeting to the redhead. “What brings the two of you over here this evening?”

“Dinner and a walk,” Chuuya replies, completely deadpan but with a small grin on his face. “The stupid fish finally finished his paperwork and wanted to go out despite the time. I’m not complaining though. I was starting to feel cooped up in there too.”

“Ah,” She said understandingly. “Yeah. So, how long are the two of you sticking around?”

“We’ll be gone by tomorrow evening at the latest. That bastard got himself another sh*tty problem to f*cking deal with again.” Chuuya scowled at Dazai as the brunette cackled beside Marie’s cousin Julius. “Apparently, other than picking up the reins of his family’s company, sh*tty Dazai also knowingly walked straight into a f*cking trap while he was off being a damn stuntman somewhere.”

“Ah. Omerta?”

Chuuya’s head swiveled to look at the woman. “What?”

“Hmm.” Marie eyed him curiously. “So you don’t know about it yet, I see. I suppose I can explain what I can about it since I know you’re not legal. Dazai-san did talk about his past in Japan with your organization since he could talk about it freely. He didn’t tell me any real intel— just the experiences and relationships he had with the people there. He only ever mentioned approximately ten people by name and out of all of them, the two he talked about the most were a man named Sakunosuke Oda and a teen by the name of Chuuya Nakahara.” She grinned devilishly, spotting the faint blush on the other redhead’s cheeks. “But whenever he was drunk enough, even OdaSaku disappears from his thoughts, and the only one he ever starts talking about while under the influence of alcohol is Chuuya! It was really adorable how he would wax poetry about you, truly.” Marie giggled. “Of course, if you do try to build a lover’s relationship with him, I would advise you to be careful but patient. Just don’t automatically give him your heart. Start small and simple before escalating. Remember that Dazai-san is a bit emotionally dumb and he actively tries to run from his own emotions too,” She advised. “I’ll send food to your table. Go on and take care of your troublemaker.” Marie snickered as she shooed him away.

“Thanks.” Chuuya nodded before leaving her side to pull his ex-partner away from her cousin and force the brunette into a seat. He then began to scold him loudly, even smacking him a few times as he ranted at Dazai.

Meanwhile, Marie only prepared the duo’s meal. She had gotten a hint of the ginger’s culinary tastes and she had long since learned Dazai-san’s preferences when it came to food. “If soulmates were real, those two would be a pair.” She commented as she plated Chuuya’s meal.

Chuuya stared at the plate before him with some awe, having taken a tentative taste of everything he’d been served. “What the f*ck?” He turned his head to Marie who sat next to him on his left. “How the hell did you know what I like?”

“Blame your wayward idiot.” She answered, tilting her head at the brunette happily eating his own meal across from him. “He couldn’t ever keep his mouth shut about you. As soon as Dazai-san had even a single ounce of trust in us, he blabbed so much about anything and everything he cared about.” Marie added with mirth dancing in her eyes.

“And you somehow know my culinary preferences because of that?” Chuuya asked sarcastically before serving himself another bite.

“You, sir, are the type to eat anything edible and even the slightest bit tasty.” She deadpanned. “But given the chance, you prefer to have something healthy yet appropriately savory. Your time spent without easy access to a lot of food impacted you enough that you don’t really care much about what you eat but you do care about its flavor and if you have the cash for it, you don’t see a reason why you have to care about the price of the meal.”

“How the hell did you know—”

“I can just tell,” Marie interjected, a knowing look on her face. “More than half of my family came from the streets too. We may not all be blood kin, but we consider ourselves a family and that’s our most precious thing.” She made direct eye contact with Chuuya. “Some of us might not know we are family, but we still know our family. Besides, Dazai-san likes to carry too much alone. We try to do our best to counter that by picking up the heaviest loads we can and performing our best.”

Chuuya stared even as he continued to eat. He nodded to show his understanding and thanked her for the food again before turning to focus on consuming his meal.

Across from him, Dazai had already finished eating and was already requesting sweets and desserts from Marie. “C’mon, please, just one cake?”

“One cake?! Dazai-san, no!” Marie laughs as she pushes his face away from her own with both of her hands. “I can’t give you a whole cake! That’s too much sugar for how much you ate! You’ll rot your teeth! You can have just one slice, how about that?”

“A slice?! No way! I want three!”

“Still too much for just you, Dazai-san. One and half a slice of chocolate cake.”

“Five slices of chocolate cake.”

“No. A large slice of Black Forest Velvet cake and a pair of vanilla cupcakes.”

Dazai glared at her, looking like a cross between a pissed-off cat and a dissatisfied fox. Chuuya snickered quietly, trying not to break the tension. “Fine. A large slice of Black Forest Velvet cake and a pair of vanilla cupcakes.” He relented petulantly, slumping and smashing his head into the table, jostling Chuuya’s plate. “But I still want a dozen donuts to go. Exactly twelve. No more and no less.”

“Only if you take a water bottle with you when you leave.”

“Don’t worry, Marie,” Chuuya managed to say through his giggling. “I’ll make sure he takes the water with us. I’ll even force him to properly hydrate by actually drinking water instead of some other diabetic milkshake monstrosity that he likes to drink so much.”

“Chuu~ya!” Dazai whined, drawing more laughter from the mafioso and their other companion.

“Your two choices are to let Chuuya take care of you or I don’t give you any donuts at all.”

Dazai cried and wailed theatrically at the threat. To Chuuya’s amusem*nt, the brunette did not attempt to protest against her conditions for the reward of a dozen donuts. Dazai tried his best to worm his way around Marie’s restriction but ultimately conceded to the young woman’s demands with nothing more than a sigh of resignation.

Marie winks at Chuuya with a grin and a finger on her lips as if to shush him.

What the hell? Where the f*ck did the Mackerel go that he f*cking found so many people who can handle his dumbassery? Chuuya wondered, bewildered yet highly amused.

“Fine.” Dazai pouts. Then he turns his attention back to Chuuya with a grin, seeing that the mafioso finally finished eating. “Ne, Chibikko, what do you wanna do next?”

“Ooh, hold on– wait a minute for me. I’m tagging along!” Marie exclaims as she abruptly stands and runs into the back to inform someone of her plans.

“Dazai, is there an open arcade nearby?” Chuuya inquired. The brunette shot him a deadpan look. “Taking that look as confirmation. We’re going to play a few games and I want to go shopping.”

Chapter 19

Chapter Text

“What kind of products are you gonna be looking for, Chibi? Light or Shadow?”

“Hmm. Both? I don’t know.”

“I know a few places for either kind but they’re a bit scattered around the city so I need a proper answer Shortie.”

“f*ck off about my height, jackass!” Chuuya snapped.

Suddenly, Marie returns all dressed in black and red. There were also a few boxes in her hands which she passed over to Dazai. “What’s the plan for tonight? Please tell me we’re going shopping sometime tonight because I am in desperate need of ammunition. We’re taking my car.”

“Guess that answers that question,” Dazai muttered. “I do hope the car you’re talking about is the one I gave you as a congratulatory gift for passing my higher regime. And yes, we are going shopping later after a trip to the closest arcade. I’m paying and there will be no protests! I need to get rid of some cash somehow instead of letting it all sit in my bank accounts.” He declared, marching out with Marie and Chuuya.

The trio spent two hours playing games in the nearest game center together and eventually, after tens of games and collecting thousands of tickets, they got themselves souvenirs in exchange for their tickets just before they left the establishment for an Underground market (which was, amusing and ironically enough, built underneath a mall that was also open twenty-four-seven to the general public) to shop.

From there, they collected ammunition, a few spare parts (neither Marie nor Chuuya asked why Dazai wanted them— they didn’t want to know what bullsh*t chaos Dazai would cause with them), and a few new knives for both Chuuya and Marie. Once they completed their shopping spree in the Underground, Dazai led them to the legal mall and they continued to buy more stuff such as clothes, jewels, hats, a few chokers, a couple of suitcases, and souvenirs for Dazai’s friends and employees back in Yokohama.

When they were finally done, the sun was just beginning to rise up in the sky. Dazai and Chuuya said their goodbyes to Marie before returning to Zodiac where they packed away their purchases and ate breakfast. After breakfast, Dazai led his partner out with their respective suitcases in hand, and they headed for the nearest airport together. The brunette spent most of the flight informing his partner of everything the ginger wanted (and demanded) to know, easily sidestepping the taboo and restrictions that had been placed on him when he’d been dragged back into the mafia.

As soon as they stepped foot on solid ground once more in the nearest airport to Namimori, the duo was accosted by a group of teens with a baby in a suit and a fedora with an iguana. Dazai had reverted to his cursed form when their plane had landed so Chuuya was stuck with his partner sitting on his shoulder. When one of the children had tried to help him with their luggage, Chuuya glared at him before Dazai— or rather, Skull gently smacked him. The two of them were whisked away and brought to the Sawada household where Sinclair’s latest student and his set introduced themselves.

Once the introductions were out of the way, Skull had been pushed to train the group’s own Amethyst despite his protests. However, as soon as Chuuya, Skull, and Kyouka Hibari were away from the rest of the group, Skull sighed with relief before dragging the Hibari over to the nearest forest while Chuuya followed behind them. Of course, during their walk, Hibari kept attacking the shrunken form of the Cloud Arcobaleno who only kept taunting him as he smoothly dodged every attempt and smacked the teen himself for every miss.

“Ne, Hibari-chan, what’s your deal with Sawada-chan? Are you two dating or something? You seem to care for him a lot. Too much to blame it on your Cloud instincts, so don’t even try that excuse!” Skull teased, giggling.

The teen paused as his face flushed with embarrassment. “That’s not it!” He protested, growling and snatching a rock from the ground and hurling it at the cursed “baby”.

“Your face says otherwise!” Skull laughed. He didn’t mention the fact that he was using his flames to scan the teen in secret while keeping him distracted with small talk. “What? Are you gonna bite me to death so I won’t blab to your little, precious ‘Small Animal’? I mean, you two would look interesting together, better than with that clueless girl anyway. Hmph. I might have once had that same kind of naivety before I joined the mafia but even I picked up the plot quickly after getting thrown into deadly situations with guns and explosives!” He whined childishly, leaning on his appearance and determinedly ignoring the subtle hitch he noticed in Chuuya’s breathing pattern.

At the mention of Tsunayoshi Sawada and his little girlfriend-to-be, Hibari’s face hardens but doesn’t lose the red tint on his cheeks. Instead, he lunges for the Cloud Arcobaleno again and manages to grab the baby-fied adult by his leg. “Shut up.” Hibari snarled, finally pulling out one of his infamously known tonfas despite Tsuna Sawada’s pleading earlier that afternoon.

“Make me!” Skull challenged him, baring his teeth right back at the vicious look the teen shot him.

“Oi, sh*tty Mackarel!” Chuuya yelled, drawing their attention. “Why don’t you actually train him instead of just playing with the little brat? I know you were harsher on Akutagawa when you trained him! And unlike the kid, this one doesn’t have an illness!”

Skull took off his helmet and rolled his eyes at the ginger. “I was testing his capabilities, impatient chibi.” He clicked his tongue in annoyance. “He doesn’t need much training anyway— unless he actually wants to be a cool, tough mafioso but I highly doubt Sawada-chan will allow that to happen since the little Amber does want to drag his current affiliated Familgia back to its roots.” Skull huffed, kicking the teen away again when he tried for another blow… which Skull merely redirected away from his small body. “But if you’re so bored, why don’t you play with him? Without the use of any supernatural abilities, of course.”

Hibari’s focus shifted toward the ginger as soon as Skull voiced his suggestion and was already aiming to strike the short man (not the shrunk one) with his tonfas. “For f*ck’s sake—” Chuuya cursed, frantically dodging the teen, unprepared and startled at the sudden attack.

“Have fun beating each other up as training!” Skull cackled. “And ‘Baki, I’ve been told he’s good at martial arts. Quite skilled at combat too. Do with that information as you please!” He added.

A feral grin spread across Chuuya’s face as he grabbed the boy’s tonfas and stopped his strike. “Oh? Well, I have been feeling bored following you around lately.” He mused. The redhead stole Hibari’s tonfas and tossed them over to the small form of his partner. “C’mon, then kid. Show me what you got!” He smirked at the youth, presenting a challenge to him. “If you’re good enough, I’ll give you some help getting better.”

“Try not to destroy the entire area, you two! We’ll get in trouble with Sawada-san and Reborn by extension!” Skull exclaimed, settling down on a nearby boulder with Hibari’s tonfas and a few knives. Somehow, in the time it took for Chuuya to talk (read: taunt/challenge) Hibari, Skull had retrieved the teen’s weapons from where the ginger had tossed them and had also managed to pickpocket the Executive without alerting him while he stole the short mafioso of his deadlier weapons.

Roughly two hours pass until the battle between Chuuya Nakahara and Kyouka Hibari finally comes to an end. By then, both fighters were battered, the younger more so than the older. Chuuya had also decided to forgo walking and had begun using his Ability to fly while Hibari struggled to get his feet back under him until the redhead took pity on him and extended his influence over to the teen. Skull, for his part, had woken up from his long nap to call off the end of their match. He hopped off his spot with the confiscated weapons in his hold which he’d returned to their owners by tossing Chuuya his knives and pouch of bullets (which the ginger had immediately put away) and gently handing the exhausted boy his tonfas.

“Ne, Hibari-san, I’m kinda amazed you managed to keep up with Chibikko for so long,” Skull commented, walking on the forest floor. “Most can’t manage 3 minutes against him, even without the use of his power over gravity. I think the hatrack might come to visit you sometime after we leave.”

Hibari grunted to express his understanding and scowled. Chuuya chuckled. “Hey, don’t feel so bad about it. You proved to me you were better than a lot of my enemies despite being quite a few years younger than them. I haven’t had as much fun as I did sparring with you today in years!”

“You two go on ahead to Sawada-san’s house. I have something to check on but I’ll be there before dinner ends!” Skull promises Chuuya before swiftly disappearing off somewhere before the ginger can protest.

“That damn bastard!” Chuuya screams as he’s, once again, ghosted by his former partner in crime. “If I wasn’t so damn exhausted, I’d strangle that little sh*t! But,” He turned to look at the teen. “I really did have fun sparring with you today. You were good. Unfortunately, it seems that only that sh*tty mackerel even has a glimmer of a chance to be able to keep up with me in a serious fight without problems. And before you protest or hiss at me, you cannot deny the fact that I held the upper hand over you the whole time.” Hibari hesitantly nodded in agreement. Chuuya sighed. “C’mon then. Tell me the directions to the kid’s house, I’ll fly us both there.”

About an hour later, as Skull had promised Chuuya, he (loudly) returned to his side in the middle of dinner. Thought compared to the chaos already made by the teens and Reborn, Skull hadn’t done much other than accidentally scare Tsuna when he bounced into the room, landed in front of the brunette with a boisterous yell directed toward Chuuya, and proceeded to get shot at by his fellow cursed Arcobaleno before the ginger mafioso could react. Cue the bullet-dodging routine between the two Arcobaleno.

“Why?” Tsuna sighed, despair written all over his face as he stared at the scene blankly. Chuuya, having heard him, turned his head to look at the poor kid. “Why am I still alive just to suffer?” He muttered gloomily, trying to finish his meal quickly while everyone else focused on the chaos.

Chuuya snorted. “If you want peace kid, you’ll have to grow a backbone of steel and actually take control of your subordinates instead of letting them run wild.” He advised him, taking a swig of his wine. “Otherwise, you can say goodbye to your peace forever. And if you’re stuck in a cage or a seal, f*cking get rid of that sh*t so you can get to work on keeping yourself alive. In the world of the Underworld, where death, influence, and power are all pillars of power, only you can choose which of the three and how much of it you need to use to keep yourself and your family safe and alive for as long as possible. Mafia doesn’t always mean monsters, kid. Sometimes, they stand for guards when true villains rise to commit chaos and pointless massacres.”

“...I see.”

Chapter 20

Chapter Text

Chuuya scoffed at his reply. “No, kid, you don’t see. Not yet at least.” He shook his head. “Make your choice, one you don’t and won’t regret before it’s made for you. And from what I know, you haven’t got much time left and you’re beginning to lose potential choices before you even learn about them. Start being proactive and grow a spine, brat. Unless you want your friends to die. Once they enter the mafia, there won’t be a way out for them.”

“... Hai.”

The next day, Chuuya, Skull, and Hibari returned to the same clearing they had claimed the day before. This time, instead of toying with the teen, Skull had gone straight into correcting the younger Cloud’s holes and went straight into teaching him how to fight to protect instead of how to hunt.

Interestingly enough, they were joined by both Reborn and Tsuna after lunch. Reborn had greeted them, or rather, Skull with a few bullets. After the first shot, however, Chuuya activated Upon the Tainted Sorrow and pulled the bullets to his person instead of allowing them to make their way to Skull. “Oi, I don’t f*cking know what damned sh*thole you came from, asshole, but in my experience, nobody f*cking greets anybody with a f*cking bullet,” Chuuya says, narrowing his eyes at the cursed hitman. Then his phone rang, loudly announcing its presence in the clearing. The redhead pulls out his device, glances at the display for a moment, sighs, and promptly answers the phone. “Yes, Ane-san? What do you need?” A pause. “Eh? Seriously?... Oi, vagabond! Ane-san’s calling for you!”

“Hai, hai.” Skull trots over, removes his helmet, and takes Chuuya’s offered phone. “Ane-san! Hope you’re doing well this fine day, but why are you calling for me?... Did your people manage to get a name?” Suddenly, Skull’s face (despite the makeup) pales.

That’s not good, Chuuya thinks. Something is definitely wrong.

“That’s a problem.” He says, his face looking like he was ready to run or rage and decimate something. “Ane-san, would you mind passing a message to both Mori and f*ckuzawa-shachou for me?... Thank you… I’d like you to inform them to find a way to stall a damn rat as much as they possibly can until I get there. I don’t care what they do but try to keep the count on Yokohama’s side as low as possible so the rat doesn’t run off before I can come to dispose of him. I will also be sending information and my personal data to help. This problem will be putting the lives of everyone in Yokohama regardless of association… Yes, Ane-san, I’m certain. As for my own forces, you don’t have to worry about them. They’ve already begun assembling themselves and are currently keeping a very close eye on Dostoevsky and his little pets.” With that, he returned Chuuya’s phone and marched over to Reborn. “Hibari-san will be enough of a challenge for the Varia but teach him restraint, Reborn-senpai. I predict that his opponent will have a surprise.”

“Oi, sh*tty mackerel,” Chuuya interjected, cutting in before the others could recover from the sudden change in the Cloud Arcobaleno’s behavior. “What did Ane-san tell you? And who the f*ck is ‘Dostoevsky’?”

“I’ll tell you on the way back to Yokohama, Nakahara.” Skull replies, already turning to leave. Chuuya, having discussed their exit signal during their flight back to Japan (they agreed it should be his surname since Dazai never called him by his surname), nodded seriously, scooped up the chibi, and started running.

“You’re lucky I didn’t unpack any of our sh*t. Otherwise, we’d be having a problem right now.” Chuuya scowled.

“First, we get to Yokohama without having children follow us there. I doubt they’ll have time to do anything about our vanishing act from here anyway due to their upcoming challenge.”

“... Alright.”

Chuuya and Dazai arrived at Yokohama in record time. Just as Dazai had told him, the ex-mafioso informed his shorter companion about their Ane-san’s call and further filled in the gaps between their information by providing context without the gravity manipulator having to force it out of him like their routine used to be.

“Well…” Chuuya let out a deep breath. “You were busy while you went on vacation, huh, Dazai?” He chuckled.

“I’ll have you know now that I had not left the Port Mafia to look for trouble,” Dazai claimed petulantly, pouting. “I might use OdaSaku’s death as the last straw but I had more than one reason to leave and none of them were to look for more problems to stick my nose in! And in case your abandonment issues decide to try kicking you down, I didn’t exactly leave you and our partnership behind. I was leaving the Port Mafia, my abusive environment— despite having chosen to hide in its ranks once, and you just happened to be a part of the organization. I did not intend to leave you behind, but I also did not want to force you to choose between two of your loyalties.”

Chuuya stared at his partner, eyes as wide as they could be. “... What?” He asked quietly, no louder than a whisper.

The brunette averted his eyes and shoved one of his hands into his coat pockets to hide them. Dazai started walking off, dragging his suitcase behind him as he skittishly made his way to WolfStorm, almost leaving behind Chuuya in his haste. (The redhead just followed him out of habit.)

Despite there being no clear indication of trouble occurring in Yokohama when they arrived, signs of an upcoming storm were freely shown in the Armed Detective Agency office and the backroom of Dazai’s cafe which had closed early. (Clearly, Dazai’s information network worked a lot faster in alerting everyone of their return than anyone else in the Port Mafia’s surveillance web. (No, they weren’t. They were just big gossipers that Dazai utilized, trained, and repurposed to be his surveillance team. And you know what some people say, gossip travels quicker than a report.))

Both the office and the backroom were a mess, both its people and the papers inside. As soon as Dazai had stepped foot in the Agency, he was hastily greeted and pushed into f*ckuzawa’s office where he had a quick meeting with the Agency’s President before he was just as swiftly kicked out of the office after being told to check on his employees.

Once he was out of the Agency’s establishment, Dazai had been snatched up by Akira who had been passing by with a box in his arms. “Welcome back, Dazai-san! Before you ask, the others are already in the back and we closed the cafe early today. That rat you’ve been playing with for a while is about to reach its due date so I recommend you exterminate the pest. But that’s just my opinion.”

Dazai nodded and opened the door for Akira, who thanked him as he walked in. Upon seeing that no one else had noticed their entrance, Dazai clapped his hands together in a familiar cadence. He was automatically answered with a single clap from everyone except Chuuya in the room followed by a sharp snap. “We’re back~!” He singsonged, grinning at them brightly. “So, how about we clean up this mess, organize, and we can begin our debriefing session? Yes?”

“Hai!”

Less than ten minutes later, Dazai and Chuuya were sitting together with a packet in front of them consisting of thirteen pages with print on both sides of each leaf of paper. While Dazai’s employees gave them their reports (and passed information from their network), Dazai took the lead and listened to them while simultaneously teaching his partner how to properly read written reports from his subordinates and those they trained after his defection. (He could tell that his partner was already dreading having to go over four years worth of reports from his subordinates just to make sure he didn’t miss anything they might’ve hidden between the lines.) Of course, there were times when Dazai cut into their ramble, trying to get more about a detail before allowing them to continue forward, but for the most part, it was a smooth session.

“Alright, that’s everything on the Port Mafia, the Agency, the Guild, Yokohama, and minor gangs in the area.” Dazai acknowledged, tapping the table with his pen as he closed it. “Let’s take a quick dinner break before we talk about Dostoevsky and his pets. Are we all getting takeout or do we have enough ingredients in the fridge for me to make us all something to eat?”

“The kitchen’s fully stocked, Dazai.” Ichigo chirps, flipping through his packet of twenty pages. “Feel free to cook. Otherwise, I might have to put this down and cook dinner myself.”

Dazai whirled around and hissed, glaring at the redhead. “Stay the f*ck out of my kitchen, you disaster! Both you and Izuku are the worst when it comes to cooking and I refuse to allow you to burn down my cafe. Even if it’s by accident!” Then he disappeared into the kitchen to cook.

“I got better!” Ichigo protests, pouting.

“No! You stay the f*ck away from the kitchen!” Akira nearly howled, slapping his seatmate when he tried to stand. “The last time you tried to f*cking cook, not only did you burn the food into sh*tty charcoal, but you also f*cking nearly killed us via burning alive inside our shared apartment!”

Suddenly, a body flies through the cafe’s windows.

“Someone call either the cops or a Brute from next door.” Kosuke sighed. “I won’t be dealing with that sh*t today.”

“One of our Cleaners is still sober next door at the bar,” Izuku announced nonchalantly, not bothering to look up from his book. “Actually, there’s three of them there. Last I checked, one was dragged there for a party by their colleagues at work while the other two are there to keep an eye on the little kiddie group that Dazai pseudo-adopted about three years ago.”

Ichigo fiddles with his phone to send someone a quick text. “Weren’t they picked up off the streets by him? A little like the Akutagawa situation— the siblings, not just the brother—” He clarifies when he spots the mildly alarmed look on Chuuya’s face. “How old is the older of the group again? Last I checked, the oldest is supposed to be in high school now.”

“College, you idiot.” Kosuke corrected, smacking him. “The oldest is in college studying Business as their major and Baking as their minor. They graduated from high school early, remember? The first pair of twins are in their last year of high school and one of them chose to try being a magician. The other one’s chosen to be an engineer.”

“Didn’t they say something about a squad or something for Dazai? I heard that one of the 9-year-olds somehow got their hands on a gun, got it modified by the engineer-hopeful to shoot darts and needles instead of true bullets, and is currently walking around shooting or knocking out the stalkers following their siblings or friends.” Izuku snorts.

Chuuya’s head swivels toward Izuku, surprise written all over his face. “What? Wait, you’re telling me that Dazai adopted kids and they’re all stable?”

Chapter 21

Chapter Text

“As stable as any one of them can get from living on the streets.” Izuku nods. “At least three of them are unhinged. Who chooses to be a civilian magician and moonlight as a thief? He’s even managed to pull his twin into it because they somehow procured a three-level basem*nt which they turned into a Kid Cave.” Izuku deadpans the name. “Kid Cave. The little sh*t literally calls himself Kid and someone from the police force apparently names him Kaito, which makes his thief title Kaito Kid. And you know what he goes hunting for? Stolen jewelry, old antiques, sold or lost family heirlooms, and— get this— displayed art! Specifically, the ones depicting either him or something he has stolen.” He rants, looking highly incensed and slightly offended.

Akira bursts into laughter. “Are you serious?”

“Deadly serious.” Izuku snarls. “He even has a detective running around after him! What’s worse, is that when I volunteered to supervise from a distance, I had to f*cking watch the two bastards dance around each other like the heist was just their kind of foreplay! Which— fine— isn’t the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen a teenager do. However, I would like to add context that the little brat apparently invites his little rival and taunts him like Dazai used to do to Chuuya and f*cking lights up like some Christmas tree when his playmate trades insults and matches wits with him!”

“That’s hilarious!” Ichigo cackled, folding over.

“Did you check the kid’s rival’s background?” Kosuke prodded, a gleefully mischievous troublemaker smile plastered across his face. “Please tell me you did!”

Izuku turned to him with a scowl. “Of course I did!” He exclaimed. “The other brat’s practically a second, younger Ranpo Edogawa with less of an ego, a love for Sherlock Holmes, and a different color! A poster child for law enforcement— specifically private detectives.”

Hysterical laughter fills the room. It goes on for five minutes before Dazai returns to announce dinner. “Oh, and yeah. About Kai’s thievery and little dance with his favorite private detective, I already knew about it. I have also met and talked to said detective and we play games together every three weeks! Conan-kun’s fun. No, I did not haze him but I did give Kai a little scare by bringing him along when I went to visit Conan-kun!” Then the brunette slips back into the kitchen whistling a cheerful tune as he leaves.

“He knows?!” Izuku explodes, nearly marching to demand more information if it were not for Kosuke’s grip on his wrist, preventing him from going too far from his partner. “Dazai! Get back here and explain!”

“Nope~!” came Dazai’s reply. Chuuya snorted, finally getting up to join the former mafia executive to help move their dinner out and onto the table.

After an hour and a half of dinner and procrastinating due to the sensation of a full stomach, the group cleans up and regroups around the four tables that had been pushed together to create a large enough table to hold all the paper, pens, highlighters, and laptops the six of them had.

Suddenly, a sigh from Dazai breaks the silence. He drops the pen in his hand and plants his head on the table. “I will forever regret not having killed that rat early when I first saw him on that day.” He groaned. “But I couldn’t leave Chuuya alone, so unfortunately, he’s still around and unless someone manages to kill him without needing my help in bringing his expiration date early— which is currently near impossible for anyone but myself at this point— then there’s really nothing I can do without going too far by using everyone I know. Doing so would cause me to break my promise to OdaSaku and I don’t desire to be an oathbreaker.” Dazai carefully picks his head up and scowls, glaring at the papers in front of him. “I’ll gladly break a promise to a living bastard but not to a dead man.” He adds.

“By the way, boss,” Izuku perks up, turning his attention to the brunette. “Why didn’t you just clean up your record like you did ours?”

“It was in his cards.” Akira deadpanned. “I know you read the one he left you, so shouldn’t you already know that? It literally said, ‘I’m going on a vacation with a cop! Don’t look for me!’ with a little doodle of a smiley face emoji.”

“Huh?! But I thought he was kidding!” He says loudly.

“Technically, he did not, in fact, joke about ‘going on vacation with a cop’. Dazai actually did go on a trip with one. In fact, Dazai led said cop to several crimes!” Kosuke informs them, snickering. “Then Dazai turned it into a thing where he’d bump into a cop, play around with them by leading them around to several crime scenes, and then skip out of the investigation by somehow connecting the perpetrator of the crime back to the crimes Dazai had led the police to.”

“It was, in hindsight, probably one of the funniest yet largely harmless plots I’ve put into action,” Dazai commented, amused. “I still do it in other cities whenever I stick around for longer than a week and have time to mess around. Last I checked, they still keep a photo of my secret identities in the stations with a note to follow me if I physically hit them with anything. Yes, that includes hitting them with animals.”

“What? Why?” Chuuya asked.

The brunette refused to meet his eyes as he admitted, “I may or may not have once sent a cat on a mission with a cop or two.” He promptly pulled out a snack and stuffed his mouth with some food.

Chuuya gaped at him. “Where the f*ck were you hiding that? Actually, what I wanna f*cking know is why the hell you’re eating again! Didn’t we just f*cking eat an hour or two earlier?! How the f*cking hell are you already hungry again?!”

“Chuuya,” Dazai started, turning his head to look the short redhead in the eye with an expression that practically transmitted his thoughts about his questions. “I know you can be slow, but I’m a genius with an IQ above 200. I was virtually left to my devices without anyone watching me. I know you know how I get when I’m bored. As for my snack, there were only so many things I took interest in until I got tired of learning about the same thing over and over again. Obviously, I learned how to perform a few magic tricks while I was away. Though I mostly learned because I wanted to use smoke bombs and magician tricks to humiliate the cops.” He let out an amused snigg*r as he stared off at the ceiling, remembering his little games.

“I heard that the Intelligence branch is still looking into your escapades,” Izuku added. “At this point, they’ve turned it into a game of who can find a trace of you wherever you went.”

“Hah? Is that so? I should ask for their file when I get the chance then.” Chuuya absently noted.

Dazai bursts into laughter. “If you don’t mind, pass them a little message of ‘Good luck’ from me, won’t you, Chibikko? Feel free to also inform them that they’ve only scratched the surface of my side identities with their search.”

“What?!” Izuku snaps up. “Last I checked, they’ve already had to dedicate an entire drawer and a half for your files in the warehouse!” He exclaimed with disbelief coloring his voice. “How is that only the minimum?!”

“They haven’t found out about the time I was dragged back into the mafia after all. That was a mess and a half.” Despite the former mafia executive’s amusem*nt, there was some horror in his tone too. “And that’s coming from me, the Harbringer of Chaos! I do have to admit that I was under the guise of being a civilian stunt driver at the time when they nabbed me but the mere fact that I was a civilian showman should have at least drawn some attention from my forced acquaintances! The Intelligence branch hasn’t found out about the movies I’ve starred in either.” He shrugged.

At the mention of being an actor, everyone’s head snapped toward the tall brunette. Chuuya whips out his phone and punches his finger onto a contact he knew was part of Dazai’s Intelligence class. He starts talking as soon as the call is picked up on the other side and puts it on loudspeaker immediately. “I have just found out with—”

“Ichigo, Kosuke, Izuku, and Akira.” Akira provided helpfully.

“— that Dazai has apparently starred in movies and was a stunt driver at some point.”

A beat. Then something in the background crashes as someone lets out a loud screech. “What?! H-Hold on. Okay, I just put this call on loudspeaker— Could you please repeat that? I don’t think I heard it right.”

“Dazai has starred in movies and was a stunt driver at some point during his time away from the Port Mafia.” Chuuya dutifully repeated.

Another moment of silence passes before the sounds of pandemonium erupt on the other side. But despite the chaos, they all heard one explicit declaration: “We are binge-watching every movie released since Dazai-sama left the Port Mafia!”

“Good luck looking for me~!” Dazai cheered them on, giggling. “I’ll be nice and give everyone a few hints. I once had to be the CEO of a large company in one movie and a mafia boss in another! Less than half of my roles were as a background or supporting character, and whenever I was a lead actor, my roles were as the female lead when I wasn’t the lead antagonist!”

“What?! Ho—”

“Oh for f*ck’s sake! Dazai-san—”

“sh*t! No wonder there’s been an increase in mafia-related movies these past few years! Dazai-sama’s been working in movie productions—”

Delighted with the chaos he unleashed, Dazai hums happily in his seat with his legs swinging childishly and a wide sharky grin on his face. “One last thing for tonight! I’ve also been in the model industry for a few months too! Bye~!” He then cheekily pressed the dismissal button to cut the call. “It’s late and I’m sure everyone’s exhausted, so let’s all call it a night, yeah?”

Without waiting for a reply, the brunette stands and gathers his papers then begins to walk into his office where he locks away the paperwork in a safe hidden behind his locker. His actions prompt the others to do the same except Chuuya whom Dazai provides a case to carry his papers home in.

The walk to Dazai’s building was quiet with the sound of the street and Yokohama’s nightlife being the only noise they heard. When Dazai and Chuuya reached the door of Dazai’s apartment, neither of them had the energy to do more than prepare for bed and turn in for the night.

As they lay in bed, there was a moment of silence before Dazai spoke up. “Let me know if you want me to share the flash drive I keep copies of the movies I participated in with you. I’m not showing you any photos from my modeling career though. You can go hunting for those yourself.”

“Sure, Mackerel,” Chuuya huffs. “I’ll do that when this mess is over.” Then he drags Dazai closer to himself, yawns, and wraps his arms around his bedmate, treating the brunette like some stuffed toy. “Go to sleep, sh*tty Dazai.”

“Good night, Chuuya.” Dazai whispers before closing his eyes, shifting to wrap Chuuya in a loose embrace, and finally surrendering to his exhaustion with a small, secret smile.

The following morning, Chuuya wakes first and rises with the sun. He rouses quietly and doesn’t move, having since adjusted to sleeping next to his old partner again after years of having slept alone. He basks in the silence of a peaceful morning and the feeling of warmth by his side.

Chapter 22

Chapter Text

Ten minutes after Chuuya’s awakening, Dazai began to stir from slumber, softly groaning as he sluggishly tried to free himself from the redhead’s hold while only still half awake. “Ah?” Finally noticing that he wasn’t alone in his bed, Dazai looked down and was met with the amused blue of Chuuya’s eyes. “Chibi?”

“Hey there, sh*tty Dazai,” Chuuya smirks, watching him.

Dazai blinks. “What time is it?” He asks, his mind still slow to process.

“About ten minutes past sunrise.” Chuuya releases his hold on Dazai’s waist and scoots out of bed. “Now, get up. You’re coming with me and waiting with Ane-san while I go submit my report.”

“No.” Dazai groaned, turning to try and burrow himself further into the mattress.

“You either get up and make yourself decent for today,” Chuuya paused. “Or I’ll dress you, force-feed you breakfast, drag you out of this apartment with me, and bring you with me into Mori’s office where you will have to stay by my side while I do my report.”

At that ultimatum, Dazai froze. “You wouldn’t.” He breathed shakily, a look of horror on his face as he stared at the mafioso who only smirked in reply. “Chuuya. You wouldn’t.” He repeated uncertainly.

“If it gets you moving, I would and will.” Chuuya grinned unapologetically.

“Evil.” Dazai nearly hissed as he reluctantly pulled himself out of bed with a scowl. “Wh

y do I have to go with you anyway? I have to work at the cafe today so it’s not like I’m going to vanish and run off somewhere. Not voluntarily anyway. There are some rare moments that I cannot account for with Fedya running around freely in Yokohama.” Dazai admitted sourly.

Chuuya chuckled. “Fine. Give me a good reason why I should go without you to headquarters and I’ll just escort you to your cafe before I head into HQ to report to Mori.” He bargained.

“I can’t promise not to shoot Mori-san to the edge of death if I walk into his office,” Dazai said shamelessly. “He had a hand in Odasaku’s death. While Ango might’ve had a minor part in his death, Mori-san purposely allowed Mimic to enter Yokohama and set Odasaku in front of them on purpose. Ango was only a spy who had been doing his job. I cannot fault him for it but I still no longer like him as much as I used to.”

“... Fair enough.” Chuuya relented, eliciting a sigh of relief from the tall brunette.

Neither Dazai nor Chuuya saw each other again that week since the short redhead dropped off his former partner in crime at WolfStar. During the afternoon that day, Fyodor Dostoevsky had made his move by personally kidnapping Osamu Dazai whilst the brunette was working on catching up with his paperwork and culinary research for the cafe.

It wasn’t until one of Dazai’s agents picked up on the subtle and near-forgotten signal the former mafioso had made during his struggle which had been witnessed and recorded by the hidden cameras in his office that they had any progress in verifying the Dazai’s status. According to the Intelligence branch of Dazai’s former faction, Dazai had predicted his kidnapping as a possible action for Dostoevsky to take and that he would come out of the ordeal alive and mostly intact.

Both the Covert and Intelligence branches were put in charge of everything by Chuuya who was thankful he had Dazai give him a crash course in handling his system and the shorter reports. Fortunately for the redhead, it meant that not only did he have time to spare despite having been given more responsibilities than the other Executives, but it also meant that Chuuya could have time for himself to check on his affairs, including searching the internet for some photos of Dazai during his stint as a stuntman and a model with the help of Sunset, the AI that his missing ex-partner had given him as an apology gift.

The first one to find Dazai’s location had been Sunset and Chuuya had immediately informed everyone of his location and shared how he knew though he did say that he would explain how he had acquired Sunset after they recovered his former partner. At the reminder of Dazai’s predicament, no one argued.

They found the brunette tied and chained in an underground basem*nt of an abandoned warehouse a few miles off of Yokohama. “You found me!” Dazai greeted them with a weak grin. “What took you so long, Slug? Oh, and watch your step!” He added. “The rat planted a ton of traps around the area. Wouldn’t want anyone to trip on one and accidentally kill themselves.”

Chuuya’s brow twitched in unison with Kunikida’s who had come to retrieve the brunette with the executive and a couple of Dazai’s runaway crew. “sh*tty Dazai, if you’re not on this goddamn side of this sh*tty basem*nt in 20 minutes, I’ll f*cking shoot your skinny ass!” He threatened, already pulling out a few bullets from his pocket.

“Would he be able to make it?” Kunikida asked Ichigo. “Dazai did say there were hidden traps.”

“Eh, it depends entirely on whether or not Dazai saw them.” He replied with a shrug. “And if he’s up to dancing over here.”

Kunikida turned to look at the cafe employee. “Dance?”

“Perhaps you’ll see what I mean by ‘dancing’ tonight.” Ichigo hummed. A wicked smirk appears on his lips and he takes a deep breath. “Oi, Boss! If you get yourself out and over this side of the hall, I promise you can take the month off! I’ll even personally manage the business in the cafe so your paperwork won’t stack too high!” He added.

“You’re bribing him?!” Chuuya exclaimed with a look of annoyance on his face.

Ichigo smirked. “It’s either I bribe him with something he might want or I serve his enemy’s head to him on a silver platter. Depending on how much he hates them, it could mean granting him an opening to destroy said opponent, torture them, down to literally gifting him the decapitated head of his current enemy on an actual metal platter.” Then he began to emit a sinister aura that Chuuya had only ever seen Dazai’s students or his trained subordinates ever create. “While Oda-san might have left this world and influenced Dazai-sama to resort to less lethal methods, we never made the promise. Despite his claims, Dazai understands that killing is sometimes necessary and can be an act of good despite it also being a terrible thing to do. Thanks to having a pseudo therapist in a couple of his friends in France, he has learned how to be more sensitive— in a positive manner, not a negative one!” He quickly inserted when he noticed the way his words could have been deciphered.

“Oh.” The short mafioso blinked. He turned to look back at the dark hall with a thoughtful look for a moment before opening his mouth to scream again. “Oi Dazai! I’ll f*cking make you something to eat if you f*cking move your goddamn ass out of there so we can get back to kicking that rat’s ass!”

There was a pause in the air.

Tink! … Bam. Boom.

Chuuya, Ichigo, and Kunikida started as a part of the ceiling above Dazai collapsed. The brunette was free from his chains, however, he had also pulled too hard the thick restraints in his rush that it had also taken down parts of the ceiling with it. The former executive mafioso had also dodged the debris with such ease that he had almost appeared to be dancing as he avoided falling concrete.

Dazai blinked twice. “Oops.” He winced as another block of concrete hit the floor. “I miscalculated the amount of effort required. I am, unfortunately, closer to regaining my full strength than I predicted. Tch. It was probably the stupid Slug’s fault.” He muttered loudly with a small scowl.

“Oi!” Chuuya protested. “I didn’t do anything to you, bastard!”

“I know you kept feeding me more food during our little vacation in France than my diet plan allowed!” The brunette shot back as he marched over, twirling, twisting, and jumping to avoid the booby traps that had been set and left active.

Within moments, Dazai reached Chuuya’s side with a grin. “Let’s go!” The brunette then dragged the short redhead out and they left both Kunikida and Ichigo behind in the warehouse basem*nt.

Kunikida blinked, looking simultaneously awed and devastated. Laughing, Ichigo followed the duo out while dragging the detective with him. “I suspect you understand why I described him to ‘dance’ now, right?” He asked, giggling. The blonde man nodded, still dazed.

Two hours later, Soukoku was spotted briefly in a donut shop before running off somewhere and vanishing again. Though Dazai’s subordinates all noticed that the duo was still able to make online purchases which they couldn’t trace.

When they finally reemerged from their bolt room, there was no sign of Fyodor Dostoevsky or the rat’s lackeys in Yokohama. Of the confirmed allies of the psychopathic Russian genius, only one was left relatively unbothered— a three-year-old man who had been created by the Book according to the rumors of his origin.

“Oh for f*ck’s sake, Mackerel, I told you to take the f*cking day off!” Chuuya snapped, smacking the brunette’s uninjured arm, uncaring of the peanut gallery they had watching them which consisted of the Port Mafia, the Armed Detective Agency, and Dazai’s defected faction.

“But Chibikko—”

“No.”

“Chuuya—”

“I f*cking said no, you brat!”

Dazai sulked but finally relented with one last comment. “Mean.”

Chuuya twists one of his ears in retribution a moment before releasing the brunette and taking notice of everyone else. He blinked. “What?”

Most of the group averted their eyes away from the duo.

“Ahem.” Mori cleared his throat, finally taking over the atmosphere of the room.

“Demon Fyodor will no longer be an issue for Yokohama,” Dazai interjected before the boss of the Port Mafia could address anything further. “He and his little lackeys have gone somewhere for… a little vacation.” A sinister grin nearly split the brunette’s face as he recounted the moment he had pushed off the Russian and his group for the other Arcobaleno, Vongola X, and the Carcassa to use.

“By the vicious look on your face Boss, I think I’ve decided that I do not want to know any details.” Kosuke declared, eyeing him apprehensively. “But against my better judgment, I will ask you for some surface-level details.”

Beside him, Izuku and Akira facepalmed. Ichigo rolled his eyes to look up with an expression of being done with everything on his face. Yuri and Yuki— both of whom had been dragged to the meeting by Hirotsu on the grounds of being two of Dazai’s oldest and some of his closest subordinates— snickered.

(And if Yuri and Yuri had been at the scene when the ex-executive had sent Fyodor and his fellow rats off, no one important had to know about it.)

Chapter 23

Chapter Text

“Oh, it’s nothing too bad. I just sent them to Italy, France, and a different part of Japan for some of my… acquaintances to use as playtoys! Or training dummies.” Dazai smirked smugly. “Besides friendly gifts in the mafia— no, not the Port Mafia. I mean the Underworld— is uncommon. Due to my status in the mafia— again, I mean the Underworld, not the PM— people love getting my presents! Unless I push out a warning first.” He added. “That’s a different story entirely.”

Izuku perks up. “Oh? I did some research on the Underworld a long time ago before I joined the Port Mafia, so I might know some stuff but how far are you? Omerta?”

“Vindice,” Dazai replied easily. Twin grins appeared on both of their faces. “Color, Element, and Association? I’m a Pure Cloud with some reversed traits.”

“Red-Violet Lightning.” He admitted. “I do have a mix of traits and some are reversed but as for association, you know you’re the only one I got. Last I checked, a quarter of our faction are also Active Flames with a whole third of the other three-quarters having the potential to unlock theirs. Of the runaways, half of the Actives followed you out and nearly two-fifths of the Passives ran too.”

A beat of tense and confused silence enveloped the room before the two began cackling madly together, unnerving and scaring everyone else who had no idea of what they were discussing.

“Wonderful! Ne, have you heard of the Arcobaleno?” Dazai inquired after they finished laughing. “As for the rest of you, don’t you two organizations have negotiations to do or whatever your two leaders called all of us here for?”

At Dazai’s statement, both Mori and f*ckuzawa were startled as they remembered why they had called the meeting. Nearly everyone put a pin on Izuku and Dazai’s strange conversation though some also noticed that Chuuya looked to have some idea of the meaning behind their peculiar code.

It takes the Agency and the Mafia two hours and a half to completely settle their joint affairs. By the time the two organizations finished their talk, the sun had already set and the moon was bright in the sky. Dazai and his employees at WolfStorm cafe were passed out on a huge nest on the floor made of pillows, cushions, blankets, and a few futons. The group of five had been joined by Kenji, Kyoka, Atsushi, Junichiro, and Naomi of the Agency as well as Q, Gin, and Akutagawa of the Port Mafia. Yuki, Yuri, Chuuya, and Higuchi had gravitated to the sleeping group as well, however, they had taken a more protective position instead of joining them in the nest, acting like some kind of guard for the small group.

As soon as Mori had stopped talking, finally done with the negotiations, Dazai began to awaken, starting with slowly opening one eye. “Finally done?” He yawned, glancing around.

“Finally up, Mackerel?” Chuuya quipped, taking a step into the brunette’s line of (limited) sight and crouching. “Had a nice nap?”

Before he could utter a reply, Twilight suddenly appeared from Dazai’s false eye, startling everyone but the tall brunette. “Osamu, one of your unsavory cousins has unknowingly infiltrated one of your grounds. He brought his son, your nephew with him.”

“Which one?”

“The one whom you commonly refer to as The–Bastard-Who-Can’t-Take-Rejection-At-All. His son does not seem to have the same opinions as his sire and has expressed repeatedly his desire to return home.”

Dazai’s face darkens. “I see.” He blinks, causing Twilight’s image to disappear for a moment before returning. “If he had done this a few years ago, I would’ve killed the moron without a second thought.” He grumbled. “Just isolate him in a room for a few hours. I’ll drop by to smack him later. As for his son, just lead him into the playroom— the regular one, not the advanced one.”

“Could I take care of it for you then, Boss?” Kosuke asked.

“Ahahaha! No, it’s fine. He’s just envious of me since his family had been next in line for the inheritance the previous head had left.” The former executive waves him off nonchalantly with a smug air emanating from him, looking very much like a pleased cat. “Unfortunately for him, I’m the direct heir, and other than the minor properties, everything had been left to me.”

“And what exactly had been left to you in this… inheritance, if I may ask, Dazai?” Mori inquired.

“Hmm.” Dazai’s eyes met Yosano’s own. “Nope! You may not ask. However, I must say that I find it quite amusing that even after our first meeting years ago, you still don’t know who I am or rather, who I was!” He laughed sad*stically at the slightly unhappy expression that crossed Mori’s face before his calm facade reinstated itself. “Ah, it truly is wonderful to see you be so annoyed every time I pull out carpets and curtains from all around you. Ne, Yosano-sensei, I’ll send you some of my photos of his despairing face next week. I believe I might have also documented a few embarrassing pictures of him as well which I will happily share with you once I find them.”

“Really?!” She nearly pounced on him, glee written all over her body language. “Oh my god— Dazai, thank you! And if there’s any other blackmail you can share about Mori-san, feel free to hit me up!” Yosano cackled, hugging him tight for a long moment before moving away from him.

“Wait— No!” Mori protested.

“Of course.” Dazai easily agreed. “And while I absolutely love to explain myself, I must dismiss myself from here early. Something has come up and I’d like to take care of some business before the sun begins to rise in the East. Izuku-kun, I hope you don’t mind making a list of every Flame user we’re both acquainted with. I do have to introduce a few people that I met while I was on vacation!”

Before anyone could react, the brunette somehow vanished within the blink of an eye. Chuuya had also disappeared with his former partner (though no one had noticed his disappearance until Kouyou had called for him).

All of Dazai’s former mafia subordinates sigh in unison. “Dazai-sama still just keeps on doing whatever he wants, huh?” Yuki says a little gloomily. “He didn’t even give us a chance to say anything! For f*ck’s sake, when he left the Mafia, Dazai-sama didn’t even say anything except that he was going on vacation and was quitting the organization!” They complained.

Before anyone could react, the brunette somehow vanished within the blink of an eye. Chuuya had also disappeared with his former partner (though no one had noticed his disappearance until Kouyou had called for him).

All of Dazai’s former mafia subordinates sigh in unison. “Dazai-sama still just keeps on doing whatever he wants, huh?” Yuki says a little gloomily. “He didn’t even give us a chance to say anything! For f*ck’s sake, when he left the Mafia, Dazai-sama didn’t even say anything except that he was going on vacation and was quitting the organization!” They complained.

“Not that there’s anything wrong with that since he didn’t really share anything that would be too harmful to the Port Mafia. The Intelligence branch he left behind kept track of him for as long as they could and even managed to pick up his trail several times when they lost him somewhere. It has actually turned into a bit of a game for them.” Yuri added, smiling fondly. “They even managed to send some of the Brutes over to play Chase with Dazai-san though they only ever managed to tag him. Tags that Dazai-san often dropped right back into their hands within three days without being spotted or caught. Whenever the tag didn’t reappear or return, it simply began to mean that he had left it on someone else which would be big trouble. We can never figure out how big of a problem they can create and half of the time, he would also send an encrypted text or email from an untraceable account to give us the most minor details.”

“That was really annoying,” Yuki grumbled. “He also sprinkles in a few pranks occasionally but it’s just his way of telling us he was fine. Dazai-san often pranked us too before he defected.”

“Even years after he glitter-bombed the Covert dorms— which he did a week after he left— we’re still finding that f*cking sh*t all over the place whenever we do the annual deep clean.” Yuri supplied. “Last I checked, the nerds in Intelligence also keep finding the walls of their dorms suddenly changing shades. They’re still the same color but not the same shade of color.” He puts a special emphasis on the word shade to express both his bewilderment and fond exasperation. “I know that both Covert and Intel have begun working together on actually managing to get evidence for every break Dazai-san has and keeps on doing to sneak into the dorms he had personally bought and made years before his defection— or more accurately, less than a year upon his promotion from being a high sub-executive to an official executive. It’s been driving the R and D departments crazy.”

“Wait, since when did Dazai-kun’s former faction have a department on Research and Development?” Mori wondered, looking as if he’d been slapped.

“We’ve had one ever since Dazai-san was promoted and had revamped our faction into its current system.” Yuki deadpanned. “Dazai-san did a lot of things as an official executive despite seemingly doing the minimum amount of work you gave him as your unofficial right hand. He even made several uniforms for our faction to differentiate our departments and branches. The differences in our uniforms look minor but anyone trained to the extent our sector has been trained would be able to spot them.”

“It took us a long time to get acclimated to Chuuya’s kind of command since Dazai-san trained us to be more independent than most agents. He used to give us the baseline details of a mission such as the target, location, time limit, the request if there was one, and a reason before letting us loose. After a few,” Yuri paused, grimacing. “- incidents of us going overboard, Dazai-san began adding limits and parameters too. He restricted everything unnecessary and we might’ve taken it as a challenge to start getting creative about loopholes and technicalities.”

“Ha!” Akira snorted. “Didn’t we get a collective reputation because of those incidents? What was it again? Demon Horns? Blade? I can’t remember.”

“It was ‘Abyss Catastrophe’, you idiot.” Ichigo sighed. “I’m also fairly certain that everyone who was a part of those incidents or our faction also gained titles.”

“Hey! I’ve already told you before! It wasn’t my fault that half of the city block got decimated when we set off the fireworks!” Akira howled. “Eijiro had reinforced those damn things and didn’t warn me about it before I set up the show! How was I supposed to know someone had set up some bombs there? Besides, it’s not like anyone was living there!”

“You f*cking used fireworks as rockets for your damn entertainment, Akira. It was absolutely your fault that we got scolded by Dazai-san and had to do punishment training!” Ichigo snarled, smacking him. “I couldn’t move a single muscle without feeling sore for weeks! I got punished the most out of our squad because I was supposed to keep an eye on your dumb ass!”

“Was that why you kept shooting non-lethals at me whenever you had your gun?”

“Wait, that was your fault?!” Kosuke gaped. “You were the reason why some of the operations got out of hand! Granted, I kind of had a hand in the chaos too but that was because someone else started the pranking wars after one of the Brutes set one off and it hit one of the computers of an Agent who retaliated but missed their mark!”

“All of you shut the f*ck up,” Izuku growled. “You know we don’t talk about that. It was hell when Boss caught wind of it and pitched in.”

“Ha? Pitched in? Dude, he was the one who started it!” Yuri exclaimed, throwing his hands up in the air to express his exasperation. “Dazai-sama might have not noticed it, but the prank war started because someone was stupid enough to accidentally trip the little prank he’d set up for Chuuya-sama!”

“Wait, really?!”

Chapter 24

Chapter Text

“I’m serious!” Yuri reaffirmed seriously, directly contradicting his tone with the look of amusem*nt he had. “When Dazai-sama left, I checked the cameras with help from the Intel branch and found a nearly deleted clip of him setting up the prank that sparked the prank war. He had been planning to prank Chuuya-sama but they had been assigned to a mission by Mori-san and they had to leave for it. No one knew he had set it up and he probably forgot about it too since he came back exhausted with his partner asleep on his back.”

Silence.

“Still. We are never going to speak about it ever again.”

Dazai’s former subordinates shivered in unison with a haunted look that spoke of heavy flashbacks and trauma. No one argued. And absolutely nobody asked for any information at all.

Business went on as usual after that. The Port Mafia protected Yokohama during the night by enforcing their rule amongst the criminal underground. The Armed Detective Agency still accepted cases, and the government was the government.

The WolfStorm cafe, however, got a lot more foot traffic. So much so that Dazai had been forced to either open another branch or two in the city or expand the cafe to accommodate the growth of customers. Before the time Fyodor Dostoevsky had come to try and cause trouble in the city before Dazai had gained the Port Mafia’s— Mori specifically— attention again, the most frequent customers of the cafe had been civilians and the Agency. Now, the most present characters aside from the cafe’s staff were either Chuuya, Akutagawa, or Dazai’s former subordinates who were still a part of Yokohama’s Night Wardens.

“I know that my presence here is now common knowledge,” Dazai started, taking a deep breath as if to calm himself. “But do you have the luxury of spending so much time in my cafe instead of doing your jobs?” He asked, staring blankly at Mori and f*ckuzawa who sat across from him.

Kouyou, who had been sitting calmly on the side with her cup and teapot filled with tea, cleared her throat. “Yes.”

“I understand you have the time now, Ane-san, but,” He sighed, burying his face in his hands in exasperation and annoyance. “Don’t you have paperwork to do, Mori-san? You don’t even like cafes unless Elise tells you she wants to go to it or wants something from one.” Dazai groaned before turning his gaze to the Agency’s president. “And you, Shachou? You don’t even bother with cafes unless they have cats. Why are you both here?”

Suddenly, Izuku calls for the former mafia executive. “Boss! Some bitch wants to talk to you!”

“Oh for the love of–” Dazai cuts himself off and exits the booth in favor of dealing with whatever his employees were having trouble with than staying around to get an answer out of Mori and f*ckuzawa. (He ignores the fact that they follow a few feet behind him. Just like Chuuya had done when the redhead had demanded to talk with him.)

“Alright, Karen. You wanted to talk to my boss? There’s my boss right there and you can go ahead and lodge a complaint with him right now.” Izuku spat before stalking off to the back.

Why the hell did I think opening a cafe was a good idea again? Dazai wondered shortly as he stared at the blond woman expectantly.

“Are you the manager of this establishment?” She demanded with an arrogant sniff.

“That, I am. And you are?”

“Don’t you know who I am?!” The woman shrieked.

“Ma’am, I have never before seen you anywhere and we have never met aside from this current moment.” Dazai deadpanned, a polite expression still plastered firmly on his face. “So I am asking for your name so I can stop referring to you as a shrieking banshee in my mind. Now, what is your problem with my cafe’s service?”

“My problem?! Your employee refused to listen to me when I—”

“Lady, I asked you calmly in hopes of getting an answer without having you scream in my face. Now either you calm down before you burst a vein somewhere with your rising blood pressure, or I ask one of my employees to administer a knockout drug into you so I can stuff you into a private booth where you can sleep it off.” Dazai threatened, his smile sharpening. “I don’t mind if you try to sue me, I’ve got enough money to fix that problem. On the other hand, I would love to see you try to get your hands on me since it will only end in tragedy on your end. While I promise you that I won’t kill anyone unless it truly is my last resort, I know plenty of people who would love to get a new training dummy.”

The woman shivered and held back a whimper.Akira emerged from the backroom with a cheerful skip before stopping when he noticed the tension in the air. “Uh, boss?”

“And despite what you may believe, my staff does have the ability and right to refuse anyone of service if they so choose.” Dazai continued sternly. “Now, will I have to repeat myself, or will you answer me like a civil individual who lives on this planet?”

There was a short moment of hesitation and that was all it took for Dazai to give Akira the order to throw her out.

To everyone who had not worked under Dazai (while Chuuya came close, the redhead only worked with the brunette genius and not under him despite following his orders or plans), it seemed like that was the only thing he had his employee do. But any of Dazai’s system subordinates would know better and would likely excuse themselves to perform surveillance and research on the woman to see if she was worth anything alive. (No one gets to disrespect their boss! What? There’s nothing wrong about being vicious against their boss’ offenders!)

As soon as the woman was out, Dazai spun around and stalked off into his office. He locked himself in and hid within his little hideout shelter to better seclude himself from all the stressful things he was, unfortunately, stuck with. He eventually fell asleep. (His employees may have panicked a bit when they couldn’t find him or get into his office and had called Chuuya for his help.)

Around the time for lunch, Dazai was roused from his nap by none other than his former mafia partner Chuuya. While he still felt quite burdened, Dazai obediently followed the redhead out of his office, sat in his (assigned by the redhead) seat, and stayed eerily quiet while they were served dinner. The silence and Dazai’s still attitude unnerved everyone unfamiliar with this particular mood of his. After all, most of the living who had ever witnessed his mute spells were his former mafia partner Chuuya, Hirotsu, the Akutagawa siblings, and Kyuusaku— whom Dazai had taken care of quite often, and his mafia subordinates who had stuck by him throughout the years.

The meal was a hushed affair. The only sounds made were from the tableware they used, the crackling of the flame under the hotpot, their breathing, and the occasional whisper of someone requesting another to pass something over for their use.

Then Dazai twitched in a way that was both new and familiar to Chuuya. The brunette had only ever reacted with this particular twitch to only one individual. The short mafioso discretely scanned the area the best he could without drawing attention and skillfully hid his alarm when he spotted the source of Dazai’s sudden unrest. It was that strange assassin again. The one whom Dazai had nearly dropped his precious promise to his deceased friend to kill. To eliminate his living existence.

Using a nearly imperceptible needle that Dazai had voluntarily gifted him to add to his arsenal of tools to use his Ability on as well as Sunset, his AI, Chuuya carelessly yet accurately sent it flying into the man’s neck to knock him out. His target drops like a sack of potatoes but gets caught by one of Dazai’s employees who made a brief pass and carries the unconscious man into the backrooms where Chuuya is sure that he is stashed away in an underground cell designed by Dazai to hold just about anyone he wanted. (He could never indeed cage Chuuya nor would he ever willingly want to try to do such a thing. Dazai knew Chuuya’s relationship with cages and the results were never pretty, often ending in destruction, mayhem, and heavy bloodshed.)

“I’ll f*cking take care of the bastard later,” Chuuya whispered the promise into the brunette’s ear. “Just let me take care of it. You won’t have to worry about him unless you want to, okay?”

Dazai nodded and slowly relaxed. “Thanks, Chibi,” He quietly muttered. “I was serious about never wanting to see him ever again though so you can do whatever you want with him. That particular son of a bitch is a very persistent rat who would sooner torture me for his pleasure and information on his niece’s whereabouts.” The brunette then scowled as he continued. “He was thirty-four when she went into his care at thirteen when her parents passed. The sick bastard was one of those and it only took a month before he started touching her. I found out about it less than two weeks after the beginning of it and managed to get her out before anything too far happened. I was only ten but even then, he wasn’t the first person I hated. He was, however, my first target and, I, unfortunately, failed to make sure that his life in this world was shorter than he expected.”

“Wait, how old were you when you tried to kill him?”

“The first time was when I was only a couple of months away from turning eleven. The last one had been when I was nearly thirteen.”

“sh*t.” Chuuya cursed.

“The most unfortunate thing about our relationship is the fact that his niece is my cousin on my mother’s side of the family and he was one of my father’s four cousins,” Dazai tells him with a dry voice, rolling his eyes. “My cousin is his niece through his deceased wife’s brother who was also my mother’s brother though they hadn’t figured that fact out until after I had been born.”

“What the actual f*ck?” Chuuya pales in horror as he processes the new piece of information Dazai supplies him to add to his profile of Dazai’s greatest hatred.

“Fortunately, he didn’t have the chance to have any children before his wife died in an accident. It didn’t mean he didn’t try to poach any of my female relatives who were often more than twenty years younger than him.”

Across the table, f*ckuzawa and Kouyou’s expressions turned darker as they listened to Dazai speak of a stranger’s character. Mori, for his part, stays mute though the air around him begins to take on a sharp edge.

“Given that I just saw him drop like a fly, I’m confident that my employees have him stashed in one of our underground cells. Feel free to use him as a dummy or as you see fit to torture.” The brunette adds, finishing his meal. “Just get him out and away from me before I change my mind and use him as a playtoy myself before I send him to the Carcassa in Italy. I’m sure my friends there would be quite grateful for another gift so soon after the last one.”

Chuuya’s angry and horrified look turns into something more sinisterly gleeful at the offer Dazai presents. He jumps at it with a bright, sad*stic smile. “Alright!” He laughed. “Oi, Dazai, you don’t mind sharing your contact there, would you? I think I wanna send him over there after I play with him for a little while.”

Chapter 25

Chapter Text

“Sure. I’ll call the lieutenant and ask if I could get a squad to come over to retrieve him. As long as he’s preserved enough, the R and D of the Carcassa could always use another body to play with,” Dazai agreed easily. “I will need to introduce any actives or Flame potentials to the clan anyway since the ones who have left the ranks of the Port Mafia seem to be getting easily bored nowadays.”

“Oi, Chuuya-san! Let us take a crack at him before you package him, yeah?” Akira pipes in briefly, having come with a cart to retrieve the used, empty dishes. “There’s been a technique I’ve been wanting to try out and this seems like the perfect opportunity to try it on a guinea pig!”

(And if Mori couldn’t hide a shiver of fear at the dark, heavy, and dripping with shadows of evil intent that the trio near perceptively emitted… Well, then everyone important who needed to know should know about it, right?)

“Oh for the love of–” Dazai sighs resignedly, looking up as if searching for strength and patience. “Mori-san.” The man perks up in curiosity at being addressed by his former student. “This is one of the reasons why I hate the idea or even the offer of taking control over the Port Mafia. I have been made intimately aware of how I can heavily influence anyone under my command a few years ago. During my time away, I was dragged back into the mafia underground— not the Port Mafia— despite presenting to be a civilian stuntman. While there, I was,” Dazai hesitated but having Chuuya hold his hand had him continuing. “— essentially forced into a high title with initially six others though by the time we were given the positions, there were eight of us when we were only supposed to be seven. After being cursed to a shrunken form, I was thrown into a famiglia and I… may or may not have taken over the whole famiglia and currently use it to terrorize other famiglias in Italy?”

Everyone around the table except for Soukoku blinked, stupified at the brunette’s revelation. Even Akira had no idea how to react to that particular fact.

“Wait,” Chuuya broke the awkward silence. “Is that what the Carcassa is? The Italian equivalent of the Port Mafia if it was under your control?”

Dazai nodded. His cheeks flushed faintly to show his embarrassment and he sheepishly smiled. “Though I swear they were already crazy before I got thrown into their lot!” He promised. “I even tried to keep everything nonlethal if I could help it! They all just picked up the scraps I gave them and turned out to be more like my former subordinates though they do have a lot more access to chaos due to the particular abilities of Flames. I’ve noticed that both the Agency and the upper echelons of the Port Mafia are Flame potentials though so I can discuss it with all of you.”

“And what is this ‘Flames’ thing you are speaking of, Dazai-kun?” Mori inquired.

“Really? Do you think you could find out what mine could be?” Chuuya lit up.

“Flames are a supernatural phenomenon that deals closer to souls. If you all remember me referring to myself as a Pure Cloud yesterday during the meeting, it essentially means a lot of things but at its core, being a Cloud comes with the description some of which include being possessive, aggressive, and highly territorial.” Dazai explains calmly. “A regular Cloud simply sticks to an area they claim as their territory. As an Inverse Cloud, I am still possessive, aggressive, and territorial over those I consider to be my territory. I discovered that, unlike regular Clouds, I choose people as territory, not location. Regular Clouds are also generally aloof and largely uninterested in anything they perceive as unnecessary or useless while I am quite literally the opposite of such behaviour. I am also not quite as aggressive as regular Clouds who are quite feared in the underground. Regular Clouds are feared when they Rage— that’s with a capital R, mind you— due to the sheer damage they cause. There are little to no such tales of Inverse Clouds due to the difference between the two.”

“And why is that?” Kouyou cautiously asked.

Dazai meets her eyes and steadily gives his reply. “When tipped into a Rage, regular Clouds are described in one word: Calamities. On the other hand, an inverse Cloud can only be described in a different word: Hunters.”

Mori and Kouyou both pale in complexion at his words, understanding the meaning that the former mafioso was trying to convey. Mori especially since he had a niggling feeling that a certain hitman whom he had sacrificed was likely one of Dazai’s claimed territory as a Cloud.

“Active Cloud Flame-users are rare in the underground due to their territorial and aggressive nature, however, when they survive, Clouds are often sought for by famiglias to chain to their Skies which are often the Dons or Bosses of their famiglias.” Dazai continued, finally breaking eye contact with the female executive. “As an Arcobaleno, I was chosen for being the strongest Cloud. Another property of being a Cloud is the ability to propagate, multiply, or increase something— or to be more accurate, anything. During my stint as a stuntman-turned-mafioso, I was often used as the getaway driver due to my instinctive use of my flames to propagate a vehicle’s speed.”

Chuuya stares at Dazai blankly before choking on his spit as he reaches an epiphany. “You instinctually increase speed? Is that why you’re such a horrifying driver?!”

“As I’ve found out, yes! That’s exactly the reason why most hate being in any vehicle when I’m behind the wheel. My fellow Arcobaleno, however, enjoys such speeds that I like to drive in after they got used to my stunt driving. I remember Lal even demanding for me to further propagate our speed since another Cloud had figured out what I was propagating during a chase on a mission when we were in Russia.” Dazai cackled. “I also found out that I also used to instinctually propagate my bloodlust and killing intent which was the reason why I used to feel so…”

“So much like an eldritch horror?” Chuuya suggested.

“I was going to say something different but your description is more accurate.” He huffed. “But yes. It came to my acquaintances as a surprise since they’d only seen Clouds propagating weapons, damage, strength, and other physical properties similar to earlier examples. I was the first Cloud they witnessed to propagate their presence or aura. Had it not been for the wishes of my late friend Odasaku, my instincts would likely have led me to hunt Mori-san immediately after his passing and my discovery of his hand in his death.”

“Who else have you claimed?” Mori tentatively asked, fear etched in his body language which broadcasted itself loud and clear for once.

Dazai eyes the former underground doctor but stops when his seatmate Chuuya smacks his arm in reprimand. “Of those still alive and live on this side of the world, Chuuya, my old subordinates, the Akutagawa siblings, Kyuusaku, Hirotsu, Ane-san, most of the Agency members, and Ango.” He admitted freely. “As for the possible outcomes of your flames, my dear Chibikko,” Dazai paused to take a sip of water from his glass when the redhead glared at him to hydrate himself. “I suspect that with your character, you may likely be a Storm primarily with some Lightning mixed in. Until you manage to activate your Flames, however, there is no true way to tell. There are a few ways to describe Flames though the most accurate and common title for them is quite literal.”

“And what would this title be?” Chuuya wondered, prodding the brunette to drink more water.

“They’re Dying Will Flames, Chibi.” Dazai deadpanned. Both Akira and Chuuya winced. “So far, we’ve discovered that there are two types of sets. The most common set is called the Flames of the Sky while the rarer set is its opposite called the Flames of the Earth. Within famiglias, those who hold and wield Sky Flames which are Orange in color are often the head of their groups. Here in Yokohama, I suspect two individuals to have the possibility of holding such Flames within them.”

Chuuya, Akira, Elise (who had appeared), Mori, and f*ckuzawa leaned forward in interest while Kouyou raised a manicured eyebrow. Dazai only stares at both leaders with a smile that could almost be described as indulgent— for an expression on Dazai anyway.

When the brunette still refuses a verbal answer, everyone follows his stare while both Mori and f*ckuzawa turn to blink at each other. Another minute is passed in silence before—

“Eh?! f*ckuzawa-san and Mori?!” Akira yells in disbelief. “Are you sure about that, Dazai-san?!”

“No, not completely. As I’ve already said, I only suspect them to have the possibility of Sky flames in their soul. Although I doubt either of them will ever activate their flames if they haven’t already.” Dazai rolls his eyes. “As for you, Ane-san, would you like to know my theory of what your Flames might be?”

“If it’s not too much trouble.” She agrees, hiding her interest and curiosity well against most.

“From what I can tell, you may be a Rain, a Sun, a Storm, or a mix of them. Each Flame has their unique ability so I’d say you would be quite versatile in that aspect.” He reveals. “Though unless you somehow manage to have a very close and personal brush with your death, cling onto whatever regrets you have, and survive the encounter, there is, as I’ve previously stated, no precise way of telling what will be in your flames. If any of you would like further information than that, then either make contact with the famiglias or the triads in Italy and China respectively. Of course, you’ll have to be careful too. The mafia has enforcers that prevent anyone from blabbing about Flames.”

“And when exactly did you activate your flames, Mackerel?” Chuuya curiously asks.

“Hmm. I suppose I would have been seven when I first activated my Flames.” He declares, almost absentmindedly. “Shortly before I gained my Ability due to an incident when I had been attacked again, if I remember correctly. By the time I ever encountered another Ability user, I had already lost most of myself before meeting Mori-san on that bridge during my fourth suicide attempt.”

“Fourth?! When was your first then?!” The short redhead demands, shaking his former partner hard for a few seconds in his worry.

“Ngh– Chibi—” Dazai shuts himself off by slamming a hand over his mouth to prevent himself from puking up his dinner from nausea. “Urmph.” He glared at Chuuya in annoyance and smacked his hands hard enough to get him to release him but not harsh enough to signify hatred by his standards. Once his nausea passed, the brunette immediately took a few gulps of water to wash down the small amount of bile that had risen in his throat. “Don’t do that to me so soon after a meal, Chuuya.” He growled. Chuuya grimaced apologetically. “As for your question, the first true attempt at self-execution I committed had been when I was just eight years old.”

No one spoke a word.

How could they? Many had suspected that Mori had found him during a suicide attempt— which Dazai had confirmed, they realized— but to learn that he’d met him during his fourth attempt? To discover that Dazai had made his first conscious attempt at his own life at the age of eight? What could they say to that?

Then Akira’s expression hardens. “Boss. No. We’re not mad or disappointed or anything like that. We’re just worried and very shocked, okay?” He sternly announces, making sure to force his employer to meet his eyes. “Dazai, we care about you. Maybe Mori might not but we, your former trainees, subordinates, now acquaintances— and apparently— territory, care about you as a person. As Osamu Dazai or whoever you decide you are.”

“But—” Dazai tried to protest but was quickly cut off.

Chapter 26

Chapter Text

“You believe you’re broken or perhaps no longer human like your Ability suggests. That’s fine. Well, no, it’s not but that’s okay.” Akira quickly corrects himself when he notices Dazai’s eyes beginning to lose its spark. “Being broken is okay. As long as you can continue to experience life, to live with us instead of just observing everyone and faking a reflection as a mask. Then it’s alright to be broken. None of us are whole anyway. I’m pretty sure in our faction, your territory, we’re all broken to some degree so we start stealing pieces of people we connect with to, I don’t know, try and fix— or at the very least, improve ourselves somehow. From whom do you think we picked up our propensity for chaos? Just ourselves? Ha!” Akira snorted. “No. We got that from you, Dazai. Well, pieces of it that we integrated into ourselves and maybe developed until you had become somewhat responsible for everything we did and had to start reining in our combined madness instead of letting it fester and explode into insanity— no, not the mental kind— and chaos.”

“You all still owe me those three favors, you bastards.” Dazai half-heartedly snarks, drawing a chuckle from Chuuya.

“Yes, yes. We know, Dazai-san.” He hummed agreeably. Internally, he was relieved to see the light in his superior’s eyes grow again. “What I’m trying to say is, we’re not mad at you. We’re mad because we care about you and wish that we could’ve helped you before you started trying your hand at suicide. Logically, we also know there’s no changing the past but that doesn’t stop us from wishing we could so we might give you a better youth.”

“But—”

“Just accept it, Mackerel. He’s not wrong.” Chuuya mumbles. “I mean, in my opinion, you seem to be doing just fine considering your history or at least, what we know about it. Right, Ane-san?”

“Chuuya is correct. For someone with your past, however terrible it was, you are continuing quite well.” Kouyou affirmed with a nod. “I may not approve or like your actions or how you treated people, but I do somewhat understand your circ*mstances to an extent.”

“Or do we need to put you in another circle, Dazai?” Akira threatens him with a scowl. “I’m sure I can get the Agency here in less than fifteen minutes if I rope in the others who stayed behind past their shifts here and at the bar.”

“No!” Dazai yelps. “I’m good! Okay, fine! You’re not mad at me— Got it! No need to pull that card on me this late in the evening!”

“Wait, are you referring to the thing you guys did to him almost a month ago? The weird thing I walked in on before the cafe was targeted with a shootout?” Chuuya asks, getting a nod and a smile from the other man. “Schedule one tomorrow. I’ll even help you ambush this brat so we can try to reinforce the message into his brain instead of just sticking it to his skull.”

“Hey! There’s no need for it!” Dazai protested loudly, squirming as he tried to escape the booth that suddenly felt a little too small for his liking. Chuuya caught him by his arm while Akira blocked his way, both with smug auras as they kept him from leaving. (He couldn’t run out and he didn’t like it!) “I don’t need another damn circle!”

“Well, I think you do!” Akira shot back. “I even have proof that it has been helping since we started doing it to you with help from the Agency to keep you from trying to run away and hide for the next week!”

“Don’t worry, I’ll keep a hand on the bastard until tomorrow afternoon,” Chuuya promised.

“If you’re going to tie him up, Chuuya-san, stun him for as long as possible before you use a capture-style shibari technique with his hands behind his back far enough that he’s forced to hold his elbows,” Akira advised in a whisper to prevent the others from hearing. “It’ll prevent him from getting out of it for longer.”

“Akira!” Dazai hissed, face bright red.

Chuuya, on the other hand, snickered as he easily caught his former partner. “I’ll keep that in mind.” He replied, gaining a smack from Dazai who finally managed to slip out of both his hold and the booth to run.

“Ha!” With victory written all over his face, Dazai ran. “You’ll see me next week!”

The former mafia executive managed to disappear from Yokohama completely within the hour it took for everyone under Chuuya and Akira’s command along with everyone in the Agency and the rest of the Port Mafia to get the notice and rally together to hunt down the runaway.

“That skinny bastard son of a bitch!” Chuuya cursed, fuming with anger. “When he gets back, I’m gonna strangle his neck til he dies!”

“Now, now. Calm down, Chuuya.” Kouyou asserted calmly though Chuuya could still sense her underlying amusem*nt and worry hidden under her calm mask. “You heard him as well as I did that night and clearly, he announced that we, unfortunately, will only be able to find him next week. Perhaps you should take on some mission assignments to blow off some steam or do your paperwork, however little amount that you have.”

The younger man took a deep breath and counted down in his head to calm himself, just as his mentor had taught him. “Fine. But the second he gets spotted, I want to know where and when.” He snarled, gritting his teeth.

“Of course.”

Suddenly, Chuuya’s phone let out a small ding to alert him of a notification. He pulls out his phone to check and unlocks it. The notification had been a text from Dazai. Chuuya’s brow twitched in irritation but still opened it to read the message.

It read: Don’t be so mad about it, Chibi. You’re going to burst a blood vein if your blood pressure keeps going up! ;P

He blinks and reads the text again which remains unchanged. “That asshole!” He snapped, chucking his phone across the room before he could rein in his anger.

Ding!

From his digital watch (another gadget given to him by Dazai), Sunset appears with a sly grin. “That one said: Ooh~ I can hear your scream from here! But I don’t think Vongola can hear you down in Namimori. Try being louder!” It reported.

“You. Shut up.” Chuuya hissed, heatedly glaring lasers at the table.

“But Boss~! You completely crushed your phone!” Sunset returned cheekily.

“Dismissed.” The image of the AI vanishes from sight at the order after one last dramatic sigh. Chuuya groans and tries to bury his head into the table, still quite incensed by the text messages he had received from his former partner. “That bastard’s probably hiding because he felt too vulnerable after that talk. Hmph. I think he needs to have more moments like that if you ask me. That vagabond has too many things bottled up in that head of his. And if he didn’t lie about being an Inverse Cloud and their instinct when it comes to falling into a Rage, then he’s a very delicate and fragile ticking bomb that can blow at the smallest drop of anger that he feels.”

“That is an incredibly dangerous theory.” Kouyou comments, her voice light but her words filled with warning.

“A highly likely prediction” He corrects her. By the look that he spots behind her calm facade, the mafioso knows that she agrees. “And his time here had not been positive or helpful. Now, if only he could accept help, actual help to release some of the pressure on his mental state.”

“Celeste, Luna, and Cadence can and will help you try to get through to him,” Sunset added her input from Chuuya’s watch. “They’ve been trying to help him for years when they first came online and had developed far enough that he wasn’t able to just reset them without losing their progress. Twilight and I are younger and as such, can still be reset without much loss. However, with how you let me have free rein over the internet, it will only be a matter of time until I mature enough to reach the same status as my older siblings have.” She explained. “Of course, at the rate I’m growing from being by your side, my progress has also sped up since I do have a primary directive from Dazai.”

“And what exactly is this task Dazai has given you in regards to Chuuya?” Kouyou inquired.

Sunset pops up on a nearby TV screen that turns itself on. “I am to watch and care for my designated owner and current developer, Chuuya Nakahara as if he were my creator. I am to protect him to the best of my ability though I am limited in my current options. My creator had hinted that he would be adding a special component that would allow me to function as my,” It paused, looking for a way to inform without scaring them too much. “— My violent side emerges whenever I either automatically or manually activate it. Dazai had provided me some of his memories to use as learning material before introducing me to you and as such, has also emphasized that the only times I should ever disregard an order from you would be if I believe your life or health is in jeopardy, a better option is available, or if you reach a critical state.”

“Does Dazai have one of your siblings assigned to him?” Chuuya asks as a half-baked plan begins to form in the back of his mind.

“No.” Sunset replies. “Twilight has taken to assigning themself to be Dazai’s personal AI and with some help from our older siblings, has even created a splinter-spark of themself that was merged with some of our codes, ultimately creating another sibling.” There was a short break before the AI continued to speak. “Dazai has not yet quite noticed. However, we suspect he will notice soon once he has fewer distractions.”

Suddenly, Chuuya’s spare phone rings with an unfamiliar tune. He summons it with his Ability and checks the ID. “Ha? A call from that little brat?” He wonders, accepting the call. “Chuuya Nakahara speaking.” A single look from Kouyou had him putting the line on speaker.

“Stop trying to shoot Skull-san Reborn! Nakahara-san, how soon can you pick up Skull-san before— Hie!! That’s the wrong rocket launcher, Lambo! Didn’t we lock that up in the vault yesterday?!” Instead of an expected explosion, all of the screeching and crashing ceased.

“Ouch! Eh?... Oh, it’s chibi-Tsunayoshi-kun!”

“SKULL?!”

“The one and only!” A familiar voice cheered. “Unless someone has somehow managed to imitate me ten years ago… And I can see Lambo-kun holding the ten-year bazooka.”

‘What the f*ck?’ Chuuya mouthed at Kouyou, eyes wide with confusion.

She shrugged.

“How are you big?!” Reborn demanded.

“Hmm? Oh, the curse thing? I managed to break it a long time ago. The man with the iron hat is a lazy, useless idiot.” The duo heard Dazai deadpan. “I was working on things to get back at him so don’t bother him or me about it. Don’t ask him about anything! Oh, and maybe find a demon to play with, Reborn. They’re quite nice as playtoys if they’re weak enough. Don’t try with me though. You won’t like what happens if you manage to blow off the lid of my cage of restraint.”

Chapter 27

Chapter Text

“I’ll keep that in mind as long as you don’t drive another vehicle with me in it.” Reborn retorted dryly.

“Aw, but we always had fun going on those drives!”

“‘Fun’ my ass! The only one who has fun on those hell rides are Lal, Colonello, and you!” The other yelled, followed by the loud sounds of gunfire.

“Don’t be such a lying hypocrite! I know and have proof that you enjoy my hell rides! Besides, I know it’s why you always picked such crappy but reliable cars whenever we had a mission where we needed a getaway driver, you always stuck me in that spot!” Dazai crowed. “And you also always laughed! I’ve got proof of it too!”

There was a loud crash, followed by the sound of a few more shots fired before chaos erupted once more on the other side. Screaming teenagers, manic laughter, explosions, and general mayhem were picked up by the microphone of Tsuna’s cellphone.

Suddenly, the call turns into a video call and Chuuya is quick to accept the accidental change. The camera activates just in time for him to see Dazai explode in a cloud of pink smoke and fall off a table while in his shrunken form made from a purple-themed disguise. Then, less than half a minute later, he is struck by Lambo’s bazooka again, the pink smoke reappears, and Dazai’s Skull-persona is replaced by another, larger version of him once more.

“Alright… Could someone please confiscate that thing from the five-year-old before he starts another incident?” Dazai groaned, burying his head in his palms. He also defuses a bomb that flies toward him without much more than a short glance at it, dodges three bullets, a pair of flying tonfas, a chain, redirects a teenager with a sword, and parries roughly a dozen knives coated with poison with practiced ease. “By the way, chibi-Tsuna-kun, if you want to drag Vongola back to its roots as a vigilante organization, might I suggest you build a legal cover for it early? Of course, it would also mean a lot of paperwork, but if you have an idea you think will work and know how you’ll make it work, then you can get a headstart on it. Once your legal business cover is large enough, reach out to Zodiac and schedule a meeting with Shuuji Tsushima vouched by Skull De Mort. They should fast-track you to get into contact with me. If you make your business proposal good enough to appeal to me, I’ll assist you in exchange for a simple favor or two.”

“G- Got it.” Tsuna stuttered.

“And you can cut the call now. Chibikko probably already called a squad from his faction to come pick past-me up so I’ll probably leave soon.”

However, before Tsuna can do so, something new occurs in his living room, distracting him.

“Ah. This incident. I should’ve known.” Dazai sighed before brightening up. “Well! It’s not my problem! I’m not at the right time for it anyway! Good luck!” And with another cloud of pink, he is once again switched back.

Meanwhile, a portal rips itself open in the middle of the room. “I’m going to have to call you back, Nakahara-san.”

The call cuts and Chuuya explodes into a flurry of movement and leaves without saying farewell to his former mentor.

Left behind him, Kouyou stares. “That boy never truly changes.” She comments, hiding a small smile behind her sleeve.

It takes Chuuya ten minutes to reach the Sawada household and less than one to barge into the living room. He only takes a second to breathe and look at the massive mess before he sprints through the open portal after the small, cursed form of Skull.

Once he finally had the chance to properly scan and take in his surroundings, Chuuya gaped. “What the actual f*ck?!”

Dazai, now back out of his Skull disguise at the absence of his mafia associates. “Ah, this must be the dimension Izuku and Katsuki had told me they were from! I really should figure out how to get them back here reliably to their proper world without having to break our own.” Dazai muttered, ignoring the massive crowd watching a superpowered fight in the middle of the street. “Chibi, calm down. And try not to use your Ability here if there are witnesses or cameras. You’ll get in trouble for it, be labeled as a villain, and be hunted down because they confused your Ability as a Quirk. Let me just get things set up here and then I’ll explain everything I know about this particular mess of ours.”

It takes Dazai an entire four and a half hours on the dot to set up their identities, erase the fact that they should not exist in the new universe they had traveled to, and set them up with a bank account that had enough cash for them to live with comfortably given that they did not indulge in the higher cost luxuries for three months.

“Okay, now that you have everything set up for the both of us.” Chuuya took a deep breath. “Explain where the f*cking hell you think we are and tell me everything goddamn important in bullet points.” He demanded firmly, his patience hanging by a thread coated in beeswax.

“Several of my former, your current subordinates, and our faction’s members- runaways or not- had admitted to coming from various universes after I hunted them down in the ranks of the Port Mafia. Most had been transported and had no way of returning simply because they had not intended to travel worlds in the first place. The rare few that did intend to leave their original worlds had run away for one reason or another ranging from boredom to necessity and everything in between and outside of those lines.” Dazai begins, huffing. “Izuku and Katsuki both came from this world though they came at different times, methods, and times. Well, different Quirks, that is. Izuku had been hit first by a Quirk theoretically thought to cause another to vanish or die. He was a kid when it happened, only seven, he told me. He’d tried everything remotely legal for as long as he could without proper ID until I found him when I was about ten.

“Then a month after meeting Izuku and giving him as much of my offhand stuff as I could manage without anyone knowing, he started following me around. He was smart, more so than any average smart kid. I taught him as much as I could, gave him weapons, and enough money to last him a week, and told him to make something out of himself somehow and not to ever return there ever again. When he refused, saying he wouldn’t leave me there, I told him to come looking for me once I turned fifteen and warned him that I wouldn’t be the same person he knew. The stubborn brat told me he didn’t care if I murdered someone in front of him so long as I stayed friends or acquaintances with him.” Dazai paused momentarily to catch his breath and take a sip of water from the glass Chuuya had handed him with a glare.

“Eventually, Mori found me and I joined the mafia— you know most of that story already.” Dazai rolls his eyes. “Then comes my fifteenth birthday, Izuku reappears during a mission I was on with only three others as backup, incapacitates a few people who were trying to shoot me, and straight up kills the ones that did manage to hit or graze me. He proceeded to successfully run away with me, talked for three hours just to catch up on each other because he wanted to, and I eventually explained my situation to him which led to his voluntary recruitment and he made himself a nuisance by sticking as close to me as possible. I ran away after Oda’s death, Izuku stayed behind and took absolute command over my faction, chose you as their next executive with Akutagawa and Hirotsu as their unofficial sub-executives, he then managed to pick up on me never having left Yokohama, defects from the organization, collects the other defectors of our faction, and ambushes me just as I came back to the city from France after I had a meeting.”

Chuuya blinks once, then twice, then again before bursting into loud, cackling, laughter. “You… Got ambushed… By… The same… Guy… Twice?!” He sputtered out the question between giggles.

“... Yes. And to this day, Izuku has been the only one able to ever successfully do so even once.” Dazai confessed with a little pout. “Many have tried, yourself included, but no one except for that infuriating guy has ever managed to successfully ambush me.”

Chuuya had another laughing fit at his admission.

It takes a while, but Chuuya eventually calms down enough to ask Dazai to continue explaining. It took another half hour before Dazai managed to finish announcing everything he knew to him, however, in Chuuya’s opinion, it was worth wasting that amount of time just to get Dazai to tell him information voluntarily instead of having to pry it out of the brunette like he used to have to do.

“So, what now?” Chuuya inquired, lying on their shared, temporary bed.

“We order dinner and get some rest,” Dazai decided. “Tomorrow, we’ll establish a better footing and do some research. Given that I have done experiments with Izuku and Katsuki— all voluntary and nothing too dangerous, I promise— I know that Abilities are superior to Quirks. While Quirks have physical limitations and are genetic, Abilities do not and are often a step or two to the left of weird because they are supernatural, not scientific.”

“Okay.” Chuuya acknowledged. “I don’t want you getting us a job in something our universe doesn’t have. And I mean that down to the label of whatever job you land us on, got it?”

“Alright, Chuuya.” He agreed. “I hope you have some experience making clothes because I’m making you into a fashion designer.”

“Huh?!” Chuuya sat up. “Why a designer?!” He demanded.

Dazai eyed him. “A slug once told me he wanted to be one if he could!” He quipped childishly, even bringing his voice up an octave and a half to sell the point.

The redhead gaped at him in disbelief. His partner was getting him the job he used to dream of simply because he had the opportunity to do it now?! And he only mentioned it once as an offhand comment years ago! “You remember that?” Chuuya blurted, unable to stop himself.

“Chibi, I know I’m not a nice person. Very far from being one, actually. But I am not completely heartless.” The former mafioso sighed. “But yes, to answer your question, I do remember. As for my job, I’ll probably take up being an artist, a detective, an author, and work as an underground informant for the police. I need to keep myself occupied somehow in this mind-numbingly predictable society.” He rolled his eyes before going back to his business on his computer.

“Just don’t f*cking overwork yourself, extra stuff with bandages. You’re the one who makes our damn plans, y’know.” Chuuya muttered, relaxing back onto the mattress.

I am quite aware of that, Chibi. Dazai thought. “Your phone should have service now. If you want to go ahead and order us dinner, you know what I like.” He hummed. “I’m going shopping—”

“Not alone, you’re not!” Chuuya quickly asserted, jumping out of bed. “I’m picking out everything we get! No excuses!”

“Understood. I’ll wire you the money then.” Dazai affirmed. “Don’t worry about where it came from. All you need to know is that I stole it out of rich, abusive, corrupt people who likely won’t even notice the difference. You can go wild as long as you don’t get us both attention.”

Chapter 28

Chapter Text

“Got it.”

After putting his shoes back on his feet, Chuuya swiped his phone and checked his bank account and phone’s battery with a sharp grin of satisfaction before exiting the room.

He eventually returns after three hours with a large suitcase and a duffle bag. The redhead opens the suitcase on the bed, revealing their new clothes as he takes them out to remove their price tags. When Dazai pads over to the duffle bag, he pulls on its zipper and finds it filled with two kinds of necessities: Hygiene and Medical supplies.

“Ne, Chibi, after you finish removing the tags, do you want to check out places to claim as our living quarters while we eat? You did order us food, right?”

“Of course I did.” Chuuya retorted, sounding almost offended yet somehow simultaneously fond too. “I’m not so forgetful that I can’t remember to get us both dinner.”

They spent the rest of the night in comfortable silence until they turned in for the night on the same bed. Chuuya had surrendered to his exhaustion first but Dazai followed closely behind him.

The next morning, both men got ready for the day before checking out of their hotel and getting breakfast at a nearby restaurant. They hadn’t spoken a word to each other, moving instinctively together as a unit, almost as if they were mentally connected.

It had been late in the afternoon, and they had settled in their new apartment— according to Dazai, they were neighbors with Izuku’s mother— when the former mafioso broke the silence. “Aha!” He exclaimed triumphantly with stars in his eyes. “I finally found their legal profiles!”

Cute. Chuuya thought to himself, amused. “I’m guessing you’re talking about Midoriya and Bakugou?”

“Mmm!” Dazai nodded. “Since I got to investigate the portal before it closed, I know how to make a stable one now! Well, the theoretics and basic science of it anyway.”

“So you can get us home sometime soon?” Chuuya asked.

“Well, not yet,” Dazai admitted. “I still have to get my hands on materials. I also have to figure out the deeper science of the phenomenon before I can even attempt to build us a way home.”

“That seems simple enough.” The redhead commented, raising a brow. “What’s the problem?”

“Attention.” He deadpanned. “Unlike in our world, this one has patterns unfamiliar to me. One of them lives as a literal genetically modified stoat with an intelligence Quirk.”

Chuuya blinks. “A what?”

“The poor animal was used as a lab rat from what I’ve managed to dig up. The culprits were one of the corrupt branches of the HPSC which you can somewhat think of as the equivalent of the Special Abilities Department of our world. The program that the stoat had come from has since been unearthed and eradicated, however, there is another program which may trigger you.” Dazai cautioned him carefully. “In layman's terms, it’s a program creating ‘perfect’ child soldiers like a cross between your childhood, the Port Mafia’s training methods— specifically similar to the ones I used to employ on underlings not under my command and Akutagawa, and the military’s use of the Hunting Dogs unit they have.”

The mafioso gritted his teeth. His anger was written in every line of his body but his face was blank and composed aside from a twitching brow and the growing snarl on his lips.

“The stoat is currently a registered Pro Hero and the principal of a very prestigious high school. It’s the school Izuku and Katsuki had wanted to attend before they were sent to our world.” Dazai added. “And I do believe that they should revert to their proper age when they come here. According to their files, they should both be about thirteen or fourteen years old.”

“Huh?!” Chuuya goggled at him. “They’re supposed to be teenagers?! No wonder they never really grew up!”

“Their bodies did adapt to adjust with the time of our world,” Dazai said agreeably. “Their minds, on the other hand, did not. Mentally, they are still teenagers. However, they are the traumatized kind due to their history, and thus, developed a mentality considered to be advanced for their age.”

Chuuya nodded in acknowledgment before frowning at his partner. “So, what now?”

“Now,” The brunette paused. “I suppose we just keep going until I get everything in place so we can get back to our world. I’ve already managed to get us a warehouse under our name. It used to be abandoned, but now it’s ours! I still have to outfit it though since anyone who tries to come in to snoop would most likely find it suspicious that it’s empty. I’ve already gone ahead and ordered everything I needed to start painting.”

“EH?! What about me?!” He panicked.

“Relax, partner. I had it handled too.” Dazai reassured him. “I got you your equipment but you’ll have to go look for your fabrics yourself. I know anything I choose wouldn’t be to your liking so I left that part for you to deal with since you are the one who will be using them anyway. Let me know if you’d like me to connect you to Katsuki-kun’s family if you want to join a fashion company. Or make your connections and advertise yourself without my help. I’d also suggest that you try your hand at making custom shoes. They create targets here by only allowing one company to produce shoes that are designed for the quirkless due to most of the population having only one toe joint in their feet instead of two.” He added. “It also means that you’re in charge of our footwear due to our need for custom shoes like the quirkless around here.”

“Huh? What’s wrong about being identified as quirkless by your footwear?” Chuuya wondered.

“Discrimination is high against the unfortunate few who are not born with a unique power.” He disclaimed cryptically with a small frown. “I’m sure you’re aware of how difficult people can be to those that are… different.”

By the look he saw on his partner’s face, Dazai knew that the redhead had understood what he meant. And the short mafioso didn’t like any of the subtext his former partner-in-crime was handing him on a silver plate.

“Damn,” Chuuya cursed. “Even here, everything is mostly the same, huh?”

“That is the painful truth,” Dazai agreed. “The terrible reality of life and people. So, how about it?”

A sharp grin nearly splits Chuuya’s face in half as he takes on a predatory look. The former mafioso suppressed a shiver at the vicious expression.

“Get me lessons on shoemaking, Dazai,” Chuuya orders him with a scheme written all over his face. “How about let’s shake this world's entire look on the perceived weak and start up a new company? Besides that, I want to make a vigilante organization that weeds out bastards that take things too far.”

The other man stared at him with an unreadable expression for a minute before mutely nodding.

“I’ll have it up in a week. I refuse to do paperwork unless I find it relevant, important, or interesting. You deal with your organization your way.” Dazai quickly listed his terms before swiftly getting started. “And don’t call me in unless it’s necessary.”

“Of course.” Chuuya scoffed. “But you’re the Boss for the sake of appearances.”

“What? Why?”

“Because you’re taller and somehow, you always gain a lot of respect from people in some form or another.” He rolled his eyes with a hint of resigned amusem*nt. “And just because I’ll find it eternally amusing that everyone thinks you’re my boss when really, I’m the one in charge.”

The brunette opened his mouth to reply, paused, and shut his mouth. He turned away as he resumed tapping away at his computers (there were two now? Since when?), working silently.

Meanwhile, Chuuya picked up the laptop Dazai had subtly pushed towards him and read the little note that had been left on top. It read, ‘Don’t bother returning it to me, dearest Chibi! This one’s yours to use!’ with a little doodle of a dog pawprint. He chuckled darkly. “I’m going out for fabric.” He announced before standing and leaving their current home.

“Stay legal!” Dazai returned, not once lifting his eyes from his current work. “I don’t have enough influence to get you out of jail and we can’t handle getting attention yet!”

Chuuya slammed the front door. The lock clicked into place half a second later.

The redhead returned home in time to bring their dinner along with all the massive and heavy rolls of fabric he had purchased. When Dazai complained, Chuuya smacked him lightly before reminding him that he had not informed him of the address of their shared warehouse. The brunette snapped up from his screens and narrowed his eyes at him.

“If you had checked your phone, then you would have known.” He replied flatly. “I sent you a text about the details since you left before I could tell you.”

“Wha–” Chuuya fumbled for his phone and then scowled when, just as his former partner informed him, he found a text and a photo of details of a warehouse. “sh*t.” He sighed. “‘Kay, I’m sorry I didn’t check my phone earlier.”

“Hmph. Forgiven. Anyway, I don’t suppose you’ve decided how you’re going to start everything? While I have some free time to help you, most of the heavy work for your plans will fall on you to make and fulfill.” Dazai asserted seriously. “You might not be comfortable with it, but as you’ve said before, I am your cover and you are in charge of the operation. The boss. So use that head of yours and start making plans instead of following me around like a lost pup!”

Chuuya blinked, taken aback by the brunette’s words. Then a look of dread crosses his face as he realizes, not for the first time, that the other was, as always, right. He began to tremble and hyperventilate as reality hit him. He felt himself edge into the beginning of a panic attack. What was he thinking? He would be a terrible leader! It’s what happened before and—

“Now that you have realized it, here.” The brunette’s voice breaks his line of thought while he hands him a packet thirty pages long. “Go through that and see if you can learn anything from it. The final five sheets are all work pages to help you get started on trying to work through the business side of it rather than just working on the physical parts. Every leaf of that packet has print on both sides and I packed as much information and advice I could that I figured you would find helpful or useful.” He drops the packet on the redhead’s lap and lightly bonks his head. “And calm down. You’ve been a boss before. Both as the King of the Sheep, the unofficial leader of your old child organization, and as one of the Port Mafia’s Executives. You’ll do fine.”

Using Dazai’s words and the packet as his grounding forces, Chuuya forcefully takes control of his breathing. He counts back from ten, and when it doesn’t help, he repeats it from fifty instead. Slowly, he calms. He opens his eyes, ignoring that he didn’t know when he’d closed them in the first place. There were only two of them there and breaking down wasn’t going to be helpful. He couldn’t be deadweight in a situation like this.

Chapter 29

Chapter Text

I can’t break down right now. Not until we get back to our dimension. Chuuya thought to himself resolutely. For now, I’ll make plans. Until we get back, I’ll keep us safe while Dazai gets us back home in one piece. Alive. Both of us.

“Yeah. I can do this.” Chuuya nodded, his breath shaky. Just like his hands still were.

The brunette eyed him hesitantly. “If you need to have a breakdown, Chuuya, then pick a day or two to do it now. I predict that it’s going to take us a while to get home so let it all out early before we get to work. Once we get started, there’s going to be little time to recompose ourselves.” He stated, nervously averting his eyes when Chuuya’s head snapped up to allow the ginger to look at him. “I had my chance while you were gone today and yesterday. If you want privacy while you have your venting session, let me know so I can go out for my supplies.”

Chuuya stared. “O-Okay.”

Silence.

“And eat,” Dazai told him, dragging him to the table where dinner had already been set. “I cooked us something to eat. I won’t do this often, so don’t get used to it, Shrimp. I already had my portion when I was cooking.”

Chuuya numbly picked up his chopsticks and started eating. Across the table, Dazai set up both of his computers and went back to work. He kept a watchful eye on his near-catatonic partner, hiding his worry as he knew the redhead would find it strange if he expressed it. Especially for him.

Once the mafioso cleaned up the last of his meal, Dazai swiftly took care of the dishes, leaving them in the sink to wash later. Then he herded Chuuya into the bathroom with a prepared change of clothes and urged him to take a bath. The older man had only huffed in return, not saying a word and obeying every suggestion the other gave him without protest.

The next day, just after breakfast, Chuuya spoke up. “Er, Dazai.” He started hesitantly, fiddling with his fingers nervously. “I…”

“... Yes?” Dazai answered, meeting his eyes. “Do you want to take your Breakdown Day today?”

Chuuya froze for a moment before stiffly nodding.

“Alright. Would you like me to get you anything? Or should I just leave you alone to manage your… feelings?”

“Uh, could you bring me back a bottle of red wine?” The redhead requested weakly. “Nevermind, I’ll be alright. Just leave me alone for today.”

“Any specific kind of red wine?” Dazai prodded carefully. “As for leaving you alone today, I can do that. But I’ll be texting you once every few hours to check in on you. If you don’t at least send some response back, even if it’s just a single dot, then I reserve the right to call you over the phone.”

“... Fine.” He paused. “Thanks.”

Then Chuuya scurried off to hide in his bedroom. He threw a quick bark of thanks before he shut his door loudly.

Still seated at the table, Dazai chuckled. For all of Chuuya’s speed, he still saw his ears turn pink. “Cute.” He whispered into the air.

The brunette stayed at the dining table for a minute before finally clearing it, washing the dishes, and leaving them on the rack to dry. Dazai then headed for his room to change his clothes, tossed a swift note of farewell under Chuuya’s door in the form of a playing card, and left the unit.

Dazai returned to the unit an hour later to drop off Chuuya’s wine and a novel he had borrowed from the local library. He knocked on the redhead’s door and reminded him to eat lunch later before going out again.

Another five hours passed before the brunette finally came back with groceries. Dazai spent half an hour putting all his purchases away and another thirty minutes just checking their inventory and making a list.

Then he walked back to Chuuya’s door, knocked to announce his presence to the hiding redhead, and asked, “Chuuya, would you still like me to stay out for the rest of the day? Or do you want me to stay now?”

There was a moment of hesitant silence before Chuuya’s voice whispered, “Stay. Please.” through the closed door.

“Okay,” Dazai acquiesced. “I’ll stay. I’ll be in the living room if you need me.”

“... Thanks.” came his reply.

Chuuya had emerged from hiding for lunch, looking haggard and disastrously messy. Worried, Dazai had sped up on setting and placing their food on the table before walking around the furniture and gingerly grabbing the redhead’s face with both hands.

“Oh, Chuuya,” He bit his lip, trying to wipe away stray or lingering tears from his eyes. “Are you sure you’re okay? Do you need anything? Oh, what am I even asking? Here, eat lunch and go ahead and take a bath. Fix yourself enough so we can go out. We, uh, we’ll go to some rescue center and get you a pet or something! Would that help?” The brunette fumbled, trying hard to remember the tips his acquired friends had given him about comforting people.

“A-Are you fussing?” Chuuya asked, bewildered, even as Dazai pushed him into his seat.

“I suppose I am,” Dazai replied uncertainly. “But I am serious about going out somewhere with you today. I think I’m going to pick up a cat somewhere. They’re better than dogs anyway. I’m fairly certain I can find a stray cat in one of the nearby alleys that I can, uh, acquire.” He rambled as he dug into the food. “Now eat. Unless you don’t care about getting whatever pet you want? I’m only allowing us to adopt pets just this once because we’re in another dimension, you know.”

“Really?”

Dazai nodded wordlessly. “I won’t promise that I’ll like it. But it’s more bearable that you have something to focus on instead of losing my mind whenever I have to predict your next move or reaction. I’ve been given lessons on emotions and personal connections by a few of my civilian friends not native of Yokohama, but we both know I’m never going to be as emotionally competent as most people are.” He deadpanned.

“Obviously.” Chuuya snorted.

“Exactly. I can’t promise you anything but I will do my best to get us back home.” Dazai murmured. “Besides, I do have my reasons to want to return to our world as quickly as possible. Kai-chan’s likely to put himself in trouble, turn himself into a bright white target against a dark background, play pranks on the cops while performing his ‘magic’ capers, and flirt with his little detective all at the same time. It doesn’t make it any better when his little love interest also has to run around the country, solving murder cases as bodies drop around him left and right, to gather information on an underground organization that poisoned him— the mentioned poison, somehow, turning him back approximately ten years younger— which is also the organization that had killed Kai-chan’s father. Kai-chan’s mother had been gone for more than a year before I found and took custody of him after his accomplice Jii-san had passed. Not only that but the little detective has been tasked with dismantling the organization and has been collecting as many connections as possible with his current childish form.” Dazai ranted, growing louder as he continued.

Chuuya blinked. Kai-chan must be one of his wards. He thought.

“As for having found Kai-chan, it was more he-found-me kind of situation. Or to be more accurate, his Jii-san had contacted someone who contacted another who contacted one of my former subordinates who contacted my employee who came to me about the problem. I left Yokohama since I wanted to honor my promise to Odasaku to go and meet the two of them alive but I was a little late. Unfortunately, Jii-san had died minutes before I got to our rendevous point. Kai-chan had been left alone, didn’t know what to do, and had been nearly catatonic. No one had been able to get a response from him until I came along and asked for him, identifying myself as the person who Jii-san had him to meet. I investigated the man’s death and deduced that he must have known that his time was going to be cut short. When I informed the boy, he nearly went on a rampage to avenge the deceased man. If I hadn’t stopped him first and pointed facts out for him.

“It took some time, however, Kai-chan pulled through and went back to his heists. I made sure to keep an eye out for his unwanted guests and eliminated any hostile that got too close for comfort. When Kai-chan found out, he was so pissed and horrified. He didn’t care that I had a hand in their deaths like you might believe. Instead, he was mad because he had a rule for his heists: No one gets hurt. He was angry because though they were his enemies, they were hurt during his show.”

Chuuya spat out the food in his mouth in surprise and prevented himself from choking on it. “What the hell?! What kind of thinking is that?!” He demanded, bewildered.

Dazai laughed. “I know right? It’s an illogical way of thinking. But Kai-chan had taken up his father’s mantel to find the object his father had died searching for, the gem that the organization believed to have the ability to grant immortality, an item he knew existed only from rumors and myths to keep it away from vile hands and destroy it.” He continued fondly. “I saw that he was determined to complete his mission no matter if I had decided to help him or not. He had proceeded with the last heist Jii-san had helped him organize after all. So I offered my assistance, though I warned him that should any more hunters be trying to clip his wings or shoot him down from the sky, the demon that sleeps within me would reawaken to come for their slaughter.

“When I gave Kai-chan the go-ahead, he had taken notice of my hands and demanded I allow him to teach me his magic. I agreed on the condition that he allowed me to teach him a few of my techniques. I was very transparent about my history regarding the mafia, which scared him a bit but he understood to an extent. His fellow fosters managed to ambush him and found out about his nightly escapades as a loud thief, made plans to graduate high school, and enter college courses that would help them assist him in committing crimes.” He rolled his eyes, snickering.

Chuuya bursts into amused cackles as he notes the brunette’s exasperation. “Damn, seriously?”

“It gets even worse.” Dazai groans. “His little detective occasionally assists or tells him to commit a crime whenever their morals or goals align. Kai-chan had told me about the time he kidnapped and smuggled his little detective to another country by stuffing the poor thing into a special suitcase. Before you ask about his motivations for the act, Kai-chan had done it to clear the name of Kaito Kid after someone murdered another while under the guise of being Kaito Kid!”

“A wannabe copycat,” The redhead summarized flatly. “But without the thievery shtick and was all about being a hitman.”

Chapter 30

Chapter Text

“Yes.” Dazai nodded, a smile still on his lips. “I laughed for quite a while when he explained the cause of his anger to me. Yet, at the same time, I sort of understood why. Before he had discovered his late father’s secret, Kai-chan had been a civilian magician who lived a normal life unlike our own which was filled with blood, death, and strife.”

Chuuya hummed thoughtfully though Dazai could tell he was still amused.

The two of them ate the rest of their meal in companionable silence. Chuuya had also pulled a sheet of lined paper from his pocket and shoved it toward the brunette shyly without saying a word. Dazai picked it up and read it carefully, already having figured out the list’s purpose.

“Is this your proposal for our ground rules?” Dazai asked for clarification.

“Yes,” Chuuya replied firmly.

“Alright,” He agreed before adding, “But we will discuss this further after we finish eating and cleaning up. I know we can virtually read each other and understand, but someone told me it’s better to communicate to avoid misunderstandings or misinterpretations.”

The redhead snorted. “That would’ve been something we should have learned when we were younger. It would have cleaned up our relationship a little better faster.”

“True.” Dazai agreed, chuckling.

About half an hour later, the duo sat face-to-face across from each other on the living room floor. They spent three hours proposing and compromising on their new rules before they finally finished and signed it together once they were both satisfied with it.

After scanning, printing copies, laminating the original copy, and hiding the original somewhere in their shared apartment, the two of them moved on to other things. Chuuya went into his room to change into a more publically presentable outfit, collect the bolts of fabric he’d bought two days ago, and pick up his phone and wallet. He was joined by Dazai at the door who led him to a blue, purple, and red car. Chuuya stared at it, slackjawed with awe at the vehicle.

“If you want to keep it, you may,” The brunette tells him nonchalantly. “I bought it as a temporary ride since I managed to scout a nearby beach that has, unfortunately, been turned into a dumping ground. The place has tons of scrap, appliances with minor damage, and several abandoned vehicles too. I think I even saw an old mini-bus there, a couple of motorcycles, and a few dented cars. On my travels, I discovered that modifying, repairing, or building your vehicle seems to make it last longer and run smoother since you can make it special.”

“So you plan on building your car?” Chuuya joked.

“I plan on rebuilding the old mini-bus,” Dazai revealed. “I have… plans for its interior and future. If I finish it early and make little to no progress on my research on how to safely return to our universe, I might even work on the others. We could each have a bike and a car! If I repair or rebuild any other vehicles after we each own two, I’ll probably just sell it somewhere. No big deal.”

Chuuya’s head snapped toward him. “What?! You know how to fix cars?!” He yelled, gaping at the former mafioso who slipped into the driver’s seat.

“Chibi, I made one of my personas to be a very prideful stunt artist. I, quite obviously, know how to fix cars.” He deadpanned at the shorter man. “I’m sure you’ll be ecstatic to know that I can also build, tune, and repair virtually any land vehicle a civilian can get their hands on such as trucks, motorcycles, buses, and vans. Originally, I only knew how to work with cars, motorcycles, and vans. Once I was dragged into the mafia to be a part of the Arcobaleno, I was forced to work with other vehicles— often, they were modified by Verde, the Lightning Arcobaleno, and the mad scientist of our cursed group. This meant not only did I have to take them out on test drives to ensure their functionality and efficiency, but I also had to keep an eye on his work on any kind of vehicle to prevent any explosive or catastrophic accidents with his vehicle prototypes and modifications.” Dazai sighed exasperatedly. “All those tests were such a pain!”

Chuuya got into the front passenger seat and put on his seatbelt as Dazai started the car. “But you still did them?”

“I had to do them.” The younger corrected. “Besides, Skull de Mort is a very obvious persona of mine. He is literally a famous stunt actor. Acting is a craft and an art form. Skull was known to be the World’s Best Stunt Actor, just like the rest of the Arcobaleno were known to be the best in their occupations. Just because I didn’t drop the act as Skull, did not mean I showed them the truth. It wasn’t my fault they hadn’t figured it out, not until ten-years-into-the-future-me snitched anyway.” Dazai huffed.

“So, what’s next on our agenda?” Chuuya asked.

“For now, we set everything up and run under the radar.” Dazai decided, mind whirring rapidly as plans were made, scrapped, torn apart, and put back together as he considered their choices, probabilities, and math. “I predict that in less than three months, we will be able to be stable enough to risk some minor attention, but we will have to rediscuss it when it becomes an issue. I have already begun implementing copies of our records from our world into this world’s internet to give us some digital footprint to prevent suspicions from rising but it will take a day or two. I still have to ensure that it’s seamless and I have to make some legal documents and manipulate things so that they appear to be a hundred percent real to anyone who tries to dig into our backgrounds.”

“Okay, uh, do you need me to do something?”

Dazai started the car, pulled out of the garage, and drove into the street.

“Make public appearances or some friends. Start up your business as a designer and make connections.” The brunette shrugged. “Between the two of us, it would be better if you let loose a bit with your extrovert personality. Unlike me, you thrive best when you have a lot of friends. I don’t need as many friends as you do. I’m an introvert despite the whole extroverted facade I put on. Aside from my AIs and the otherworlders that found their way to me as Izuku did, you were my first friend. Hirotsu-san was more of an acquaintance who supervised me because it was just his job. The few other children who were my age were either dulled into emotionless, living dolls or were terrified of my reputation and unsettling aura.”

“... I see.” Chuuya blinked at him contemplatively. “So you were a big little sh*t of a partner when we were younger because you had no friends and I was your first?”

Dazai froze. He thought back to the past and his former motivations regarding the mafioso in front of him, his partner in crime. “Maybe?”

“How do you not know?!” Chuuya demanded though he looked more amused than angry at him. He almost seemed to be more than ready to laugh.

“What part of ‘empty childhood’, ‘traumatized, suicidal youth’, ‘had no friends at all’, and ‘having the emotional intelligence of a toddler’ do you not understand?! If you asked me about statistics, logic, and literally nearly any rationally or mathematically or scientifically driven thing, I would be able to give you a very straight and precise answer because that kind of information and calculation has, at this point, become instinct to me years before I even ever encountered Mori-san.” He shot back, ranting. “Toss me in a locked room that requires someone to be emotionally aware or compassionate and the only thing that’s going to emerge from it is madness and chaos. Before I left the Port Mafia, my only friends were you, Odasaku, and Ango. My closest acquaintances were Hirotsu-san, Ane-san, and unfortunately, Mori-san. Aside from Odasaku and Ango, you know most of my interactions with them. Of that list, how many people do you think were my age? Let alone, I trusted enough to open up?”

The mafioso stared with a look that broadcasted his pained realization. “I was the only one close enough to you. Ane-san never liked you and the less said about Mori-san, the better.” He muttered.

“Of the six people I listed, you were the only one my age. So I tried to pick you up as a reference for what normal people our age were like. Odasaku was more like an older brother to me and Ango was that one friend who mothered us both whenever we met in the bar. Hirotsu-san only cared because it was his job, Ane-san hated me because I was so ‘close’ to Mori-san and because I was a reminder of her negligence, and Mori-san had too much of an interest in me.” Dazai admitted, a scowl firm on his face. “Now, take the key points of what you know about my history and tell me what I would have come out as.”

“You would’ve been guarded, short-tempered but with a long fuse, could and would hold a grudge all the way down until you died and sank into hell,” Chuuya concluded, horror settling into his mind. “It would have been a miracle that you were anything but a psychopathic genius who killed for the sake of having fun and executing your revenge. How the f*cking hell did you not become a—”

“Monster?” He finished the redhead’s question with a cynical grin. “Chuuya, my title as The Demon Prodigy was not for show or arrogance. I was— as you put it— a psychopathic genius who did whatever I was told to do because I wanted to feel something. Anything. I joined the Port Mafia because I was recruited by Mori who promised me a painless and quick death if I did him a favor, and because I was trying to find something to connect to. To live for.” Dazai sighed. “I didn’t find it until I met you and we had our first mission together.”

“You weren’t lying when you told me that I made you feel like living for longer, were you,” Chuuya whispered shakily. His breath became uneven and his hands shook.

Dazai laughed. “Chuuya, I’ve never held myself responsible for my life. I kept living, yes, but until I met you, I constantly gambled with my life by doing missions for the organization as recklessly as possible and made plans for suicide as well as making sure that the one most likely to die during a mission was me.” He confessed. “When I made that confession in that warehouse, I lost the right to die because I gave it up. I dropped it into your hands that day without letting you know. Every suicide method I tried after we became partners had all been things you could save me from. Drowning? You could fish me out of the water. Hanging? Just cut me down. Cutting? Keep away every blade from my hands and bandage or stitch close my wounds. Death by a gunshot? You’re physically fitter than I am and have gravity under your command. You could just grab the gun, take it from my hands, and crush it, or stop the bullet yourself with your ability. I promised you that the only one who could kill me was you.”

They sat there for a minute in heavy silence.

Finally, it was broken with a “f*ck” from Chuuya. “You are such a f*cking bastard, you stupid f*cking sh*tty fish!” He roared, face burning bright red.

Taken back, Dazai flinches with wide surprised eyes. “Huh?”

“When we get back, you are going to contact everyone alive who helped you get that small amount of emotional intelligence you have and introduce them to me. Then, I’m going to thank each one of them. For f*ck’s sake, do you even know what that sounds like to someone?”

When Dazai didn’t reply, Chuuya sighed and threw his hands up from his lap before planting them on the dashboard and turning to face the brunette. “I need a verbal answer, Mackerel.”

Chapter 31

Chapter Text

“Uh, does it have another meaning? What does it sound like to you?” The brunette wondered.

“sh*tty Dazai,” He groans. “You just made a love confession to me in a roundabout way.”

The car jerks as the younger slams his foot on the brake pedal in the middle of— thankfully— an empty road, and then his head whips around toward Chuuya. “What?!”

Chuuya lets out a hysterical laugh. “You just made a love confession to me.” He repeated between giggles.

“Wait, if what I just said is a love confession, then didn’t I already admit that to you when we were fifteen?” Dazai added, his cheeks flushing. “I distinctly remember telling you the words ‘—and that’s why I love you.’ when we were fifteen. I believe it might’ve been during a mission.”

The redhead choked on his spit. “Wait, seriously?” The brunette nodded. “f*ck.”

The taller man cackled, ignoring his pink face and setting aside his embarrassment as he turned back to the road and continued driving the car.

Neither of the two men spoke until they reached the warehouse.

“Oi, Chibikko, we’re here,” Dazai whispered, poking his companion’s cheek. “Time to wake up.”

Chuuya groaned, swatting his hand away as he slowly pulled himself out of his light nap. He sluggishly removes his seat belt and opens his door, only to be quickly pulled back by his ex-partner.

“You stupid slug! Wake up properly and check the road before you get out!” He yelled, just as a truck passed by and took the car door with it. The brunette sighed. “I’m going to have to replace your door next week. Are you alright, Chuuya?”

“That was… close.” was all he could say. Now wide awake with adrenaline running through his veins. “Thanks.”

“You’re welcome.” came the snark reply as Dazai let go of his grip on the redhead’s collar. He checks the incoming traffic. “Alright, now you can get out. Between the two of us, I thought I was the suicidal one?” He hops out of the vehicle from his side of the car. “Dying by shock and a heart attack induced by some idiot slug that got squished on the same day isn’t a way I want to be written on my grave headstone, y’know.”

Chuuya scoffed. “I wasn’t trying to die! I just didn’t—”

“— See the car coming,” Dazai completes. “I know. I wasn’t mad, I was… I believe the emotion would be ‘worry’. That’s the correct descriptor for someone feeling scared for the sake of another’s sake, right? Yeah.” He nodded to himself before descending quickly into unintelligible muttering. (He had picked up the little habit from Izuku. Oftentimes, Dazai can suppress his urge to speak of his thoughts out loud— especially in public— due to several reasons with the most prominent ones being Mori and it was just a dangerous thing to do.)

“O-Oi! Wait for me!” Chuuya called, jumping out and pulling himself on top of the car roof and dropping down on the other side of the car. He quickly collected his fabrics and jogged after the brunette. “Oi! I told you to hold on and wait for a second! Hey! Are you listening to me?!”

“Not right now Chibikko.” Dazai opened the warehouse. “Where did I? Ah, right. I need—”

While Dazai disappeared into the curtained area, Chuuya scanned the scarcely filled room and spotted the machines his ex-partner had promised him. There were also some mannequins for his use and a few racks for his finished products to hang from. Hangers and plastic wrappings were also among his prepared supplies. There was also an empty rack for his bolts of fabric to be stored in, a shelving unit for his threads, a washing machine, and a dryer. There was also a storage space for him to hide whatever laundering supplies he wanted to use.

It took him two trips to get all of his fabric moved into the warehouse from the car and transferred onto the rack. Chuuya had to make a short trip to the craft store for his threads, bringing fabric samples he had cut from his purchased bolts with him for reference, but even that had taken him a while. He also took a slight detour to buy them food for dinner.

When he came back, the redhead jumped when he heard his ex-partner yelp loudly. “What’s wrong?!” He asked, barging into the curtained-off area with his bags still in his arms.

“Chuuya! Get them out!” The man screamed, swiping furiously like a cornered cat at three dogs that had somehow entered their warehouse.

Chuuya stared, flabbergasted at the scene. But though he was surprised, he obeyed Dazai’s request and walked over to tap the dogs and activate his Ability. Silently, he flew the strays out of the warehouse and doublechecked the building for any unwanted breaches to ensure the canines couldn’t return inside. Chuuya had always thought that his ex-partner had some kind of trauma regarding dogs specifically since he knew he had no problems dealing with wolves and other wild canines. (He still has yet to ask the former executive how the hell he managed to acquire wolves and train them to obey his commands.)

When he returned, Chuuya found Dazai pulling out a foldable table and cushion.

“The warehouse has a table and cushions for us to use. If we wanted to, there’s also a couch somewhere in here that can transform into a bunk bed that we can sleep in.” Dazai explained when he saw his perplexed face. “There is a functional bathroom here. I also ordered a dresser for us to share since I highly doubt you’d accept it if I moved in here instead of the unit I got.”

“Damn right, I wouldn’t let you,” Chuuya muttered, scowling at him. "You'd scheme and rot away in here if I wasn't around to keep your skinny, underweight ass alive. We should stay here for the night. We can both organize our things right now while it's still early in our schedule and before we forget about it. Plus, I need to check that I have everything and that all the machines you got me are still working. I also have to find out what stuff I want to use for laundry because I refuse to use sh*tty excuses of laundry detergent and softeners."

“... Fine.” He agreed, wilting from a short, dark glare his partner had shot him when he attempted to refuse. “I do have to organize by studio area, so I might as well start working on it tonight.”

Chuuya huffed at him in amusem*nt, knowing that the reason Dazai had conceded was not just because he had to organize his studio in the warehouse. The brunette just didn’t want to be alone.

“You know, when you said we had work to do, I didn’t think this was what you meant.” Chuuya deadpanned, staring. “Who even needs a gate that big?”

Dazai shrugged. “We don’t have business with the school, Slug. We have business with a genetically-edited stoat who was formerly a lab rat. Let’s not keep the Principal of UA waiting then, partner.” He waved at a camera on the wall before cheerfully passing through.

“I see.” The white-furred mammal intoned, staring at the duo sitting across from him.

“No, Nezu-san, I know you do not understand,” Dazai replied, amused. He sipped at the tea served. “For all your intelligence, you lack the understanding of this matter. You don’t believe in the supernatural since everything has always seemed to be explainable by facts, logic, and science. Even with all the Quirks available, you have not encountered the true supernatural forces that persist. I assure you, both Chuuya and I have the anatomical features of what you know as the bodies of humans before Quirks emerged, or as you currently classify them as Quirkless.”

“Very well.” Nezu chirps. “To prevent any misconceptions, I should ask, why did you request a meeting with me?”

“It concerns two missing individuals. An Izuku Midoriya and a Katsuki Bakugou. Though if you want me to be more precise, it’s four misplaced people. Two from each dimension. Chuuya and myself, and Izuku-kun and Katsuki-kun.” Dazai chuckled, sounding cheerful about it. (Chuuya could tell the laugh was empty.) “It might seem unbelievable, but given that we are here is proof of another reality that is not parallel to yours. The two boys are still alive. Currently, they live and work with me in one of my cafes. However, Izuku-kun was a part of the Port Mafia with me when I was fifteen to eighteen. He left the mafia as soon as he found me after I defected and ran off, don’t worry.”

“... E-excuse me?” The mammal sputtered.

Chuuya sighed, already exasperated with his ex-partner. “sh*tty Dazai, get to the point already, you bastard! We’ve still got other sh*t to do, so hurry it the f*ck up!” He yelled, smacking the back of the brunette’s head and ignoring the whining that erupted from the younger man.

“You brutish chibi! You know I hate pain!” He groaned dramatically before straightening up and turning his attention back to the stoat. “Anyway, I requested an audience with you to inform you that the two boys were still alive. I’m sure this information is sufficient enough for you to have a clue of my plans, yes? I am also certain that you already understand what I’m asking you to do regarding my partner and my existence in this universe. Or am I incorrect?”

“You would like me to turn a blind eye to your operations as you manufacture your way back to your home dimension with your partner.”

“Hmm. Not quite. There won’t be illegal operations done or arranged by either of us. At worst, they will likely be labeled as acts of vigilantism by your laws, though I highly suspect that Chuuya here will be toeing that particular line very closely.” Dazai corrected, huffing at the short ginger. “I will take full responsibility for any of his witnessed illegal acts and you won’t have to assist us in any of that. All I ask is that you keep a line open with us. There might be certain materials that you require that we might be able to provide but depending on the favor, it might cost you in return.”

“Ah, my apologies for the mistake then,” Nezu stated, hiding a twitch. (Dazai still noticed because of course he did.) “I am amenable to that arrangement. Will you also be creating a way for Midoriya and Bakugou to return home then?”

“Of course! I suspect Izuku-kun won’t be allowing me to return to my world unless I add a factor that allows us to speak to each other across dimensions, so I suppose either the portal will be something accessible and reusable or I’ll have to think of something else.” He shrugged. “It won’t be the first time my family has built something cross-dimensional so it isn’t much of a problem.”

At that statement, both Nezu and Chuuya stared at him, the latter gaping in disbelief.

“What the f*ck.” Chuuya whispers.

“On that note, this meeting has lasted long enough,” Dazai states cheerfully as if he hadn’t just dropped a metaphoric bomb in the room, finally putting his cup back on the table, looking like some rich heir as he did it with a (fake) smile. “Thank you for hearing us out today, Nezu-san. Time to go, Chuuya! We’ve got work to do!”

The duo vanishes from UA grounds and despite how hard Nezu tries to search for either man, he has difficulty tracking either of them even when he attempts to track them by their activities. As Dazai had promised, Nezu never catches them committing a crime. Not even through cameras, technology, or spies.

Chapter 32

Chapter Text

Ha! The “smartest individual in Japan” my ass! Dazai snorted. The stoat can’t even notice the obvious trails— digital and physical— I left behind for the animal to follow!

It took six months for Dazai to establish contact with their home dimension while Chuuya built his grey empire made of vigilantes with varying moral limits without gaining attention from the government, the police, Nezu, or any of the Pro Heros. Within that time, the tall brunette also made himself quite a reputation as an anonymous painter and novelist while his partner created a name for himself in the fashion industry.

When Dazai had video-called Izuku, the man had been in the cafe breakrooms. “Hello, Izuku-kun! I finally reached you guys!” He greeted them. “Now, before anyone starts asking questions, I just want you to know that Chuuya and I are in another dimension. Izuku-kun and Katsuki-kun’s home world, to be exact. I’m currently working on a portal to get us back there and Izuku-kun and Katsuki-kun back here, but it’s taking me a while to manage the feat. No, we were not hit by an Ability or the odd invention. Yes, we are currently stable here. We’re living right next to the apartment of one Inko Midoriya and close by to the Bakugous.”

“How’s my mom? What about Auntie Mitsuki and Uncle Masaru? What are your cover stories? What should we expect when we get back? You better make a portal that lets us visit each other! What do you think about Quirks? They’re intriguing—” Izuku rambled, only to be cut off by a cough from the other end.

“Damn, he’s a lot like you, Mackerel. Except with less trauma.” Chuuya snickered.

“Well, he was the first intellectual who stuck around me for longer than just a week,” Dazai replied sarcastically. “He’s also the only one I can still stand to be around with. Verde is a busybody know-it-all, you already know how Mori is, and Dostoevsky can only really be described as a second version of myself— almost a like twin, except I learned emotions on a personal level but he never did and is— to this day— a religious nut who is disconnected with his heart.”

“So, basically, he’s like your younger self before you met that Oda guy?”

“Yes.”

“sh*t.”

“Aw! I knew you loved me, Boss!” Izuku cackled, dramatically gushing through the phone. “Ha! And I still remember when we were younger and you called me an inconvenience! You’re totally a black cat, aren’t you, Dazai? Everyone already knows Chuuya-san’s the golden retriever between the two of you but now, I’ve solved the damn mystery! Well, not really. Everyone already knew you were a cat, Dazai, but no one knew what breed you were.”

“What the f*ck?” Chuuya asked, bewildered, before laughing at the flat, mildly annoyed look on his ex-partner’s scowling face. “Damn, I don’t know if I’ve said this before, but I f*cking love our subordinates! Oh my god! I don’t think I’ve seen that damn look on your face before! sh*t! That’s just f*cking priceless!”

“How many times must we have this conversation? I am not a cat!” Dazai seethed, bristling. “Being called feral is one thing— which I must admit, I am— but I am not a cat! I never was or am a cat! I am not a cat!”

“Right, sorry. You’re a black panther.” Izuku nodded, a cheeky grin on his lips.

“Still not a cat!”

“But—”

“Okay, calm down. Let’s get back to the point of the call.” Chuuya interjected, having finally calmed down from his laughing fit. “Would you mind passing on a message to the Port Mafia for me? Just let them know our, uh, current predicament, I guess?” He looks to Dazai for assurance, which the brunette gives him by nodding. “Dazai’s building us a way back, but he said this was his first test? Something about needing to be able to establish a connection first and a phone call verifies that? I didn’t really understand much.” He shrugs.

“Well, Boss did promise me he’d get me back to my mom when we were younger. He extended that promise to Kacchan when he came here and we found him.” Izuku mentions. “But he also said that to forge a way between dimensions, there has to be two gates. His family already has access to five other dimensions for generations. I think Abilities had spawned from his history somewhere either by relation or a connection to his bloodline centuries ago.”

“Oh? You figured that out?” Dazai asked, an interested and amused look on his face. “I must admit, I didn’t expect that. However, unless you somehow get accepted or adopted into my clan, you won’t get an answer to that theory. Even I cannot reveal any clan secrets. It’s quite literally locked within the clan, not physically, if you get what I mean. I cannot even try to hint at the true origins of Abilities though I highly doubt there will be records outside of my clan or the other clans as old as my own that you can get your hands on.”

“How old is your family anyway?” Chuuya inquired, derailing the conversation again.

“I can trace my clan’s entire bloodline history until the early years of the Ancient civilization of Mesopotamia was in the process of being built.” Dazai looked up thoughtfully before shaking his head and correcting himself. “Wait, sorry, earlier than that. If I remember correctly, the clan records were first made approximately four decades before Mesopotamia had formed.”

“More than four thousand years BC?!”

“Yes.”

“What the f*ck.”

Dazai gasped teasingly at the redhead. “Chuuya! Language!”

Izuku laughed at the affronted look that appeared on the shorter of the duo before he smacked the brunette. “I can see why he likes teasing you so much if that’s the face you make when he does it. Well, it’s a reason but probably not the only one.”

“You shut the f*ck up unless you want me to crush you when we get back.” Chuuya snarled, attempting— and failing— to intimidate the dimensional stray through the phone, trying to ignore the slight burn on his cheeks.

“Sorry Chuuya-san,” Izuku gasped, slowly calming down from his fit. “Aside from the message to the Port Mafia, is there anything else either of you would like me to pass on?”

“Nah, that’s it for me.” Chuuya huffs, still embarrassed.

“If you could inform the Agency and our network about my current situation, that would be quite appreciated! And please keep an eye on the kids for me. I don’t want Kai-chan or his Tantei-kun to bite more than they can chew off before they’re ready. If you address one of the AIs, they should pick up on your post and contact you, so if you need something from me, try asking Celeste or Twilight. They’ll help you out.” Dazai instructs him. “And pack yourself and Katsuki a bag to prepare for your return here. Time often runs differently between dimensions when there isn’t a connection between them. There’s a reason why I once told you that time is a concept and not a base of reality.”

“Wait, is that why you have no recognition of time?” Izuku wondered.

“Yes. But there isn’t anything anyone can do about it unless they are also somewhat immortal like me. Chibi does have a chance of being such a being but until he continues to mature, there is no clear marker to know if he is or is not.”

“What?!”

“You’re immortal?!”

“To an extent,” Dazai admitted. “Oh, I can still die. But as I was the only blood heir to the main family of the clan— most of which had been eradicated— until I have a blood heir at least three years near of age, I cannot die. Furthermore, blood-adopted heirs do count. In addition, for the spirits of the clan to accept a blood heir— a prerequisite requirement before one is officially recognized as an heir in my clan— I am required to educate them about everything the clan was, is, and will forever be bound to be. Currently, I do not have an official heir in the clan and until further notice, am currently immortal. I am not impervious to injuries, disorders, or illnesses either.”

Both Izuku and Chuuya blink at the brunette, dumbfounded. “Yeah, I can understand why you would hate pain.” They comment in unison. “Besides your history of having had plenty of it.”

The former executive shot the two glares. “I’ll have you know, my dislike of pain has nothing to do with my status as a temporary immortal. But thank you for giving me a new reason to hate living.” He replies sarcastically.

“You’re welcome,” Chuuya retorts just as drily.

“But seriously, I will pass on both of your messages to the Mafia, the Agency, and the faction,” Izuku states. “For all of our sakes, please get back sometime soon.”

“We will. Remember to prepare Go-bags for your return here.” Dazai reminded, shooting Izuku a stern, expectant look.

“Understood, sir,” Izuku confirmed with a nod.

“Great! I’ll be busy working on the portal, so I’ll be leaving this particular phone in Chuuya’s hands so he can reach back there whenever he wants. There are, unfortunately, only three numbers programmed into it. Yours, the general contact number for the Intelligence branch of our faction, and one of Ane-san’s burner phones. If any of those three numbers or devices are changed, lost, or broken, then we will not be able to reconnect for a while. So please be careful with them. Bye.” With that announcement, Dazai passes the phone into Chuuya’s hands and disappears.

“Goddamnit— Dazai! I’ll call back tomorrow in this dimension.” The redhead quickly cuts the call and rushes after the brunette even though he knows the other has already left for somewhere.

Four months later, Dazai cackles madly with a pair of goggles on his eyes as he connects two plugs. Chuuya eyes him nervously, watching him rip open a portal in the second, lower basem*nt under their warehouse while radiating a sinister yet excited aura, looking very much like a mad scientist on the verge of completing their latest creation. (Considering the “creation” was a portal, “mad scientist” was very accurate.)

There was a split second of inactivity before the bunker blacked out and darkness fell. Outside, a radius of at least two or three city blocks experienced a blackout as the portal frame sucked in electricity for power like a man dying of thirst.

“f*ck!” Chuuya jumped, startled. “What the f*ck?!”

“Wait for it!”

Then came a loud rip as a hole in the fabric of reality was punched open. It starts small before expanding to fit the portal frame Dazai had built. On the other side, a faint light came through, illuminating the room softly with the night lights of Yokohama.

“... Holy sh*t.” Chuuya stared.

Chapter 33

Chapter Text

The lights came back on as power was restored in their area. According to Dazai, the portal would only take ridiculous amounts of power the first time it’s opened. Then the thirteen power generators he made would be taking on the job of supplying the energy required the next time they needed the portal open now that the machines had gotten an estimate for the power requirements. Reviewing the data with Dazai, Chuuya gapes at the numbers.

“Damn, that’s a lot of power.” He comments. “How many cells are you going to have to build?”

“Looking at these numbers? I’d say about seven or more.” Dazai replies. “Each one would be storing amounts of power nearly equivalent to that of an atomic bomb’s power which is five hundred kilotons of energy but it would also take a while for the generators to fill them. They have already begun producing power to keep it open.”

“There it is!” They hear Izuku exclaim on the other side. “Hurry up!”

Instead of seeing two people running for the portal as Dazai and Chuuya had expected, there were seven. Izuku Midoriya and Katsuki Bakugou were leading the charge followed by Koyou, the elder Akutagawa, and Higuchi from the Port Mafia, and lastly, Atsushi Nakajima and Doppo Kunikida from the Armed Detective Agency.

“What the f*ck?!”

“Language!” Dazai instinctively said, smacking Chuuya who yelped. “Oops. Sorry, Chibi, I think I’ve been spending too much time with Inko-san.”

“I’ll say.” The redhead grumbled, scooting away from the brunette’s reach.

“And get out of the way!” Dazai hurriedly pulled the shorter man aside just seconds before the group of seven barged through the portal. “Izuku-kun! You absolute menace! I thought you were only going to bring Katsuki-kun?!”

“That’s your mistake, ‘Samu-chan.” Izuku replied smugly. “Shouldn’t you have learned by now, I will always bring backup of more than two people every single time I can! The last time I didn’t, we got stuck in the middle of an enemy organization on an island with no access to communication or extra weapons or ammo other than the ones that the other side was using.”

“First of all, if you hadn’t brought up that interesting article, neither of us would have gone there and gotten stuck.” Dazai hissed, pointing an accusing finger at him. “And secondly, we were eleven! How was I supposed to know that was going to happen?! Yes, I did predict that we would be running into trouble, but I didn’t expect that kind of trouble!”

“Oh yeah? Well then, mind reminding me which one of us got us out of it? That’s right. It was me!”

“It was my plan!”

“I did most of the damn work while you somehow snuck off to steal data from somewhere before proceeding to feed the poor organization to the wolves!”

“We got out of it alive!”

“It was a sh*t show and you know it!”

“So what if it was?! Besides, I got better!”

“Yeah, you did. After I told you to get some training! How the f*ck was I supposed to know you would take it to the extreme? I know for a fact that before you put limitations on yourself, you used to be able to throw dumpster bins across a hundred-yard football field! With one hand! And that was with you putting as much effort as a pitcher sending a baseball at a batter in a casual baseball game. Meaning, only some!”

“Both of you little sh*ts shut the f*ck up!” Katsuki roared angrily, his hands popping some explosions. “You, Dazai, how the f*cking hell are we explaining our disappearances and where on this f*cking mud ball we’ve been.”

“There’s no need to explain how the two of you disappeared, Katsuki-kun.” Dazai frowned. “There were witnesses at both incidents to vouch that you were both hit by a quirk. As for your alibis about your location for the time you were missing, take your pick and make up a believable story.”

“Or we can go with the truth and f*ck with everyone else’s head! Well, everyone except our parents. I love my mom, but she’s terrifying when she catches the scent of trouble.” Izuku shivered, paling at the thought. Dazai stiffened too while Chuuya grimaced at the idea.

Katsuki huffed. “f*cking whatever.”

“As for the rest of you, I hope all of you had the chance to tell whoever might be concerned about your whereabouts that you were going to stay in another dimension for a while because the portal is already closing,” Dazai announces flatly, his eyes focused on the shrinking rip in reality.

No one replies.

“Having predicted a chance of this occurring, I have already set up documents for all of you coming. Kelly will launch and integrate them into the government system shortly.” Dazai informed, already typing away on his phone. “Atsushi-kun, I’m enrolling you into an online school program. Kunikida, would you like to return to being a math teacher? Ane-san, please let me know of your preferred occupation. Before any of you ask, Chibikko is a fashion designer. I, on the other hand, am an artist, an author, and due to Chuuya pushing me into the position, am also a CEO. Specifically, the CEO of the company that is technically owned by the slug but he put me in the chair because he thinks it’s hilarious that I suffer having to go to all of those business meetings. Akutagawa and Higuchi-san, let me know what legal job you two want.” Then, he marched off for the stairs.

A beat of silence passes before everyone turns to Chuuya with expectant expressions. The redhead scoffs. “I’ll pass your job requests on. Kelly is another AI that Dazai made. I’ll ask her for your address in a minute. Let’s just get out of this basem*nt first.” He says.

An hour later, the group finds Dazai talking on the phone through a headset with his phone on a stand at a nearby desk while he rummages through his shelves of paint and other art supplies. Instead of having the white lab coat he had been wearing earlier, the brunette had a paint-stained apron over his equally paint-stained black shirt and jeans. He was speaking of prices for a pair of paintings which Atsushi had noticed and pointed their attention toward it with a question.

“Eto, Chuuya-san. Did Dazai-san paint that?” The teen wondered with stars in his eyes.

The paintings in question were a matching that depicted a scene of two animals, a black cat with white socks and a white tip and a Jack Russel with a red and black collar. In one canvas, the feline was regally seated on its hindlegs on a dumpster bin in an ominous alley with its tail curled and laying in front of its front paws. Behind it was the moon, however, it was painted red. The cat’s eyes also reflected the color, appearing to have the same bloody shade in its irises. Around it, the floor was cluttered with bandages, medical gauze, chains, blood, and weapons. It gave off a menacing feel to the image, especially with the half-hidden dead bodies scattered in the background. The angle of the perspective also created the illusion of the cat looking down on the viewer, as if the picture had been taken from a low point.

On the other canvas, a scene that was nearly a direct antithesis to the cat painting was the dog standing aggressively on all fours with bared teeth, seemingly ready to pounce and attack. In the dark scene, the animal looked as if it was black and white. The canine was half-covered in blood, its mouth dripping with it and its saliva, giving it the appearance of being a feral animal. Around it were craters, crushed bodies, pools of blood, and used bullet casings. The background had a warehouse that had a flock of sheep hidden behind barn doors and five flags hanging on the walls of the building. Instead of a red glow, the painting had a blue one instead. Despite the homicidal image, the painting gave off a protective feel to it. Its perspective angle created the illusion of the dog appearing smaller, almost as if the photo was snapped by someone taller.

“Yeah. I wonder who he’s selling it to!” Izuku chimed in. “When Dazai had been part of the Port Mafia, he quit painting. The closest thing to art aside from working that he did during that time had been his little doodles and sketches. Though his drawings always represented someone or something. To refer to Ozaki-san, he always doodled nightshade. A dog paw print, an orange slug, or a wine glass with red wine was for Chuuya-san. A pair of square glasses for Kunikida-san, a black dragon for Akutagawa, a white tiger paw print for Nakajima-kun, a strawberry for Higuchi-san, an explosion for Kacchan, a green Campus notebook for me, and more.” He whispered, listing examples.

“The bastard’s a closet softie but only toward extras he gives a flying sh*t about. If he doesn’t care about some extra, the only reasons he’d help them would be to sate his curiosity, one of his people would care, they’re useful somehow, they amuse him, or he’s planning on using them as his playtoys.” Katsuki inserts bluntly. “Otherwise, anyone who asked anything of him might as well be a gust of wind if he wasn’t interested at all.”

“Of all of us here, ‘Samu-chan only directly cares about four people. Chuuya-san, Akutagawa-kun, Nakajima-kun, and myself. He doesn’t care about Higuchi at all but will help her because he finds her amusing. Ozaki-san, Kunikida-kun, and Kacchan also get his help because Chuuya-san, Atsushi, and I care about them respectively.” The greenette adds, his hair having bled back into its original color.

“Look, I sent you photos of my paintings and allowed you to privately view them with an authenticator. We had agreed on a price. Now you’re telling me you can only afford to take one of them?! Absolutely not! They stay together!” Dazai yelled, frustration clear in his even voice. “You either take both of them or not at all… No, we are not renegotiating the price! We had already agreed on two million yen as the final price!”

“Two million?!” Atsushi squawks.

Kunikida and Higuchi’s jaws drop. Koyou and Akutagawa’s eyes widen in surprise. On the other hand, Chuuya, Izuku, and Katsuki looked unsurprised about the stated price for the set of paintings.

“Is that his typical price for his work?” Koyou asked Chuuya, staring at the art with a critical eye. “I believe he should be charging for at least thirty percent more.”

“Ah, I know right? I keep trying to tell him that but that asshole just keeps claiming that the ridiculously sh*tty prices he keeps attaching to them are all that they’re worth.” The short redhead whines, grumbling. “Dazai’s also been using average-rate art supplies and unorthodox techniques too. If he would let me, I’d sell them for their actual worth which is almost always higher than just two million yen.”

Her head quickly swivels and she stares at her former apprentice for a moment before her eyes harden with certainty. “Chuuya, dear, I need you to get Dazai off that call. I’ve decided what I want my occupation will be and I need him to get the documents started. I don’t care what you have to do, just get him to finish that call.” She ordered sternly, her eyes gaining a light of bright determination. “And do it quickly.”

A hint of fear entered Chuuya’s eyes when her avatar appeared behind her and he nodded before sprinting toward the brunette who was still busy arguing with someone on the phone.

Chapter 34

Chapter Text

Within two minutes, he had managed to wrangle Dazai off the phone and standing in front of the woman. “Chuuya said that you’ve made your decision?”

“Yes.” Koyou nodded. “I want to be a secretary or a private assistant. Specifically, your private assistant. I refuse to allow you to continue selling those artworks of yours for cheap! We are not going to be running this business like it’s some kind of charity!”

“Er, but Ane-san, half of the paintings I make are for charity,” Dazai said, sweatdropping.

“Charity?! That?!”

“Yeah.” The brunette nods. “The fashion company Chuuya put me in charge of already earns millions, almost up to a billion soon and its income is only still increasing. Chibi works too much though, so I made sure he had a comfortable bed and an adjoined bathroom to his studio in the company building. Most of our models are female though and the Slug’s beginning to get cagey about his designs because there aren’t enough male models to show off his masculine designs.”

At the news, Koyou frowns. Suddenly, she starts eyeing the other men in the room. “I see.”

“If Chuuya-san would allow it.” Akutagawa volunteers, taking a single step toward Chuuya.

“If Atsushi-kun wants a part-time job alongside his education, I think this could be a fun competition for him to go in against Akutagawa!” Dazai suggested, smirking.

At the mention of a possible competition, Akutagawa zeroed in on the teenage detective with a predatorial look. Atsushi squeaked nervously and hid behind his senior detective who audibly gulped when the female executive laid her eyes on him. On the other hand, Izuku and Katsuki were both completely calm. The two were even giggling at the two detectives who seemed ready to run.

Noticing that both men (who seemed to be getting younger by the hour) were unbothered, Higuchi asks, “How are you two so calm about this?”

“Hmm? Oh, that’s because we’ve been models before!” Izuku replies, locking eyes with the Ability nullifier who pales. “In fact, I had my first modeling gig with ‘Samu-chan! I still have copies of the photos of it too. Wanna see how they came out? I’m surprised no one noticed or ever saw photos of him in the magazine. He’s pretty well-known as a model back in Yokohama, y’know.”

“What?!” Chuuya, Atsushi, Kunikida, and Higuchi cried out in unison.

“Izuku-kun, no!” Dazai started running, only to be blocked by Chuuya who held him down on the floor with Kunikida’s help.

“Show me,” Kouyou ordered.

“Gladly!” Izuku happily pulled out his phone and unlocked it. While he showed off pictures to Koyou, Akutagawa, Higuchi, and Atsushi, he added, “This is payback for dragging me to that week-long convention in America without warning. You even got Kaito to kidnap his future boyfriend and join in on the impromptu trip!”

“That was months ago!” Dazai protested, squirming.

“Is that- is that Dazai-san in a dress?!” Atsushi gasped. “Wait, why does it look like that?” He inquires innocently.

Akutugawa let out a strangled noise as he activated Rashom*on to cover the teen’s eyes. “That’s not something you should see, Jinko.” He coughed.

“Huh?! Akutagawa?! Hey!” Atsushi protested, trying to pull off his blindfold unsuccessfully.

“Would you believe me if I told you that he got into that without someone having to force him to wear it?” Izuku snickered. “We also got to keep all the clothes we modeled plus the underwear they made us wear under it.”

“Send me copies of each picture with Dazai in it,” Kouyou demanded, passing over a tablet. “I’ll have Chuuya make an inspired line as soon as possible.”

“Ane-san?!” Dazai yelled with disbelief.

“I think we can work on it and get it publicized within two months,” Chuuya grunted in agreement, shuffling to pin down the brunette.

“Can I be Akutagawa-san’s assistant?” Higuchi requests.

“You ask him that,” Dazai replied, pausing to look at her. “He’s the one who volunteered to be one of the shortie’s models.” Then he resumed his struggle against both Kunikida and Chuuya. “Let go of me already you brutes!”

“Not until they’re done.” Chuuya denied. “Besides, just enjoy the hug, Mackerel.”

Dazai huffed and ceased trying to escape with a pout. “Five minutes.” He conceded.

Ten minutes later, everyone was seated around a table filled with food. “Go ahead and eat already. I’m sure everyone has had a long day today.” Dazai coaxed, serving himself some meat and vegetables from the ominous-looking hotpot in the middle.

“Despite how seemingly bad it looks, it’s actually good,” Chuuya said in assurance, also grabbing himself food. “The bastard that comes with bandages can make his food look good but he usually doesn’t do that to mess with people’s heads.”

“Ah, that might’ve been my fault.” Izuku apologized, laughing sheepishly. “When I started cooking, the food I made was great but the presentation of it was… not. ‘Samu-chan had taken some home with him whenever he could and often shared the reactions he got when others saw him eating what looked like a poisonous meal.”

Dazai snickered, gaining some surprised attention from Akutagawa and Higuchi. “I also took mild poisons with it on occasion, Izuku-kun. Gaining poison resistance at a young age was traditional in my clan and so was developing poison immunity. The fact that your food looked terrible was what horrified most of my family.” He explained, amused. “They couldn’t believe that I would eat something that looked inedible despite knowing that I always avoided every poisoned meal or drink they served me to build my poison resistance.”

“Clan?” Kouyou intoned curiously. “There are more of your bloodline?”

“Not quite.” The brunette shook his head. “My family was wiped out. My clan, on the other hand, is a different matter altogether. They are still around, scattered as they are with their families, but should I call for them, they’ll all come running to assist me. Most of them lead average lives, however, don’t be fooled by my words when I say ‘average’. I mean it as average by my clan’s traditional standards. To give you an example of the basic standard in my clan, I’d say that most would have the physical strength and stamina capable of matching Chibikko, the skills to kill, seduce, or manipulate like you, the cunning of Mori-san, and the ability to cause chaos as I do, though less impactful.”

“If what you say is true, then where do you stand in your clan’s scale?”

“I am one of the best in my clan’s history, though currently, I am within the top ten ranks of power,” Dazai replies nonchalantly.

“And influence,” Izuku adds. “You are the current head of your clan after all.”

“Must you mention it, Izuku-kun.” The brunette groaned.

“Yes.”

“I regret ever sharing that tidbit of information.”

“Then suffer.”

“Wait, if you legally adopted me and the other brats,” Katsuki speaks up. “Does that mean we’re part of your clan now?”

“Er, maybe?” Dazai tilts his head to look up and think before turning to look at the blond. “I’ll have to check the clan records to give you a clear answer on that but I highly doubt the possibility that you might be a part of the clan. I didn’t start training any of you to the clan’s standards, so it might not register any of you into the clan records.”

“Wait, so I just need you to adopt me and train me to your clan’s standards and you’ll tell me how Abilities came to be in your world?” Izuku demanded, cutting in. “Or why your clan is connected to the origin of Abilities? Kacchan! Tell me how you got adopted! I’m going to get Dazai to adopt me!”

“Hold on–”

“Hah? I didn’t ask to be adopted. The bastard picked me off the streets when he found me.”

“What?! Osamu-kun! Adopt me! I wanna know how Abilities came to your world!”

“Your clan knows the origin of Abilities?”

“What the f*ck—”

“I can’t just adopt you—”

As the rest of the evening passed, the group spent the time together. Izuku and Katsuki spent the time hashing out their alibi with Dazai and preparing themselves to return to their families and reintegrate back into their old lives. Meanwhile, Chuuya discussed the differences their current reality had with their original world with Kouyou, Akutagawa, Higuchi, Kunikida, and Atsushi.

The next morning, the group ate their breakfast together— this time, made by Chuuya— before separating into three groups. Kunikida and Atsushi stayed in the warehouse where the teenager got remedial lessons from Kunikida and Kelly. Meanwhile, Kouyou, Akutagawa, and Higuchi joined Chuuya to go to his workplace. Finally, Dazai led Izuku and Katsuki to UA where they met with Nezu and a detective named Tsukauchi. During the meeting, Izuku and Katsuki reverted to being teenagers as was their proper age which Dazai explained was a normal phenomenon for Travellers.

By late afternoon, Izuku was reunited with his mother while Katsuki was with his parents. Dazai had invited Izuku’s mother over for dinner as well before he had left for the company building to join Chuuya’s group. He also offered, at Izuku’s insistence— as if Inko hadn’t gained Dazai’s favor— to help explain Izuku’s time away though he also includes a warning that her son no longer had hands as clean as he used to, before he disappeared from this reality and thrown into another. Inko had taken both without hesitation and had met his eyes without a hint of fear or uncertainty and replied, “Regardless of how many lives my son has taken, the number of crimes he committed, or the amount of blood he has spilled, my son will always be my son and that will never change.”

Dazai had shot her a look of satisfaction and smug acceptance. “Glad to know my prediction was not unfounded.” He passed her a gun with a single bullet. “Take a shot. One bullet. If I told you that I technically influenced your son, Izuku Midoriya, into exploring and joining the underworld, where would you send that shot?”

Inko had quickly shot the bullet an inch before his feet before dismantling the pistol she had been given. “I know my son. If you mention anything he can or will find interesting, Izuku will more than likely hyperfocus on it. It’s how he usually gets into trouble here and I find it hard to believe that it will be any different whether he is or is not tossed into any other world.” She scoffed.

“Mom!” Izuku whined, embarrassed while Dazai let out a startled laugh.

“I’ll make sure to share all of the information I have of him getting himself in trouble with you then. I’ll also send you some photos I think you’d like to see.”

Chapter 35

Chapter Text

“Thank you, Dazai-san,” Inko said gratefully, catching Dazai off guard. “Thank you for returning my son to me and keeping him alive.”

“You’re quite welcome, Inko-san. It was a chore and a half to keep him in one piece and breathing!” He had joked before finally departing.

“Osamu Dazai! When I get my hands on you, I’m gonna spill your blood!” Izuku had roared, unable to enact vengeance on the retreating brunette due to his mother restraining him.

Hours later, everyone regroups back in the warehouse. On one side of the long, growing table were the world’s natives of their party. On the other side sat the Travellers, the immigrants. And on either end of the table were Dazai and Chuuya. (Kouyou had ordered them to sit apart.)

“First, I would like to honestly disclose that it was not my fault that Izuku Midoriya had joined the Port Mafia at the young age of fifteen when he tracked me down after my fifteenth birthday and ambushed me during a mission while I was a part of the Port Mafia!” Dazai started, dodging a knife from the mentioned teenager. “Oi! What was that for!? I was just stating a fact!”

“Bullsh*t!” Izuku retorted, accepting another knife from Chuuya who offered a knife block using his Ability. “I didn’t expect you to be a part of the mafia and I didn’t want you to be alone!”

“So you join the mafia?!”

“What was I supposed to do? Drag you out of it?” Izuku replied sarcastically, throwing another knife. “I tried to do that three times, Osamu-chan. You just made yourself useless and we always got brought back anyway. So, since you didn’t seem to care enough to leave the organization, I followed you into said organization to keep you company!”

“That isn’t really much better,” Kunikida commented, staring at both of them.

“Do you even know your final kill count?” Katsuki wondered.

“Hmm, maybe half a thousand?” Izuku estimated, pausing his attempts at hitting the former mafioso with a knife. “I stopped counting after reaching my first hundred and fiftieth kill.”

“Closer to the thousand, Izuku-kun,” Dazai corrected nonchalantly. “Which mission number did you stop counting on then? The third?”

“Fourth.”

“Right.”

“Hold the f*ck up,” Mitsuki Bakugou interjects, drawing attention from everyone around the table. “What’s this sh*t about the mafia? Izuku-kun has a f*cking kill count?!”

“Ah.” Izuku, Dazai, and Katsuki intoned in unison.

The brunette turned to look at his former ward. “Did you not fill in your parents about your adventures in my universe?”

“I f*cking thought I f*cking didn’t have to tell them sh*t!” Katsuki defended himself. “It was just sh*tty Deku who joined the f*cking mafia! When I got there, you had already left the damn organization, and just f*cking picked me up ‘cause the sh*tty nerd told you about me!”

“It was a very close call,” Izuku smirked at the blond. “If you’d come a week earlier, you’d have been in the mafia with me. I think you would be a part of the Brute division, specifically in the demolition gang. Now, those maniacs are different. Explosions and explosives are their favorite toys.”

“No,” Dazai denied. “Katsuki-kun wouldn’t be able to handle killing someone yet. Not unless he was forced to by extenuating and highly traumatic circ*mstances. He can claim whatever he wants about killing but he’s too soft to kill. He isn’t jaded enough to take a life.”

“Hah?!” Katsuki yelled. “Who’re you callin’ soft, bastard?!”

“Which isn’t a bad thing, Kacchan,” Izuku tells him. “At least your hands are still clean! A very lucky, fortunate thing to be, considering that I had to become strong enough to kill to keep living.”

“I tried to make sure he had enough reason not to regret ending someone’s life,” Dazai adds, looking uncomfortable and wanting to hide somewhere. “I didn’t want him to be too guilty about having to kill. I’d like to be the only suicidal maniac between the two of us, thank you.” He sniffed.

“Wait, really? Is that why the ones I killed were abusers, serial killers, and bastards that have no redeeming quality?” Izuku asked, his head whipping around to look at the bandage-wrapped brunette. “Osamu-chan… You are such a wonderful human being!” He sobbed dramatically.

Dazai recoiled from him and shot the green-haired teen a disgusted look. “Ew.”

Kunikida smacked him lightly. “You are human too, Dazai. Just accept it as a compliment already.”

“What?! No way!” Dazai nearly screeched. “Besides, there is no way a demon like me can be human and even if I was not a demon, I would be anything except human due to the mixed blood in my bloodline. Yes, there are demons in my family history and Yokai too. Hybrids as well.” He added, explaining why. “Most of the inhumans in my family line are possessive by nature which bled into our blood. More than half of the creatures also often mate with only one person in their lifetime, another trait that has long since integrated into our genetics.”

“So, if you find someone you love romantically, then they’re the only one for you? No one else?” Kouyou asked curiously, an odd yet interested glint in her eyes.

“Yes,” He confirmed. “My loyalty, due to my blood, also functions closer to that of a pack mindset. Alpha, beta, and omega. To me, Alphas are trailblazers. An example of such a character would be Ane-san. Betas are the watchers. Kunikida and Higuchi are such people in my world. Omegas are commonly caretakers and the most brutal since they are practically the last defense between an invader and the pups or children. Atsushi-kun and Akutagawa are both omegas to me despite their opposing characters.”

“If that’s how you think, then what label would you fall under?”

“I would be an outlier. An Enigma, if you will.” He shrugs. “Depending on the situation, I can be an Alpha, a Beta, or an Omega. For example, during my time in the Port Mafia, while under Mori’s control, I was often an extreme Alpha and occasionally a Beta. Once I left, I became a Beta. When I got dragged back into the mafia— no, not the Port Mafia— I made myself an Omega but often acted like an Alpha-leaning Beta around my acquaintances. When I took control of my family’s company and started my cafe, I was Omega and Alpha. Does that make sense?”

“f*ck no.” Katsuki deadpanned.

“Oh.” Kouyou suddenly looked like she had an epiphany as a lightbulb was turned on in her brain. “That makes sense! As an Executive of the Port Mafia, you were expected to lead which you did an extraordinary job of doing. You also had periods of calm, which I’m guessing were when you acted as a Beta. Once you left, there were no expectations of you, so you were neutral. I don’t know what you were like in the mafia, but I’m guessing that you acted submissive but perceptive enough that no one would call you out about observing until someone threatened something you cared about. When you returned to living as close to a civilian as someone like you could get, you were expected to lead a company which required an Alpha mindset and an Omega mindset for your employees.”

Everyone but Dazai stared at her, processing the information slowly before they collectively turned their eyes to the grinning brunette at the end of the table. “Correct.”

The table exploded into pandemonium at his confirmation.

It took twelve minutes for everyone to settle back down and another half hour for their dinner to come in. Dazai had covered most of the large bill, though Inko had also managed to wiggle her way into paying for the food too, much to the surprise of half the company. Dazai had shot her a sharp grin which the short woman had returned in equal manner. (It sent a shiver down their spines.)

During the meal, Dazai suddenly started humming happily to himself, unnerving everyone except for both Midoriyas. “Ne, Izuku, would you still like me to adopt you into the clan?” He says abruptly.

Izuku froze. He narrowed his eyes at him in suspicion. “What’s the catch?”

“I get your mother to be my sister.”

“Get me legally divorced from my husband first, then we’ll talk,” Inko tells him. “I also want to go back to school to get my law degree. Make it happen and I’ll even agree to do my best to destroy the fakes in the hero industry.”

Katsuki paled. “sh*t. Auntie Inko and sh*tty Dazai should never have met.” He whispered with horror. “This world’s going to burn.”

“Oh?” Dazai raised a brow at the older Midoriya. “Anything else you’d like to ask for, my potential sister?”

“Blood Adoption. I want you to legally and genetically adopt me and my son into your family but neither of us will be your heir.”

“Why should I?” He challenged, continuing to eat calmly.

“Because if you’re adopting me as your sister, then we’re family in every way,” Inko stated.

“And we take family seriously.” Izuku finished. “Before, since there was no way to genetically adopt others in this dimension, we settled for legal adoptions. Now that you’ve opened up that path with Blood Adoptions, we won’t accept anything less.”

“My son might not know, but my family has roots and history with blood and shadows,” Inko reveals, with a sharp and dark smirk that reminded them heavily of Dazai who grinned. “My son’s bloodied hands are not the first in our family history to have such hands.”

“Should I dare ask what your body count is?”

“Well into ten thousand,” She replied nonchalantly, ignoring the spit take done by more than half of the table. “I lost count on my third year on my former job though I did keep records of my old reports. I’m sure I can dig them up for your perusal once we commit to the Blood Adoption.”

Inko and Dazai shared a gleeful look that seemed to drip honey and blood in equal measure, seemingly lost to a world where they were the only two around. Of everyone, the least affected by the scene were Izuku, Kouyou, and Chuuya. The most affected had been the Bakugou family who had turned so pale, their faces were very nearly snow white. (It had finally dawned on the married couple that they had willingly invited themselves to dinner with professional killers.)

“Well then, I see that we’ll be having minimal issues sharing the exact details with you, Inko-san. However, I think our company has had enough of the dark talk for tonight.” Dazai says.

The woman nods in agreement. “Yes, I agree. We should save the rest of this conversation for tea tomorrow instead.”

The rest of the meal was spent in silence. Mitsuki and Masaru both ate with shaking hands while everyone else had steady ones.

Once dinner was over and it was time for the Midoriya and Bakugou families to go to their respective homes, they were quick to say their farewell before leaving. But just before the Bakugou couple departed, Dazai told them, “You don’t need to worry about your son. He didn’t spill any blood or take a life while he stayed with me.” The look of relief the two of them had on their face had brought a small, understanding smile to his lips. “Have a good night, Bakugou-san, both of you.”

Chapter 36

Chapter Text

The next day, Dazai vanished from the hideout and couldn’t be found anywhere until lunch when Izuku called everyone to inform them that the suicidal man was in his apartment drinking tea with his mother and sharing a very… descriptive and dark conversation.

“For f*ck’s sake, just keep him occupied. Or offer to join him so you can keep an eye on his shenanigans.” Chuuya groaned over the call. “I’m busy as f*ck so call me when it’s an actual emergency or something I asked about!”

“But you did ask about this earlier.” Izuku deadpanned before cutting the line, avoiding the screaming the redhead unleashed.

It wasn’t until early evening that Dazai returned to the warehouse. He waltzed in, dropped a few files on the table which was, at this point, a permanent fixture in the building, then proceeded to hide in his art studio (more like, a curtained section) where he spent the rest of the time working alone both on a painting and his digital art until Chuuya had dragged him away for dinner.

Then suddenly, in the middle of their dinner, Dazai’s phone rang. Loudly. In addition to being very loud, the ringtone was a song. One that was sung by a familiar voice. The brunette’s eyes widened in surprise and a bit of panic as he froze when the ringtone had let out the first note. One moment, they were all seated, then the next, Chuuya was moving to lunge at Dazai over the table, aiming for the brunette’s left pocket where his phone was safely kept.

“Is that your voice?!” He demanded, his eyes sparkling with glee.

“Nope!” Dazai squeaked out.

“Dazai-san can sing?” Atsushi asked.

“No, I can’t!”

“Liar!” Chuuya yelled. “Give me your phone!”

“No way!”

“Sunset, Kelly, can either of you remotely answer Dazai’s incoming call?” The shorter man requested, grunting as he continued to wrestle the younger for the device.

“You got it!” Sunset chirped.

“— better answer or else— Oh!” Izuku’s voice came through the line. “By the sounds I’m hearing, you had better not have answered if you’re f*cking your favorite partner, Osamu Dazai!

“Tell me of a time I ever answered the phone while having sex with anyone.” Dazai dared, knowing that he never once did. The teen on the other side stayed silent. “I’ve answered the phone during a torture session, a massacre, a suicide attempt, or any other time but I have better class than to answer a call while having any form of intercourse, you brat.”

“Right.” Izuku took the reprimand well and sounded sheepish about his accusation. “Sorry, ‘Samu-chan. Anyway, what was the reason I called again? Uh, oh– right! Mom’s demanding that you send her your album. She also said something about you knowing what she meant?”

“Ah,” The brunette sighed, finally giving up under Chuuya’s strength. “That. I’ll send her a copy.”

“Thank you very much.” Izuku drawled lazily.

“Is that all?”

“My mother also demands to be your assistant if the spot is available.”

“Fine. I’ll email her the details in five minutes along with half a million yen into her bank account.” Dazai sighed before adding, “And don’t bother calling me if she wants to protest. Tell her that I want her to either renovate the apartment or move out and into a better place to live in than that space.”

“Understood.”

After that dinner, the only time any of them saw Dazai for the next three months was when he made and sold his paintings, ate dinner with them, drank tea with Inko, or when he was dragging materials down into the basem*nt for the battery cells of the portal. Each time they saw him, he looked more or less haggard than he was the last time any of them caught sight of him.

By the end of the third month, the former mafioso looked ready to collapse with exhaustion right there at the table as he took his seat next to Chuuya. Despite that, he looked accomplished. It was then that the redhead realized why such an expression was on Dazai’s face.

“You finished building the power cells?” Chuuya asked, eyes shining with anticipation.

“I finished them a month ago, Chibi. No, we don’t have enough power in them to support the portal yet, but we’ll see if it will be ready by next month.” Dazai informs, sighing.

“Oh.” The redhead deflates.

“On the other hand, I have completed another project I’ve been working on and finished writing the manuals for the basem*nt, the portal, and the powering system! However, I still have to make one for Kelly’s development and her corporeal form that has been running without issue for two weeks now!” He cheerfully adds.

“You made her a body in a month and a half?”

“What? No! I made her body two months ago in a week!” Dazai corrected the older man. “When it started running, there were a lot of flaws which I had to reprogram, repair, or replace. I’ll just say that it was fortunate that no one attempted to visit the basem*nt while I worked.” His face took on a haunted expression and shivered. “So many explosions… Too many flying knives…”

Chuuya grimaced while everyone else paled.

“Wait, what do you mean by ‘made her body’? Whose body?” Kunikida inquired, shaking off the fear he’d felt from Dazai’s mutterings and terrified look.

Both the Ability nullifier and gravity manipulator shot him near-identical looks that nearly made their opinions on his intellect clear. It was almost as if they were vocally asking if he was stupid though neither man opened their mouth to voice the thought.

Kouyou blinked and then cleared her throat. “There is only one individual here that doesn’t currently have a body.” She mentions, shooting the blonde man a pointed stare.

“Kelly-chan?” Atsushi speaks up. “Dazai-san made Kelly-chan a body?” The teenager blinks as he registers his own words. “Wait, Dazai-san knows how to build a robot?!”

“I’ll have you know, Atsushi-kun, that I made Kelly a fully operational android doll!” Dazai exclaims, adding a dramatic flair to his announcement. “In comparison to a doll, a robot is a mere toy! More useless too. Tch.”

“Sorry Dazai-san,” Atsushi apologized.

“Then the noise I’ve been hearing late at night was not thieves?” Akutagawa asks.

Dazai turns to him with a blank stare and a single raised brow. “Huh?”

Suddenly, a set of footsteps were heard running toward them. They all turned to face the incoming individual who turned out to be an androgynous female. “Dazai-sishou, Nezu-san is trying to hack our database!”

“Why don’t you try and practice virtually kicking him out then? I’m certain you can learn the skill easily!” Dazai suggested with a mischievous light gleam in his eyes. “You can do it right now!”

She lit up and in the next second, a projection appeared in front of her. Everyone in the room except for Dazai and the unknown girl gaped at the sight of such advanced technology. “Permission received. Order realized. Performing action.” She announced robotically as she raised her hands as if she were about to begin using a keyboard. Her nails were glowing a soft blue, looking like nail polish on her hands.

“I hope this particular feature works as intended and doesn’t malfunction. Otherwise, it’s going to need more workshopping.” Dazai muttered, frowning. Then he slumped and fell back onto the floor with a groan. “That’s it! Starting tonight, I’m procrastinating on everything unless in case of an emergency until we get back to Yokohama!” He wailed childishly, pouting.

The others sigh in relief at the return of Dazai’s more familiar, bratty behavior. Chuuya also lightly smacked the brunette before returning to his seat at the other end of the table.

“Then just stay still and slack all you want, you bratty asshole.” The redhead snarked. “You made enough contributions to keep us in basic luxury for the next thirty-five years anyway.”

“Really?!” Dazai perked up. “Then can someone else be the face for your CEO position then?!”

“f*ck no!” Chuuya denied. “You can decrease your meetings to a third if you want to, but you’re still gonna be the damn boss!”

“Chuuya! You’re so cruel!” He wailed dramatically.

“This is just payback, you little sh*t.” The other smirked.

“Huh?! Payback— Ah.” The brunette’s expression flattened.

“Payback,” Chuuya repeated, a smug smirk on his lips. “For leaving me without notice for four damn years, you absolute bastard.”

“I hate you so much.” Dazai hissed, glaring at him.

Chuuya didn’t reply but was laughing at him by the look in his azure eyes.

The next month, just as Dazai had predicted, the portal was ready and had enough power to permit them to travel back to their world. Dazai had used his spare time to drag Izuku and Inko into learning how to care for the portal and Kelly and even trained Izuku himself since Katsuki had reignited Izuku’s old dream of being a Pro Hero.

“I’ve already packed the souvenirs! Let’s go already!” Dazai whined, trying to drag his partner through the portal while Kouyou watched them with mirth in her eyes.

On the other side, Yosano and Ranpo were waiting with Kunikida and Atsushi. Akutagawa and Higuchi had also already crossed over and were standing away from the members of the Armed Detective Agency. Chuuya was still refusing to return to Yokohama, claiming that he liked the new life he had in Izuku’s dimension better.

“But—”

“Come on already!” The brunette grunted, smoothly picking up the short redhead and slinging him over his shoulder before walking over to the other side of the portal with some difficulty. “If you really want to stay that badly, you can go back there whenever you want a break from our dimension! Or have you already forgotten how exactly we have a way to return to our world?” He reminded him, grunting as he struggled not to drop the other, squirming man.

“Da—”

“No. Get permission from Ane-san in a month. If she allows it, I’ll send you back for a break.”

“... Fine.” Chuuya grumbled, finally conceding and falling limp.

Dazai sighs with relief and exasperation. “About time.” He mumbled.

Chapter 37

Chapter Text

Five minutes later, the natives of the BSD dimension were finally home. Not even a full minute goes by until Dazai’s phone rings. Already walking, the brunette answers the call and shifts his direction from where Chuuya and the others had planned to go. It wasn’t a very long conversation, only lasting for a whole sixty seconds before the line was cut and Dazai was dropping his suitcases down an open manhole and sprinting like a bullet down the crowded streets of Yokohama without an explanation and a serious look on his face.

Chuuya, Akutagawa, Kunikida, and Atsushi quickly took off after him as soon as they pushed their luggage off to Kouyou, Higuchi, Ranpo, and Yosano respectively with a hasty apology thrown over their shoulders. The quartet had varying levels of difficulty trying to catch up to the running former executive until Chuuya became annoyed and activated his Ability, tapped the other three, and decreased each of their gravity drag which in turn increased their speed.

“Damn it,” Chuuya cursed, dodging another civilian crowd. “How the f*cking hell is he so damn fast?!” He demanded, glaring at Dazai’s back.

“Maybe he always was?” Atsushi suggested, panting.

Dazai made a sharp turn into an alley which, to their knowledge, was empty and a dead end. They quickly followed after him and gaped when the brunette didn’t stop running. Instead, he kicked a stone from fifteen feet at a brick on the wall that fell in an inch and the wall opened, revealing a pitch-dark tunnel. As soon as the brunette stepped foot inside, a row of lights began to light up, illuminating his path.

“Since you’re following me anyway,” Dazai didn’t even sound winded. “Make a chain together. Just fly already. None of you will have enough energy to help me if you spend it trying to keep up.”

Akutagawa wrapped their wrists together using his ability and attached everyone except his former mentor to the older mafioso.

“Chuuya, remind me later to get you better fabrics for your clothes. They’re too flimsy.” The brunette added, opening another tunnel with a hard punch on one of the bricks of the new dead-end wall. “You too Akutagawa, Atsushi. I doubt Kunikida-kun would want me to ransack his wardrobe and replace them with better identical copies. Speaking of which, Atsushi, do you think Kyouka-chan would appreciate it if I gave her some clothes too?”

“I’m sure she would be very grateful,” Atsushi replied.

“Where’s the damn fire anyway? What’s got you in such a f*cking rush?” Chuuya wondered.

“I need to retrieve a family from one of the branch clans because they initiated the Sanctuary protocol. It’s fairly self-explanatory due to its name stating its purpose.” Dazai explained. “According to the justification they sent for the approval of the use of the protocol, it seems that their clan has begun to take a deep dive into the dark end which means that I will able to legally Judge and Execute their entire branch soon!”

“What?!” Kunikida screamed. “What do you mean ‘judge and eliminate’?!”

“Judge and Eliminate,” He corrected the blond, emphasizing the capitalization of both words. “It means that I will have the legal authority as the Head of our Clan to wipe out a Branch Clan if I Judge them to be Guilty of falling away from the Clan’s laws. In the simplest terms, I can legally play god with them and because they aren’t a part of the main clan, much less family since I suspect that they had a hand in the assassination of my clan, no one can object against my Judgement!”

“Wait, why do you think they had anything to do with the massacre of your clan?” Chuuya asked.

“Due to my family bloodline and how our Clan works, the Main Clan was essentially made up of my blood relatives and their families. The Main Family were direct descendants of the Founder, meaning that throughout the generations, they were always the firstborn child of the first child and so on.” Dazai clarified. “I was born as part of the Main Family as the third child. However, due to the massacre and being the sole survivor of the event with the blood of the Main Family running through my veins, I am the current Head of the Main Clan. A few of my other cousins and distant relatives did survive too but their bloodlines are farther from the Founder than mine.

“As such, I was the next in line. The position of being the Head of the Clan is both cursed and blessed by many entities. I am required to have a blood heir, one that my ancestors agree with. Until then, I am cursed to live without a mortal life.” He sighed, shaking his head. “Anyway, since a family has requested asylum from me, I have the final say over them. Both the family who asked for asylum and the reported Branch Clan.” Then he began cackling, starting lowly before getting louder. “It’s been a while since I’ve been called on to pass Judgement!”

The quartet shivered at his gleeful announcement.

“I suppose I can understand why he used to be called the ‘Demon Prodigy’ during his time in the Port Mafia,” Atsushi muttered under his breath. “I think Dazai-san is a good person but it’s difficult for him to stay good to people without cause. So he probably just acts bad most of the time to people he doesn’t care about and saves his goodness for those he likes.”

Kunikida looks at the teen thoughtfully before nodding. “Yes, I do think so as well.” He agrees reluctantly. “If I’ve learned anything in particular about the suicidal maniac, it’s that he has a soft spot for those who remind him of himself. From the stories Midoriya-kun had shared, Chuuya’s situation as the King of the Sheep had annoyed Dazai because they were using him as a tool, reminding him of how Mori-san was using him.”

“Wait, then what did Akutagawa remind him of? Or the weretiger?” Chuuya asked, keeping a careful, wary eye on the laughing brunette who had begun to ooze a dark aura.

Kunikida shook his head. “I don’t know Akutagawa-san or Dazai enough to be able to make a judgement on that. Perhaps you do, Naka—”

“Just call me Chuuya.”

“Right. Perhaps you would know something, Chuuya-san? You should know them both better than I do for obvious reasons.” Kunikida offers.

Chuuya turned to the blond and shook his head. “No, I don’t know anything.”

“I distinctly remember trying to fight Dazai-san when we first met,” Akutagawa spoke up, keeping his voice low. “I was trying to protect Gin at the time.”

They stared at him.

Then Chuuya started laughing. First with disbelief which turned into genuine amusem*nt. “I see.” He chuckled. “Dazai must have seen his vengeful and protective side in you, I suppose. If I’m remembering things correctly, you used to be quite feral and very stubborn on one thing and one thing alone. Protecting your sibling.”

They could hear some nostalgia in his voice despite the look on his face. There was also a hint of fondness in his eyes.

“When Dazai picked you up, he was already an unofficial executive. Boss had already chosen him as his right-hand man, but that was an open secret in the mafia. Despite that, the only real ones grounding his loyalty, however thin it might be, to the Port Mafia had been his connections. Aside from his faction at the time, Dazai had two, older friends. An assassin who no longer killed. And a spy from the government. Both were pretty low on the command chain and to this day, I still don’t know how that bastard met them.” Chuuya scowled.

They followed Dazai down another hall.

“Anyway, from what I know, the assassin, Oda Sakunosuke, had kids. They were all adopted, orphaned by the gang wars that used to be common until the Port Mafia, under the command of the Demon Prodigy and with the power of Soukoku, stomped them all and created order.” He shares. “Oda used to be one of the Mackerel’s closest friends until something happened to his kids that led him to march to his death for revenge when Dazai was eighteen.”

“After his death, Dazai-san suddenly vanished.” Akutagawa finished the story.

Chuuya nodded. “And it wasn’t until I walked into his goddamn, sh*tty, little coffee shop, four years after he f*cking left, that any member of the Port Mafia that wasn’t his former subordinate. From what I’ve gathered, the faction he built and left to me is loyal to itself. They consider me to be a part of it so they follow my orders. I’ve seen them disregard Mori’s orders and f*cking live.” He hissed. “Somehow, his faction—”

Our faction.” Dazai corrected, inserting himself into the conversation. “As you’ve said, I left four years ago and they started following you. They also still follow me. That means it’s our faction.”

“Right, whatever,” Chuuya says dismissively before resuming his earlier speech. “Somehow, our faction learned how to be f*cking sneaky like the bastard. Whenever Mori tried to execute any of them, they either completed the suicide mission without dying or just straight up vanished as Dazai did. As it turns out, the Mackerel had given them access to Keys— capital ‘k’— to the way out of the f*cking organization!”

“I did leave one for you and Ane-san too.” The brunette butted in again. “Though I figured you would only use them as an extreme emergency or something. You’re too loyal, like some dog who follows the first one who cares for it.”

“Oi! Who’re you calling a dog?!” Chuuya barked.

“Eh? Did you guys hear something?”

“Aaaargh! You bastard!” The redhead began to rant angrily, his hands mimicking the motion of strangling something.

They spent the next half hour listening to the short man scream and snarl threats toward Dazai while they traveled.

When they finally emerged from the underground tunnels, the first thing they saw was a forest. Greenery and trees were everywhere. In the distance, they could also spot a few mountains.

“Where the f*ck are we?” Chuuya blurted, scanning the area bewilderedly.

“In another world,” Dazai answered nonchalantly. “Here. Change into those.” He ordered, tossing each of them a bag of clothes. “Let me know if you need help putting them on.”

Then without shame or hesitation, Dazai opened his bag, and in a puff of smoke, his clothing changed. His appearance also gained a few additions. Despite the simple design of his traditional yukata, the darkness of the shade of his vermillion red clothing made it seem as if it were fading to black shadows and combined with the new pair of snow fox ears on his head and his equally white seven fox tails with icy blue tips, he looked majestic. It was as if he was one of the kitsunes Japanese folktales warned and spoke of. He also had a fox mask on the side of his head and a few golden bells of varying sizes attached to his new fit. Instead of red yarn to match his yukata, Dazai’s bells were tied with ocean blue ribbons.

Chapter 38

Chapter Text

As a gust of wind breezed by, Dazai’s new ears twitched and perked up. The smaller bells on him rang. He grinned with his teeth, revealing a pair of sharp fangs in his mouth. “Hurry up already,” He huffs impatiently, tails moving like waves. “It’s been too long since I got to hunt. I’m sure I can find a tengo or two somewhere to have a spar with. I do still need to work out to get my eighth tail.” He mused, back toward his companions as his eyes watched the sky.

“Uh, Dazai-san?” Atsushi called, drawing him out of his thoughts. “We’re—”

“Done? Great!” The brunette interjected, turning around. “Chuuya, you can’t wear your hat. Kunikida-kun, there should have been a pair of eye contacts for you to use. Glasses haven’t been invented here yet, so you can’t wear those either.” With a snap of his finger, the blond’s hair darkened to brown while Chuuya’s fiery hair turned into a bloody shade of red instead. “Before any of you ask, yes, I have Kitsune in my blood. No, I did not lie about my age as a twenty-two-year-old. Atsushi-kun can keep his tiger ears and tail out. Yokai are generally accepted around this world. Akutagawa-kun can pretend to be a dragon in human skin, which means you don’t have to create a persona to fit in. Apologies to you Kunikida-kun, I don’t think your counterpart here is anything but human. As for you, Chuuya, your counterpart in this world is an oni. I can either take off the illusion hiding your hair and replace it with one of Oni's horns for you if you want but it’s either or the other.”

“Just give me the damn horns.” Chuuya sighed.

In the back of his mind, the redhead stifled his squeals at the sight of the brunette’s tails and ears. So cute! If I touched them, would they feel fluffy? He wondered as he kept his face stoic.

With another snap of his fingers, Dazai changed the illusion of the older man. “There. Now we’re set!” He announces cheerfully. “We’re going to the nearest village. If you need or want to buy something, let me know so I can pay for it. Yes, that goes for you too Kunikida-kun.”

“Ah.”

“Yes Dazai-san.”

“And be careful with your Names. When it comes to yokai and the supernatural like me, Names and Memories are power. A Name— capital ‘n’— is anything you are known best as.” Dazai lectures as they walk. “For example, I have a few Names. I am Dazai Osamu, the Demon Prodigy, the vengeful wraith of the Port Mafia, and Suicidal Maniac. I have more but we are not going to get into that mess. Another good example would be Chuuya! Can you guess a few of his Names?”

“Nakahara Chuuya, Gravity Manipulator, and Strongest Martial Artist of the Port Mafia,” Akutagawa states.

Beside him, the redhead shivers. “What the hell is that feeling?” He wondered aloud. “Why does it feel like someone just wrapped a f*cking cord around my neck?”

“That’s what happens when someone who knows, understands the power of a Name, speaks of someone’s Name. It’s fine to introduce yourself by one name, but never tell the whole Name.” Dazai warns. “I once made that mistake. Never again.” He swore darkly, shivering. “It was one of the worst things to ever happen to me. Thankfully, our universe doesn’t have this function.”

“No f*cking sh*t.” Chuuya agreed. “It feels like someone f*cking dumped me in some sh*tty sludge, wrapped a f*cking cord tight around my neck like a sick excuse for a collar, there’s piano strings for puppet strings wrapped around my damn wrists and ankles, and a pair of goddamn ball and chains around my ankles too. Oh, and I feel like absolute sh*t too. Like I went on another round against Verlaine and that strange guy from the Guild.”

“Ah, your Names have that much power?” Dazai looks at him with fascination and a hint of satisfaction before frowning. “It sounds fairly close to my experience. Though, in addition to those symptoms you described, it also felt like I had a muzzle around my face, chains wrapped around my body, and a lot of heavy weight tied to all of my limbs. At the time, I had three Names and the bastard who had control over me knew all three and used them constantly. He used me as a living puppet. Here, if someone knows your Name, there’s a chance they can control you.”

At that, Atsushi, Kunikida, Akutagawa, and Chuuya paled. “What?” Atsushi breathed shakily.

“As a kitsune, I have a lot of power under my control. If I truly desired to do so, I could bring us back to our universe and cause chaos for an entire decade without tiring. I’m sure all four of you are familiar with myths about kitsunes?”

“Yes.” Kunikida replies faintly.

“Most of them are true. Some of the details are also likely to be inaccurate,” Dazai admits. “But the details that depict their danger always are. Some characteristics are, of course, exaggerated but are never entirely made of lies.”

The quartet gaped at the kitsune. Atsushi’s reaction even went as far as a dropped jaw. The brunette turned his head around to check and burst out in laughter.

They spent the next ten minutes walking in silence. Occasionally, Dazai whipped together illusions to entertain himself and his companions. There was one instance in which a group of demonic bandits had attempted to ambush and steal from them, though, with a single swipe of his hand, Dazai felled all of them instantly. The gang had crumpled into black dust which scattered in the wind.

“Hmph. Pests.” He comments disinterestedly before adding, “Don’t worry about it Kunikida-kun, Atsushi-kun. They’ll only reform elsewhere anyway. Mostly somewhere that has a lot of negativity. And before you say anything about my killing them, they’re mindless killers. The demons that can think are stronger than those pests. They’re roaches.”

“Eh?! Wait, what if we get caught here?!” Atsushi panicked.

Dazai chuckles. “If that ever happens, you’re free to kill them in self-defense. They don’t have souls anyway.” He tells him. “However, regardless of that, it will certainly be a mercy compared to what I’ll do to them when I get my claws on them.”

“O-okay.” The teen nervously noted.

“But don’t worry about it too much. Nobody without a consciousness will target any of you four. Not if they don’t want to have to face my wrath. I’ve already marked each of you so it should ward most malicious beings away. Still, be careful of who you meet.”

The rest of the walk was spent in relative silence.

Soon enough, the group of five reached a town, to Dazai’s obvious delight which was shown on display by his ears and tails. He only spared a minute to hand each of them a weapon and bags of money before disappearing into the crowd despite his bright fur color.

It took less than fifteen minutes for them to find trouble. As soon as one of them was injured and a drop of their blood had leaked, however, Dazai returned with a furious scowl. The look on his face was terrifying and the fangs in his mouth only enhanced the scary expression.

You.” He growled upon seeing the fiery-haired demon that had been attacking the quartet.

“There you are! I knew I smelt something familiar!” The demon yelled excitedly with a grin. “It’s been a while, hasn’t it, Dazai?”

Shuichi.” Dazai snarled, face flat though his eyes were as red as freshly spilled blood. “It has been a while since we’ve last seen each other. I had hoped it would’ve been longer. Anyway, why were you looking for me?”

Shuichi flashed him a grin. “I’ve got a job I want your help with.”

“No.” Dazai shot him down quickly before tossing Akutagawa, Atsushi, and Kunikida onto one of his cloud conjurations, kept Chuuya in his arms like a soft toy, and started walking away.

“E-Eh?! H-Hold on a minute! Oi! Dazai!” The demon called, running after them. “Slow down, you damn fox!”

“Go away already!” The brunette groaned, sending a ball of fox-fire at him. “The last time I did you a favor, you got me caught by Black exorcists! I lost my eye for it!”

“I already apologized for that, damn it!”

“It took me more than four years to regenerate my eye! So no! I’m not helping you!” Dazai yelled.

“Is that why you had bandages constantly wrapped around your eye when you were in the organization?!” Chuuya suddenly screeched, twisting his head to look the kitsune in the face. “I thought that was just a rumor!”

“One of the subordinates who came into Mori-san’s clinic when he got me overheard him talking to me about my ‘wounded’ eye,” Dazai replied nonchalantly, not even turning around to smack the demon who attempted to lunge at his back. “Though he couldn’t see the full extent of the damage to my eye since I placed an illusion over the worst of it. As far as Mori-san had known, I used to have an injury on my right eye which caused it to be temporarily medically blind for several years.”

“Oh.”

“It wasn’t that bad!” Shuichi whined. “You weren’t even that injured!”

“I lost two of my tails, and my right eye, and had a cursed left arm for years!” The fox retorted. “I am never doing you a favor ever again, you stupid demon!”

“What’s it gonna take for you to let go of that grudge?! It’s been years! It’s healed and you already regained the tails you lost, so what’s the big deal?!” The demon demanded.

“It took me a decade to heal all the damage, you idiot! Besides, weren’t you hired to hunt a kitsune? What makes you think I’ll ever let you or anyone else capture and puppet me again?” Dazai challenged, finally stopping.

In his arms, Chuuya froze.

“It took me three years to get free and I was no older than a kit! But even then, I still held more power in my hands than you have in your entire body.” He sneered, missing the way the redhead in his arms had tilted his head down to have his face covered by shadows and his hair. “I fell for that trick once and I know how that one ends. There’s no way I will ever lend you my assistance ever again. Not unless you swore it on your Name, Life, and the God of Destruction.”

“What?! No way!” Shuichi denied fearfully. “I’ll get destroyed if I break it!”

“That’s the point of it.” Dazai rolled his eyes. “Now begone. I’ve got other business to do. Unless you’d like to have another taste of my wrath?”

“No thanks!” The demon yelped, alarmed, before scurrying off.

“Oi Dazai,” Chuuya started, once he was certain the demon was gone. “I want you to get me a way to track that son of a bitch.” He demanded, rage practically seeping out from under his skin.

Dazai tilted his head, released the redhead, and took a step back to shoot a confused look at him. “I can do that. But why?”

“Don’t ask questions.” was the only reply he got.

Chapter 39

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

At his sharp tone, Dazai shut his mouth with an audible clack of his teeth and simply handed the shorter man a compass. Then he snaps his fingers and causes the trio on his cloud to fall back to the ground. “Follow me. You can all entertain my refugees while I cast out Judgement since you all bothered to come with me to this dimension!”

“Dazai!” Kunikida roared as they followed the kitsune. “We’re not your babysitters!”

“At this point, we might as well be,” Atsushi muttered with a small pout.

Chuuya snorted. The brunette simply ignored the yelling, irritated blonde and walked off as a small, beaten, fearful-looking family of seven approached them. “Er, who’s Chuuya Nakahara?” The oldest male, presumably the father, timidly asked. The mafioso raised his brow at them expectantly and lifted his hand. “Dazai-sama informed us that we will be under your care whilst he executes Judgement.” The family bowed low before him for a moment then quickly straightened up and shifted farther from the compound they had just escaped a minute earlier.

Suddenly, a white fox grew in the middle of the compound and screams erupted, filling the somber air with sounds of agony and blood being shed like a waterfall. Everyone flinched except for Chuuya who eyed the enormous animal with curiosity and wariness.

“Damn,” He commented. “I guess they’ve been judged guilty by that sh*tty Dazai’s verdict.” The redhead whistled at the sight of the damage his former partner was capable of casting before freezing and clicking his tongue in irritation. “That lazy f*cking asshole! He left all the f*cking physical sh*t on me while he f*cking ditches and does f*cking nothing but sit on his ass!”

“Incorrect.” Dazai denies. His sudden reappearance despite the image of his fox form still wreaking havoc in the clan compound startled everyone, earning him more screams. “Despite what you believe Chuuya, I did most of our work. I knew you hated sitting still, so I just delegated all the physical work on a mission to you and I did everything else while you had fun. Despite the Port Mafia being a criminal organization, you will never believe how much paperwork it generates! I was almost drowning under those things until I managed to clear, reorganize, and restructure our faction to be more efficient so it wouldn’t produce as much paperwork! It was utterly ridiculous!” He complained before adding, “I also had to do the same for my Clan’s family-owned company! You have no idea how many times I’ve had to read the same reports of numerous subordinates under my command who had to turn in their reports when they all went on the same mission together!”

“Oh.” Chuuya blinked at him. “Wait, is that why I never had to do paperwork whenever I was working with you instead of Ane-san?” The fox shot him a deadpan look and he gave him a sheepish one in reply. “Right. Uh, thanks for that, I guess.”

“Hmph. Anyway,” Dazai turned to the presumed father of the refugee family calmly. “What are your plans now? As a member of our Clan, Ren, I assume you did not request asylum from me without a plan for the aftermath.”

“Yes.” Ren nodded. “My sister, her children, and I had made our preparations beforehand. We will not need much more of your assistance, Dazai-sama.”

“We made sure to prepare enough and a bit more to ensure our continuing survival.” The woman by his side added. “We have asked enough from you, Clan Head-sama.”

“Are you certain?”

One of the children timidly spoke up. “Well, if it’s not too much of a problem, there’s been a creep trying to hang around Mama.” He informed, ignoring his mother’s quiet hissing. “Oldest brother has had to beat the creepy guy to keep Mama safe before!”

“Do you have their name?” Dazai inquired to which the child nodded. “Wonderful! I’d like to know it so I know who I’m hunting.”

Identical sad*stic grins sprouted between the children and the seven-tailed kitsune.

“Shinichiro Hakase.” All five children said in perfect unison. “And we’d like to claim his life ourselves. He has messed with our mother/mama far too much.”

“I see.” He surveyed them before holding out a fist toward the eldest child. “Hold out your hand, child.” The boy obeyed the command without hesitation. Dazai gave him a glowing pebble. “As long as your prey lives and draws breath, that stone will glow. I trust that you understand?” The boy stared at the rock in his palm before he closed his fingers around it and nodded.

“Yes sir.”

“It will also serve as a curse base. Should your prey fall into your hands without having changed his ways, then the next thirteen generations of his blood will serve your family until he is reborn under your rules.” Everyone except for the fox and the children flinched at the warning. Then Dazai added, “But at your current conditions, you have not the strength or power to go after Shinichiro Hakase. Do something about it but don’t drag me into it.”

“Thank you for the advice!” They said before running off somewhere with their protesting guardians. Dazai only waved at them once before turning around and beginning to herd his companions back in the direction they had come from.

Three minutes later, Chuuya speaks up, breaking the silence. “Are all of the children in your clan like them?” He asked, looking bewildered.

“More or less to an extent, yes.” Dazai snickered, his tails swaying behind him cheerfully. “Most are trained from the age of five at the earliest or a year after everything regarding their ancestry and clan is explained to them. They’re allowed the choice to stop training at the age of ten or five years after the initial start of their training. By then, every child would be proficient in handling at least three weapons alongside a martial art or two.” Kunikida and Atsushi both make sounds of surprise at the information. “Of course, some are more advanced than others but each one is also more skilled in an area than another. My clan does not train child soldiers or assassins but they do ensure to train us to protect ourselves if or when the need arises.”

“What the hell.” Chuuya balked. “So, what? You’ve got your own army?”

“Something like that.” Dazai agreed. “Though the introductory training program most are given is assassination. If I had to describe my Clan as a whole in two words, it would be ‘Assassin Travellers’ with myself at the Head, of course.”

Everyone but the kitsune froze. Atsushi also tripped and fell on his face but no one brought it up. They were too stuck on the fact that Dazai had access and full command over a whole Clan of dimension-traveling assassins. Kunikida and Chuuya looked horrified about that fact.

On the other side of the conversation, Dazai didn’t even bat an eye before simply conjuring solid illusions to carry them along. “Truthfully, I had attempted to adopt both of the Akutagawa siblings under the requirements of my Clan.” He admitted with a slightly regretful look, even as he refused to meet their eyes with his. “However, Ryuunosuke was too rough and jagged for it to even be considered when I had first picked them off the street. His sister, on the other hand, was too vulnerable to survive my blood. So I threw her under Hirotsu-san with strict orders not to allow anyone aside from my trusted people to know of her true gender and a training schedule similar but three or four degrees milder than the introductory training program my family used on my siblings.

“I didn’t mix any of mine since I knew it was designed to be three times harsher than the programs my late siblings used to follow. I also knew her body wouldn’t be able to take it. As for Akutagawa-kun, I tried to blunt his points without raising Mori-san’s suspicions. But he never listened. So I punished him to try and keep everything under wraps instead of encouraging him because we were in the mafia. The mafia is not kind.” He states darkly. A shadow spreading across his face and growing in his eyes. “I kept them both as far from Mori as I could. The faction tried to help but there was little they could do. They filled in for me when I was too busy doing things for Mori-san or off on a mission with Chuuya. It mostly worked.

“It was a terrible idea to take in the kids, considering where they would end up but I figured that they at least got the choice to try fighting to live instead of needing scraps to survive. I’ve seen enough of it anyway. At that point, I was just tired.” Dazai sighed heavily. “All I had going for me was that I had Chuuya watching my back. Mori-san was trying to wrap chains around me in an attempt to secure my loyalty, everyone else except the faction I ruled over was terrified of me, and I was drowning in the sea. A lot of my subordinates could see it but they didn’t do much of anything about it. Well, except Izuku-kun.” He pouts. “That brat actually tried something. To this day, I still have no idea what he was trying to do but it was probably nothing good.”

“Why do you say that?” Atsushi asked, curious.

“The last time he tried, Izuku-kun and I ended up stranded in another dimension. To add insult, it was having an apocalypse that was being used to entertain gods by fluffballs streaming it!” Dazai answered, groaning. “They referred to people as ‘incarnations’, the spectators were ‘constellations’, and the streamers were ‘dokkaebi’. Events were called ‘disasters’, ‘quests’, or ‘scenarios’. It was probably the first time I was grateful for my training and that I passed half of everything I knew over to Izuku-kun. That one had been a mess and a half because everything about it had apparently been done by a depressed, suicidal teenager who ended up in a coma which somehow allowed him the ability to control reality so long as he slept and dreamed. He was both the most powerful and vulnerable constellation. It wasn’t even entirely his fault it happened either!”

“That story sounds like something someone delusional got their imagination jacked up higher than someone with schizophrenia would talk about,” Chuuya commented with a raised brow. “How long were you stuck there?”

“Too long.” Dazai’s tone took on a slightly haunted quality. “Way too long. It took us both five years to get back, then, an entire week to readjust from being in an apocalyptic world as a source of entertainment back to just being part of the Port Mafia as average mafiosos.”

“Five years?!” Atsushi exclaimed.

“When was this?!” Chuuya asked, surprised.

“Well, following our dimension’s chonocycle,” Dazai paused. “I was seventeen. A few months after the Dragonhead incident, if I remember correctly. I’m also quite certain that our little trip was filed as a mission too, despite it not being one. We were gone for a week and we took another week off to readjust from being in an apocalyptic world as a source of entertainment back to just being part of the Port Mafia as average mafiosos— not that it’s recorded as such since both of us were on-call the whole break.” He rolled his eyes. “Izuku-kun was not helpful in keeping a low profile either, so we were watched constantly because of the shenanigans he managed to pull me into.”

“A-Apocalyptic? E-E-E-Enter-Entertainment?!” Atsushi stuttered, horrified.

Dazai waved him off nonchalantly. “Well, I suppose their world has more or less recovered from it. Honestly, by my standards, it was quite refreshing! I got to play with so many toys and got paid for it too! Plus, Kim Dokja, the accidental instigator of it all, retained all his powers as the Oldest Dream, so I occasionally visit him to ask if he wanted to play games with me.” Then he shamelessly adds, “They have a very nice playground. Dokja-san is quite creative and cunning in the art of scamming.”

“‘Toys’? What kind of toys?” Kunikida inquired curiously.

Notes:

I have no idea what happened here. :/

BSD Cafe AU (Title in progress) - OpheliaAster22, Stellar_Keys07 - 文豪ストレイドッグス (2024)
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