“I’m in love with you.”
And then a sad smile later, Dazai continued:
“…And you wish you didn’t feel the same way, right?”
But the door was always open. Every night Chuuya just happened to pass by the building, he’d go up, test the knob, long ago being surprised when the door swung open.
Sometimes Dazai would be reading. Other times, he’d be in bed already. Then there’d be times he wouldn’t be home and Chuuya would amuse himself with a selection from the bookshelf and be waiting on the couch when the door opened again, not say anything as Dazai leaned down to kiss him.
It became an unspoken routine that every Friday night would be like this. Then Saturday nights joined Fridays, then the occasionally Tuesday. But one Tuesday night led to a Wednesday morning, and Chuuya stayed away for two months.
But Friday night came again, and so did Chuuya.
Chuuya had just sat up when he heard Dazai’s voice, so quiet that it was almost unrecognizable.
Chuuya was in love with Dazai the way Dazai was in love with Chuuya, but the difference was that the person who was left hurt more and longer than the person who did the leaving. Dazai was all in. He’d said the words. He’d allowed himself to be vulnerable. He’d been honest. He’d been patient. He trusted Chuuya with his life; he told him, he showed him, he promised him.
But Chuuya didn’t and while Dazai’s abandonment wounded him deeply, Chuuya’s inability to trust Dazai completely (or even at all) had the same effect.
Closing his eyes, Chuuya’s shoulders rounded with his next exhale. He heard shifting behind him and felt light kisses trailed against his side. When he looked over his shoulder, his bleary eyes watched Dazai push up, his portion of the blankets pooling to his hips. He gave a lopsided smile before bringing a hand up to cup Chuuya’s cheek, lean in and kiss him so sweetly that it took Chuuya’s breath away.
But unlike the romance novels, instead of being swept off his feet, Chuuya wondered if Dazai was going to steal all his air and leave him to suffocate.
So he pulled back wordlessly.
Dazai smiled and nodded.
“Yeah. I get it. But… I want you to stay. I really do. I want to wake up next to you, Chuuya. I want–”
Chuuya’s brow furrowed and he looked away, drawing back the hand that Dazai’s was half covering. “You know, the only thing worse than my partner abandoning me would be to wake up alone in his bed,” Chuuya snapped and stood. “I’m–”
Dazai Osamu didn’t beg. He didn’t; since they were kids, Chuuya had watched Dazai seamlessly get anything he wanted without ever having to go anything beyond a simple request. But feeling his hand on his wrist, hearing the way his voice lilted, looking at him, Chuuya knew even before he sat back down that he’d given in.
“…Fine,” he acquiesced in a tight voice.
Every cell in his body knew better than to trust Dazai, but the multitude of them that was his heart felt otherwise.
“Tonight,” he said thickly and swallowed. “Just… tonight.”
The way Dazai smiled did things to Chuuya’s heart that made looking at him impossible. The moment he turned away, he felt Dazai’s forehead touch to his bare shoulder and he closed his eyes, nodding when he heard a breathy ‘thank you.’
It was quiet afterwards, two dangerous men sitting next to each other, two people in love in the same bed, one entirely trusting and the other wholeheartedly refusing to.
(”Isn’t love enough?” Dazai had asked once.
“Not when it’s us,” Chuuya answered.)
Clouds had concealed the bright moon by the time one of their voices broke the silence.
“…I love you, you know,” Dazai said quietly.
Chuuya pressed his lips together, gave a stiff nod.
“…Yeah. I know.”
And then Dazai coaxed him back into bed, drew their bodies flush together and Chuuya fell asleep with Dazai’s arms around him, his heart beating against his back, his soft breaths tangling in his hair, hearing I love you over and over again.