I really like this scene right here…in the last pages it was semi-confirmed that he was likely part of experimentation, which is very much a victimizing process. Laurent is trying to baby him, as if he has no idea what he is doing because of whatever happened to him with that and with Bloom Vanitas. But Vanitas is clearly fighting against that…from claiming revenge on Vanitas (hopefully we find out why soon) to this.
But listen— underwater kisses between Dazai and Atsushi.
Maybe it’s dramatic, where Dazai lets himself fall into the ocean and Atsushi jumps after him, two bodies plunging into the water; Atsushi’s hands grappling the lapels of an all-too-familiar trench coat in order to bring the elder up to the surface, but the response he gets are Dazai’s own hands framing his face, dark eyes fixing him an unreadable stare before there were lips on his, long and slow, and Atsushi feels like suffocating for a whole different reason.
Maybe it’s playful, where they’re taking long walks on the beach, barefooted and with the sun descending over the horizon; Atsushi takes his eye off Dazai to admire the view for a few minutes and sure enough, the moment he looks back to where Dazai stood, the man has already moved to the sea, waist-deep. Atsushi chases after him and is about to say something about Dazai’s latest attempt at submersion when Dazai turns around, a deceptively sweet grin on his face, and Atsushi finds himself being pulled into the sea by Dazai beneath him. A small peck is delivered to Atsushi’s lips before they submerged, and Atsushi is ready to question Dazai’s action but he is caught off-guard by the melodious chuckle that escapes from Dazai’s mouth, the water droplets dripping from his brown hair, and the way the sunset’s light falls upon the man.
Maybe it’s something else entirely, where Atsushi is the one drowning, fighting to swim up, and there’s hands pulling him towards the land. A coughing and panting Atsushi comes face-to-face with Dazai, both drenched. After making sure that Atsushi is okay, Dazai says something along the lines of, “I have passed up a chance to do suicide, so you better make it up with either a kiss or a suicide with me, Atsushi-kun,” and his tone is light, allowing Atsushi to escape if he wants, but Atsushi doesn’t, not after what Dazai’s done, and so Atsushi surges forward, presses his lips against Dazai’s, and it’s not exactly an underwater kiss but—it’s enough. It’s always more than enough.
Just. Underwater kisses between Dazai and Atsushi.