This didn’t mean he wasn’t grateful to the guy. The older man saved him and his sister from dying on the streets from both thugs and starvation…not that they actually needed it. Akutagawa and Gin could perfectly handle things on their own. It’s just that they have a much more stable income and residence now thanks to the Armed Detective Agency. It didn’t hurt that Dazai’s now kind of mentoring him on how to control and use his ability properly.
But Akutagawa just didn’t get the brunet man. He always had this carefree mask on him. He seemed to know and understand too much, and wouldn’t open up about anything about his past (not that Akutagawa ever tried to pry).
All Akutagawa knew that he was a suicidal maniac that wasted too many bandages, had a ridiculously useful power to nullify any ability, is a huge flirt, and was unhealthily obsessed with songs about double suicide.
But the strangest part about him, despite all the proclamations and attempts and songs and jokes about suicide, is that Dazai refuses to die.
It was the strangest thought about the older man, but it was the only thing that made sense.
“Hey,” Akutagawa says one day while walking back home from a mission. “Why aren’t you dead already?”
He and Dazai just took care of an uprising gang made up of some ability users that was stirring a little bit too much trouble in the back alleys of Yokohama. It was a complete cakewalk with Akutagawa’s Rashoumon and Dazai’s No Longer Human that it was almost laughable.
Now they were walking back to the agency’s building for a job well done and reports to deliver, with the sun setting over the horizon and painting the sky in colors Akutagawa gained a new appreciation for.
“Oi! That’s mean of you to say, Akutagawa!” Dazai grabbed his heart in fake hurt with that mysterious smile of his, never once looking at him as he stared up at the sky. “That really hurts you know! How can you say that to your senpai?”
“With all your ranting about double suicide, it even makes me wonder,” he coughed a bit into his hand before continuing, “Despite what you say, you’re barely trying to kill yourself. There are a lot of incidents here and there, but none of them serious enough for you to die for sure. And if you really wanted to commit double suicide with someone, you would search up some suicide partner on the internet instead of asking any random girl available.”
“But are there any beautiful women online who’d commit double suicide with me?” Dazai asked dramatically.
“You’d be bound to find one,” Akutagawa pointed out.
“You should be dead right now,” the sickly man looked at him. “But you’re not. So why?”
His mentor let out a long suffering sigh and had this look on his face Akutagawa couldn’t really figure out. “I’m waiting for someone.”
Dazai didn’t explain any further so Akutagawa didn’t attempt to pry any further. That answer was the more than anything he had got so far, so it was enough right now. Akutagawa thought he understood Dazai a bit better now.
Though he wished he could understand why Dazai always stared at the yellow-purple sunset with this wistful look on his face.
The first thing he saw was a flash of bright sunset colored eyes.
Akutagawa was barely able to throw up a shield using Rashoumon in time to block a giant bundle of white fur and sharp teeth and claws ramming into him.
He stared at the sharp claws and impassive eyes that flashed red of the tiger that launched at him and quickly threw the beast back.
He couldn’t believe that a fucking white tiger tried to attack him in broad daylight.
Akutagawa made his cloak flare up as intimidatingly as possible, trying to scare away the tiger but the tiger only strutted around him gracefully, looking a bit curious as it never took its red eyes off of him.
And the tiger pounced.
The two of them clashed, again and again, large feline claws against blood thirsty space eating cloth. And yet, the tiger was able to keep up with him. In fact, it was slowly becoming stronger and faster, as if playing around with him and testing what Akutagawa could do; that was worrying.
Akutagawa knew he couldn’t keep up much more and tried to finish off the beast with a single blow as it leaped at him.
And the white tiger ripped through Rashoumon.
Akutagawa gasped as he felt the wind get knocked out of him and onto the ground, coughing uncontrollably as he stared at the tiger.
He stared at it disbelievingly as it readied itself. This tiger was no ordinary beast.
He put all his effort and strength into one last attack and the beast leaped at him.
Akutagawa felt his power dispel oh so familiarly as he saw the telltale sign of Dazai using his ability on him…and the tiger?
He saw Dazai’s back facing as the huge tiger dispelled into…a boy around his age?
Dazai caught the boy and held him gently to his chest as he floated down gently like something out of a fairytale.
Akutagawa felt annoyed. The last time Dazai caught a guy in his arms was when Akutagawa fell that one time and Dazai caught him before just tossing him aside casually as he said ‘I make it no hobby to embrace men.’ What the fuck was this then?
“Atsushi?” Dazai’s voice was filled with so much emotion that Akutagawa couldn’t believe his own ears.
“D…D-Dazai-san…?” the boy’s voice (he assumed at least), was hoarse and quiet as if he hasn’t used it in years.
Akutagawa couldn’t help but stare awkwardly at the two’s touching reunion as he questioned his sanity and reality itself.
When Dazai kissed the top of the boy’s head, Akutagawa couldn’t help but gag out loud.
Their little bubble of cuddly teary reunions was popped and the boy hugged the brunet tightly, presumably embarrassed, and Dazai just looked nonchalant.
“What?” Dazai raised an eyebrow at Akutagawa.
“Oh I’m so sorry,” the exasperated man’s voice was dripping with sarcasm, “But can someone explain what the fuck is going on?”
“Language, Akutagawa,” Dazai chided, keeping a light tone, “What’s there to explain? I’m just having a touching reunion with my partner.”
“Who just tried to kill me a minute ago!” Akutagawa growled.
“Oh I’m sure he didn’t know you were my subordinate,” Dazai waved it off, “It’s been years after all. But it’s all a misunderstanding, right Atsushi-kun?”
The boy peeked above Dazai’s shoulder almost shyly, before standing up and bowing slightly.
He had pale skin, almost as pale as Akutagawa’s. His hair was silver with a black streak through them and in a ridiculous choppy and uneven hairstyle. He wore ripped up black dress shirt rolled up to the sleeves, black scraped up pants, black dress shoes and for some reason thought it was a good idea to pair suspenders and a stupidly long belt that almost looked like a tail. Though the most notable detail about the boy, (Atsushi, Akutagawa remembered what Dazai called him), was his eyes. His eyes were a bright yellow-purple color, so reminiscent of the sunset Dazai always stared so faithfully at before they flickered to a deep bloody red.
“Akutagawa, this is Atsushi-kun, my partner!” Dazai introduced them cheerfully, "Atsushi-kun, this is my new subordinate, Akutagawa!“
“Subordinate…?” Akutagawa swore ‘Atsushi-kun’ growled darkly while somehow maintaining a stoic face.
“Yep!” Dazai nodded, before taking a teasing tone of voice, “Can you take it? My new subordinate is much better than you~!”
Akutagawa swore he was going to kill Dazai as he somehow held his ground against Atsushi’s murderous glare.
“So get along, you two, okay?” the brunet smiled cheerfully and gestured to them.
Akutagawa sighed and stepped forward towards Dazai’s partner. “Er…nice to meet you…’
Atsushi leaned in with this scary look in his eyes, with his voice dark and dripping with this emotion that screamed jealousy.
The sickly man glared back. No way was he going to be intimidated by his mentor’s partner.