The thing that’s honestly hilarious about aggressive and moralistic anti shipping movements is that it literally does not matter at all.
Nobody outside of a very niche bubble and a small number of people even remotely gives a shit. They pour all this time and energy into something that absolutely nobody in the real world outside of the Internet gives a flying fuck about. It would be sad if it wasn’t so funny.
Louis never wanted a soulmate, didn’t really care for the whole Bonding thing at all, really. Enter Harry Styles, who’s wanted to be Bonded for as long as he could remember. With one fateful meeting in an X Factor bathroom, Louis gets a dagger on his arm and the realization that just because Harry is his soulmate doesn’t mean it’s mutual. From the X Factor house to Madison Square Garden, from the Fountain Studios stage to stadiums across the world, Louis has to learn to love without losing himself completely, because someday his best friend will Bond to someone and replace Louis as the center of his universe. Meanwhile, Harry begins to think that maybe fate doesn’t actually know what it’s doing after all, because his other half has clearly been right in front of him the whole time. All he has to do now is convince Louis to give them a chance. OR the canon compliant Harry and Louis love story from the very beginning, where the only difference is that the love between them is literally written on their skin, and there’s only so much they can hide.
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!”
Warning: This is an analysis that focuses on child abuse and the effects it has on the psyche of the main character. I’m not trying to paint him as a tragic abuse victim, but simply attempting to map out some of the causes of his personality and development. If you are simply into daiya for the fun happy-go-lucky parts of it I recommend you not read this.
I know that violence is often used in especially shounen anime as a type of comedic relief. The patterns are usually quite clear. Some boy acts stupid and either his father or the female protagonist will beat him senseless. These are usually rather stylized examples and no character blinks at the portrayal, there’s not physical evidence a panel later that portray the effects of the violence and the characters are in chibi form, portraying stilly poses, during the act:
the year was 2014. the plan was a convention for tumblr users in some random-ass city in illinois. what started out being marketed as tumbl-con usa soon became the disaster we cringe to think about today: dashcon. it was supposed to be a fun, cheap event, with panels and celebrities from multiple fandoms. it was supposed to be the largest gathering of tumblr users for new friendships to be forged and internet friends to meet. alas, it was not meant to be.
picture this: the first night of dashcon, you’re surrounded by people who are just as obsessed with tumblr as you are. you can barely contain your excitement. nothing could ruin your night…or so you thought. suddenly, organizers start to ask for, nay, demand, money. they need $17,000 by 10 pm or the con will be shut down.
you start to sweat nervously. you paid ahead of time for this and it’s going to be shut down unless the unexpectedly low amount of attendees can cough up a buttload of money? you check the time on your phone: 9 pm. why on earth would they only have an hour to collect that much money, you ask? the organizers claim that hotel management didn’t like them. instead, it’s just because they had miscommunication with the hotel. trying to stay hopeful, your fellow tumblr users turn to their fandoms, doing the three-finger salute from the hunger games and singing songs from high school musical (most notably, “we’re all in this together”).
after this whole ordeal you think you’re done. the rest of the weekend will be amazing. surely this was the only mistake? oh, how wrong you were.
unbeknownst to you, guests checking in for your beloved panels are experiencing difficulties as well. they were told the con would be paying for their rooms. as a result, some panelists cannot attend. panels are dropped. when this news reaches you, you’re devastated. the organizers quickly try to control the situation: “no worries! you’ll be reimbursed!” you don’t get your money back. instead, you get various rewards and: AN EXTRA HOUR IN THE BALL PIT. sounds fun, right? except the ball pit was open to everyone. at any time. so your extra hour meant nothing. and look at this ball pit. it has seen things that should never have been seen.
poor thing. it probably needed therapy.
considering this was a convention for tumblr users, most everyone in attendance was liveblogging it. we other tumblr users watched in horror. but like, the laughing kind of horror. because we were so glad we weren’t there to experience it. but we were glad we were able to make fun of it. and so, memes were born. some posts circulated for months afterwards. after a while, it eventually faded out of popularity. new tumblr users had no idea what a dashcon was. but those who attended can never forgive. and we who laughed about it can never forget.