"Trapped in this endless dance of hatred..."

Izaya leapt upwards to avoid the vending machine that had just been thrown in his direction and balanced precariously on the chain-link fence bordering the edge of the town. Although he knew he was testing his luck, Izaya tipped his head back lazily and called out to his hunter, "Shizu-chan, if you want to catch me, you'll have to be faster than that!"

Almost immediately, the fence clanged and shook dangerously as something else heavy and life-threatening crashed against it. Izaya swayed uneasily for a moment, his blood-red gaze shooting downwards in momentary panic only to be met with the rage-filled eyes of Heiwajima Shizuo.

"Get down here, flea! You're just begging for your death!" Shizuo shouted, shaking the fence in quick, sharp jerks. Izaya let his trade-mark smirk twist his features as he leapt from the fence, landing gracefully in front of his tormentor. Shizuo whirled and struck out at the other man, snarling dangerously, but though he didn't have Shizuo's strength, Izaya had his own lithe quickness and he dodged the blow effortlessly.

"Too slow again, Shizu-chan! You forget how fast I am!" Izaya sang. He knew that there was an unbridled joy shining in his demonic eyes, but he couldn't bring himself to care. This dance that they did every day, this never-ending chase that sent the adrenaline shooting through his veins like nothing else, that lit his very being- straight down to his core- on fire... He had never felt so alive.

"...this dance of frightened longing..."

Izaya leaned his head against the dirty window of his apartment later that week, his red eyes settling on the sparkling city spread out so beautifully beneath him. It truly was a sight to behold at night. What was he looking for, he wondered, as his eyes scanned the dark streets and alleyways illuminated only occasionally by streetlights here and there. It was late and usually Izaya could see him prowling those streets at this hour... Causing havoc at some bar or picking fights with some unlucky passerby. If only he would find his way here, to me...

The crimson eyes reflected in the glass blinked in shock. Wait...what? Izaya stood abruptly, arching his back until he felt it give a satisfying crack. He was just tired tonight. That was all. It certainly wasn't the fact that a part of him ached to see his old enemy every night that had set his body trembling. Things like love didn't happen to kings of the city like him.

A short, humorless laugh escaped Izaya's lips as he swung away from the window into the darkness of his empty apartment. Even if he did acknowledge something like this... it wasn't like Shizuo ever would.

"...this dance of forbidden love."

No one roamed the streets this late at night and in such dreary weather. It was silent, save for the soft hiss of the rain on the pavement as Izaya made his way through the lonely streets of downtown towards the alley where he knew he'd find him. He was always there on nights like these.


Why do I even care...?

Rounding the street corner, Izaya could see him there, leaning back against the brick wall of the alley, staring in disgust at the dripping cigarette gripped between his thumb and forefinger. Here Izaya paused, just out of the other man's line of vision, concealed behind the blue mailbox at the corner of the alley. Just watching.

Another accident had happened earlier that day. Another fight, another person hospitalized, another mark on Shizuo's record. Izaya wondered if anyone but himself knew about Shizuo's incredible strength. That he couldn't control it. That sometimes it just spiraled helplessly out of control, lashing out at innocent people. Izaya was amazed that no one had been killed yet. But, then again, he wasn't, because he knew Shizuo like the back of his hand, and he knew that that bastard was just too damn good to kill anyone. Izaya knew this because if Shizuo had really set about to kill someone, he'd have been the first one gone. Yet here he was in the shadows, the killer, and there, in a rain-streaked alleyway all alone, the savior. The killer should never fall in love with the savior. Even if the savior had saved the killer.

"Izaya." The sound of his name startled Izaya out of his daze. Immediately his body tensed, as it always did when it heard that voice, poised and ready to dodge whatever object might come flying his way. He drew back until he could feel the blue metal of the mailbox pressing uncomfortably into his skin. "I know you're there, Izaya. Have you come to kill me again?" the voice continued, a careless drawl.

Tentatively, Izaya stepped forward from around the box, his head lowered against the rain, scarlet eyes watching Shizuo warily through the wet strands of hair that fell into his face as he approached, ever closer.

"I didn't come to kill you, Shizu-chan. I came..." Izaya's words choked off, and he realized something must have really gotten to Shizuo if he had let Izaya come this close without striking out at him. There was barely a foot between them now. If I wanted... Izaya thought about the switchblade tucked away safely inside his coat. This man's death had been what he thought would make him happy once, but now, standing here before him, presented with the perfect opportunity, the thought of Shizuo's death only made Izaya's chest ache.

"Well, then, flea? If you're not here to end my life, then what are you here for?" Shizuo spat, amber eyes glaring angrily into the conflicted ones before him. Izaya took another step closer, making the difference in their height apparent as he tipped his head back to study his life-long rival. Something in those ruby eyes had cleared, a decision made.

"I came to make sure they hadn't taken you away, Shizu-chan." Izaya said softly, his usual grin still in place, concealing the genuine concern he felt for this man. "Who else would I have to entertain me of they had?"

Shizuo looked away from those captivating eyes. "Of course," he sighed, amber eyes glaring regretfully into the shadows, "because all I am is a monster to you and to everyone else." With that, the older man pushed off of the wall and swept past Izaya, his eyes drifting closed as he strode purposefully down the alleyway.

Izaya's eyes widened in panic at this sudden development and almost instinctively, he turned and chased the few steps after Shizuo, his hand reaching out to knot in the man's shirt.

"Shizu-chan...you're not a monster. You're the savior. You save everyone..." Izaya began, his gaze fixed stubbornly on the uneven pavement beneath his feet. He refused to meet those amber eyes as Shizuo swung around to face him, incredulous.

"What was that, flea?" Shizuo laughed. "All I do is hurt. You should know that better than anyone else." Izaya hated the self-deprecating tone in that voice he knew so well. He hated that Shizuo would make him do this...

Reaching out a hand to snatch the collar of the taller man and pull him closer, Izaya glared up into those eyes he had once so hated and now so loved. "That's not true, Shizu-chan! None of that is true! I can prove it to you! I know! Because- because I hate weak things and humans, but-" The sentence remained unfinished as Izaya blinked in shock, realizing the way it would have ended. But you made me love you. Izaya let go of the other man's collar and backed away, his eyes once again focused on the pavement. He couldn't believe how close he had almost come...

Silence reigned for several moments, and then a long, drawn-out sigh in which Shizuo closed the distance between them again.

"Izaya." Izaya refused to look up until he felt a rough hand ruffle his already messy hair. "I get it now, okay? I get it." Shizuo murmured, that easy-going smirk once again in place, his amber eyes watching the down-turned head before him with an almost frightening amount of affection. Izaya let his head fall forward onto Shizuo's shoulder, fighting the burning sensation behind his closed eyes as he let the other man trace a hand comfortingly up and down over his back. It didn't even occur to him how natural it was for them to switch positions, how easy and effortless it was.

He knew this was probably the closest he would ever get to Shizuo, but for Izaya, just for now... it was close enough.