“A what?” Atsushi slowly lowered the cup he’d brought to his lips.
“Nickname, Atsushi-kun! Nicknames!” Dazai said, happily clapping his hands together and looking at Atsushi with an expectant gleam in his eyes.
“Ah,” Atsushi put down his coffee and picked up his pen again. Hopefully Dazai would leave it alone should he pretend to be busy with this report – which he was – but Dazai only leaned down further, practically hanging over Atsushi where he sat by his desk, innocently performing his duties at the Agency.
“Well, Atsushi-kun? Well?” Dazai pressed on, his tone of voice could only be described as giddy.
Atsushi’s shoulders lowered as he sighed and looked up at the other man. “Honestly, Dazai-san, I don’t really see any need for us to have nicknames for each other.”
Dazai made a sound, sounding vaguely offended, and dramatically put his hand over his heart.
“Atsushi-kun! I’m hurt! A nickname is an important pillar of any relationship!” Here he grabbed Atsushi’s hands to hold them against his chest instead, Atsushi still holding his pen in a loose grip. “Especially since I can’t make you stop with the honorific, these things are super important!”
Atsushi blinked owlishly, for the moment swayed by Dazai’s – dubiously authentic – performance while being relieved they were alone at the office at the same time.
Dazai nodded, encouraged by Atsushi considering the idea he grabbed a chair and sat down, leaning his elbows on the desk while still holding the other’s hands.
“Yes! We’ve been dating for – ah, three months now-“ Dazai stopped and smiled softly at him, Atsushi gave a small smile back, “- and I think we need to take this a step further.”
“F-Further? You mean-?”
“Yes, nicknames! So, I’ll go first.”
“Dazai-san, I’m not sure this is necessary-“
Atsushi blinked, then frowned. “What?”
“Darling, honey, cutie pie,” Dazai kept listing names. Atsushi could feel a headache coming. He dragged his hand over his eyes and groaned.
“You’re not making any sense.”
“Hmm,” Dazai made that offended noise again and Atsushi felt him taking his other hand – maybe to once again bring it to his chest and proclaim about the foundations of a functioning relationship. Atsushi peeked through his fingers and watched as Dazai elegantly held Atsushi’s hand in front of his own lips. He blew warm air over the skin, and something inside of Atsushi’s stomach fluttered.
Dazai dragged his lower lip over Atsushi’s fingers and then met his eyes. They seemed deep and warm in the sharp light of the afternoon sun.
The butterflies in Atsushi’s stomach turner sharper, he might’ve made a sound because Dazai’s gentle smile crooked; became smug. He leaned closer, close enough for Atsushi to catch the faint fragrance of tea and cologne over the beating of his heart that’d escalated quickly.
“You like that?” Dazai’s voice sounded smooth despite his smile, his eyes twinkled. “Sweetheart?”
A furious blush stretched against his cheeks, Atsushi could feel it. The more it grew the bigger the grin on Dazai’s face widened, and Atsushi felt a strange feeling of losing – what he didn’t know, only that it frustrated him. He tried for a response but could only sputter helplessly.
Dazai chuckled and released his hand. “So that’s it, huh?” He said victoriously.
Atsushi jerked his head up and took hold of Dazai’s hands in a poor imitation of Dazai’s earlier actions. Heart in his mouth Atsushi said with a slightly squeaky but serious voice:
Dazai froze. He looked from their intertwined hands up to Atsushi’s determined face. Unblinking, he opened his mouth, then closed it.
“Well,” Dazai rasped and tried clearing his throat, “that’s it then.”
He got up, strange expression on his face, and then walked towards the exit.
“Dazai? Where are you going?” Kunikida met him in the door, looking up from his bunt of papers at Dazai’s retreating back.
“Oh, nothing. Just going to question the meaning of life!” Dazai answered, his laughter stiff.
“What?” Kunikida yelled after him. He turned his head and stared hard at Atsushi. “What happened!?”
Then he stopped and, stupefied, looked down at his papers, “and why am I even acting surprised?”
Atsushi groaned and hit his head on the desk.