Status: V. MUCH. TRASH. || Watch your step, it might rot your teeth.

Paris in the Rain


It isn't the buzz of the alarm clock or the hustle and bustle of Yokohama's streets breaking in through the half open window that wakes him, but the deep, soft, whistling breaths of the small figure tucked against his chest as he lays on his side, her chin against his neck and lips beside his ear, lost in that deep sort of slumber only children who are safe in the arms of a guardian know. Her hair wisps against his cheek as she shifts and snuggles into him and he chuckles, pressing his arm tighter against her and humming a nameless lullaby into the air as he gazes out the window, a light breeze playing through the curtains and washing over his face, bringing the warmth of the late morning sun with it. He knows he has to get up, has to roust the dreaming six-year-old against him so they can both get on with their days, but the overwhelming guilt of knowing how long it took for her to fall asleep last night after experiencing nightmare after nightmare has him pausing, thoughts drifting instead to the date emblazoned in his mind, the anniversary that was upon them, his smile becoming a bit more subdued as he raises a hand to his forehead in quiet contemplation.


It was really kind of funny, how Aya had come into his life and turned it completely upside down in just two short years. He had always possessed a knack for dealing with children, but never saw them in his future; it was unfair, in his opinion, to ask a child to have an in-demand lawyer as a parent, someone who would be bringing their work home with them, who may be at the office late more often than not. Children deserved parents who were present, who were involved, invested.

Fate, however, had other things in mind.

He had been at his office, hunched excruciatingly low, hair half fisted in the hand pressed to his skull, half falling into his face, mind consumed by the case file before him when the sharp dressed woman from internal affairs had knocked curtly on his door, not bothering to wait for him to answer before swinging it open, apologies for his sister's unfortunate situation already on her lips and a stack of papers in her hands. He had stared through her, her words whirling around his brain at such a pace that none of them stuck, as she divulged the news of his sister's imprisonment, the death of her husband, and the fate of their four-year-old daughter, pointing to the dotted line with a manicured nail as she explained that this document was needed to release the girl to social care.

It was with marked determination that he had torn the paper in half before turning from her and flipping his laptop open, typing furiously away as he asked what he needed to do to acquire guardianship over the girl. Mouth open in astonishment, she had produced a paper from elsewhere within the stack in her hands, and he had tried to cover the sneer of disgust he felt creep into his features when he realized she had assumed he would leave the child to suffer the system when she had a living relative.

He had turned in his letter of resignation that very same day, gathering his things before making the trip to Zushi alone. Had climbed the steps of the home she had been placed in temporarily two by two, made small talk with the lovely couple who ran the home as he showed them the papers; they had been expecting him thanks to a hurried call earlier that afternoon.

Aya hadn't said a word as she looked up into his eyes, her brow furrowing as the man and woman explained that she would be leaving with him. He hadn't blamed her; she probably didn't even remember who he was, it had been years since he had even spoken to his sister in anything more than an email, perhaps his niece hadn't even been born.

He had dropped to the floor so he could meet her eye to eye. She had reached out with small, slender hands and patted his cheeks before ruffling the stray curls around his ears.

They left hand in hand, what few belongings she had tossed haphazardly into a ratty pink backpack that Chuuya had slung over his shoulder as they walked to the subway. She had fallen asleep on his lap on the ride back to Yokohama and he had carried her through the darkening streets, mind occupied with school visits and where to begin his job search.

So passed his thirtieth birthday.


Taking a deep breath, he shifts gingerly beneath the sheets and back to the present, laying on his back and letting his nose rest in Aya's hair, nuzzling in to the strawberry scented locks as small whines and groans begin to escape her, her insistence in defiance even in sleep causing him to grin from ear to ear.

"Aya." He brings a hand up and runs his fingers through her hair, watching the glossy auburn as it moves through them with ease. "We have to get up now."

A disgruntled groan escapes her and she draws her knees up, curling herself into ball against his chest as best as she can and shaking her head. Pressing a soft kiss to her forehead, he wiggles out from under her inch by inch, succeeding in scooting to the edge of the bed and sitting up before her arms are snaked around his bicep like some kind of octopus, her face burrowing into his shoulder as she leans back and pulls with all her might, eliciting a low chuckle from him as he rests a hand atop her head.


"Do we have to?" Her head lifts from his shoulder as she shifts back, sitting up on her knees so that her emerald eyes can study his face, bottom lip dipping out into a petulant pout. "Ojichan doesn't have to be to work until much later, so why do we have to get up now?"

"Because I have some errands to run and you," he reaches out and grasps her chin, giving it a small jostle as he winks at her, "have to get ready so that everything is easy for Atsushi-kun when he gets here."

She reaches up and swats his hand away before crossing her arms, her face screwed up into a very poor attempt at hiding her excitement. Giving her hair one last rustle, Chuuya pushes himself off of the bed and crosses the room to his closet, busying himself with the task of picking out an acceptable outfit and packing his bag with his work uniform for later.

"Tch. What makes you think I need him around?"

"Mmmmm? Are you two fighting?" Casting a glance over his shoulder, he runs a hand absentmindedly through his copper locks, tapping against his cheek with his other hand, recollection flashing in his blue eyes. "Wasn't it just last week you two got married? Don't tell me there's trouble in paradise already."

Aya's cheeks jump from a baby pink flush to a flaming red. Chuuya feels the left corner of his mouth pull up, eyebrow arching as mischief works its way over his features.

"Ah, if you really don't want him here, I suppose it can't be helped. I'll have to see if Ryuu-kun is free--"

"No, no!" The words tear from Aya's throat as she leaps from the bed, landing on the area rug with enough force to cause it to slide, knocking her off balance and sending her tumbling face first to the floor.

"Thought so." Chuuya crosses the room and squats beside her as she rolls onto her back, short arms crossed and folded over her chest as she fixes him with an indignant scowl.

"You suck."

All he can do is chuckle as he slides a hand under her shoulders and helps her to her feet.

"Maybe I do. But if I make breakfast, will that help get me back on your nice list?"

Aya's eyes go wide and she claps her hands excitedly; she knows that he'll make whatever she asks, he always has, always will.



Four crepes, two hours, and a sinkful of dishes later, Chuuya stands before the foggy bathroom mirror, clad in a pair of dark wash jeans, a towel draped over his dripping hair, one hand grasping his chin, pulling his head toward his right shoulder as his other hand probes and sweeps across the line of his jaw before passing over his cheek, stubble pricking at the pads of his fingers. He should shave, but he doesn't have time. With a huff he drops his hands from his face and reaches for the toothpaste that's situated beside the faucet with his left hand while his right tugs at the bottom of the mirror, swinging it open and to reveal the cabinet within, arched brows furrowing as he scans the shelves intently, only to find his toothbrush has come up missing.


"Tch. Aya?" Glancing over his shoulder, he snags the mouthwash off the middle shelf before snapping the cabinet closed with a bit more force than necessary.

The padding of bare feet on the worn flooring meets his ears as Aya runs from her room to stand in the doorway, hands folded behind her back, bouncing on her toes as she cocks her head and studies him quizzically.

"Do you know what happened to my toothbrush?"

She makes a show of bringing a finger to her chin, tapping it while cradling her elbow in her other hand and staring at the ceiling. Chuuya sighs, raising an eyebrow and crossing his arms.

"Today would be preferable, Aya."

She leans forward and sticks out her tongue as she shrugs.

"Mmmmmm, Dazai-sama had it last."

"D-Dazai-s... a... ma? Wh--" Pinching the bridge of his nose before his thumb and forefinger, he takes a deep breath, his nostrils flaring reflexively, which causes Aya to snicker, raising a hand to cover her mouth as he shoots her a look through narrowed eyes. "Who told you to call him that?"

"No one." She sing-songs the words as she drops her hand from her mouth and sways back and forth, the floral skirt of her dress swirling against her knees as she does.

"Mmmhhhmmmm." Turning back to the sink as Aya scurries back down the hallway, he allows himself a small groan of frustration, making a mental note to pick up a pack of toothbrushes, and possibly a lockbox, while he's out.

Setting the mouthwash off to the side, he unscrews the toothpaste before applying a decent amount to his right index finger, not bothering to turn on the water and wet it before jamming it into his mouth, the snap of cinnamon rolling over his tongue as he rubs small circles across the surface of his teeth, causing the paste to foam and fill his mouth as it mixes with his saliva. As he works at his mouth with his right hand, his left comes to rest atop the soft, white towel draped over his head, rubbing against it vigorously in an attempt to work as much water as possible out of his drenched copper curls, eyes falling closed as he revels in the feeling of the push and pull against his scalp.

The sharp buzz of his phone as it vibrates from its place on the back of the toilet meets his ears and his head lolls back in annoyance, hand pushing the towel down his neck to rest across his shoulders as he leans over the sink and expels the toothpaste from his mouth in one quick spit, turning on the faucet and putting his lips to the cool stream, taking in a good amount of water and swishing it from cheek to cheek before swallowing, swiping his wrist across his mouth as he rises, eyes narrowing as he snatches up his phone and glares at the message preview displayed on the screen.

Speak of the devil, as they say.

Are you working tonight?

He licks his lips, running a hand through his damp locks as he tosses around the idea of lying about where he'll be tonight, but considering who it is he's dealing with, he brushes the thought away and replies with the truth instead, tapping the three letters out and hitting send, crossing his fingers that the conversation will die there as he does.


The reply is as instantaneous as it is atrocious and he immediately regrets his choice to give a response at all.

Good. (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧

He closes his eyes, takes a deep breath, raising a hand to rub at his eyes in a circular motion before pinching the bridge of his nose, typing out the first reply that comes to mind as he pads out of the bathroom and into the hallway, bare feet cold against the laminate as he makes his way to his bedroom.

What sort of devious scheme are you putting into motion?

Me?! o(╥﹏╥)o
I'm offended, Chuuuyaaaa.

He flops onto his back on the bed once he reaches it, snorting as he scans the message, the action causing his throat to constrict painfully.

LOL that's rich, you, offended?

What are you saying?

Nothing. I just meant that every time you claim something is good, it ends up being bad for me.

This had been proven ten, hundreds, possibly even thousands of times over their years as friends and the multiple periods they had suffered through together as roommates.

You're rude.

I'm honest, I don't see you denying it.


OMG would you at least try to act your age?
BTW what the hell did you do with my toothbrush?

Damn, I knew I couldn't trust Aya.


Oh well. What you don't know, can't hurt you. ◕3◕

Dazai, I stg.

See you tonight, Chuuuuyaaaaa. ヾ(〃^∇^)ノ

"'See you tonight', eh?" He toys briefly with the thought of asking Dazai to clarify exactly where he means he'll see him, but he brushes it away in favor of letting his phone fall silent so that he can finish getting ready in peace.


Bartending wasn't something he had ever pictured himself doing by choice, and honestly he had picked it up out of necessity. But if he allows himself a moment to mull it over, he usually finds he truly enjoys what he does. It is, for the most part, a low stress, easy going sort of job.

And it could be a hell of a lot of fun.

The glass of the bottle is slick and cool against his fingertips as he tosses it from one hand to the other, catching it as it passes behind his back before flicking his wrist and sending it cartwheeling straight toward the ceiling, eyes never leaving the captivated, wide-eyed gazes of the group of women before him. He can feel his smirk grow deeper as one of them leans in, her mouth wide enough to catch flies as the bottle finds his hand again, his fingers working their way up the neck so that he can flick the easy cap free before pouring the liquor into her half empty glass.

One of them makes a strangled noise that's half whimper, half shriek as he reaches out with his free hand and retrieves the glass, raising it to his lips with a wink and taking a slow sip, stretching his neck and exposing his Adam's apple, feeling the pull of the leather choker that sits just below it as he swallows before sliding the glass across the short spanse of the bartop.

"Hopefully that's to your taste." Folding his arms over the cool metal, he leans toward the woman whose drink he's just refilled, feeling the edge cut into his abdomen and the silk of his shirt fly across the skin there, soothing and cool as he brings his face close enough that she will feel his breath against her nose and cheeks. "Sorry about that last one."

Despite the distortion that the combination of black and neon lights within the club provides, Chuuya knows her face has flushed a brilliant shade of crimson, notes the hitch in her breath as he leans away, the shake in her fingers as she swipes the glass before her friends have a chance to clamor for it and raises it to her lips with something akin to reverence, dipping her head and scurrying back to the edge of the dance floor, her friends keening and swooning as they follow along.

A familiar chuckle catches his ear despite the thumping of the music.

Ah, that was why he asked.

"You really know how to smooth things over, don't you? I'm not sure if I would call that 'customer service', though."

His lips pull back over his teeth as he lets out a low laugh, tilting his head but not bothering to turn and give eye contact to the speaker, moving instead to retrieve a champagne glass from beneath the bar.

"Call it whatever you'd like. You should know it's the best way to earn a tip." Setting the glass down on the bartop with a clack he turns, opening the small freezer beneath the wall of shelves at the back of the bar and retrieving a bottle of champagne before turning and fixing the man who know sits before him with a steady gaze, half question, half challenge.

"The usual?"

The smile Dazai flashes him in answer is so lopsided that if Chuuya didn't know better, he would think the man was drunk already.

"You do know me so well."

Turning back to the wall, Chuuya retrieves the singular bottle of absinthe from its place on the shelf, ridding it of its cap and tossing it gently at Dazai, making sure to catch it himself before it could reach his face or fall.

"I ought to. You're the thorn in my side I can't rid myself of." Recoiling enough so that he won't hit Dazai in the chin with the end of the bottle, though the thought is tempting, he fills the glass halfway with the bright green liquid, satisfaction written over his features as he registers the attention of the other patrons turning to them.

"Yes, yes, you never let me forget, do you?" Dazai leans back, crossing his arms over his chest as he watches Chuuya retrieve the champagne, popping the cork and letting it fly off into the unknown, not bothering to watch it land as he pours the bubbling substance into the glass.

"I'll need another glass, Chuuya."

He nearly chokes. No one but Dazai ever had a taste for Death in the Afternoon. In fact, Chuuya only makes sure the boss keeps absinthe on hand because of him; he's the reason Chuuya learned how to make the damn things in the first place, the assumption being that Dazai would likely frequent the bar where he worked due to their general closeness and Dazai's unwillingness to try new things.

"Not of the same thing. Though, I can honestly say I've never been drinking with him, he doesn't get out much, so I'm not sure what his preference is, hang on." Dazai's lithe form twists and swivels, brown eyes narrowing as he scans the crowd for whatever poor soul it is he's convinced to go out drinking.

Chuuya rolls his eyes and turns away from Dazai, he has other patrons to tend to, and he's already wasted enough time as it is. A mixed group of kids that appear to be college-aged are pressed against the counter, a couple getting pretty intimate considering the setting is pinned just past them; Chuuya raises his hands to his hair, removing the elastic that's wrapped around the base of the bun and gripping it between his teeth as he wraps the strands into a tighter around the base of his ponytail, contemplating whether he should advise the frisky couple to tone it down when Dazai's chipper call-out breaks his concentration.


It takes every ounce of self control he has to keep his jaw from hitting the floor, snagging the elastic from his teeth with enough force to make his gums ache as he whirls around and follows the line of Dazai's body as he waves wildly in the general direction of the restrooms.

The lights flicker, dropping and pulsing to the beat of the bass, and Chuuya has the sudden suspicion that this is exactly why Dazai wanted to know if he was working. Whether he knows about their meeting at the gym or not doesn't really matter to Chuuya at this point, because for once he's damn glad for his friend's mischievous tendencies as Kunikida Doppo stalks his way past the dance floor, hands working at rolling up the sleeves on his dark blue button down, glasses folded neatly and draped through the gap in the buttons near his neck, eyes bright and unobscured as he nods to Dazai, pausing mid-step as his gaze sweeps over Chuuya before leveling on his face.

"Eh?" Chuuya has forgotten how to look anywhere but directly at Kunikida, though he feels Dazai's probing gaze on his face as he speaks. "See something you like?"

His tone is grating and played up, a pitchy perversion of sensuality, and while Chuuya is certain he's waggling his eyebrows and poking a finger at him teasingly, can't bring himself to care. His tongue feels heavy, like a sponge soaked beyond capacity, and he can barely contain the appreciative rumble that reverberates against his ribs as Kunikida blinks, hands moving to smooth down the front of his shirt, pulling down the hem before moving forward again, methodical in his movements, closing the distance and moving to stand beside Dazai without actually acknowledging the other's presence.

"Took you long enough." Dazai huffs and shuffles over so that Kunikida can lean against the bar before waving a hand in Chuuya's direction.

"This is--"

Clearing his throat and giving his head a small toss, Chuuya breathes, piecing his composure back together as best he can, opening his mouth to cut Dazai off as he places his palms flat against the counter, feeling his cheeks warm as Kunikida settles against the bar, resting an elbow on the smooth surface.

"We've met." The words come out in a breath, but they break over the music all the same.

In the corner of his vision, Chuuya can see Dazai's head, working as if his neck is a swivel, turning his face to study Kunikida and back to Chuuya in rapid succession, his features becoming more and more broad as he takes in the information he needs, eyes alight as his shoulders raise and fall, the kind of shrug you give when you realize the work you set out to do has been done.

"Ah, well, in that case, I'll leave you to catch up." Dazai snatches his glass from the counter and pushes off the bar, one hand in his pocket as he saunters toward the dance floor, winking over his shoulder as he goes.

That bastard. Chuuya snorts around a laugh, shaking his head knowingly. Though it isn't worth going after him and demanding answers now, Dazai was definitely going to explain himself later, willingly or not. He would make sure of it.

Kunikida furrows his brow, silently questioning Chuuya's sanity, he's sure. Crossing his arms, he jerks his chin toward Dazai's retreating form.

"Ignore him. What do you drink?"

"I don't, when I have to drive." Kunikida's tone is gentle, his smile apologetic, as he answers a bit quicker than expected.

"Tsk. He made you drive?" Chuuya backs up and snatches a bottle off the shelf without turning; he doesn't need to look, his favorite is always in the same spot.

Kunikida shrugs, watching intently as Chuuya retrieves two tall glasses from beneath the counter before kicking open the fridge, dipping beneath the counter so that he can retrieve a bottle of pink, bubbling soda from within, twisting the top and filling the first glass to the brim before sliding it Kunikida's way.

He hums appreciatively, raising it to his lips and taking a contemplative sip as Chuuya opens the alcohol he had retrieved, pouring it into the second glass and adding soda to it to top it off before taking a long swig, the pleasant, sweet tang of raspberry rolling over his tongue as the vodka warms his chest. Kunikida quirks an eyebrow at him and Chuuya lets out a light laugh, feeling his cheeks pull taught around his dimples.

"Curious? You can try it." He winks, sets his glass down before continuing. "It's vodka cranberry."

"Isn't that a stripper's drink of choice?" Something about the way Kunikida's ponytail flits over his shoulder, the way his head tilts to the side innocently as something in his amber irises burns that requires every ounce of restraint Chuuya has to keep himself from jumping the counter and taking the collar of his shirt in his fists, to tangle his fingers around and through the straight, wheaten strands contained in that neat ponytail and pull.

"And here I was about to make the comment that you don't seem like the type you'd find in an establishment like this. You're certainly full of surprises."

He likes surprises. Especially ones like this. Kunikida chuckles, shrugging and turning to rest the small of his back against the edge of the counter, tilting his head back and sideways so that Chuuya is still in his line of sight, and Chuuya thinks he could be fine never knowing anything but the feeling of those eyes on his face ever again.
♠ ♠ ♠
You know what? You know what?

"What is this?" You ask, indignantly, to which I reply:


They're looking at each other don't zoom it in, don't question it, they're beautiful PRECIOUS BOYFRIENDS.

TBH, Chuuya's flirtation seems over the top, but it's not really? Like it seems more intense from his point of view. Also it's a way different environment. Also why am I babbling?


I blame the fact that I was listening to this, but really there is no one to blame but me.

Also, once again Gatsby has mentioned a lot of things in this chapter that she better remember to tie up. I feel like the reason why these chapters seem to suck is because it feels? like? filler?!? But it genuinely isn't? IDK.

I have no witty remarks, this chapter took everything from me and it isn't even the quality of the first one, but you know what, it has arrived and I am ecstatic that it only took me four hours as opposed to the three days it's been routinely taking me.

Pls check back later for remarks and comments on my most favorite ship, but for now, I leave this here.

Okay so, I feel like Dazai and Chuuya, regardless of their relationship, maintain a lot of independence from one another, especially on Chuuya's end, and would likely communicate through text message for the most part, and I think that Dazai would likely use a lot of emojis because he knows Chuuya thinks they're unnecessary. Chuuya appreciates getting to the point, both in spoken and written word, and emojis are almost as annoying as the way Dazai communicates.

Chuuya knows he's attractive, and he does use that, but he also has far more appreciation for other attractive people and can easily become just as captivated with them as others are with him. The man does appreciate art, after all.

God help me, imagining Kunikida like that, I am dying. I love the idea that others might think he's out of place, he may even think he's out of place, but he can just kind of effortlessly fit in wherever he happens to end up. People paint him as really rigid, and I say he's methodical and calculating, but versatile as hell. You can't possess an ability that is largely offensive and not be able to adjust on the fly.

Kunikida being steady and sultry when he knows what he wants. Kunikida bouncing back like a champ after having a slightly more flustered experience. I stan that.

Why is Kunikida suddenly out with Dazai? All in due time.

But honestly don't get me started. You don't wanna get me going.

Next chapter will hopefully not be so much trash and such. God I pray.

Death in the Afternoon.

Ayo I edited this. Not that it makes it any better. I may go back and edit again. Hnnnnnngggggg. But I'm trying not to rush and stuff too much in at once? I dunno.

Edit: I know Chuuya never uses honorifics and isn't big on them being used towards him, therefore Atsushi/Ryuu-kun seems weird, but hear me out because I think if he were in charge of a little human he would want to do things right and have her learn such things and set an example around her and therefore he would use them in that context. Thanks for coming to my Ted talk.