Time has no meaning. It’s 2016. It’s 1899. It’s 1899 but electricity and cars haven’t been invented yet. The past is the past. The future is the future. There are time traveling girls. Jack spends too much time playing Angry Birds on David’s phone in the lodging house.
Everybody is gay. David is gay. Jack is gay. Pulitzer is gay. Sarah is gay. Katherine it’s gay, The pigeons who were frightened by the trash fire are gay pigeons. Patrick’s mother is a raging lesbian who loves her gay son.
Nobody is gay, and everybody has long lost sisters. Race’s sister is dating Jack. Jack’s sister is dating Skittery. All of the sisters are very estranged. The Delanceys terrorize those that they do not date. The sisters tuck their hair into their newsies caps. Nobody must discover that they are girls.
Racetrack and Spot Conlon stood next to each other in one version of the story. Because of this, they are dating. They show their love by cursing a lot and being very cool. Shortness attracts shortness. It is law.
Spot Conlon is everywhere. He’s in Brooklyn. He’s in Manhattan. He’s in Manhattan. He’s on Mars. Spot Conlon is walking on the sun. Spot Conlon is the little voice inside your heart telling you to believe in yourself and be a good person. Spot a Conlon thinks you should start by eating more Doritos and learning to be a badass. Never fear. Brooklyns here.
The spelling of Crutchie’s name changes every time you read it. Crutchy in love with Jack. Cruhqi is in love with David. Crutchee is sad about the refuge. Krutchee is too good for this cruel world. Crunchy is one person and many. Kerutch-E is everybody’s favorite character.
Jack Kelly is not in love with Sarah Jacobs. They are only friends. They got into a fight and broke up. Sarah is evil. Jack is too gay to date girls. Sarah helps him date her brother. Sarah cackles and devolves into dust. Who is this Sarah you speak of? There is no Sarah, only Katherine. The kiss never happened.
Manhattan is at war with Queens. Again. Will the war ever end? Will our boys ever come home?
There are not enough beds in the lodging house. There are never enough beds in the lodging house. David would like to sleep in the lodging house. He must use Jack’s bed. There are no other options for David. There are no other beds for David.
There are background characters with no lines. They are your responsibility now. Use your power wisely. We forge our own protagonists in blood, sweat, and tears.
Is Jack a cowboy or an artist? His form shifts before your eyes. Is it David or Davey? Are they one in the same? Can they exist in the same universe, or is that a power granted solely to Katherine and Sarah?
Jack and Katherine have a ship. What is their ship called? Is it Kack Plelly? Jatherine Kummer? Goatcuticles? Nobody knows. Nobody can agree. The old ones say there was unity once. Heedless of this conflict, the ship sails on. At least for some.
Davey will never go back to school. Davey will be doomed to repeat his first day back at school over and over in an endless loop. Davey knows the square root of pi. Davey has some facts he’d like to share with you. Davey is unsure what a newspaper is because he is a soft and sheltered student type.
There is no you’re, and there is no your, and there is no yours. There is only “you’s, and if you’s ain’t happy wit dat you’s better hav you’d lawyer call me’s lawyer, and maybe we’ scan woirk somethin’ out. Or maybe you’s face would loike to meet me’s fist if you’s knows what I’s means.
AU, AU is the name of the game. Jack is a gymnast. No wait, he’s a star fleet officer. And now they are at Hogwarts. Keruhchiiiiii has a dragon. David is a very anxious lamp. Mafia.
There is a fic, old and legendary, revered by all. It is about summer camp. Sometimes people forget. Sometimes new people arrive with no knowledge of fandom paths once trod. The story is a beacon in the dark. It’s never forgotten for long.
And I went over to my significant other’s house so we’d have plenty of time to hang out before our reservations at this nice restaurant we only go to for our anniversary or big life events - like graduation, someone having a baby, etc.
We were goofing around and talking, when they asked if I’d like to dance. So we put on some music and ballroom danced in their living room.
And then 15ish minutes before we were planning to head out, my lovely SO started telling me about how wonderful I am, how wonderful our relationship is, AND THEN WENT “You’ve made these past 4 years special, will you make the next 80 special?” and I started crying, literally did say “Wait are we for real? ITS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW?!!!!” because we talked about engagements recently. And then they went “yeah -laughs- im serious” and pulled the ring out / go on one knee. And asked me to be their wife. So we’re both crying, and i of course said yes. And it was just so lovely and one of my favorite songs was playing in the background.
asfgdf I’m just so happy right now!! I’m marrying my best friend guise!!
When Dazai first approaches Chuuya with another mission at the end of a long day of work, Chuuya is less than thrilled, but when the duo find themselves infiltrating a dance hall to track down a potential threat to the Port Mafia, Chuuya finds he enjoys himself more than he expected.
Notes: so this soukoku fic is a valentine’s day present for my beloved comrade @amarashii-am we talked about something like this back in like december I think, and I finally got around to writing it! I hope you enjoy it!
*****************************************************************************************************Chuuya stared up at the ceiling fan, watching light glint off its twirling blades as it spun back and forth in an unending loop, succeeding in doing nothing more than shoving stale air from one end of the room to another. After an exhausting, seemingly endless day of mafia business, Chuuya could relate to the ceaseless spinning of the ceiling fan more than he cared to admit. “It’s been a long day,” he said aloud to no one, leaning against the doorway as he watched the fan turn round and round. “But at least I’m home now.”
Home. Chuuya snorted at his own sentimentality. It was such a meaningless little word, and certainly not one that applied to this empty apartment that wasn’t even high enough to escape the miasmal stench of the port below.
Chuuya tore his gaze from the ceiling fan long enough to shrug off his overcoat and hang it by the door. He turned suddenly, giving the doorknob a quick twist to make sure it was locked. Assured, Chuuya crossed the room and threw open the French doors that led to the balcony. He had hoped the stifling heat of the summer day might have abated after sunset, but, much to his disappointment, the night air was no cooler than the inside of his apartment. With a sigh, Chuuya shut the doors again. He stared out at the city he had known all his life with lifeless eyes, one gloved hand pressed against the warm glass.
Chuuya whipped around, eyes narrowed. He was certain he had locked the door…
Dazai stood in the doorway, cradling a large, white dry-cleaning bag in his arms. “Oh, so you are home,” he said, meeting Chuuya’s eyes with a radiant smile that instantly put him on guard. “You didn’t leave headquarters very long ago- I wasn’t sure if you’d make it here before I did.”
“If you came here to make polite conversation, get the hell out,” Chuuya snapped. “If not, cut to the chase. I’m too tired to put up with your shit right now.”
Dazai glanced at his watch. “It’s barely a quarter to eight.” A teasing smile crossed his face. “But I guess small children like you get cranky when they miss naptime.”
“You’ll be taking a nap in the fuckin’ ground if you don’t shut the hell up.”
Dazai’s eyes widened. “Do you really mean it? Oh, Chuuya-” Dazai pretended to wipe away tears. “- I can’t believe you’d do something like this for me.”
Chuuya rolled his eyes. “I wouldn’t be doing it for your sake, idiot. Especially because it’s your fault I’m so tired in the first place!”
“No, it isn’t.”
“Oh, yes the fuck it is!” Chuuya cried. “You’re the one who kept me up until four in the morning going over names for strategies. I tried to leave, like, five times, but you were all, ‘oh, but should we call this one ‘fake flowers deceit’ or ‘this whole thing is stupid, who names their strategies anyway when we could just number them and be done with this shit in five minutes’?”
Dazai chuckled. “I don’t recall that particular strategy.”
“Do you recall me telling you to say whatever you came here to say and get the fuck out of my house?” Chuuya retorted, crossing his arms. “Because every second you waste my time is another second closer to me kicking you in the nuts.”
“Oh, please,” Dazai scoffed. “You wouldn’t-” Dazai’s words melted away when he saw the fire in Chuuya’s eyes. He took a step back. “We have a mission.”
“Oh, fuck me.” Chuuya rubbed his temples and sighed. “What’s the mission, then?”
“We’ve gotten intel that a certain member of an enemy organization is going to be frequenting a local dance hall tonight,” Dazai said, his face clicking into the cold, serious expression he always wore when discussing missions. “We have to shadow him for the evening, see if he conducts any business at the dance hall.”
Chuuya’s eyes narrowed. “That’s all? Just a basic shadowing? Can’t you just send one of your subordinates to take care of it? What about the scrawny one with the jacket? Agukatawa, right? Or is it Aku… Akuguwa?”
“Akutagawa,” Dazai corrected. “And no, I can’t pawn this job off onto one of my subordinates. This mission was a direct order from Mori; he was very explicit that it should be the two of us and no one else.”
Chuuya sighed. “Fine.” He strode across the room and slung his coat over his shoulders. “Let’s go, then.”
It took all Chuuya’s restraint to keep from slapping the smile off Dazai’s face. “What?”
Dazai handed Chuuya the white bag. “Put this on first.”
Chuuya shot Dazai a quick scowl, then opened the bag to find a deep red silk dress. “Oh, hell no!” he cried, wadding up the dress and throwing it at Dazai. “Why don’t you put it on?”
“Don’t be ridiculous,” Dazai scoffed, carefully straightening out the dress and folding it in half so its hem didn’t touch the ground. “It’s not my size.”
“I’m being ridiculous?” Chuuya crossed his arms. “I thought this was a stealth mission, Dazai. Why the fuck would I wear something like that if we’re shadowing someone?”
Dazai shrugged. “I’m just following Mori-san’s orders.”
“Oh, come on!” Chuuya rolled his eyes. “If you think I beleive for a second that Mori handed you that dress-”
“Well, I still had to go out and buy the dress,” Dazai admitted. “Mori-san doesn’t know your measurements as well as I do.”
“You know damn well what I mean!” Chuuya snapped. “What, did Mori-san say ‘you and Chuuya have a stealth mission today, so make sure to put him in a dress’?”
Dazai dug his cell phone out of his pocket and tossed it to Chuuya with a smirk. “If you’d like to give Mori-san a call and question his orders, be my guest.”
Chuuya grit his teeth. Dazai was probably bluffing, but even if he was, Mori wouldn’t appreciate receiving a call over something so trivial. “Never mind,” he snarled, thrusting the phone back at Dazai and snatching the dress out of his arms. “I’ll go shave my legs.”
“Chuuya…” Dazai’s voice was soft, barely audible over the sultry strains of tango music that permeated the dance hall. “Smile.”
Chuuya bared his teeth. “Why?” Even when he didn’t understand Dazai’s orders, Chuuya reluctantly followed them; that bandaged bastard was many things, but a poor strategist wasn’t one of them.
“We’re just two young lovers at a dance hall, remember?” Dazai intertwined his fingers with Chuuya’s, giving his hand a slight squeeze of admonishment as he reminded him of the cover they had assumed for their mission. “If you don’t look like you’re having a good time, you’ll end up calling attention to yourself.”
Chuuya flicked the red rose that was tucked behind his ear. “Yeah, I sure wouldn’t want to do anything that would call attention to myself.”
“Chuuya…” Dazai fell silent for a moment, staring at Chuuya with an inscrutable expression. “Is it really that hard for you to pretend to enjoy being around me?”
A snarky comeback was waiting on the tip of Chuuya’s tongue, but he was caught off-guard by the genuine tone of Dazai’s voice. “What do mean, waste of bandages?” he asked slowly. “Since when have you ever cared about whether or not I liked being around you?”
Dazai straightened his tie and avoided meeting Chuuya’s eyes. Rather than his usual dark suit, he was wearing a black vest over a white shirt with the sleeves rolled up around his elbows and matching slacks, the tie around his neck the same dark red as Chuuya’s dress. As much as Chuuya hated to admit it, Dazai did look nice in white; it brightened up his face and even made his sinister, dark eyes appear a little less conniving, as if he did occasionally have thoughts that weren’t directly related to making his partner suffer.
Dazai gave his tie one final pull, then grabbed Chuuya’s hand. “Never mind what I just said.” His words poured out in a rush. “Just smile.” Still holding Chuuya’s hand, Dazai led him out of the semi-darkness of the coat room and into the almost blinding brightness of the main hall.
Once Chuuya’s eyes adjusted to the light, he saw men and women in fancy clothing seated at small, ornate wire tables clustered around a raised platform, similar to a stage, closed off by heavy velvet curtains. A cursory glance at some of the women was enough for Chuuya to grudgingly confirm that the dress Dazai had chosen for him fit right in. Of course, he wasn’t going to admit that.
Chuuya flashed a radiant smile at Dazai. “Is this convincing enough? The last thing I’d want to was to do anything to make myself look conspicuous. Like, for example, if I was wearing a bright red dress-” Chuuya shot Dazai a pointed look. “-that would be pretty stupid.”
Dazai rolled his eyes. “Your dress isn’t bright red; that would’ve clashed with your hair. I made sure to get you something in a very tasteful shade of deep currant.”
Chuuya snorted. “Deep currant, my ass. I look like a stoplight.”
“Come on.” Dazai pulled Chuuya to the side for a moment as a waiter with a silver tray dashed by. Once the waiter passed, Dazai stepped forward, practically dragging Chuuya along behind him. “You look fine.”
Chuuya yanked his hand out of Dazai’s grasp, massaging his wrist where Dazai’s bony fingers had held onto him. “After all the trouble I went through to cram myself into this thing? I better look a lot more than fine, pal.”
The dance floor was elevated slightly, connected to the rest of the room by a short staircase consisting of three small, wooden stairs. Dazai placed one hand on the small of Chuuya’s back as they ascended the staircase side-by-side, pushing the curtain aside and holding it up so Chuuya could enter. On the other side of the curtain, the lights were softer, reminiscent of candelight, bathing the dancing couples in a delicate glow. An ensemble played on a small stage off to the side, and a woman with a voice like smoke crooned in another language. The almost subdued quality of the light, the swell of music, and the gentle pressure of Dazai’s hand on his back, made Chuuya feel as if he was walking into a dream. He could have stood there for hours, basking in the subtle glow of the moment, but Dazai had to open his mouth and drag Chuuya back down to reality.
“I got the dress in your size, so there shouldn’t have been much cramming involved,” Dazai murmured, his eyes scanning Chuuya’s body. “But, I guess it does look a little tight on you.” Dazai squeezed Chuuya’s ass. “Especially right here.” Chuuya gave an involuntary yelp, making Dazai laugh. “My, Chuuya, so noisy.” He leaned in close, his lips practically brushing against Chuuya’s ear. “We’re on a stealth mission, remember?”
“Then keep your hands off my ass, bastard!” Chuuya hissed, slapping Dazai’s hands away. “Besides, you’ve told me we’re on a stealth mission about a hundred fucking times, but you haven’t told me anything else, like, oh, I don’t know, the target’s name? Who we’re even supposed to be looking for?”
Daza’s eyes darted to the left, indicating an older gentleman in a tuxedo. “That’s him, the leader of Echo.”
Chuuya’s brow furrowed. “Echo? I’ve never heard of them.”
“Well, they haven’t really made any trouble for the Port Mafia yet,” Dazai murmured, letting his eyes linger on the target for a moment before casually shifting his gaze to a couple dancing nearby. “Echo is a foreign gifted organization that’s been making inroads in a few other cities in Japan. Mori-san suspects Yokohama may be their next target.” Dazai smiled down at Chuuya and straightened the rose in his hair. “That’s where we come in. Mori-san thought the Port Mafia should put its best foot forward, so to speak. If we catch him conducting any, ah, unsavory business, at this fine establishment-”
Chuuya cracked his knuckled, grinning. “Now we’re talking. Maybe this’ll be worth shaving my legs for after all.”
Dazai smirked. “The sacrifices we make for the Port Mafia.”
Chuuya’s eyes widened, darting back and forth as he tried to decide if anyone had overheard. Once he realized that the other patrons of the dance hall were too far away to have heard Dazai over the music, Chuuya turned on his partner with a snarl. “A little louder with that mafia talk next time- there might be some people here who didn’t catch that,” he hissed, poking Dazai’s chest.“You wanna give out our names and addresses while you’re at it? How about we strip naked, staple our wanted posters to our asses, and dance a fucking hula?”
Dazai tucked a lock of Chuuya’s hair behind his ear with an amused smile. “You’re so tense,” he whispered, his words warm and soft in Chuuya’s ear. “It wouldn’t kill you to calm down, you know.”
“Would it kill you to take our mission seriously?” Chuuya retorted. “Our target is within spitting distance, and you-”
Dazai looked mildly impressed. “You can spit that far?”
Chuuya snapped his fingers. “Focus! We need to keep our eyes on the targe-” His eyes slid to where the target had stood only to be met with empty space. “Wait, where did he-”
“By the stage,” Dazai breathed, carressing Chuuya’s cheek as an excuse to turn his face in the proper direction.
“Let’s go.” Chuuya took a step toward the target, but Dazai grabbed his wrist.
“Hold on,” Dazai whispered. “You can’t just go storming off like that. We need to blend in.”
Chuuya’s eyes narrowed. “What do you have in mind?”
Dazai gave Chuuya a dazzling smile and offered his hand. “Chuuya, may I have this dance?”
Chuuya blushed, mentally berating himself for blushing. “It’s just for the mission, you idiot,” he told himself. “It’s not like he really wants to dance with you.”
“What’s the matter?” asked Dazai, taking notice of Chuuya’s hesitation. He raised an eyebrow and smirked. “Don’t you know how to tango?”
Chuuya snarled and took Dazai’s hand, placing his other hand on Dazai’s waist. “Of course I know how to tango, you limp anus.”
The ensemble struck up a new piece at a faster tempo as the target began moving to the other side of the dance floor. Dazai gave Chuuya a smile that sent shivers down his spine. “We’ll see about that.” Dazai jerked Chuuya forward, but Chuuya trailed his hand down Dazai’s arm, grasping his fingertips as he spun outward and yanking suddenly, forcing Dazai to spill into Chuuya’s arms.
“What was that?” Chuuya murmured, fluttering his eyelashes. “I’m afraid I can’t hear you over the music, darling.” Chuuya could feel a smile threaten to crack his expertly applied lipstick; Dazai might be the big-shot executive able to call the shots when it came strategy, but if that graceless, linguine-limbed son-of-a-bitch thought he could out-dance Chuuya, he was sorely mistaken. Chuuya was in his element now, and he would savor every moment of it.
Chuuya trailed his fingertips along Dazai’s bandaged forearms so delicately that his partner shuddered before entwining his fingers with Dazai’s one at a time. Grinning, Chuuya placed his free hand on Dazai’s shoulder, gripping perhaps a bit tighter than strictly necessary, and led him forward, moving with fluid, graceful strides as Dazai scrambled to follow along. Dazai’s usual smug composure nowhere to be found. His eyes were wide, almost fearful, as Chuuya twirled, his fingertips barely touching Dazai’s, before lunging forward so their chests were pressed together, arching his neck up so he could savor the look on Dazai’s face.
“Where-” Although he had done little more than stand still and be yanked around, Dazai still sounded out of breath. “Where did you learn this?”
“Can’t I have a few secrets?” Chuuya purred. His hands traced the air near the sides of Dazai’s chest before alighting on his waist, using Dazai for stability as he lifted himself off the ground, stepping down so gently his high heels didn’t even click on the wooden floor. “Besides,” Chuuya added, plucking the rose out of his hair and putting it in Dazai’s mouth, which was hanging slightly open. “I think I like knowing something you don’t.” Chuuya crossed one leg in front of the other slowly, then swept his leg outward, kicking his foot into the air when it reached the end of its arc and seizing Dazai’s hand once more. “Just try not to slow me down too much.”
They danced for hours, always keeping the target within their line of sight, but as the night grew older, Chuuya found himself less and less preoccupied with the target and more and more focused on Dazai, on the placement of his hands, on the increasing elegance of his footwork, on the sharp gleam that came into his eyes when he was contemplated with a skill he had not yet mastered.
“He’s just using me for the mission,” Chuuya told himself as he leaned back into Dazai’s arms after a particularly dizzying twirl. “But that doesn’t mean I can’t use him for some pleasure of my own.”
For a few moments- the time Dazai attempted to spin and only avoided slapping the hat off an old woman’s head because Chuuya pulled him into a dip came to mind- Chuuya had so much fun that he could almost convince himself he and Dazai really were nothing more than a pair of young lovers in a dance hall, enjoying one another’s company without any thoughts of international gifted organizations or questions about who was using who.
Eventually, it got to a point where Chuuya suddenly realized he had neglected to look for the target for several minutes and, when he did look around, the man was nowhere to be found.
“Dazai!” Chuuya whispered, tugging Dazai’s sleeve. “The target, where is he?”
Dazai shrugged. “Who knows?” he said with a lazy smile.
“Who knows?!” Chuuya had to wring his hands to keep from wringing Dazai’s neck. “Damn it, Dazai, this is important! Trailing that man was our entire mission, and we have no idea where he went! He could be up to something right now, and we just let him slip through our fingers! If we can’t find him, our whole mission would be-” Chuuya’s eyes narrowed. “Are you laughing?”
“Laughing?” Dazai tried and failed to suppress a smile. “Of course not.”
“I should hope the fuck not!” Chuuya exclaimed, stomping his foot. Then, remembering that the target could possibly have allies nearby, he lowered his voice again. “There’s nothing funny about failing a mission.”
“No, no, there is nothing funny about failing a mission,” Dazai agreed, lips twitching. He covered his mouth with his hand but couldn’t camouflage a burst of laughter. “But this- this is hysterical!” Dazai laughed so hard tears began streaming down his face and he had to hold onto Chuuya’s shoulder for balance.
“Do I have to remind you that we just lost our target?” Chuuya snapped, shoving Dazai’s hand aside. “Whatever you’re thinking about can’t be funny enough to make up for the fact that we’re in danger of failing our mission!”
“Oh, Chuuya.” Chuuya couldn’t recall ever seeing Dazai look so amused. “There was never any mission.”
Chuuya was sure he had to have heard wrong. “Never any- what do you- you can’t be seriou-”
Dazai took Chuuya’s hand and gently raised it to his lips, planting a kiss on his knuckles. “I had a wonderful time tonight, Chuuya,” he whispered, a soft smile on his face and fragments of tears lingering in his eyes. “I hope we can do this again sometime.” With that, Dazai turned and exited through the curtain.
Chuuya could hear Dazai’s footsteps as he descended the stairs. “Bu-but I-” When the footsteps faded, Chuuya found his voice. “Hold the fuck on!” he cried, hiking up his dress so he could run faster. “What in the fresh hell do you mean, ‘there was never any mission’!? I shaved my fucking legs for this, you asshole!”