Dazai sat on the edge of the agency's roof. He stared at the road alongside the building, eyes empty. Although his legs were several dozen meters above the ground, he felt no fear. Even if he inadvertently fell off the building, what awaited him was only a few seconds in the air, probably unimaginable pain from hitting the ground, and then his last breath.
Nothing too serious. Only the death of some insignificant person who never managed to find a reason to live. An everyday occurrence.
A shy voice startled the detective. He turned and exclaimed, swinging nonchalantly his legs. "Oh, Atsushi-kun!"
"I hope you're not thinking about a new suicide method…" The young man said uncertainly.
Dazai briefly looked at the street where passersby as small as ants were walking. "That might have been a good idea, but too classical for me. Way too painful too." He cheerfully declared.
Atsushi sighed. Even though he was used to Dazai's antics, he still wasn't sure how he was supposed to react.
He gave up any retort and stated. "Kunikida-san is searching for you."
"Oh! Well in this case, I'd better find another hideout! Thanks for warning me, Atsushi-kun."
The young man held back a second sigh. His mentor was way too playful.
"Dazai-san, we only need your report to close the case…"
The detective didn't answer and smiled. Atsushi seemed to be about to retort but Dazai stood up, almost carelessly, and capitulated. "Fine fine, I'm coming."
They entered the building and headed for the office where an enraged Kunikida greeted them. The slacker deliberately angered him a little more. Then did he finally begin his report.
Dazai had not always been this extravagant man he indulged in incarnating. When he still was part of the mafia, his subordinates called him various flattering names: cold-hearted, calculating, manipulative. Chuuya was the one who had the most fun with it.
"I can't understand what you're thinking with your fucking poker face. Can't you express yourself or something?"
Then Dazai tried this masquerade and he discovered that the reaction of the people around him amused him.
But even as he laughed, whined and joked for the first times, he remained the same empty shell.
Dazai had tried to fill the emptiness that overwhelmed him with many things: violence, alcohol, carnal passion. When he didn't joke about double suicide, he could be very seductive. He quickly saw through the person facing him, guessing his thoughts and expectations. He was careful to keep a permanent control, giving but not too much, pressing but not pushing, making seem as they had the choice whereas he left only one path.
Over the years, Dazai slept with numerous partners. But whatever person, man or woman, whatever body, virgin or experienced, they only gave him fleeting physical liberations. The passion didn't arouse his heart. All that ever managed to make pound this organ of his were pupils quivering before going empty, bodies twitching before becoming corpses.
Dazai never really cared, letting life lead him wherever it wanted to go. Only one day, did he decide to go against it and joined the agency. Then he met Atsushi. The few people who could brag about having been the source of Dazai's affection could be counted on the fingers of one hand. But he was one of them.
Dazai had never met such a pure and innocent person, even though he had obviously been tarnished by his surroundings. Or was it this tarnishing that compelled him to nurture his purity?
It was interesting. Very interesting. And at the same time, Dazai's heart twitched a little. Out of whatever he felt, he picked up the poor boy. He brought him to the agency, gave him a meal, a roof and a job.
He "saved" him.
In the short run, the quotes could have been removed. For if Atsuhsi had stayed on this road without ever crossing his path, he would have starved to death, unable to ever hurt others to survive.
In the long run, the discussion was left opened. As the cruelty of the headmaster compelled Atsushi to be good, the kindness that Dazai had shown by taking him under his wing compelled Atsushi to be beholden.
The detective was amazed by all the small occasions his protégé found to oblige him. He didn't even seem to force himself, as if there was nothing more natural than to devote his body and soul to the man who pulled him out of misery.
Dazai's good deed did not only influence Atsushi's behavior. His discernment was affected too. Because Dazai saved him, he intrinsically saw him as a good person. Something no one ever did before. Naturally. Dazai was not a good person. He was trying. He was doing his best. But he knew deep down that he would never succeed. At least, not in the true sense of the words.
Being on the side that saves people didn't make one a good person. And that was all he could manage. Because he would never be able to get rid of this boredom, of this disinterest in his surroundings. He didn't care about the life of others. Nor his own.
And yet, Atsushi persisted in seeing things in him that Dazai himself couldn't distinguish.
While he sat by Odasaku's grave.
"I've never seen you visit a grave."
"Do I look like I'm visiting grave?"
While he returned from Shibusawa's castle.
"You tried to protect the city, didn't you?"
"Do I look like such a good person?"
And that unsettled him. So Dazai asked, ascertained what he had heard. And Atsushi always made this surprised, questioning look. As if the answer was obvious.
At this point, Dazai didn't know anymore. Did he brainwashed his protégé or was he no longer able to understand himself? Thinking about that tired him. So he drank Atsuhsi's words and snuggled up in the comfortable feeling his unwavering faith made blossom.
Each time the young man saw the good in him, Dazai felt lighter.
Was this what Odasaku had been talking about?
"Being a good person should make you feel a little better."
When Dazai finished his report, Atsushi was already waiting for him, a cup of coffee in each hand. The detective then thought that whatever he did, his protégé probably wouldn't look at him any differently.
oOo oOo oOo
When Dazai kissed Atsushi for the first time, there was no reason. It was late. They were alone in the office. So Dazai locked the door, came closer and kissed him.
Atsushi didn't know what to do. Dazai, his savior, the man who gave him the life he led, had his lips on his.
As far as he could remember, he had never received any affection, be it verbal or physical. And even today, where he was a fellow member of the agency as well as a detective appreciated by his colleagues, Dazai was the only one to pat him on the head, to give him a tap on the back, to put a reassuring hand on his shoulder.
Atsushi had always been troubled by these gestures. And Dazai's kiss was no different. So he stayed still, until the detective put his hands on his back, prompting him to do the same. Slowly, the young man brought clumsy arms on the coat of his mentor and closed his eyes.
That was his first kiss.
Dazai kissed Atsushi the following days. He would find some pretext for them to stay longer at the agency, wait for their colleagues to leave, and then close the door.
Atsushi never tried to evade it. Even if he did, the detective probably wouldn't have let him.
As days passed, Dazai went further in his kisses, leaving the lips to go on the jaw, the neck, the clavicle. And Atsushi let him. It was only when his mentor took off his shirt and put a hand on his naked skin that he pulled away, cheeks red and stuttered words on the tongue.
So Dazai took him to his messy and dirty apartment. After entering, he vaguely apologized for the state of the room, but Atsushi shook his head. He had seen far worse, lived in far worse.
They laid down on the futon and Dazai touched him.
The former mafioso expected something different out of this intimate contact. Atsushi wasn't like all those people he slept with. He was his protégé, the man he had been kissing for days. And yet, the act was the same. But even though the result desperately stayed similar, Dazai couldn't let go. He held Atsushi all night long.
In the morning, Dazai woke up with a hand in his hair. He opened his eyes, his face a few centimeters away from Atsushi's, and saw him stroking his check. The corner of Dazai's lips stretched, imitating those of his protégé.
Bit by bit, the two detectives kissed less and less at the agency, preferring the warmth of Dazai's futon. Atsushi ended up spending more nights in it than in his own bed. He was only returning home to take some practical stuff. Then he realized he was no longer able to sleep there. So even on days when Dazai was on a mission and returned late, he would sit in his apartment and wait.
During these lonely evenings, Atsushi allowed himself to clean the room. He took care to put each object back in its place even though some clearly didn't have anything to do scattered on the floor. He filled the fridge, made the laundry, took out the trash.
There was no point in it. Dazai himself probably didn't give a fuck. After all, he had lived in his filth until today. But Atsushi felt like he was useful and that made him less guilty about occupying the apartment without his resident.
Then, when Dazai finally returned from his mission, he welcomed him, a big smile on the lips. Dazai could almost see the tail wagging in his back and he'd feel one of his rare twinges. So he'd kiss Atsushi, again and again. Then he'd spread him on the futon.
On such a night, Dazai stroked the hair of his protégé.
"Atsushi-kun… I'm sorry." He murmured without notice.
The young man raised a questioning glance.
But the detective shook his head, as if to erase what he said. Even though, Atsushi continued. "It's rare to see you feeling guilty."
Ever so slightly, Dazai's eyes widened.
"Do I look like I feel guilty?"
Atsushi seemed surprised.
After many seconds, Dazai closed his eyes and smiled softly. He squeezed the body of his protégé. Firmly, as if he wanted to break his bones.
Atsushi embraced him back.
I hesitated a lot before posting this fanfic. English isn't my native language, and I don't have much confidence in my writing skills. Actually, it's the first time I've written a story in English. And even though I read a lot in this language, I think the fact that I'm not a native speaker comes across in the writing. So if someone feels like beta-reading this fanfic, please feel free to contact me. I would be very happy.
About the story itself now. I didn't really wanted to depict a romantic relationship, but rather a dependency (with a tad of manupilation on Dazai's side?). I've read very few stories about them from that angle (and none that ended on a "good" note) but I found it was good fit. So, I gave it a try! I hope you enjoyed it. Don't hesitate to drop a comment to tell me what you thought!
Also, I took the liberty of using some lines from Dead Apple. I didn't find that the movie was great (in my eyes, the OST is the best thing about it), but these 2 moments, these are what made me love the DazaAtsu. In the beginning, I wasn't really into the Bungo Stray Dogs ships. But there's something that appeals to me in the DazaAtsu. I've the impression that Atsushi is the only character who brings something positive to Dazai (if we except Odasaku).