The busy streets of Yokohama prepared themselves for the downpour to come. Soon, its entirety would become a huge basin of tears from the still, dark-shade clouds above. People readied their shed to prevent the tiny droplets from infiltrating their clothes' fiber. The sun, barely noticeable due to the thick clouds' interference, slowly slid its way below the horizon, temporarily passing its role to shed light into the world to that rising crescent figure bombarded with huge craters. Low-magnitude stars twinkled from the distance to make their presence known in the Yokohama's twilight sky, their flickers in sync with a brunet's heartbeat. The late afternoon breeze swept from the East, making the commercial buildings' signages dance along with it. The brunet shivered from the wind's bite but made no effort to tug his beige trench coat tighter despite his trembling skin's unending protest.

The brunet's pace sped up a little, anticipating the small droplets of water to fall from the sky any moment by now. Fortunately, the members of the Armed Detective Agency were dismissed earlier than usual thanks to the typhoon brewing just across the boundary.

Chest burdened by God-knows-what, he strode his way to his apartment just a few blocks away from the detective agency. Fishing his phone from his pocket, he saw a couple of unread messages, mostly from Kunikida, bugging him to complete his paperwork after the forecasted downpour's rage. His desk is now a home for uncountable specks of dust due to the stagnancy and goofiness of its bandaged owner. He scrolled down and down and down, mentally hearing his co-worker's scoldings. He didn't pay any attention to those petty matters anyway, dismissing those cursed lump of papers as a complete waste of time, tedious stuff not worthy of any attention. He would rather let the God of sleep take over him while laying on the agency's cozy couch than facing a mountain of chores and responsibilities.

His fingers stopped on their own when a familiar contact name appeared on the list. Somehow, that clog restricting his system's airflow shrunk a little but still not enough for him to breathe freely.

Slug: "Where are you?"

Mackerel: "Miss me already, chibi?"

Slug: "Fuck off, you shitty mackerel!"

Mackerel: "Eh~? You're so mean chibi! But we're literally living under the same roof for about - 2 years? You're not going to let me wander in the streets, won't you?"

Slug: "Yeah, yeah, whatever… Be here in under five minutes or else, you're dead!"

The rain started to fall, his clothes absorbing all the moisture no matter how light the drizzle was. It seems that it's not going to stop for the time being.

Despite his boyfriend's obvious idle threat, he still managed to arrive at their shared apartment unit within five minutes.

"I'm home." It feels so strange to hear those words coming straight from his mouth. It gives an unfamiliar sensation, something foreign to him since childhood.

Home… A place to return to… and a place where someone awaits your return.

Throughout his life, he believed that a "home" is just a shed made up of concrete, wood, or whatever natural material to protect someone from the changes of their physical environment. There's no room for doubts. He was THE Demon Prodigy of the Port Mafia, after all, a man with properly woven plans, calculations, and predictions. He's aware of almost everything. Just name it! Nothing could possibly go wrong or in case his plans went south, the worst of the worst-case scenario could be prevented from happening but it turns out that a genius cannot possibly know all things. He's a sucker for understanding this "humanly" thing called emotions and how to deal with them…

… But a certain redhead brimming with an infinite amount of energy (where did he get those anyway?), impulsive most of the time, taught him well.

With half of his body peeking through the kitchen door, the redhead looked at the brunet standing in the doorway, water dripping from his clothes to the apartment's graphite floor.

"Oi, get changed first!" Chuuya furrowed his brows with a frying pan in hand.

"Aww~ Chuuya's concerned about me~" Despite his playful tone, its usual vibrance was missing, making the redhead cringe internally. He's obviously feigning his enthusiasm, or at least, Chuuya's the only one who noticed the former's masquerade.

"Nah, I'm more concerned about the floor." Chuuya faked a dismissive gesture.

That's a lie, of course, but the redhead's pride is too big to admit that.

Typical Chuuya.

Unable to harness the energy to rebut with Chuuya (probably due to his drenched clothes freezing him all over), he just replied with a small "if you say so" with an annoying smirk plastered on his face. He was about to go to their shared bedroom to clean himself up before he became a human icicle until he heard the redhead utter the words he wasn't expecting (but badly wanted to hear).

"Welcome back."

He looked back but Chuuya was already in the kitchen, preparing for their dinner like always.

Dazai smiled but this time, it's genuine, different from the mask he usually puts on.

That burden on his chest is still there and probably will remain as long as he lives.

But at least, he has a home now.

A place to lighten his load, to rest his tired shoulders, and carry it on his back again the next day.

A place to return to, to let a filthy stray like him in and take cover until the heavens have finally stopped crying.

A place where someone awaits his return, saying "welcome back" - an assurance that there's still a person who wants him to stay.

"It's good to be back." He replied, unsure if the redhead heard him as the swirling gust of wind and the violent weep of the sky swept his voice away.