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Of Gods and Families

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Dazai looked around the warehouse he was currently being held in. This wasn't exactly how he thought his day would go. He had taken a shortcut trying to get to the coffee shop he work ed at because Gin had realized halfway to school she'd forgotten her homework. That had made them turn around to go back and get it, and in turn caused Dazai to be late for opening said coffee shop. 

 

The shortcut was one he'd used before but this time someone seemed to have taken offense , he had been knocked out from behind and woke up in this warehouse tied to a chair. The back of his head throbbed and he could feel the dried blood on his neck from where it dripped down after matting his hair. The probability that he had a concussion was high but he could worry about that later. Currently hi s captors were debating what to do with him and while he knew he had responsibilities and things to worry about, he couldn't stop himself from opening his mouth.

 

"If you're going to kill me, could you please call my manager afterwards and tell him I couldn't make it to work because you decided today was my day to finally attain th e sweet release of death ." Dazai called out, forcing his lips to curl up into an easy smile even though he was quite irritated. If he ma de it out of this alive, he' d have to listen to Kunikida scold him for being late and truly death sounded like the better option of the two.

 

One of the men glanced up from Dazai's phone. "Shut up, I don't think you understand just how much danger you're in." He looked like a stereotypical street thug straight out of a movie, hair in a Mohawk and dyed, along with chains on most of his clothes. Dazai thought he looked like he was trying too hard and failed quite miserably at being intimidating. Both of the thugs holding him hostage had knives, only one each though, and the one with his phone had a gun. 

 

Really it was too much trouble to try and escape when it could end up with him dead and no money for his kids past a month or so. He always tried to put a little of his paychecks into a savings account, along with whatever the kids brought in, so there was an emergency fund for them if something were to ever happen. It wasn't easy though, with Ryu's attacks and constantly having to take him to the hospital. Not to mention paying for his medication. 

 

Dazai sighed while watching the man fiddle with his phone. It's not that these guys made him scared for his life or anything, he'd found himself in much worse situations before. Even their knives weren't that frightening and if Dazai was being honest they were pretty small. He’d seen bigger ones used to cut a piece of steak. The problem was the gun Mr.Mohawk was waving the gun around carelessly while he gestured with his hands and oh, had he been talking to him this entire time?

 

" -so if you would just shut up and not make any noise, all of us can get out of this alive. We'll be the least of your worries if he finds us." Mr.Mohawk finished and Dazai got the gist of it. They were being chased by someone, who they were terrified of if the panicked look in their eyes was anything to go off of,  and had probably knocked Dazai out thinking it was this mysterious he person and just didn't know what to do with him afterwards.

 

"Not to burst your bubble or anything but you're already the least of my worries at the moment." Dazai snarked because really what else was he supposed to do in this situation?

 

"Look kid you don't know who you're messing with here. We're already both dangerous gang memebers, but the guy who's looking for us… he's on a different level." Dazai's second kidnapper finally spoke up, moving away from the hallway he'd been looking down to make sure nobody else was there.

 

" My ten year old son is more dangerous with crayons than you are, no offence. But either way, if this guy's so big and bad then why did you piss him off?" Dazai questioned; if he was going to be held here against his will he might as well know what's going on.

 

Mr. Mohawk glared at Dazai. "I don't think you're taking this seriously enough, kid. You don't understand how much trouble we're in. HE is not someone to be messed with, and he won't care that you're not one of us. You will be nothing more than a casualty to him. We didn't realize what we were getting into when we stole some booze from that run down party store. It was in their territory and they always retaliate. Especially with the change of boss."

 

Dazai found himself zoning out again. As he thought , the two guys that had kidnapped him were small time thugs, and clearly didn't know what they were doing if they'd managed to steal from another group's territory. Especially this apparently relentless and powerful group they kept going on about. Mr. Mohawk was still ranting and repeating himself in the background and the only thing it was doing was making his headache worse . Dazai cut him off.

 

"Seriously, could you call my co-worker? It's not my fault I wasn't at work in time to open. I don't want him chewing out my ass when it's your fault I didn't make it on time. Why should I have to take the blame?" He whined at the end, noticing the disbelief on both thugs faces. Sure he wasn't taking this seriously, but they didn't know Kunikida. Even showing his co-worker the blood from where they'd knocked him out wouldn't be enough to save his ears from the shrill yelling that came out of Kunikida’s mouth if anything was even slightly off schedule. Seriously the guy had a stick up his ass.

 

"No, we aren't calling anyone! If you keep talking we'll cut out your tongue!" Baldy, the second guy who's lack of hair was the only thing remarkable about him, threatened, taking a step closer to Dazai before being stopped by Mr.Mohawk who look queasy at the suggestion.

 

"That would make to much noise! Plus it'll be a lot harder to lose him if we leave a blood trail leading right to us!" Mr.Mohawk yelped, clearly not thinking of his own voices volume in his desperation to keep blood from being shed. What a strange gangster.

 

"Who cares! This brat needs to learn to shut up!" Baldy seethed, face red with his own rage and only getting brighter at Dazai's lack of care.

 

"Please, you couldn't even break skin with that thing. It would take years to saw through someone's tongue." Dazai settled them both with a stare that easily read 'Are you guys morons?'.

 

Baldy lunged forward and was quickly intercepted by Mr.Mohawk. The argument that sparked immediately after was blocked out. They were being really loud and unproductive for people who were apparently running from an incredibly terrifying person and omniscient organization. If Dazai wasn’t still concerned about Kunikida’s upcoming lecture he might have said so, but at the moment he was just wondering if now would be a good time to make a break for it. These guys also weren't very good at tying up hostages considering Dazai had gotten out of the ropes binding his arms to the chair a while ago.

 

Dazai pulled his arms in front of him to block Baldy from slashing his face with the knife. "Not my face! I need it to make money, and I get compliments about my tongue, I'll have you know. Unless you ask my co-worker, then it's the worst thing ever." He knew that running his mouth was a good bet. Especially as Mr. Mohawk seemed scared of blood, even though he was the one holding the gun.

 

Baldy glared at him. "How did you get out of those ropes?! Also, do you ever shut up?! I can't hear myself think for all your jabbering. We're in charge here, not you."

 

Dazai smiled lazily, it wasn't his fault these gangster wannabes didn't know what to make of him. Very few people did, and he was almost certain he'd rather be killed by the scary , mysterious man that was chasing them than listen to these two bicker or to Kunikida’s yelling about his perfect schedule being ruined. 

 

It seemed luck was on his side as slow clapping could be heard coming from behind him. His kidnappers froze on the spot and finally their petty argument came to a halt. Despite having the inexplicable need to turn around and see who the illusive man causing the bumbling idiots in front of him terror was (which Dazai would blame on his curious nature because he really didn’t know why he felt like he had to) Dazai figured it was safest to not turn his back on these two. And while he probably should have felt scared considering the little bits of information he'd picked up about the stranger from the riveting conversation he'd had, he didn't feel like he was in any danger. Dazai was always one to listen to his gut instincts.

 

"So you think you're in charge of this situation?" A gravelly voice asked and wow that was probably the hottest sound Dazai had ever heard.

 

The man ' s footsteps echoed throughout the abandoned building as he took slow, measured steps closer to where Dazai was. With every step he heard the thugs before him took another back. If Dazai wasn’t hyper aware of the startling lack of knowledge he had about the man behind him and the pounding in his head that had steadily increased to the point it was hard to think,  he probably would have laughed. He's pretty sure Baldy was a few more steps away from wetting himself and Mr.Mohawk was ready to drop to his knees and beg for mercy. Even so , Dazai still didn't turn around. Attractive voice man, his name until Dazai figured out something else to call him, hadn't made any move to acknowledge him and it was probably best to keep it that way as long as possible.

 

Dazai slowly and carefully reached a hand up to touch the knot he could feel on the back of his head. He winced immediately and his arm recoiled away from the pain . The sudden black dots closing in around the edge of his vision were expected, but he had really hoped it wouldn't happen. This was definitely not a good state to be in while trapped in such a dangerous and life threatening situation. He could feel attractive voice man nearby, but couldn't focus with the waves of nausea that had started rolling through him after he started moving.

 

"Did you really think I wouldn't be able to figure out who was stealing from my territory, much less figure out where you're hiding? Neither of you are nearly as smart as you think you are." The deep voice spoke from closer to Dazai's chair and if he had to guess he'd say the owner of said voice was only about five feet away from him . Unfortunately he couldn't bring himself to try and turn his head, much less pinpoint exactly where the voice was coming from so the man could have been farther away or even closer . The ringing that had started in his ears was making it hard to discern.

 

The headache was rapidly getting worse and any amount of noise seemed to heighten the pain and dizziness. Dazai was not going to be able to tolerate Kunikida’s lectures for real at this rate. Sure, on a normal day they were insufferable, but he could block them out. In this state his ears would probably start bleeding and he'd have to beg for Yosano to kill him and make the pain go away. Dazai really hated pain and he was already experiencing quite a lot of it. Adding on the pain of listening to Kunikida drone on would make it unbearable. He absently noticed Mr. Mohawk had dropped his gun, just before the man dropped to his knees and began babbling.

 

"Please, please don't kill us!! We didn't know it was your territory! We'd never go against you! I swear, it was never supposed to be a move against your territory!" Mr. Mohawk was crying now as he rattled on. Dazai wasn’t sure if the following words th a t came out of the thugs mout h were actually nonsensical gibberish or if it was just the concussion seriously starting to set in.

 

"Mr.Nakahara please have mercy. We didn't know and we'll never do it again! We respect you and the Port Mafia s-so please don't kill us!" Baldy was basically yelling as he finally hit the wall behind him. His eyes were squeezed shut and his head was bowed. For someone who was just acting so high and mighty he had certainly changed his disposition quickly. 

 

Dazai would have laughed at the stark contrast if it wasn't for the fact that his eyes were now going in and out of focus. Not to mention the danger of the situation finally set it and he could understand why these guys looked so scared. While he had never heard o f this Mr.Nakahara character, everyone who lived in Yokohama city k new the Port Mafia and for a crime syndicate their reputation was legendary and something other gangs aspired to be like. For any normal citizen they were something to be terrified of. Maybe Dazai's gut was wrong because he definitely shouldn't have kept his back to this guy, even if he had a nice name and his voice was attractive.

 

Mr. Nakahara, as attractive voice man was now dubbed, stepped closer. Dazai still couldn't really see anything because of his unstable vision. Not to mention the guy seemed to have a flare for the dramatics and was seriously stretching this out. However he could hear the footsteps growing ever closer and with every step Dazai’s body tensed while the two thugs continued to shake and grovel

 

"You should have thought of that before you came into my territory and stole from me. There's only two of you here from your so called dangerous gang. Do you really think you can stand against me?" Mr. Nakahara replied in a silky smooth voice that should have been illegal like all the other things this guy had no doubt done.

 

"We'll do anything you want, Mr. Nakahara!" Baldy wailed. "You can even have this guy here if you want. Whatever you want, we'll give you!!" Dazai was certain Baldy was pointing to him, even if he could only make out the blob of a hand. Working with Kunikida, one learned to recognize the particular tone reserved for him and him alone after being particularly insufferable. Should he be offended? Dazai wondered absently. Or did that just mean he was good enough to sacrifice?

 

"Now why would I want him? You haven't done anything to cross me, right?" Mr.Nakahara now turned his deep voice on Dazai and it came out surprisingly soft as he asked him that question. He wasn't sure if he should thank Baldy or threaten to cut his tongue out for bringing attention to the fact that Dazai was there.

 

"I was minding my own business trying to get to work when these jerks knocked me out. I don't even know who you are or what's going on besides the fact that they apparently stole from you and now I'm late for it. If I get lectured all three of you are getting stuck listening to Kunikida too." Dazai complained through the headache, hoping to annoy Mr.Nakahara enough to give him a headache and get him to just take the two thieves and finish their business elsewhere. He really didn’t want to see whatever was about to happen to them.

 

At that response Mr.Nakahara laughed. It wasn’t mocking or cold, but it definitely wasn't full of mirth. His footsteps, that had continued to come closer throughout the exchange, finally stopped next to the chair Dazai was seated in. A thumb and index finger clad in a black leather glove grabbed hold of his chin and forced Dazai to turn his head to the right where he came face to face with the man he should be terrified of. Mr.Nakahara's other hand was placed on the backrest of the wooden chair as he leaned over so h e and Dazai were eye level. Absently he realized Mr.Nakahara didn't have to lean down very far.

 

"I'm Nakahara Chuuya, boss of the Port  Mafia. You're very lucky I can tell you have nothing to do with this based off the blood on your head." His voice was nothing more than a purr, smooth and quiet but still rumbling in a way that had Dazai fighting back a full body shiver. He lied to himself and claimed it was from fear, no other reason.

 

When Dazai’s eyesight finally focused again , after the abrupt movement , his own umber eyes widened and he just barely held back a gasp. The man in front of him fit his voice well considering he was the most attractive person he'd ever seen. His eyes were a shade of blue comparable to sapphires with flecks of si l ver scattered inside the irises. The eyelashes that surrounded them were long and dark and every time the man blinked they brushed his high cheekbones. Said cheekbones were covered in light freckles that also dusted the bridge of his nose. His lips were full and a light pink so delicate Dazai briefly wondered if it was lipstick. That thought left as quickly as it came when a thin eyebrow quirked upward. All these features were part of a face that was all hard angles with a jawline that could polish diamonds. Fiery locks of orange-red hair were gathered into a low ponytail that was pulled over the mans shoulder and cascaded in loose curls just long enough to go past his collarbone. He was ethereal in every sen s e of the word. Even the decidedly stupid hat on his head couldn't change that fact and only added to the look.

 

Before Mr.Nakahara could open his mouth again Dazai blurted out the first thing that came to mind, his tone unfortunately quiet and a little awestruck."You're blurry." And he truthfully was going in and out of focus, almost like Dazai was looking through an old camera.

 

Chuuya flashed him a smirk that had no right looking as good as it did, showing off canines that were more pointed than most peoples but made him all the more attractive for it. With that Chuuya let his hand fall from Dazai's chin and pushed off the back of the chair, turning his attention once again to the still cowering men in front of them. Immediately Dazai found that he missed it.

 

He berated himself mentally for even letting that idea cross his mind. Mr. Nakahara was the boss of the famed Port Mafia, arguably the most dangerous man in Yokohama. T hey didn't run in the same circles and they never would , as it should be and would forever stay that way. It must be the concussion messing with his cognitive thinking . There was no reason for the very sexy man to even acknowledge him again and he shouldn't want him to . It was better for Dazai , his family, and his friends if he didn't draw the man's attention again. 

 

Hopefully this would all be finished soon and he could get to work. It was bad enough he'd have to listen to Kunikida yell, but he was almost certain he'd have to spend some of his meager savings to get his uniform cleaned once he got the blood out. The dry cleaners took forever too and charged ridiculous prices. Thankfully, Fukuzawa was understanding of his situation and he wouldn't be fired for being late or ruining his uniform, especially considering this wasn't even his fault! He couldn't say the same for his other jobs, though.

 

"-do with you?" Dazai finally tuned back in and realized Mr. Nakahara was talking to the two thugs. 

 

'Please, just take them and go away.' Dazai mentally begged. He wasn’t sure how much longer he could stay conscious, and if he had to faint, he'd rather do it in front of Kunikida. It would be worth the double lecture he'd get if it meant not embarrassing himself anymore in front of the boss of the Port Mafia. Not to mention the fact that it would be extremely dangerous to leave himself even more vulnerable around these men.

 

"Sir we promise we won't do this ever again. You can do whatever you feel is necessary just please don't kill us." Mr.Mohawk pleaded and Dazai thought they were annoying. Everything they said was repetitive and whenever they opened their mouths it was louder than the time before. The noise mixed with the increasing pain in his head was seriously granting on his nerves.

 

"Will you two just shut up and stop repeating yourselves!" Dazai snapped out through gritted teeth as he fought another wave of nausea.

 

Mr.Nakahara looked back at him and if Dazai wasn’t very sure he'd lost all his analytical ability he'd think there was something akin to worry in those ocean eyes. "Jeez, what did you guys do to the kid?" Chuuya asked, still not looking away from Dazai who was now rubbing at his temples like it would help with the pain.

 

Apparently Dazai truly had lost all ability to think and his sense of self preservation went out the window when he cut in before either thug could answer. "Quit acting like you're that much older than me! I am not a kid."

 

Instead of taking offense or getting angry, the mob boss simply chuckled and continued to ignore the thugs shaking before him in favor of responding. "You're pouting like a kid, though."

 

"You try getting pistol whipped in the back of your head hard enough to knock you out. Especially when they were trying to knock someone like you out!" Dazai growled through the pain. "Let's see you not complain Mr. Mafia Boss." If he'd been in his right mind, Dazai would have never smarted off to a man that could kill him as easily as breathing.

 

Well, he might have smarted off a few years ago , probably would have been giddy with excitement at the fact that this guy could and would kill him, but not now. Not when he had people depending on him.  He was also trying not to think about how perfect the man in front of him looked. Even in this empty, dusty warehouse, there wasn't a speck on him, nor was there a single hair out of place.

 

All he wanted at this point was for his head to stop throbbing and to get through the work day without too many lectures from Kunikida. At this rate he was going to have to let Yosano look at the back of his head or go to the hospital. The hospital wasn't really a viable option considering the hefty amount of money that would cost. Plus they would make him take too many days off of work and that was something he couldn't afford to do.

 

Dazai pressed the heels of his hands against his eyes, trying to keep his eyes from blurring even worse. If Mr. Mohawk and Baldy were even slightly competent his wallet would be completely empty, which meant he couldn't even call a cab. Luckily he never carried much cash around on his person . Most of his paychecks went straight to bills or the bank. He kept some tucked away for emergencies and then carried a little in his wallet on the off chance he needed something. It would be best to cancel his cards though, and why was he even thinking about this? His wallet really wasn't his main issue at the moment considering he had just antagonized a mob boss. The Port Mafia boss of all people. It wouldn't matter if dumb and dumber, Mr.Mohawk and Baldy's new duo name, had taken his money if he was about to die anyway.

 

"So that's what they did to you then." Mr.Nakahara growled and even though that anger was probably, most definitely aimed at him, in the back of his mind Dazai still though it was attractive.

 

Dazai tried to nod anyway, only to stop and hiss at both the pain in his head and the way his vision got even worse. He really hoped this would all be over soon. If he was lucky enough to survive he might still wind up having to go to the hospital. That was not at the top of Dazai’s to-do list. He spent enough time there that any extra visit was not worth it. Especially considering the hassle it would be to inform his bosses, school, and get someone to watch the kids on such short notice while he was stuck there for who knows how long.

 

"I'm sure this is considered impertinent, but if you're going to kill me, could you hurry up and put me out of my misery, Mr. Mafia Boss?" Dazai snarked, despite not really meaning to do so. "I'm not a fan of pain, so preferably something quick and painless, thanks." Dazai continued because he’d already dug himself into a grave and he might as well not suffer in it.

 

His vision was now almost completely black, and what wasn't black was blurry. The bright side of all that was he couldn't see Mr. Nakahara's expression. It probably wasn't every day someone smarted off to him and then had the nerve to request their preferred method of death. Really he didn’t think he'd mind death at the hands of such a sinfully attractive man, but not being killed was still the preferable outcome. Considering the anger in Mr. Nakahara's voice though, he wouldn't hold his breath for survival. He wondered idly if Fukuzawa would take in the kids after they found his body, if they found it that is.

 

"Oh I'm not going to kill you. I have no reason to do that. It wouldn't exactly be fair of me to do so just because you've got an attitude after being kidnapped. It's actually kind of adorable." Mr.Nakahara's voice was laced with amusement as he spoke to Dazai before a loud thud followed by a scream echoed off the walls. "However I can't say the same for these two." His voice was once again harsh with anger.

 

Labored breathing reached Dazai’s ears along with footsteps walking away from him and towards the two men on the ground. It took a moment and a lot of concentration, but when his eyes finally focused he understood why he was hearing everything he did. Sitting against the wall with only the smooth black hilt of a dagger protruding out of his stomach was Baldy. 

 

Involuntary tears had slipped from his eyes at the pain as he gasped for breath. Based on the position of the knife, Dazai was pretty sure it punctured a lung. The hand Mr.Mohawk had placed near the wound to try and help stop the bleeding wasn’t going to do anything if a major organ was hit. They needed a doctor and Baldy should be trying to limit his movements as much as possible, not scrambling away from the still approaching mafia boss. 

 

Mr.Nakahara paid their frantic movements no mind as he grabbed both of them by their shirt collars and started dragging them towards a door opposite of where he came in. Mr.Mohawk ' s pleading fell on deaf ears as Chuuya simply changed his grip to the thugs hair to get him to be quiet. All Baldy could do throughout the exchange was try not to cou gh up more blood than the amount that was already leaking from his lips.

 

"Make sure you get that head wound checked out…" Mr.Nakahara paused and called over his shoulder. 

 

Dazai wasn’t out of it enough to not realize he was being asking for his name, however his head was mangled enough to not even consider giving a fake one. "Dazai Osamu."

 

Mr.Nakahara smirked "Well then Dazai," and the way his name rolled of the Port Mafia bosses tongue made him shiver "try not to get kidnapped again, yeah?" He said as his parting words before leaving Dazai’s line of sight.

 

Once he was sure Mr. Nakahara wasn't coming back, Dazai reached down to untie his legs doing his best not to black out when he did. Looking for his phone and wallet was out of the question. He'd be lucky to get to the coffee shop before he collapsed. Not to mention he didn't want to give the mafia boss enough time to change his mind about letting Dazai walk out of here and instead come back to finish what Baldy and Mr.Mohawk started.

 

With his legs now untied, Dazai stood up and held onto the chair until his blurry eyesight returned somewhat to normal and his head stopped spinning. A few minutes later he started stumbling out of the warehouse trying to keep his feet, faintly aware of the screaming and sobbing coming from the other room. A cab would be so handy right now, maybe he could get one and ask Kunikida to pay for it?

 

Dazai quickly dismissed that idea, he didn't want to listen to a third lecture today, not when he couldn't even attempt to come up with unique ways to derail his co-worker. It just wasn't worth it today, and that's how he knew it was serious, he didn't want to mess with his co-worker. Luckily the coffee shop wasn't all that far away from his location. The area was quite familiar, which meant the coffee shop was only up the road a few blocks. He stumbled along, holding onto walls and parked cars where he could until he finally reached work about a thousand years after starting out this morning. Realistically he knew it was the concussion distorting his sense of time and that he really should try to stay awake instead of dwelling on how long it'd felt like since he got up this morning .

 

When he finally reached the coffee shop, he stumbled in the door. "Do you know what time it is, Dazai?!! I got here and had to open when that's your job! Your slacking off doing who knows what put me behind schedule a whole thirty minutes!!" That was Kunikida ranting right on time. Maybe his ponytail was too tight? Perhaps he had forgotten his glasses today and couldn't see that Dazai was very obviously struggling to stand at the moment.

 

"No I don't know what time it is. I'm not even sure what day of the week it is! You should really call Yosano." Dazai cut Kunikida off mid rant as he attempted to stumble over to a chair.

 

"Why would I call Yosano?! Just because you don't take care of yourself and woke up late doesn't mean you can just get other people to cover for you!" Kunikida screeched and wow had he always been that loud and obnoxious? He was making it really hard to see straight or even hear him considering the ringing that was back in Dazai's ears.

 

"I'm not telling you to call her to cover for me!" Dazai snapped, eventually reaching one of the establishment's tables and slamming his hands down on it. Both to help stabilize himself and get Kunikida to shut up. "You need to call her becau-… bec-" Dazai gave up trying to get anymore words out as his eyesight finally faded to black and he collapsed into a heap on the floor, reopening the wound on his head and allowing blood to flow onto the wooden floorboards. The last thing he saw was Kunikida’s shocked face and he just barely registered the girly yelp that came from the blonde before he finally passed out.

Chapter Text

Chuuya Nakahara was beyond confused with himself. He was in fact so confused he was sat on top of two dead bodies with his head in his hands trying to think. Two dead thugs bodies who were never supposed to become dead thugs in the first place! Maybe a few broken fingers or a broken hand if they were assholes, but in no way shape or form were they supposed to become mangled corpses. All they did was steal a few bottles of liquor from a store that was barely even in the Port Mafia territory. It certainly didn't warrant the… violent reaction Chuuya had. Even though he's the boss, whatever clean up crew g o t assigned to this mess was  going to kill him. 

 

 

However that was besides the point at the moment. Never once in his life has Chuuya felt as out of control as he had been only a few minutes prior. Everything was fine when he was chasing the duo throughout the alleyways of Yokohama! Not once had he felt like killing them, even after finally cornering them in the warehouse! Everything had been completely fine until he talked to that kid, Dazai. Wait a minute, that's it! It wasn’t until after realizing the extent of the other mans injuries that he felt the sudden surge of emotions that led to the brutal murder of the two guys beneath him! 

 

But why did some random kid being hit in the head affect Chuuya so much? While he wasn't a heartless bastard, he certainly wasn’t the type to get all righteous about bringing innocents into disputes. He was the god of Destruction after all. It was something he liked to avoid, but it was also inevitable. Maybe the kid had some kind of powers and just wasn't human? It wouldn't be the first time he’d run into another immortal during his time in the human realm. 

 

His mother would know what was happening, and she always had good advice. She was the goddess of lovers and soul mates, even if she had decided to take a hiatus from her duties. The humans were going through a phase of not believing in love, soul mates, and even the gods. This happened every few centuries or so, so it wasn’t a concern to the immortals in the heavenly realm. If anything it was like an extended vacation they all got to take. Until the purge that is.

 

Never once had he felt the way he did in that warehouse though. When he had realized how badly the young man was injured it was like he couldn't think. All that mattered was making the two thugs pay for hurting their captive. That Dazai had a smart mouth, even while injured, but it didn't make him want to teach the boy his place, like he would if anyone else smarted off to him in that fashion. No, he found the boy's smart mouth adorable as much as he'd find i t unbearable and arrogant on anyone else

 

Chuuya reluctantly lifted himself off the mangled bodies. He needed to talk to his mother, but first he needed a shower. It had been a while since he reveled in such blood and destruction. A clean-up crew also needed to be called, there wasn't time for him to wallow in confusion when the authorities would probably be here soon . After leaving the bodies and stepping back into the other room, he noticed the chair holding the boy, Dazai, he reminded himself, captive was empty. 

 

Good, he hadn’t looked like he was in the greatest shape when Chuuya left, and he'd be lying if he said he wasn't concerned the kid would stand up and immediately pass out. He really didn’t want to have to face Dazai until he had more information on what the hell was going on. There appeared to be a phone and wallet on the floor nearby, probably dropped when he grabbed the thugs earlier. There was also a large puddle of blood by the chair and a trail leading out of the warehouse. He'd have the cleaners follow the trail and make sure there was no body on the way. Hopefully Dazai had gone into the closest store and called for an ambulance, however Chuuya doubted it. The boy struck him as particularly stubborn and uncaring of his overall health, not a good trait when he had been injured so badly. 

 

Either way it was none of his concern, even if that thought made his skin crawl and body itch to go find the stranger and make sure he was alright. Chuuya sighed at the strange reactions he was having while bending down to grab the discarded items. Idly he flipped open the wallet and looked at the ID inside. Huh, Dazai Osamu was the man's real name. How strange of him to actually tell a mafia boss his real name, especially when he'd been a witness to a crime said mafia boss committed. Chuuya really hoped this guy never got kidnapped or witnessed another crime again, he would get himself killed. 

 

Chuuya was about to reach for his own phone in his pocket when the one in his hand vibrated and the screen lit up. There were at least thirty text messages from a Kunikida alone, who's name he's pretty sure Dazai mentioned. All of them were typed in all capitals with exclamation points asking why Dazai wasn't at work yet. There was also a 'perfect schedule' being ruined mentioned a few times. The guy seemed annoying and he was happy this Kunikida wasn't the one knocked out instead of Dazai. 

 

There were also a few texts from a Yosano, asking why Kunikida was asking them where Dazai was. The most recent of the texts from them asked if Dazai was okay and if something happened on his way to school. Just how old was the kid? And wasn't he on his way to work? 

 

The last notification, that had been the one to set the phone off while Chuuya had it, was from someone named Poe. The message read "Hey, I was just double checking to make sure I was still picking up the kids after school gets out. I wanted to make sure your shift hadn't been changed." Dazai had kids!? He looked like he was hardly in his twenties! 

 

Chuuya wasn't sure why the thought of Dazai having kids bothered him. The idea of someone else touching him made Chuuya’s blood boil. He for sure needed to talk to his mother as soon as possible. He should also find out every thing he possibly could about this Dazai Osamu. Luckily he was a Mafia Boss, the information would be on his desk within an hour or two of asking for it. He’d probably go insane if he had to wait longer, he didn't enjoy not knowing things. Especially things that affected him on such a large scale and put himself and his people at risk.

 

Chuuya shut Dazai's phone, noting absently that it was a very cheap model, who even used flip phones anymore? He then pulled out his own phone and called for both a clean-up crew, and for someone to get him all the available information on one Dazai Osamu to be delivered to his office in two hours at the absolute latest. That gave him enough time to get cleaned up and speak to his mother.

 

Chuuya left the warehouse after tucking the phone and wallet into an inside pocket of his overcoat . Once he'd gotten back to his office he made quick work of scrubbing all the blood off of himself and changing his clothes into something that wasn't dyed crimson. With that taken care of Chuuya quickly made his way over to his mother's office on the floor below and knock ed on the door. 

 

"Come in." an elegant voice called , smooth and unsurprised at the sudden intrusion. Chuuya pushed the door open and smiled fondly at the woman behind the desk while letting the door close softly behind him.

 

"Hello mother, I hope I'm not bothering you, but I have some questions about an incident that just happened." His mother was a thing of beauty, even the humans could see that. She had unique coral hair that fell in poker straight locks down past her chest when it wasn't kept in a bun. Her startling red eyes looked almost pink when the sunlight caught them just right. The makeup she wore was light but accentuated her natural beauty and complimented her fair skin tone. Chuuya had inherited her high cheekbones and slender build, but he had unfortunately not inherited her height.

 

Ozaki Kouyou, as she went by in the human realm, smiled warmly at her son. "I always have time for you, Chuuya. Come have some tea and tell me what's bothering you. I'm assuming it has something to do with that Dazai Osamu boy you ordered a background check on."

 

Chuuya’s eyes blew wide in shock. "How do you know about that?! I only called it in like half an hour ago!"

 

Kouyou laughed lightly before shaking her head at her son. "Chuuya dear, when the boss of the mafia orders a search into a good-looking boy around his age, people talk. Especially when a clean-up crew was called to deal with a particularly gruesome pair of bodies right before. It starts rumors and sends heads spinning. I was going to ask you about this later anyway, so it saves both of us time for you to talk about it now."

 

Chuuya smiled sheepishly as he took his seat while his mother produced tea. She usually preferred to do it the human way, but when she was in a hurry as she was now, his mother would just materialize the tea set. Once she’d poured him a cup he sat back to explain. “As you know I went to handle the two low class thugs that thought they could steal from our territory. It was only supposed to be an example of the power the Port Mafia still has even with the change in boss. When I arrived they were yelling at someone tied to a chair, Dazai as it turns out, and he was mouthing off to them. I thought it was cute, and then he complained about not being able to see. It didn’t stop him from smarting off to me, though. When I asked what they had done to him, I was informed by Dazai himself that they had knocked him out with a pistol from behind. They thought he was me, apparently and then when he turned out to be innocent they didn’t know what to do with him. You should have seen the blood, mother. It was all over the back of his head and pouring down his back and onto the floor. When I realized how badly he was injured, I just snapped.”

 

Kouyou eyed her son pensively. “You haven’t snapped, as you so eloquently put it, in centuries. Normally you have iron-clad control of both your temper and your powers. Do you have anything else to add or is that it?”

 

Chuuya shook his head and took his hat off before answering. His mother was insistent he not wear it when it was just the two of them. His blue eyes were as pensive as the look on his mother’s face. “All I know is I was beyond angry, it was like the moment I realized how injured he was, they had to pay with their lives. I really only intended on breaking a finger or two, although its far from what I wound up doing. I also found myself wanting to protect him, and if he hadn’t been gone when I returned, I would have brought him here for medical attention. The boy was foolish enough to give me his real name. He can’t be much more than a boy, yet according to his phone he has children. Someone named Poe was asking if they still needed to pick up Dazai’s kids.” A scowl formed on his face without him realizing it. “He’s too young to have kids, mother.” Although the thought of Dazai with kids was appealing for some reason. The mental image of Dazai with kids was actually pretty cute. The idea that those kids were someone elses was not. What the hell was wrong with him?

 

"Well this is quite the peculiar situation, isn't it." Kouyou sighed, pinching the bridge of her nose in a show of something similar to agitation and exasperation. This situation was clearly giving her a headache.

 

"Mother I don't know what's happening to me! I want to go find him and make sure he's okay. I'm worried about him!" Chuuya was incredulous as he let his head fall into his hands and ran his fingers through his hair.

 

Kouyou sighed as she reached for her tea. "I can tell, you haven't been this worked up since you were a child in the heavenly realm. You can't do much about the kids, but if you're that drawn to him, then I think you need to find a reason to be around him again and see if the feeling fades." She was almost certain it wouldn't and that meant her son was tied to a human that wasn't available. Chuuya would not handle that well. None of the gods shared very well, they just didn't have the capacity. What they saw as theirs belonged to them, simple as that. However, thanks to the nature of Chuuya’s powers he was far more possessive than most. It was a good thing he hadn’t recognized Dazai as his or this would have been a completely different, most likely not civilized conversation. The ending could have been catastrophic.

 

Chuuya perked up at the idea of seeing Dazai again, though he couldn't say why. "I have his wallet and phone. I can use those as an excuse to check on him, although he really needs a better phone. He has a flip phone mother, those are unreliable and useless today!"

 

Kouyou smiled fondly at her son. "That is an excellent reason, dear. However leave his phone be, it's his choice to carry it, and for all you know it might have sentimental value. Your sister still carries a flip phone and you don't urge her to get a new one. Maybe it's tied to those children of his?" She watched as Chuuya’s face went from a smile to a scowl at the mention of kids.

 

"He still needs a better phone, Kyoka doesn't rely on bad networks for her phone, she powers it herself.  As for the kids, hopefully the files on him will tell me who they belong to." Chuuya could admit to himself that he was already thinking of ways to make Dazai's significant other vanish, he wasn't going to share.

 

"Do as you see fit, dear. But please try and stay out of trouble and don't do anything too rash. The higher-ups are already not pleased with you taking up a position so prominent in the human realm. It's best not to add fuel to the fire." Kouyou warned, concern increasing as she thought over how much of a problem all of this would cause.

 

If Chuuya really was fated to a human, the heav e nly realm would go into an uproar. Messing around with mortals on whims of pleasure was one thing, being tied to one was completely different even if it couldn't be controlled. A god of Chuuya’s status having a human as his consort would certainly make many immortals unhappy and others would use it to try and disgrace him and take his position for their own. Her son was powerful even among gods and many already envied him for it. The possibility of this human bringing out Chuuya’s true nature as Arahabaki even while in the human world was far from minimal and definitely not ideal. If he was to release his powers as a god of destruction on humans in a fit of rage or jealousy, the punishment would be great. The situation was delicate and Kouyou needed to make sure she handled it with care.

 

“I’ll try mother, however I can promise not to do anything until I read the files. Do you have any idea why I’m so drawn to him?” Chuuya questioned as he finished his tea, now eager to go read the files waiting for him.

 

Kouyou nodded as she hid her worries. “I appreciate the promise, and I will hold you to it. As for why you’re drawn to him, I have some ideas, but I’d rather not say just yet in case I’m wrong. If this continues then I’ll have a better idea and will tell you then. And before you start spouting nonsense, no you haven't been placed under a curse, spell, or another gods influence.” She promised as her son started drifting in his thoughts again. “If this boy does have a significant other, you should leave them be and forget him.” Chuuya releasing his powers and destroying all of Yokohama in a fit of jealousy would see the higher-ups trying to force him to take a consort of their choice. Even as a child Chuuya had been disdainful of the other gods trying to find him a consort. It was what awakened his destructive powers in the first place.

 

Chuuya scowled, blue eyes flashing with ice, at his mother’s suggestion of leaving a potential significant other of Dazai’s alone or leaving the boy be and forgetting about him. “I’m not going to forget about him, mother. He’s mine!” That wasn’t what he meant to say, but it felt right. His eyes quickly melted and shone with surprise and confusion at the realization that he wanted that boy for himself.

 

Kouyou stared him down calmly. “Arahabaki, you promise me that you will leave that boy alone if he has someone.” It wasn’t often she had to use her son’s true name, but every few centuries he’d get stubborn about something, never to the extent he had over this boy though. 

 

For him to directly go against Kouyou was something new. It was worrying and only served to further make her believe her initial guess about the situation was right. She was well aware that if she was correct, her request would be completely impossible. However, Chuuya had always been one to keep his word and he'd feel guilty for centuries if he lied and broke a promise to his mother. Kouyou could only hope this part of the conversation wouldn't matter in the long run because Dazai didn’t have a significant other.

 

"I'm sorry mother. I- I promise I'll drop it if Dazai has a lover." Chuuya forced out, glaring at his hands that were balled into tight fists. Whether his anger was over the possibility of the boy being taken or the idea of forgetting about him, Chuuya wasn’t sure.

 

Kouyou smiled gently at her son. "That's all I ask, dear. I know this isn't an option you like but it needs to be considered. Hopefully this is for nothing and the boy isn't taken."

 

Chuuya grumbled under his breath. "He better not," the idea of Dazai having someone made him furious. Furious in a way he only remembered happening once or twice in his entire life.

 

Kouyou let out a sigh. "I can tell this is going to bother you until you know. Why don't you go read the information you requested and then come back and visit me? You're in no mood to enjoy tea or think about anything else right now."

 

"Yeah , that's probably a good idea. Thank you mother." Chuuya smiled lightly and nodded before rushing out of the room and heading straight towards his office. He pretended not to hear Kouyou snickering at his hasty exit.

 

Chuuya eagerly walked into his office and practically flew to his desk upon seeing a new folder sitting on the otherwise spotless surface . It was much thinner than Chuuya expected considering the amount of information one could normally find out about a human. It only served to help solidify his original thought that Dazai was not a human, at least not a normal one. He picked the folder up and flipped it open, blue eyes eagerly scanning the contents, only to stare in disbelief. 

 

Broke university student. No threat. That was all the information there was. Surely his people weren’t that idiotic. He hurriedly scanned past the first pa per , only to see the cream coloring of the back of the folder. How did this help him?! Anyone with eyes could see Dazai wasn’t a threat, but this told him nothing! Chuuya hadn’t asked for a threat analysis, he asked for any available information! Now it seemed like Dazai was a simple human and his people were just startlingly incompetent.

 

A furious scowl formed upon Chuuya’s face as he closed the folder and threw it at the wall hard enough to put a dent in it. Quite impressive considering it was a piece of paper in between a folded piece of slightly thicker paper, if he wasn't spiraling into a blind rage he would have been startled and shocked at his own display of cosmic strength while he wasnt even trying. His mother would have something to say about messing up his office, but he couldn’t bring himself to care right now. Why did he ever entrust something so important to his subordinates? They were useless, as almost all humans were. There was only one person he could trust to get the information he so desperately craved. 

 

Hirotsu, I need you!!” This was a delicate matter and as such, only a fellow god could help him. Luckily Hirotsu , the messenger god, never let him down, hopefully he would be able to get the information on Dazai quickly, maybe make sure he got to the hospital as well. The boy was not allowed to die, Chuuya wouldn’t let him.

Chapter Text

Dazai groaned as he became aware of a blinding pain in his head. His first instinct was to sit up and open his eyes, however if he remembered everything correctly that wouldn't be a good idea. He could hear quiet chatter from beside him, even though it sounded slightly muffled to his ears.

 

"Is he waking up, Auntie Sano?" That was Gin’s voice, she was the quietest of his kids and the softest spoken. Atsushi couldn't control his volume when he got worried, or generally ever and Ryunosuke always had traces of a cough left in his voice, a voice that was more gravelly and deep than any twelve year olds should be.

 

"He should be, sweetheart. However he needs rest today. Your dad is going to be fine. Why don't you go join your brothers and play with Karl?" That was Yosano, so Kunikida had called her after all, or Fukuzawa had been in and heard him collapse. Either way, he recognized the feeling of the couch in his apartment underneath him, which meant someone had carried him. Probably Poe, between him and Yosano, they should have easily been able to get him up the stairs to his apartment. 

 

His apartment wasn't flashy, but it was cheap, which he needed raising three kids. It had one bedroom, which the kids shared, while he took the couch, and an outdated kitchen. The couch had been bought at a flea market with Poe and Yosano, and was a bright orange that didn't go with anything. The coffee-table where they ate and he did his school work had been a gift from his boss, Fukuzawa.

 

"Okay," Gin replied softly before her footsteps headed away from him. It didn't mean she was gone, his daughter was the sneakiest of the lot at eight years old. She never did it on purpose as far as Dazai kn e w, sometimes she just seem ed to appear places.

 

“I know you’re awake, Zai. Go ahead and open your eyes, but don’t try to sit up. You need to just lie still and take it easy.” Dazai did as he was told and groaned at the lights above him; they weren’t overly bright, which he was grateful for , but they still hurt his eyes nonetheless .

 

“How long have I been out?” 

 

“A few hours, Poe picked up the kids after we got you to the couch. Do you live to scare me, Zai? I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to get you patched up without taking you in to the hospital. You got lucky, jackass! Do I even want to know what happened?” Yosano Akiko asked leaning over her brother to block out the light. She had been scared out of her mind when her father called her to say Dazai had blacked out after arriving late to work, and that he was bleeding from a serious head-wound.

 

“You’re never going to believe me, and the aftermath of it all won’t be bothering us, I don’t think.” He hoped Mr. Nakahara didn’t decide that he was a loose end that needed to be taken care of after all. Something told him that wouldn’t be the case, but he should probably update his will, just in case. It wouldn’t do for the kids to be shipped back to Foster Care. Fukuzawa would probably take them. He was broken out of his thoughts by Yosano carefully reaching under his head to touch the injury. “That hurts, Sano!!” he yelped, flinching away from her fingers.

 

Yosano smiled grimly at her brother. “The stitches are holding and I don’t feel anymore blood, I want to be absolutely certain you’re not about to start bleeding again. As for not believing you, try me. Ran will be back with some food soon, so you have until then.” She informed him, the gold butterfly clip in her hair twinkled gently, much like her lovely magenta eyes that stared down at Dazai in thinly veiled concern.

 

Dazai considered his options. If he refused to tell Yosano right now she'd keep pushing until he eventually broke, so it was probably best to get it over with. They were at the point in their friendship that she wouldn't hesitate to corner him into spilling, not only to sedate her own need to know but also to quell the anxiety she'd have not knowing if Dazai was safe. They were practically siblings at this point, after all.

 

Even though Dazai met Yosano and Ranpo during his college freshman orientation, which was a little over a year ago now, the three had quickly bonded through their shared majors and minors and were now considered family. Ranpo was majoring in law and criminal justice, which Dazai was minoring in, while Yosano’s focus was medical, the same as Dazai’s. It worked out well considering all of them had tested out of their general courses so their schedules normally overlapped. Even with Dazai taking college online they decided to keep in touch to study and help each other out when needed. They were suprised to say the least when they found out about the kids, but were more than happy to help out when needed. A few months later they stopped Dazai from dropping out of college after losing one of his jobs and introduced him to the coffee shop their father, Fukuzawa, owned and the rest was history.

 

Dazai let out a drawn out sigh before closing his eyes again. "Fine, fine I'll tell you. The kids probably told you that Gin forgot her homework this morning and that we had to turn around and get it. Well, because of that I was going to be late if I took my normal route to work so I went through a back alley I've used as a short cut before."

 

"Zai you idiot!" Yosano hissed, cutting off Dazai mid-story. "You know Father wouldn't have been upset about you being late, especially if the reason was the kids. How many times have we told you not to cut through those alleyways?!"

 

"Keep your voice down! We don't need Gin feeling guilty for this. Do you want to hear the rest of what happened or not?" Dazai asked and waited for Yosano to huff and lean back against the coffee table from her spot sitting on the floor before continuing. "Anyway, I was walking through the alley when suddenly I was knocked out from behind. I woke up tied to a chair with two 'dangerous gang members' in front of me. They were being chased by someone and thought that someone was me when I came down the alley. We argued a little bit a-"

 

"You argued with gang members holding you hostage!?! Have you lost all sense of self preservation?!!" Yosano yelled, eyes blown wide. "They must have seriously given you brain damage." She mumbled under her breath, something Dazai elected to ignore.

 

"You would have too! They were wannabe thugs at most. One of them was even scared of blood, but thats not the point! Quit interrupting me!" Dazai pouted, shifting his eyes to the side to look at Yosano.

 

"Okay go on. Tell me what other idiotic things you did." Yosano dropped her head onto Dazai's thigh with a sigh before waving her hand at him in a 'continue' motion.

 

"So Baldy, Mr.Mohawk, and I were in the middle of… bickering when the guy they were running from found us. It was a very unfortunate situation considering they had pissed of f the Port Mafia and the Boss, Mr.Nakahara, was the guy they were running from. We all talked for a bit and then Mr.Nakahara dragged the two away telling me not to get kidnapped again and to get my head checked out." Dazai finished his story with nonchalance and didn't dare look down at his sister who was silently seething.

 

"Let me get this straight, you met the boss of the Port Mafia?! Do you realize how dangerous it is to get the attention of a man like that?! And during all that you still decided to give the two people who kidnapped you nicknames?!?" She snapped, lifting her head from Dazai's thigh. "Also, why didn't you call one of us for help after he released you? Father would have come and picked you up in a heartbeat. Instead you make your injury worse by dragging yourself to the coffee shop, with an open head wound, I might add. You know as well as I do that you shouldn't be walking around with an injury like that exposed to the air."

 

Dazai smiled sheepishly. "About calling" he trailed off at Yosano's look before deciding to just get it over with. "Mr. Mohawk and Baldy kind of stole my phone and wallet? I heard them drop when Mr. Nakahara got a hold of them, I think, but I could barely see at that point and didn't trust myself to bend down and look for them. Plus I didn't want to stick around and hear what was going to happen to the other two or let the Port Mafia boss change his mind."

 

Yosano glared at her brother, eyes flashing, as she leaned over so he wouldn’t miss her words and the kids didn’t overhear her yelling. “What part of open head wound did you not get? The best thing to do would have been to find the nearest store and ask to use their phone because yours had been stolen. Then you should have called Father, he would have told you to stay put and that he’d come get you. Obviously that big brain of yours betrayed you this morning.” She loved Dazai dearly, he was like a brother to her, but sometimes she wished he wasn’t so careless with his own health. If the kids so much as sniffled he was fussing over them and pulling out the medical textbooks, his own health though? No chance until someone else made him lie still and recover. “You’re not moving from this position for the rest of the day. You’re going to eat whatever Ranpo brings back, and you’re not going to work tomorrow. Dad already said you’re taking a sick day and he won’t count it against you.”

 

Dazai groaned but reluctantly agreed. “Fine, I suppose I should be grateful that it’s Monday and I work at the coffee shop today and tomorrow. If this was the cafe or restaurant I’d lose my job.” The cafe was his least favorite and most unforgiving job.

 

Yosano rolled her eyes. “You’re not going to the restaurant tonight or tomorrow either. I already had Dad call and explain the situation, they said someone can cover for you tonight and tomorrow, but they need you back Wednesday.” She put a hand over Dazai’s mouth to stifle his protests before he could start. “Don’t start with me, they wouldn’t want to risk you bleeding all over the clients and their tables anyway. Not to mention they especially wouldn’t want to risk you bleeding all over the food, or run the risk of you falling while at work. They don’t want to pay workman’s comp or risk you suing them.”

 

Dazai gave a muffled sound of agreement. There was no point in arguing with Yosano when she got like this. “How are the kids doing?” He asked after she finally removed her hand. He knew Gin was worried, and imagined she had snuck up on Yosano earlier right as he was waking up. Ryu couldn’t be sneaky to save his life, and Sushi bless his heart tended to trip over anything lying around. Sometimes he’d trip over things that weren't even tangible like the air. He was sneakier than Ryu, but it was a skill he’d have grow into. He'd been better at it while they were in foster care, so really Dazai was quite happy that was something Atsushi had stopped working on. It meant the kids trusted him and felt safe in their home. Gin had the skill naturally and had tried to teach Ryu before, obviously it didn't work well.

 

“They’re worried sick about you, naturally, but I didn’t want them crowding you while you woke up. Poe is in the bedroom helping them with homework and distracting them with Karl. I’ll let them come see you one at a time as long as you don’t move from this position. I’ll help you prop your head up on some pillows, so you can eat, but you have to rest. ” Yosano informed him as she pulled a flashlight out to shine into his eyes.

 

Dazai hissed at the sudden light and instinctively raised his hands to shield his eyes. Yosano smacked them away and clicked her tongue before turning off the flashlight and setting it on the table. She didn't wait for Dazai’s agreement before grabbing pillows off the ground, they had been moved to the floor so he would fit on the couch, and gently stuffing them under her friend ' s head so he wa s s itting up. As soon as he was settled Yosano disappeared into the bedroom to go inform the kids that they could come see Dazai individually.

 

A moment later after letting his eyes flutter closed he felt a delicate weight on his chest, Gin. “Did you sneak out while Sano was telling your brothers that you could all come see me one at a time, princess?” Gin was such a sweet girl, but still rather timid and shy.

 

“Uh-huh, Auntie Sano says you’re not supposed to move today or tomorrow if you can help it.” Gin said sweetly as she laid on her father’s chest, so she could hear his heartbeat.

 

Dazai carefully reached a hand up to stroke through her raven hair. “Well, between you and your brothers, I’m in the best hands anyone could ask for. I’m sorry that I scared you when you got home.” Gin buried her face in his chest.

 

“I’m just happy that you’re going to be okay, daddy.” Dazai felt his heart melt at the endearment. His kids usually called him dad, but on rare occasions Gin and Sushi called him daddy, usually after a nightmare or when they were trying to butter him up for something they wanted.

 

“I promise that I’ll be back to normal soon. How about we go to the park and feed the ducks this weekend?” Gin smiled and nodded in agreement. “Now, I know you want to stay here Princess, but your brothers probably want to see me as well, and your Auntie Sano is only letting you out one at a time. They might revolt if you don’t come back,” Dazai teased gently as he leaned forward to kiss the top of his daughter’s head.

 

Yosano smiled softly as she approached. "Okay Gin, your brothers are chomping at the bit to see your dad, and are complaining about you managing to see him first." She carefully reached out and lifted the child off of Dazai’s chest. "How about we all eat together when your Uncle Ran gets back with food? Then you can see your dad again while we eat." Gin nodded reluctantly as she waved to her father. 

 

Dazai waved back as Yosano carried Gin back to the bedroom. He didn't have long before Poe came in with Atsushi. Poe brushed his bangs out of his face before lowering Atsushi down to Dazai's chest. "Ryu was nice enough to go last, he felt Sushi here would burst if he had to wait any longer."

 

"Were you worried about me, Sushi? I promise I'm going to be alright, buddy." Dazai soothed as he placed a hand on his youngest's back. 

 

Atsushi peered up at his father through beautiful gold ringed purple eyes. "Are you sure, dad? Uncle Ran said you hit your head really hard and complained about you not calling him or Auntie Sano."

 

"Ah you know how he can be. Ran’s more dramatic than I am." Dazai joked, letting a small smile form on his lips at Atsushi’s giggle and Poe’s stifled laughter.

 

"I resent that statement, no one is as dramatic as you. See if I ever worry and get you food again." Ranpo huffed, closing the door behind him gently to refrain from making any loud noises and hurting Dazai's head. "And you, Edgar, what do you have to say for yourself? You're my boyfriend, you're supposed to defend me!" He whined, setting the bags of takeout down on the coffee table and poking Poe’s chest repeatedly.

 

"Ranpo, it's exactly because I'm your boyfriend that I can't defend you from that statement." Poe sighed, grabbing his lover's wrist lightly to stop the assault on his chest and instead laced their fingers together.

 

Dazai watched the couple fondly as Poe lead Ranpo out of the room so it was just him and Atsushi. They were good for each other, a perfect balance to offset the other ' s personality. Where Poe was shy and timid, Ranpo was loud and eccentric. While Ranpo was abrasive and rude Poe was soft spoken and polite. Plus watching them be super in love was a million times better than listening to his brother drone on about the cute American he saw in the library all the time during their first year of college.

 

Dazai was broken out of his thoughts by a small hand being placed on his cheek. "What are you doing, bud?" He asked while Atsushi gently turned his head from side to side before brushing Dazai's bangs away from his face.

 

"I'm looking for your boo-boo. Your face looks okay dad, there's only a light bruise on your forehead. Where were you bleeding?" Atsushi looked up into his dads eyes with confusion making his face scrunched.

 

"It was the back of my head that was bleeding kiddo, but it's nothing to worry about. Like I told your sister I'll be fine in a few days." Dazai smiled softly and reached up to cover the hand on his face with his own. By no means did he have large hands, but they easily engulfed Atsushi’s. 

 

Without warning Atsushi leaned forward and placed a delicate kiss to his dad's forehead before nodding to himself. "Now you'll be better even faster. You always kiss my scrapes and bruises and they don't hurt after. I can't reach the back of your head and Auntie Sano said you shouldn't move so this is the best I could do. Does it still hurt?"

 

"No Sushi it doesn't hurt anymore. Thank you for that, now I'll be able to be up and moving in no time." Dazai chuckled, ruffling his son ' s white hair and watching as he smiled so wide it looked like his face would split.

 

It was at that moment Ranpo came back into the living room with Ryunosuke trailing not to far behind. "Alright you little monster, time's up! We have to go and finish that math homework of yours and let your brother talk with your dad. If you get almost all of the questions right you can feed Karl snacks with me." Ranpo exclaimed, picking up Atsushi and throwing him over his shoulder while the eight year old squealed. He gave Dazai a once over, apparently seeing what he wanted, and then turned on his heel and left with a giggling Sushi.

 

Unlike his siblings Ryu didn't rush forward and crowd into Dazai’s personal space, not that he minded. Instead the twelve year old stopped at the foot of the couch on the opposite end of where curls of unruly brown hair were located. The boy made no move to get closer and simply observed his dad.

 

"It was really nice of you to let your brother come see me first." Dazai told him, watching as he bowed him head so black and white hair fell over his face while he shifted his weight from foot to foot.

 

Ryu shrugged while continuing to look down at the ground. "He seemed like he was going to cry. The jinko cries loud and it might have made your headache worse."

 

Dazai quirked an eyebrow at the nickname but decided he'd ask later. "Who said I had a headache?" He asked instead, his chest relaxing when slate grey eyes snapped up to look at him.

 

"No one. A few weeks ago you were reading about concussions on your laptop for class and it said headaches were a side effect." Ryu explained, finally sitting down on the arm rest of the couch.

 

"Wow, I'm impressed you remember that. Though you really don't have to worry about me, I'll be just fine." Dazai winked at his eldest who only shook his head in response.

 

"Just listen to Aunt Sano and don't overwork yourself. You'll be doing no one a favor if you don't let it heal." Ryu mumbled, switching his gaze to watch his hands that were fiddling with each other.

 

When Ryu didn't speak up again Dazai sighed. He was always the quietest of all the kids. The boy wasn't shy like his little sister, he just preferred to keep his thoughts to himself. It was a habit born of the abusive foster home he spent most of his time in before Dazai adopted him after aging out of the system. A bad habit they had yet to break, but the fact Ryu had spoken his last sentence at all was improvement. 

 

Instead of speaking up himself Dazai used his foot to lightly tap his son on the thigh until he looked up. After motioning for him to come forward the kid slowly stood up and moved towards Dazai. Once he was arms length away Dazai reached up and pulled Ryu down into a tight hug where the boy tensed before going limp and clutching his dads shirt in his hands.

 

"Its alright to say you're worried and it's alright to express your emotions Ryu." Dazai waited for the nod against his chest before continuing. "What's going on kid, why wont you look at me?" He probed lightly, not wanting to scare the boy off. 

 

Only one word was muffled into the worn fabric of Dazai’s t-shirt. "Bruise."

 

Oh. That unfortunately made a lot of sense. Thanks to Ryu being the oldest of the bunch he remembered a lot more than his siblings. Which meant he remembered vividly all the times in foster care when they were in the same house. All the times Dazai would take the brunt of the beatings and verbal assault because he was older and wanted to protect the other kids. Ryu knew about all the cuts and bruises. The band-aids, blood, casts, and hospital visits because one of the foster parents had been too drunk and hit Dazai over the head with a glass bottle or pushed him down the stairs.

 

The other kids didn't like to see their dad hurt because he was their dad. Ryu didn't like to see him hurt because the n he felt like he was back in a foster family from hell watching helplessly as one of the only people who was ever nice to him got punched and kicked and screamed at for no reason, or even worse, because of him.

 

Dazai sucked in a harsh breath. "Don't worry little man, Kunikida probably bonked me on the head after I passed out for being late." He joked, breathing easier when Ryu lightly punched his chest at the nickname and laughed.

 

They both stayed like that for a few minutes before someone knocked lightly on the wall. Ryu jumped out of Dazai’s hold and onto the unoccupied armrest of the couch. The brunette chuckled before looking away from his son to find Yosano standing in the entrance way of the living room.

 

"Mind if we join you guys? Sushi and Ran keep complaining that they're starving." Yosano rolled her eyes thinking about her twin brother's actions. He was a twenty year old man with a boyfriend and an apartment and yet he whined just like a ten year old.

 

"Of course! I'm sure all the kids could use something to eat." Dazai responded while trying to shift himself up a little higher.

 

"Ryu go get the others and tell them it's time to eat please." Yosano requested while crossing the room to help Dazai get situated to eat.

 

Ryu only nodded in response before sliding off the couch and disappearing down the hallway. Yosano practically manhandled Dazai into a position she deemed suitable before turning her attention to the food her brother brought. It was no wonder he took so long to get back. Based on the number of shopping bags on the table he stopped at the store while he was out. Instead of dwelling on Ranpo’s lack of priorities she started emptying the bags of takeout while moving the other bags onto the ground.

 

"This is the only time I will ever say this to you in your life, but eat slowly and eat light. I don't know how you're going to react to food with the nausea you're no doubt feeling and it'll be hard to get you to the bathroom if you feel like throwing up. So don't eat a lot and monitor yourself." Yosano ordered with finality, giving Dazai no time to comment as Sushi and Gin came running into the room.

 

Dazai grinned mischievously at his kids. "Write it down, your Auntie Sano is telling me not to eat much and slowly." It was normally the other way around with her shoving food down his throat claiming he was useless if he withered up and blew away. "What do we have?" He asked as Sushi and Gin carefully sat down on the floor in front of him. 

 

"Well that depends. Are you asking about the actual food or all the snacks and sweets my useless brother bought?" Yosano teased as Poe and Ranpo entered the room followed by Ryu.

 

"I'll have you know, sweets are great for the recovery process! And how am I useless!?! You guys wouldn't have anything to eat if it wasn't for me going to get it! I only got lost twice." Ranpo stuck his tongue out in Yosano’s general direction before busying himself with getting situated in his boyfriend's lap. Gin giggled while Sushi made a playful face at the display of affection. That earned him Ranpo making a face right back.

 

Yosano threw a spoon at his head that easily hit its mark with how distracted Ranpo was with his face making contest. "Thank whoever's out there that you aren't going into the medical field."

 

Dazai laughed as he watched his family mess around with each other. Even with the throbbing pain radiating from the back of his head, he could forget everything that happened today while watching Yosano and Ranpo bicker while Poe tried to break them up. Sushi and Gin giggled at the childish display while Ryu shook his head and took over portioning out the food. Yeah, if his family was around him he could afford to not worry for a little while.

Chapter Text

Chuuya paced back and forth across his office while he waited for Hirotsu to answer his summons. He paused to wince when he heard his mother berating him from her office. 

 

"I know you didn't just damage your office, Chuuya! I don't care how angry you are, that's no reason to put holes in your walls. What are you, a teenager again?" Sometimes having such superior senses sucked. Especially when it allowed his mother to hear him destroying things from a floor away. It didn't take him long to resume pacing, only after making a mental note to get that wall fixed before Kouyou could see it. It was best to not even try and excuse himself to his mother, not when he was so anxious. The better option was to get rid of the evidence so she couldn't draw any real conclusions of how bad the damage was and just allow her to know it happened.

 

A few minutes later there was a perfunctory knock on his office door before it opened and Hirotsu stepped in. "You called for me, Arahabaki?" Upon seeing Hirotsu, Chuuya let out a sigh of relief and finally paused his pacing to collapse in the oversized, leather chair behind his desk.

 

“Yes, I did. I met someone interesting earlier today, but I don’t have any information on him. The subordinate assigned to getting the info left me a piece of paper saying he was a university student and no threat. I didn’t ask for a threat assessment.” Chuuya complained as he looked at his old mentor , nodding his head towards the folder embedded in the wall behind Hirotsu .

 

“Would this be one Dazai Osamu? I have some preliminary information on him.” Hirotsu offered as he held up a file that was much thicker than the one Chuuya had thrown at the wall, which only earned a raised eyebrow and thinly veiled shock from Chuuya. “Your mother asked me to look into him when you first made the request. It seems she didn’t have faith in whomever got assigned to find the information.” He offered as explanation when he saw his now superior gaping at him. 

 

"Hirotsu you truly are the best at what you do." Chuuya said in awe as he reached towards the folder that was set on his desk and pulled it towards himself.

 

"Well I would hope I'm more adequate than the mortals at this. I am the god of such affairs after all. Is that all you needed me for, Arahabaki?" Hirotsu politely bowed before making his exit after Chuuya’s only response to his question was a half-hearted wave while already starting to skim through the files. "And do thank your mother for asking me ahead of time to look into this. You don't want to be rude." Hirotsu called out as his parting words before slipping from the office.

 

Chuuya finally looked up from the folder before smacking himself on the forehead. Of course he should say something to his mother, if he didn't he wouldn't hear the end of it for centuries. "Thank you, mother!" Chuuya spoke loud enough so Hirotsu and Kouyou could hear him before turning his attention back to the files. The only response he heard was a pair of soft laughter coming from his mothers office, no doubt Hirotsu had gone to see her to find out why Chuuya was so adamant about getting information on this boy.

 

Even if one of his mentors and mother were gossiping about him, that wasn't his concern at the moment. He would have told Hirotsu everything eventually anyway. Right now all Chuuya wanted to know was if Dazai had a significant other or not. He may or may not have looked through the man s contacts to see if there were any signs of being in a relationship. There were none, but he wasn't exactly well versed in how mortal relationships worked, so it was better to go off of what Hirotsu gave him. 

 

The first page w as just the basics of Dazai Osamu. Brown hair, brown eyes, 5'11'', covered in bandages, twenty years old. All things Chuuya had been able to find out from the boy s ID and seeing him in person. Although the height irked Chuuya to no end. Why did this human get to be so tall, while he, a god of destruction, was stuck at 5'3''?!? After clicking his tongue at that information Chuuya moved on to the next page.

 

This was far more interesting. Apparently Dazai was an online college student in his second year and had already passed out of his general curriculum. Chuuya had never gone to college, obviously, but he was pretty sure that was impressive. He was doing his clinical study for his major at Yokohama General Hospital, even better considering they were Mafia owned. On top of that Dazai also had three jobs, although two of the places of employment were undetermined, the one Hirotsu did find out was peculiar. A coffee shop about a street down from the abandoned warehouse everything had gone down in owned by a Fukuzawa Yukichi. 

 

Wait a minute as in Mori Ogai, the King of Gods, consort!?! Nobody had seen him in the heavenly realm for at least a century after their last fight! What was he doing running a coffee shop? 

 

Chuuya shook his head, Fukuzawa and Mori’s life was nothing for him to concern himself with. It just made things a little more complicated. It's not like Fukuzawa hate d Chuuya or anything, they just weren't exactly close considering he'd almost accidentally killed Mori when the King of Gods had tried to make him take a consort a few centuries ago. Mori and Chuuya had long since moved pas t that incident and c o me to an understanding, but consorts could be finicky when it came to people who hurt their other half. Fukuzawa was a caring and level headed man on the worst of days, but fated consorts made people do crazy things.

 

With that information tucked into his brain, Chuuya kept reading. Dazai had three co-workers he was especially close to, two of which went to university with him. Yosano Akiko and Edogawa Ranpo both went to college with Dazai , and Yosano also had her clinical study with him. Kunikida simply worked at the coffee shop and was the general manager who normally had shifts with Dazai. That's t hree names down from the phone, one to go. 

 

Chuuya found the last person he was looking for while reading the brief overview of information provided on Edogawa Ranpo. Edgar Allen Poe was also a student at the same college and had been dating Ranpo for close to two years. He was a published writer and someone who's work Chuuya himself had read and enjoyed.

 

Finding Poe lead to the next the page, which finally contained information about the kids. From the information Hirotsu had gathered, Dazai had been in the foster care system almost his entire life, jumping from house to house. His time in families and houses frequently overlapped with three kids specifically. Nakajima Atsushi, an eight year old boy who was practically born into the system. Akutagawa Gin and Akutagawa Ryunosuke, Gin being eight and Ryunosuke being ten were the other two. They were picked up off the street at ages four and six and their first home was with Dazai and Atsushi. Dazai aged out of the foster care system two years ago and had adopted the three kids shortly after. 

 

A sigh of relief fell from Chuuya’s lips as he sunk down into his chair. No significant other and biologically the kids weren't Dazai’s. The thought of him being in foster care made Chuuya shift in seat uncomfortably, though. He was no expert, but most of the kids in the Port Mafia ran away from the system and thought a life of crime and death was the better option. He would have put more thought into it if a knock hadn’t sounded on his office door, breaking him out of his fixation on the folder. 

 

That s right, he was the boss of the Port Mafia and still had things to do. He carefully slid the folder into his desk drawer before calling out and allowing the subordinate to come in. In his rush to focus back onto his job Chuuya failed to notice the lack of medical records in the file Hirotsu had given him, or the whispered conversation from his mother s office confirming that the mess e nger god had indeed gotten rid of them.

 

"If Chuuya was to find out the things that have happened to that poor boy he'd truly lose control. Look what happened after finding out Dazai had a head wound. Chuuya can't afford to release his powers and go on a killing spree, certainly not for a mortal he's met once. No matter how much I'd have to agree these humans would get whats coming to them." Kouyou sighed, taking another glance at the thick stack of papers that contained years worth of clear signs of abuse.

 

"I figured that would be the case. That's why I chose to show you first and let you decide on what to do with them." Hirotsu’s expression was calm despite the disturbing information laid out in front of him. As the messenger god he'd seen and heard much worse, even if it was awful, to him it wasn't phasing.

 

"Chuuya can never see these. Even if by some miracle my son doesn't lose control, if the i r relationship is what I think it is , it wouldn't be fair for Chuuya to learn about this through an information search. Dazai should tell him when he's ready." As a mother of two and the goddess of not only romantic love but also familial love, the narrative laid out before her made her blood boil. However she had met enough abuse survivors in her lifetimes to know better than to tell their story for them. If Dazai really was Chuuya’s fated consort he had the right to tell him what happened and everything he'd been through. Making sure Chuuya d idn 't see this would save both of them a great deal of problems and hurt.

 

"Of course. What would you like for me to do with them?" Hirotsu asked, gathering the medical files into a folder in preparation.

 

"Burn them and make the digital files unauthorized to Mafia personnel. I doubt Chuuya will go through anyone but you for information pertaining to the boy now, but we can t be too safe. This is a time bomb waiting to explode." Kouyou s jaw was clenched as she watched Hirotsu leave with files in hand. Things just became much more complicated than they already were.

 

 

  ONE WEEK LATER

 

 

Chuuya walked into the coffee shop owned by one Fukuzawa Yukichi a week after his encounter with Dazai Osamu. While he wanted to come earlier, it wasn't easy to get a break considering he's the new boss of the largest and most feared criminal faction in Yokohama. He had come to return the boy’s wallet and phone, and to make sure the boy wasn’t some magical being, despite his mother claiming otherwise. He wasn’t so sure about that himself, after all why else would he have this sudden desire to be around a virtual stranger, much less get so angry upon seeing him hurt. No , there had to be some sort of magic at work.  The sound of yelling drew him out of his thoughts.

 

“I don’t care if you have a head injury! It doesn’t give you an excuse to slack off work, why even show up if you’re just going to be a useless layabout?!” The yelling was coming from a blond man with hair in a rat tail and glasses. That must be the Kunikida listed as general manager in the files Hirotsu had given him. It also matched the voice from Dazai’s text messages. However the words he was yelling had Chuuya’s hackles raised . How dare he make light of Dazai’s injuries.

 

“But Kunikida, I’m too bored to work!!” That was Dazai’s voice whining, he’d recognize it anywhere even after their single encounter. He looked past the yelling general manager and caught sight of Dazai slumped across the counter by the register.

 

Chuuya decided to nip this in the bud before the other man hurt Dazai. “Excuse me, am I interrupting? I was told the coffee here was some of the best around.” He had heard no such thing, but somehow he thought that if Dazai was the one making the coffee, it wouldn’t be such a lie. Chuuya watched in amusement and hid a smile at the way Dazai’s head snapped up on hearing his voice. To his delight the boy seemed to be moving better, but he still hopefully took time off work last week to recover.

 

Kunikida hid a frown as he watched Dazai study the man who had come in for coffee. Normally he was the most enthusiastic about getting people to try their coffee when they stumbled in for one reason or another. Then again, this man didn’t look like most of their customers. He was short, with red hair and flashing blue eyes, his clothes were incredibly high quality and he was still wearing his hat indoors, which was completely improper. A moment later Dazai relaxed as he offered the strange man a smile. “We do have some of the best coffee around, if we don’t have your preferred type on the menu we can probably make it.” Which meant Dazai would make it, he was the best with the machines and making the flavors work.

 

Kunikida knew how to make the basic flavors on their menu as did Yosano, and Ranpo. However Dazai and Ranpo were often experimenting and coming up with crazy new flavors. Most of which those two we re the only ones who'd dare ingest them. However sometimes they c a me out good, like the spicy dark chocolate coffee with chilli pepper flakes they'd come up with on their last shift together.

 

Chuuya smiled wider as he reached into his coat pocket to produce the wallet and cellphone. “I actually came to return these to Dazai, he forgot them last week after our meeting.” He looked at the boy gaping at him. “I’m glad to see you’re looking better than when I last saw you. I was worried I’d find you unconscious on the floor when I finished with the thugs.”

 

Dazai smiled shyly at Chuuya. “I appreciate you bringing them in, I thought for sure they were lost forever. I made it to the shop and my boss called a friend of mine to come help with the wound. How about a coffee on me as thanks for bringing my wallet and phone back? And for kinda saving me.” It was better if Mr. Nakahara didn’t question him about going to the hospital with his injury.

 

Chuuya pretended to think on it for a moment even though he knew he had the time. It would take nothing short of the Port Mafia building under direct attack to get him to leave when he finally had Dazai in his sights and talking to him. He met Dazai’s honey brown eyes before smiling at him.

 

"I have the time for it, so why not?" Chuuya played like he wasn't going to stay and observe Dazai even if the brunette hadn't asked him to have coffee. Of course that would have only been to make sure the b a rista hadn't cursed him.

 

Dazai smiled a little more brilliantly. “Great, what type of coffee do you like?” He rather hoped he could show off his skills, but would still make the man a black coffee if that’s what he wanted. It was silly to be so excited about seeing him again when he was a Mafia Boss and it was a bad idea to have his attention. Something in Dazai just craved Mr. Nakahara’s attention and focus purely on him.

 

"Hm, whatever you want to make me. I'm not picky." While it wasn’t a lie, it wasn't exactly the truth either. Chuuya preferred black coffee to basically anything else thanks to the decades spent training with one of his god fathers and other mentor, Verlaine, who would only drink black coffee. Today though, Chuuya wanted to observe Dazai for as long as possible and black coffee didn't take long to make. It had absolutely nothing to do with the way the other boys eyes li t up at being given control over the coffee.

 

Dazai practically beamed at being given free reign. “Are you a sweet type, savory, or spicy? Anything in particular you don’t like?” After all, he wanted Mr. Nakahara to like the drink he made, and even if he wouldn’t admit it to himself, maybe come back for another coffee sometime.

 

"I'm not against anything. Spicy sounds intriguing though. I don't think I've ever heard of spicy coffee." Chuuya said, genuinely curious as to whether or not spicy coffee was even a thing.

 

Dazai didn’t reply and only smiled brightly, a hint of mischief easily detectable, before busying himself behind the counter. Chuuya had no problem sitting and watching quietly while the mystery in front of him worked. Thats exactly what he did until the manager came over to stand beside him.

 

Kunikida cleared his throat to try and get the man’s attention. “Just so you’re warned, giving that idiot free reign over the machines like you have is dangerous. You don’t ever know if the drink will be able to be swallowed. He and Ranpo make it a competition to see who can make the other gag first.” It was something they took delight in and Yosano often acted as judge. Mr. Fukuzawa would even judge the drinks on occasions he knew they wouldn't be too horrible, always with a fond look in his eyes. Dazai was spoiled by their boss, but Kunikida knew they all let Dazai get away with a lot just to see him truly smile.

 

Chuuya glanced at the man and dismissed him with barely a look. “It’s fine, he’s enjoying himself isn’t he? A far better sight than when I met him.” Dazai was adorable as he continued to work hard on Chuuya’s spicy coffee. He was interested in trying this so called spicy coffee, it couldn’t be worse than some of the concoctions he remembered Mori making when he was a kid. Not to mention the random exotic ingredients Hirotsu would bring back from his travels and let Mori have to play with. It was a mystery to Chuuya how Fukuzawa stayed alive after all the strange things Mori made him ingest. Even with his godly status most of them had to have been lethal. Maybe that’s what made Fukuzawa open a coffee shop of all things?

 

A few minutes later Dazai finished the dark chocolate chili pepper coffee. “Here you go, let me know what you think? We haven’t put this one on the menu yet, but our boss said it’s going to go up soon.” He really wanted to go sit at a table with Mr. Nakahara but reasoned to himself the man had really just come to be polite and return Dazai’s things where he could also get his coffee. Two birds with one stone and all that.

 

Chuuya smiled at Dazai and took the coffee before throwing all those thoughts out the window. “Thank you, would you like to go sit down? You probably still shouldn’t be standing too much with that head of yours.” It would also get them away from the blond annoyance standing next to him so they could have a real conversation. It wouldn't do to have to dance around subjects like the fact that he's a mafia boss. This Kunikida guy seemed just dumb enough to call the cops on him and Chuuya wasn't sure how much he already knew.

 

"Of course! You're right anyway, I really shouldn't be standing this long." The shock written on Dazai’s face as he responded was enough to get Chuuya to lift his cup and take a sip to hide his smirk. Th is human had quite the amusing reactions even when he wasn ' t bleeding out and smarting off.

 

Despite being the one who doesn't work here, Chuuya lead both of them over to a corner booth as far away from Kunikida and any other patrons as he could get. The coffee shop wasn't crowded at the moment or anything, Chuuya had planned it quite the opposite actually. The time was right between the morning rush that no doubt came with running a coffee shop and the mid-day flow of college campus students who stopped in to get their fix of caffeine to help get them through the rest of their classes. Dazai slid into the seat opposite of Chuuya and studied him while the mafi a boss took slow, measured sips.

 

"How is it?" Dazai finally piped up, starting the conversation after shifting uncomfortably a few times at the lack of communication.

 

"I'm su r prised at how much I like it. I normally just drink black coffee." Chuuya replied, eyes crossing as he stared down at the whipped cream that got on his nose.

 

"Ah that explains it. The lack of milk from not drinking coffee like a normal person is why you r e so short!" Dazai exclaimed, watching in glee as Chuuya choked on the sip he was taking.

 

"You have a lot of nerve considering you know who I am." Chuuya tried to recover from the embarrassing coughing fit by reminding Dazai that even if he was actually a human, he wasn't a normal one.

 

Dazai smirked and shook his head. "The way I see it Mr.Nakahara, if you wanted me dead I already would be. And if you came here to kill me I might as well have some fun with it before you do."

 

"I'm not going to kill you, I determined a long time ago you're no threat. Also just call me Chuuya. Nobody ever calls me Mr. Nakahara unless they're begging for something. You have no reason to do so." Chuuya sighed, taking another sip of coffee while studying Dazai’s reaction over the rim of his glass. Did he just shiver?

 

"Alrighty then Chuuya, I think I'll call you Chibi instead." Dazai laughed at the dumbfounded look that formed on Chuuya’s face. “You should really drink more milk so you’ll grow. I think we might even have some milk you can drink.” He teased, loving the other’s faces and reactions.

 

Chuuya stared at the mystery in front of him and shook his head. “You are a menace. Has anyone ever told you that? Most people wouldn’t be smarting off to a mafia boss, in danger of being killed or no.” Dazai nodded in agreement as he smiled faintly.

 

“Let’s just say I’ve always been told I have a smart mouth. It does get me in trouble, but I can’t seem to stop.” He admitted to Chuuya, and didn’t that sound wonderful, calling him Chuuya in his thoughts instead of Mr. Nakahara. His foster families in the past had beat him over his smart mouth, multiple times. It had also served as a distraction from the other kids, and that was even better. Fukuzawa just smiled and indulged his flights of fancy.

 

"You shouldn't try to stop. You're much more interesting and entertaining with a silver tongue. It'd have been a shame if that thug had cut it out. I'm glad I put a stop to such a tragedy." Chuuya responded without thinking. Just because the words slipped from his mouth before he registered them didn't mean he didn't enjoy watching Dazai’s eyes go wide and face turn light pink. With his godly senses he could hear the boy s heart beat faster in his chest. Chuuya was loathe to admit the whole display was actually quite cute.

 

"Is that why you tracked me down then? You found me so 'interesting and entertaining' while I was smarting off to you that you had to come find me, chibi? Seems like a lot of work for such a powerful man who decided I'm no threat to him or his organization." Dazai watched quizzically with an eyebrow raised as Chuuya leaned back in the booth and seemed to think over his question. 

 

How was Chuuya supposed to explain to this, decidedly mortal, man that he had spent a week thinking about him and trying to figure out if Dazai had placed a curse on him? Humans didn't exactly react well to those types of things. They certainly didn't like hearing mafia bosses were enthralled with them and had lost control of their godly powers and killed two thugs for hurting them. 

 

After a few minutes of no response, Dazai decided to walk back his words. He might have a smart mouth, but he didn’t like genuinely upsetting people that didn’t deserve it. “Never-mind,  you don’t have to listen to me. I should probably be getting back to work before Kunikida blows a gasket.” After all Chuuya probably had a lot more things to be doing with his time than listening to Dazai ramble. “Thanks again for bringing back my wallet and phone. That was very nice of you. Enjoy your coffee.”

 

Chuuya hid his frown as he took another sip of his coffee. “You don’t have to leave, Dazai. I’m not offended, it just isn’t often people can read me well enough to know part of what I’m thinking. Besides you really shouldn’t be up and moving that much with your injury. It’s only been a week after all.” He really wanted to get a good look at the back of Dazai’s head, but was afraid if he did he would go berserk again. If he had it his way Dazai would be resting still, and he couldn’t understand why the hospital let him go so early. Couldn’t they see he was still injured? Then something Dazai had said earlier registered with him, something about a friend patching him up. “I’m surprised the hospital let you go so soon, actually. Would that have anything to do with your friend patching you up?” Did he have someone at the hospital that would really let him go so easily? If so Chuuya needed to remind the hospital what would happen if they continued to do so in Dazai’s case.

 

Dazai flushed scarlet at Chuuya’s words, both about not being offended and obviously catching him out about the hospital. “I never went to the hospital. My friend Yosano patched me up here and took me home, I did stay home for all of that day and the next, but I was fine to work on Wednesday!” A total lie, he hadn’t been fine and he still had trouble with getting disoriented easily, especially when his head was pounding, which it didn’t really seem to do around Chuuya. Maybe because he was just sitting down and not pushing himself?

 

Chuuya did not like that answer at all, even if Dazai looked adorable being so red in the face from embarrassment. “You didn’t go to a hospital? That’s dangerous with the shape your head was in, not to mention going back to work so soon. I’m serious that you should still be resting.” Would his mother laugh too hard if he dragged the adorable creature in front of him back to the office to make him rest? Probably but it just might be worth the teasing to make sure Dazai was actually recovered. He was very glad he hadn’t handed back the wallet and phone yet. It meant Dazai couldn’t get too far away from him as he tried to decide what to do next.

 

“Yosano knows me better than anyone and she’s better than most doctors. Besides chibi, I'm sure you don't take off the necessary time to recover when you get shot or something with your… dangerous profession. ” A hospital just wasn’t feasible, not with his financial situation and having to rush Ryu there too often as it was.  

 

"I don't get shot and even if I did that's completely different. Being severely injured comes with my job description, it doesn't in yours. I'm trained to handle and work through pain and there are precautions and procedures in place for injured subordinates. You work at a coffee shop where there is no pain tolerance training or procedures for employees who shouldn't even be standing." Chuuya huffed, grabbing onto the strings of Dazai’s apron and pulling him down so they were now sitting next to each other instead of across.

 

"I'll have you know I have a fabulous pain tolerance. Besides it's a waste of time to sit around when I'm perfectly capable of doing my job." Dazai argued, turning to be face to face with Chuuya in the small booth seat.

 

Chuuya’s eye twitched, this human was even more stubborn and insufferable than he thought he was. If it wasn’t for Dazai’s head injury he was sure he'd have already punched him. Okay maybe not punched, but at least a flick on the forehead for being so thick headed.

 

Dazai grinned at the eye twitch. "You okay there, Chibi? Maybe you should get that twitch checked out." he teased. He was probably pushing Chuuya’s patience but if he wasn't getting in trouble for calling the other Chibi, he could probably get away with dancing around the subject of the hospital. 

 

Chuuya took a deep breath. "No, I get the feeling this will be chronic whenever I am near you. I still think you need to go to the hospital and get your injury looked over. At the very least they could give you a note for work."

 

Dazai shrugged. "My jobs wouldn't accept that, well besides this one. I was lucky to have last Monday and Tuesday off." Chuuya forced his temper down at the idea of Dazai’s jobs not accepting a note from the hospital and caring about his well-being. 

 

"Do you not have sick days or vacation days you can use?" Surely Dazai’s jobs would understand that he couldn't work with his head.

 

"Afraid not, Chibi. As I'm sure you have figured out, they're mostly part time jobs. I don't have insurance or sick days." Chuuya felt his eye twitch again. Just how badly off was Dazai financially if he couldn't take a break? Even with three kids the other didn't strike him as the type to carelessly spend money. That was evidenced by his clothes. Hopefully he had at least burned the ones he was wearing last week. “Besides if you’ve looked into me, you’ll know that most of my money goes to paying for my kids.” Chuuya had noticed there was an unusually high number of hospital bills for one of the kids.

 

“That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have gone to the hospital for that injury. I’ve half a mind to drag you to one myself, anyway. You’re clearly in no shape to be working. Any doctor worth their salt would agree with me on that.” If they didn’t, Chuuya would have their jobs and licenses.

 

Dazai chuckled as he looked at Chuuya. “Sorry Chibi. I don’t have time to be dragged to a hospital. When I get done here I have to pick the kids up and then I have to get ready to go to my next job.” The restaurant would not accept him calling in because a mob boss decided to drag him to the hospital. “I’m pretty sure that there’s nothing in any work place to cover being dragged away by a scary mob boss,” he teased.

 

“Maybe it needs to be where you’re concerned, just like there needs to be something about your smart mouth and accident prone self.” Chuuya shot back with a smirk as he watched Dazai’s face take on a slight dusting of pink while his heart-rate picked up again. He couldn’t say why that pleased him so much, just that it did. Really, would it be irresponsible to just lock this adorable creature up where no one else could see him? His mother would say yes, but he wasn’t so sure he could listen or agree with that sentiment. His fathers would probably also agree with his mother, and so would Mori, but they were all bores anyway. They kn e w well enough that Chuuya’s never liked to share, so why should he start now when the human in front of him was so enticing and maddeningly adorable?

 

"Most people like my smart mouth and accident prone self. What would people do if suddenly I was no longer able to make jabs and joke around? The world be so much more boring!" Dazai whined, letting his body go limp and sink down into the booth.

 

"Obviously the world isn't that boring, you're just dramatic. You were kidnapped and held captive a week ago and you thin k the world is boring?" Chuuya’s eyebrows shot up and he could only watch as Dazai sighed.

 

"Chibi chibi chibi that's where you're wrong!" Dazai berated, laying his head down on his arms folded on top of the table. "That hardly counts considering it was a one off experience. Just because you spend your days murdering people and making countries fear you doesn't mean the rest of us do. Normal life is mundane and boring."

 

"You know, a lot of people I know would give anything to have a normal life. You just don't realize how precious what you have is. Cherish that normalcy, Dazai. The world changes quickly." Chuuya spoke softly and his eyes looked far away even as they were locked on the brunettes face.

 

"Such a serious and philosophic mafia boss. You're quite sentimental, Chuuya." Dazai laughed, trying to dissipate the serious mood that had fallen over their conversation.

 

"When you live a life like mine, you learn to appreciate the little things. Like having time off work to recover from an injury." Chuuya snarked, biting back a smile as Dazai groaned.

 

"Are we really back to this again!? I'm perfectly fine and you don't need to worry about me." Dazai s at up straight to make a show of not getting light h eaded or dizzy at the movement.

 

"I can't help but worry about you." Chuuya whispered, watching as Dazai’s face once again burned red. He had no shame in watching the way Dazai’s adams apple bobbed when he swallowed harshly. That was far more attractive than it should be.

 

"… You're a strange mafioso, chibi. You don't have to feel guilty or anything about what happened to me if that s what this is." Dazai stated, honey brown eyes darting to the side and away from Chuuya’s unyielding stare.

 

"I kill people for a living. Guilt isn't something I've felt in a long long time. You're… different than anyone else I've ever met before and I'm intrigued. That's why I'm here. I want to know you, Dazai." Chuuya bit the inside of his cheek. This was not what he planned to say at all, the words simply fell from his lips before he could stop them.

 

The hitch in Dazai's breath was easily detectable to Chuuya, as was his now rapidly beating heart. 

 

Dazai shouldn’t let Chuuya’s words affect him, but he did. Those words made him happy. At the same time… “I’m really not all that exciting, chibi.” This gorgeous man wouldn’t want to stick around once he knew more about Dazai, that was for sure.

 

“Oi, Dazai!! Quit slacking and get back to work! The lunch rush will be here soon and they’re going to want your coffee, they all complain when you aren’t the one making it!” Kunikida snapped as he glanced over to where his friend and the stranger were. He wasn’t sure what the man wanted with Dazai, but someone had to look out for his friend when Yosano and Ranpo weren’t here to divine Mr. Nakahara’s intentions.

 

Dazai shot Chuuya an apologetic smile. “I think that’s my cue. It really was nice talking to you, Chibi. Thanks again for bringing my phone and wallet back.” Hopefully Chuuya would actually hand them over this time. It was unlikely he would ever see Chuuya again after this. The man had a busy life and he wouldn’t stay interested in Dazai for long. No one did aside from Fukuzawa, his siblings, his kids, and Kunikida.

 

As soon as Dazai started trying to stand up, Chuuya pulled him back down by his apron ties. “Sit down, I just said you don’t need to be moving around too much. The lunch rush will survive the disappointment of not having you make their coffee.”

 

“Chibi, I really do need to get back to work. I don’t want my boss to fire me because he thinks I’m being lazy.” Not that he would, Fukuzawa would probably be pleased Dazai was taking a break, but he really needed the money his job brought in and he depended on the tips he got from the school kids who lived off of their coffee. “Kunikida can’t make some of the specialty coffees. Some of our customers come in solely for one of the coffees I’ve created.” It wasn’t even a lie to say Kunikida couldn’t make the coffee, he had been hired to just oversee everyone and handle the register so Dazai could focus on the coffee, which is what he loved best. Sometimes Yosano would handle the register so Kunikida could work on the books with Fukuzawa and learn more about running a business, but mostly she hung out in the back and helped him and Ranpo make coffee. Those were his favorite days, and he never wanted to lose this job. Out of all the jobs he needed, this was the one he would cry over losing.

 

“I don’t think your boss is going to fire you for entertaining a very rich customer who intends to tip well, just as long as you sit here and rest. He can’t complain about that, and he can’t complain about you sitting down because you’re dizzy. It wouldn’t be good for you to fall over while making the coffee.” What would it take for this stubborn man to realize Chuuya wasn’t just going to let him saunter off and work? In fact he was going to murder Dazai’s fellow employee for the way he was treating him. Couldn’t he see Dazai needed to be sitting down and resting with his head like it was? If it took holding the phone and wallet hostage until the end of Dazai’s shift, so be it.

 

“That’s cruel and unusual punishment, Chibi. I promise I’m fine!” Dazai whined as he leaned forward further into Chuuya’s personal space. He needed to convince Chuuya he was okay to work so the other didn’t think he needed to kill Kunikida.

 

Before Chuuya could respond his phone began to ring with his mother’s tone. He hit the button to send her to voicemail so he could turn his attention back to Dazai only for her to call him back immediately. This happened three more times before he gave in and answered. What?!

 

“Chuuya, is that any way to speak to your mother? I know you’re supposed to be busy, but something’s come up. Kyouka needs me and I’ll be leaving for a while. I need you to come see me before I leave so everything is taken care of for the humans. I’m sorry to cut into your time with your fascination.” Kouyou scolded calmly as Chuuya wilted even though she couldn’t see him.

 

“Sorry mother, I’ll be there right away.” Chuuya then hung up the phone and looked at Dazai. “It seems you’ve gotten a reprieve, my mother needs me and insists on me coming to see her.” He then pulled Dazai’s wallet and new phone out of his coat pocket and set them on the table. “Try not to get any more concussions, Dazai. Also, try to actually rest.” After those orders he reluctantly allowed Dazai to get up from the booth and got up himself before picking up his coffee and leaving before he decided to ignore his mother and not come see her. He could see Dazai tucking the phone and wallet into his apron out of the corner of his eye.

 

When Chuuya got back to the office he paused upon feeling his phone vibrate. He pulled it out to see if his mother was texting him, only to see it was a message from Dazai. Is there a reason you got me a new phone and you put your number in? I can’t exactly afford a phone this nice, so if you could give me back my old one that would be great . He chuckled at the contents and smiled smugly. Dazai would never see that old phone again.

 

Your old phone was broken from when I grabbed the thugs last week, sorry. As for paying for the phone, don’t worry about it. I’m paying the bill. You have unlimited talk, text, and data. You just have to use the phone. I imagine it will come in handy with studying, you can record any lectures you might need or access them on the go.

 

Are you sure? I don’t want to be a bother. I can get a new flip phone.

 

You’re not being a bother, do not get a new flip phone. Think of it almost like a thank you for not being terrified of me and calling the cops. Use this one, take pictures of your kids or something. I’m sure you can find something to do with your new phone. In fact why don’t you use that new camera to take a selfie and send it to me?

 

Chuuya walked into his mother's office smiling faintly. It turned into a huge grin when his phone buzzed with another incoming message from Dazai. There was an attachment this time. Once he downloaded the attachment he was greeted with Dazai smiling shyly into the phone. Does this work for the requested selfie? My break is over, but I could probably get someone to take a picture of me later if you like.

 

I won't say no to another picture, but this one is good for your first attempt. Just so you know it's now going to be your contact picture. Have a good shift and be sure to REST if your head starts bothering you. 

 

Chuuya smiled apologetically at his mother who was staring at him with a raised brow. “Sorry, mother. Dazai was texting me and I got him to send me a selfie, he looks so adorable. I didn’t have enough time to hold him hostage for his shift or kill his co-worker for yelling at him to work even though he’s injured.” He was still pissed about that Kunikida yelling at Dazai and clearly not caring that the boy was injured.

 

Kouyou smiled in amusement. “I see. It’s a very good thing I made you come back then, it wouldn’t do for you to kill one of your interest’s co-workers.”

 

MOTHER!!! He’s not my interest!!” Chuuya exclaimed with a red face.

 

Kouyou chuckled. “I’m sorry, should I have said obsession? You’ve been dying to get back to check on that boy, and I know you wanted to drag him to a hospital yourself. He’s clearly fine.”

 

"No he isn't. He's not my obsession and he's not fine. Dazai’s so stubborn mother. I swear he's worse than I am! He stumbles and winces every time he moves too fast and yet he claims he's alright. I have half a mind to go back there after this conversation!" Chuuya ranted, crossing his arms across his chest and huffing out a breath of air.

 

Kouyou hid her smile behind the sleeve of her Kimono as she listened to her son rant. “I see. Well, I called you because something has come up with Kyouka as I said and I need to go stay with her for a little while. Rimbaud and Verlaine have missed you and offered to come stay in my place if you don’t mind. They feel like they haven’t seen you in too long, they understand if you’re busy with the Mafia though.” It was always better to let her son think it was his idea to have his fathers come stay, it made it easier on everyone all around.

 

Chuuya momentarily forgot everything going on with Dazai, and instead instantly perked up at the prospect of his god parents coming down. "Of course I want them to come down! It's been decades since I last saw them. If I need to I can always make them executives like you, I have a feeling at least father wouldn't be against that." Chuuya took pause as he remembered the reason his mother was leaving. "Is Kyouka okay? If you want me to I can come and help with whatevers wrong." Concern laced his voice and Kouyou easily spotted the worry in his wide blue eyes.

 

Kouyou sighed and shook her head. "No dear, there's no reason for you to deal with it. She's just having a little trouble at school, nothing I can't handle myself. You know how it is up there."

 

Chuuya nodded as he massaged his temples. “Tell her I love her and wish her all the best then mother.” She was right, he would only get in the way if he went back to see his sister and if her troubles at school were about him she probably wouldn't be thrilled about seeing him. Not to mention the horror stories he'd experienced when he'd had his own troubles throughout school. His mother could be a holy terror when she wanted to be.

 

Kouyou chuckled fondly as she stood up and came around her desk. “I will do that dear. You take care of yourself and try not to get into too much trouble while I’m gone. I get the feeling I’m going to be missing out on some interesting interactions, especially if you already have your boy texting you and sending you pictures.” She teased before hugging her son and kissing his cheek. It wouldn’t take long for Rimbaud and Verlaine to arrive and she’d leave before then. Everything was in order and she had a child that needed her help. It was bad timing what with everything going on with Chuuya, but it simply couldn’t be helped and at this point Kyouka needed her more. She could only hope Chuuya managed on his own. Rimbaud and Verlaine were hopeless. They’d have never gotten together without all the other gods meddling and pushing them together.

 

Chuuya flushed as he hugged his mother back. “Not funny mother, but I will do my best not to get arrested for murder or to kill anyone because of Dazai.” It was all he could promise because he wasn’t sure if he could control himself if something happened.

 

“That’s all I ask dear. I love you and your sister both so much, so if you need me for anything don’t hesitate to send Hirotsu to me with a message. I’m sure Kyouka would love to see you again, it really has been too long since we’ve all been together.”

 

Chuuya nodded as he leaned up to kiss his mother’s cheek. “I will mother, you worry about Kyouka and enjoy your time with her. Soon she’ll be old enough to come stay with us here whenever she wants.” His little sister was still a little young to be out of the heavenly realm for long periods of time as she was still training with her powers. She was getting better though according to the reports they got on her training from his father. He praised Kyouka’s skills and dedication coming and going. Yes, soon his family would all be together again.

Chapter Text

Dazai grinned as he finished shooting Chuuya a picture of the concoction he and Ranpo had come up with earlier that day. The two of them had been texting back and forth non-stop since Dazai got his new phone, which had been about two weeks ago. He was walking his kids home from school and getting them settled before he had to head to the restaurant for the night. We haven’t named it yet, but just think about every type of chocolate you can imagine, that’s what’s in there. He then put his phone in his pocket and smiled at Gin who was holding her arms out. Dazai scooped her up easily and kissed her cheek. “How was school today Princess?”

 

Gin giggled as Ryu pretended to gag next to them. “It was fun, we went to the park to see how many different types of trees we could spot for our science class as we’re studying trees and plants and their life cycles. Sushi kept getting distracted by the fluffy ducks though.”

 

“Gin!!! You promised you wouldn’t say anything!” Atsushi wailed to his sister. Gin simply giggled and buried her face in her father’s shoulder.

 

Dazai smiled and ruffled his son’s hair. “She only noticed you got distracted by the fluffy ducklings because she did herself, buddy. We all know Ryuu is the scholar of you three.” He smiled upon seeing his oldest son preen even though he had been pretending not to listen to their conversation. “We can go to the park this weekend or you can ask Grandfather or Aunt Sano to take you. Uncle Poe might could be persuaded, you’d just have to bribe him with people watching, he loves that.”

 

Atsushi giggled. “Uncle Poe always writes things down in his notebooks when he people watches. That or he’s trying to convince people that Karl isn’t bad.” Gin put her head on her father’s shoulder and nodded.

 

“He might even take you today, if you ask nicely.” Dazai told his children as they walked up to the apartment. “First change your clothes and get started on your homework, I’ll fix your snacks while you’re doing that.” He set Gin down and watched her scamper off with her brothers before he pulled his phone out to see a new notification from Chuuya. 

 

Are you trying to get people to commit death by chocolate? You couldn’t pay me to touch that thing. However I know someone that would love it . He’d probably never stop drinking it. Even better if it kills him, I think it might even do the world a favor. Then again, that would do me out a family doctor and my mother would kill me for that. Plus, I might end up missing him eventually, but it would be hilarious if he died because of coffee. I would make sure that made it on to his tombstone. 

 

Chuuya didn't really want Mori dead, but if he were to be killed in the human realm because of coffee, Chuuya really would never stop laughing. He'd also never let the King of the Gods live it down either.

 

Dazai snickered and sent back a text as he started getting ready for work. That’s mean Chuuya~ it’s a perfectly good concoction I’ll have you know! Even Kunikida admitted it wasn’t that bad. Coming from him that’s high praise!!

 

I’m still not drinking that. It’s going to clog your arteries and kill you. Why would you make something like that to begin with? I feel like I should just limit how often you’re allowed to drink that nasty concoction.

 

Dazai pouted. That was mean!!! Chuuya couldn’t limit his coffee! NOOOO!! You’re not allowed to limit my coffee! It’s how I survive. Anyway, I have to get the kids settled before I head to work.

 

Chuuya raised an eyebrow. Didn’t you just get off work? Surely that’s the whole point of going home and getting settled with the kids.

 

Dazai sighed and smiled sheepishly. I have three jobs. Three little mouths to feed and bills to pay. The coffee shop alone won’t cover all that. So I have three jobs, not one.

 

We will talk about this more later. I unfortunately have a business meeting, and can't pin your feet to the floor. Don't think we won't be discussing this again though. Be safe, sweetheart. 

 

Dazai stared at the nickname and blushed. Chuuya didn't mean it that way, but still it got a blush. He tucked his phone away when Ryu appeared in the doorway. "What is it, little man?"

 

Ryu moved closer to his father and carefully wrapped his arms around his father in a hug. "Be careful, okay?" He didn't think he could stand his dad coming home injured again. 

 

Dazai carefully wrapped his arms around his eldest child in return. "I'll be careful, Ryu. I promise. I didn't like being injured any more than you liked seeing me injured. Your Uncle Ran and Uncle Poe will be here any minute. Try to keep your uncle out of the candy stash? That's for Halloween and he knows it."

 

Ryu smiled in his dad's arms. "I'll help Uncle Poe keep him out of the candy stash dad. Wake us when you get home?"

 

Dazai scooped Ryu up into his arms and walked towards the door as it opened to reveal Ran and Poe. "I will. You know I'll always wake you to tell you I'm home and tuck you back in. I love you, Ryu. Be good for your uncles."

 

Ranpo laughed as he took Ryu from Dazai. "They're always good for us, Zai! Now shoo, go to work. We've got this."

 

Dazai nodded reluctantly as he kissed Ryu one more time. He then called out to his other two. "Gin, Sushi! Your uncles are here and I'm heading to work!" Almost immediately his younger two came running from the bedroom to throw their arms around him. “Be good, okay? I’ll wake you up when I get home. I love you.” After getting hugs and kisses and ‘I love you’s’ from his kids he smiled at his brother and Poe. “I’ll see you later, thanks again.” 

 

Ranpo waved him off. “We love watching them, Zai, you know that.”  If only his brother wasn’t so stubborn and would let their father pay to put him and the kids in a better apartment, but it was useless, Dazai felt like that was taking too much from them already no matter how much they denied it. Dazai was family and they wanted to help him, but the man was finicky and skittish at best when it came to accepting kindness.

 

Dazai smiled as he left and headed for the restaurant. It was an upscale French Place, not his cup of tea, but the tips were usually pretty good, just because the patrons were rich. After setting his bag in the back, Dazai quickly got his section for the night and headed out to start waiting on people.

 

Around an hour in, he noticed that one of his tables had just been seated and made his way over. “Hello, my name is Dazai and I’ll be your waiter tonight. Can I get you any drinks or appetizers to start off with?” He had this spiel down to a routine, the only thing he wasn’t expecting was to see Chuuya looking at him with a raised brow.

 

“So this is that third job you mentioned.” All the better, he’d get this meeting out of the way and pin Dazai’s feet to the floor about overworking. Quite frankly, he looked exhausted and Chuuya didn’t like seeing that look on Dazai , it made his gut twist . No, he liked him much better when he was rested and playing with his coffee presses. At least there no one would be ogling Dazai.

 

Dazai smiled nervously as he wondered if he could play this off and pretend he didn’t know Chuuya. One look at the other’s face told him that wouldn’t be happening. “Yes, I work here, the coffee shop, and a themed café. This job and the café give better tips than the coffee shop, and my boss there doesn’t really need me full time.” Even if he would do it if Dazai let him. “So drinks?”

 

Chuuya hummed softly in acknowledgement but let the subject drop after easily being able to tell how nervous, and quite frankly uncomfortable, it made Dazai to speak about it. Before he could answer one of the men he was here on business with, a balding, middle aged investor of average height and easily fifty pounds overweight, spoke up.

 

"We ll take your most expensive red wine to go with our food tonight! It's a night of celebration after all!" He called out happily while Chuuya made sure to keep his business smile in place, the picture of polite and elegant as he ignored the man's outburst but indulged his ignorance of basic etiquette and didn't scold him. 

 

"Dazai, I put a Petrus on order a few weeks back for this occasion after speaking with the owner. Can you be a doll and get that for us?" Chuuya request ed , his smile becoming a little more genuine as he turned to look at Dazai and order.

 

Dazai nodded his head with a smile. “I’ll be right back with your wine. Will you need a few more minutes to look over the food, or would you like to order some appetizers before I go fetch the wine?” He asked politely, knowing that while Chuuya probably wouldn’t want to put him to extra work, the same couldn’t be said for the men he was with. It was Dazai’s job after all. He was a waiter and there to serve the people at his tables. He ducked his head briefly to hide a blush at being called doll by Chuuya, even if he was pretty sure it was more of asking if he minded than actually calling him doll.

 

He wasn’t sure why Chuuya affected him the way he did, but Chuuya brought out reactions he thought he had long since mastered. Oh well, at least he should get a semi-decent tip from this group tonight. That’s what he should be focusing on, not how hot Chuuya looked in his three piece suit.

 

Chuuya smiled and waved a hand dismissively. "We'll take a few more minutes. They'll want to try the wine and test the flavor on their pallets before deciding on what foods they think will compliment it best."

 

The second man with Chuuya that night pushed up his glasses while slapping Chuuya on the shoulder in an overly exaggerated display of affection. He seemed to be middle aged as well, mid to late forties. He was from out of the country and supplied the Port Mafia with weapons from Europe and other international goods. "Not everyone lives the lavish lifestyle you do Nakahara! I swear, it's like sometimes this kid forgets the rest of us don't have tens of thousands of dollars to blow on a bottle of wine. Ain't he a little young to be this successful?" He asked Dazai rhetorically while Chuuya barley withheld an eye roll. They'd had a few drinks in his office before they came, but it seems he'd overestimated how much alcohol humans could drink again.

 

Humans were entertaining creatures, Chuuya could give them that. He found it amusing when they thought they were older than him; their tiny life spans never failed to astound him. Over two thousand two hundred years alive, and a man not even half a century old claimed to be his senior. It was comical really. The man wasn't even half a year old by godly standards, and yet he believed himself to be far older and wiser than Chuuya. Truly peculiar but entertaining creatures. Though sometimes their arrogance was enough to have Chuuya want to live up to his name of Arahabaki, God of Destruction, and destroy the entire race. 

 

Dazai nodded his head. “I’ll be right back with your wine then.” He smiled politely at the guests and then turned and vanished to the back to get the bottle of Petrus that had been put on hold. Of course his boss quickly bumped him from the table upon realizing the esteemed Nakahara was there. “Don’t worry about that table again, Dazai. Let someone with more experience handle it.”

 

Dazai just nodded his head. “Of course, sir.” He agreed quietly as his best option for tips tonight got handed to Moriah, she was the top waitress and hostess in the joint, and she almost always got the extremely high ranking customers. It was just a fluke Chuuya had been sat in his section anyway.

 

Moriah walked up to the table with the bottle of Petrus. “Sorry about the mixup, my name is Moriah and I’ll be your waitress the rest of the evening.” These men should have been put in her section, but the host on duty was relatively new to his job and probably put them in Dazai’s section by mistake when they were supposed to be in her section.

 

Dazai quietly flitted about his other tables refilling drinks and taking down orders or delivering them. While it would have been nice to get to see Chuuya, it wasn’t meant to be tonight. Hopefully he was charming and impressive enough that he got some decent tips. The cooks had already said anything left over was his to take home to his kids as usual.

 

Chuuya raised an eyebrow, thorough ly unimpressed with the change of wait staff. He had asked for this table in this section specifically after having Hirotsu do a little more digging into Dazai’s third job and finding out the needed information. After clenching his jaw and grinding his teeth together at the object of his interest being taken away from him, he decided he would play nice. Making a fuss was bound to only fall on Dazai’s head instead of fixing the problem. He'd fix it later tonight.

 

Despite Chuuya’s reaction, his two companions seemed more than happy with the change, unabashedly staring at the woman. What was her name again? Marry?  Maria? Either way, Chuuya found it disgusting. He could admit he'd enjoyed his fair share of eye candy over the centuries, but he wasn't married with kids. They were lucky his mother wasn't there or they wouldn't have been making it home.

 

Chuuya smiled politely, a completely different look compared to the fond and intrigued upturn of his lips Dazai had gotten. It was a charming smile all the same and if you didn't know him well you wouldn't have been able to tell. The expression was all in his eyes with Dazai, while looking at Moriah his eyes held something akin to resignation. The look was quickly masked as he took the Petrus from the girl and poured a glass for all three of them, not trusting her to do it right.

 

"It's lovely to meet you Moriah. Might I say you're name is truly lovely. Where are you from? You're obviously not a native." Chuuya’s European business partner, Charles Walsh, asked, more than eager to make conversation with the attractive young woman. 

 

Chuuya barley held back a sigh as he settled into his chair, swirling his wine in the glass before sipping at it. His only source of entertainment for the night and the whole reason he agreed to have this celebratory dinner after finally finishing off an enemy organization in Turkey was now focused solely on his other tables. Chuuya zoned out as he sipped at his Petrus, critiquing it in his head to keep himself occupied. He'd had better. Maybe it would have tasted better had Dazai poured it?

 

Dazai continued to take care of his other tables until a drunken man at one of his tables groped him and then threw the wine on him after he stepped out of reach. This job and the cafe were both bad when it came to people making advances on him. "You call this service?!! I asked for a white wine! Any fool can clearly see this is red, are you color blind?!" 

 

Dazai smiled apologetically. "My apologies, sir. I'll get that white wine you asked for right out to you along with your dessert." There went most of his tips for tonight. His boss always took his tips whenever there was any type of incident and only gave him the amount required by law.

 

After walking away to go get a white wine, a rag to clean the red wine up before it stained the floor, and the man's dessert, Dazai squared his shoulders and headed back out. "Here's your dessert and white wine, sir. I'll just clear away the red wine." He began cleaning up the spill and very carefully didn't react when the man groped him and then slapped his ass.

 

"You know, I think I want my dessert to go now. Think you can manage that much?" His customer leered at him as he squeezed Dazai’s ass again.

 

"Of course, sir. I'll get your dessert boxed up and bring you your ticket right away." He refused to allow himself to glance over at Chuuya's table. That was Moriah's domain now.

 

Chuuya looked up from his wine when he heard yelling and slurred speech. His eyes narrowed as he watched, carefully studying Dazai’s reactions. He continued to remind himself that he shouldn't step in, and that it would probably only make the situation worse. However, when the man touched Dazai for the second time he gave in to the white hot anger that had flared through him as soon as his human had been disrespected. In seconds he had stood and crossed the restaurant to Dazai where Chuuya wrapped a protective arm around his waist and pulled the waiter close to his chest. 

 

"Go along with it and do not say a word." Chuuya whispered into Dazai’s ear while glaring at the drunken man.

 

"Were you raised in a barn you drunken bastard? Touch him again and I'll ruin you and take you for everything you're worth. He was doing you a damn favor by giving you red wine. With that dessert white wine would have clashed. Classless." Chuuya hissed, venom dripping from his voice as he rubbed absent circles in Dazai's hip with his thumb to hopefully help calm the slight tremors racking the boy ' s body and stop himself from killing this man right then and there. 

 

Chuuya made a mental note to take care of this piece of trash later and kill him slower than he had the two wannabe gangsters who hurt Dazai the first time they met. He'd also be seeing about buying this place out and completely replacing management staff after they let this happen to their employees. Dazai would not be let out of his sight for the rest of the night, that was for sure. He had a feeling the boy would probably end up the one punished, and the only way that would be happening wa s over Chuuya’s dead body.

 

Dazai hadn't been expecting Chuuya to step in and save his ass again, but he wasn’t complaining as the customer was studying Chuuya with annoyance instead of trying to grope him. Almost unconsciously he found himself relaxing at the soothing circles Chuuya was rubbing on his hip.

 

"Who're you? This is between me and my waiter. He's used to it, ain't you boy?" He frequnted this restaurant purely because of the pretty waiter and the fact the boy was an easy target. Usually the manager or even the owner would step in towards the end as he complained louder and caused a mess. He always blamed it on the boy and paid them well to look the other way.

 

Dazai felt his shoulders slump further as both his manager and the owner came hurrying over. "Seriously Dazai? Can you not go one night without upsetting customers? Why don't you go help in the kitchen until we close?" The manager suggested and paused upon seeing Nakahara holding Dazai close. This was a new aspect of the night. "Did he bother you, Mr. Nakahara? I'm so so sorry about that. Dazai get to the kitchens please."

 

Dazai nodded his head as he started attempting to pull away from Chuuya. He hadn't meant to interrupt the other's business dinner, he should have mentioned that this was normal and Chuuya didn't need to bother. If he was lucky he could still walk away with leftovers and scraps for his kids. Feeding his children was more important than his pride.

 

Chuuya tightened his hold around Dazai’s waist and kept him close, not allowing him to follow the command to go to the kitchen. "Just stay put and let me handle it." He whispered soothingly to Dazai before turning a glare on the others around him. 

 

"Osamu didn't bother me at all. What's bothered me is this… deplorable specimen you allowed to be in your restaurant." He looked at the drunk man with distaste. "What also bothers me is you let your staff be treated so poorly. This is work place harassment, you're lucky Osamu doesn't sue you over it because I would gladly facilitate it. He isn't the one upsetting customers, your customer is assaulting him and you're doing nothing about it. How thick do you have to be to mix the two up?" Chuuya asked, an air of superiority surrounding him as he looked down his nose at all the men despite being shorter. 

 

"As for you," Chuuya rounded on the customer next after turning from the owner. "If I see you anywhere near him or this restaurant again I will personally see to it that your hotel chain collapses and your wife finds out about your infidelities. I'm sure your daughter would love to hear about what you're doing to Osamu after she lead the Me Too movement in Japan a few months back. I will destory your life and I will do it with a flick of my finger. Get out of my sight now." He would still be killing the man shortly, but he couldn't threaten to torture him in the middle of a restaurant. That would be unfortunate for the legal side of his business.

 

Dazai didn’t say anything, but did bury his face in Chuuya's chest so he didn't have to see the looks being shot his way. He was aware of a scrambling from the table, but refused to look up to see what was happening.

 

The owner smiled placatingly at Chuuya. "Of course we won't do anything to Dazai. He's one of our most popular waiters, he has an impressive memory and is good at his job. You're right that we should have stepped in. Our apologies Mr. Nakahara."

 

Dazai would o f course be quietly reprimanded after Mr. Nakahara left, and the boy would be sent home with the minimum amount of tips that had to be given to him by law, along with a smaller portion of scraps tonight. The boy needed to remember that he was not irreplaceable.

 

Chuuya arched an eyebrow as his anger spiked to a new high. "Do you think I'm an idiot? You know who I am and what I do for a living, and yet you try to lie to me anyways after mistreating my boyfriend  for who knows how long. It's best you keep your mouth shut before I close it permanently. You have two options. You sell me the restaurant and I don't sue you and destroy your life, or you don't and I get this place shut down and then sue you. It's your choice. Everyone in this room is far more replaceable than Osamu." He said, keeping his voice deadly flat to intimidate and show one wrong move would wind up with the owner in an even worse boat than the customer. He could easily find Dazai another job.

 

He ran his fingers through chocolate brown curls to try and comfort Dazai, gently swaying him from side to side as his glare hardened at the state the owner had put his human in. This man would die no matter what option he chose, he just didn't know that on e answer would lead to a slightly less painful death.

 

The owner gaped at Chuuya and Dazai. "Boyfriend?! Why are you dating Dazai of all people? He's far beneath your station."

 

Dazai flinched at the accusation, knowing it was true. This might just be Chuuya trying to help him out, but he truly was so far above Dazai. Why did he ever think they could even be friends again? There was a reason he focused on his kids and school. He needed to provide for his kids, not indulge in a fantasy, no matter how wonderful. 

 

Dazai buried his face further in Chuuya's chest and clutched his shirt. He shouldn't be causing trouble, and yet here he was.

 

Chuuya scoffed and held Dazai closer as he rubbed his hand up and down his back. "Do you think insulting him will help this situation? You truly are stupider than you look. My relationship is none of your business and seeing as you didn't answer, I'll take it you've decided on option two and you'll be hearing from my lawyer. Unless you've decided to sell it to me. I've been meaning to get into the restaurant business anyways." He said dismissively, more interested in Dazai than the whole situation at that point.

 

He hadn't been looking into the restaurant business at all truth be told, it was extensive work with a lot of legal trouble, but if it would help out Dazai he would do it. Chuuya was sure his mother wouldn't exactly mind taking on the responsibility anyway. She always complained about the restaurants in Yokohama not being up to her standards, so she should find it a fun challenge to create one she actually liked. 

 

The owner decided to not press his luck. "Why don't you go ahead and take the rest of the night, Dazai? You can ask the kitchen for any leftovers and leave with full pay and all your tips for tonight."

 

Dazai didn't look up from Chuuya’s chest, it was a tempting offer, but he couldn’t go home like this. Luckily Fukuzawa always stayed late at the coffee shop and never cared if Dazai wanted to come in and just sit by or play with the presses to decompress before going home to his kids. It had been his saving grace more than one night, and his boss would usually fix him something to eat those nights. Fukuzawa had easily become the father he never had.

 

When Dazai didn’t answer Chuuya took it upon himself to. "He will in a second once I finish up here. I'm driving him home. Now, will I be talking business with you later on this week or will I be talking legal settlements?" He asked, raising an eyebrow.

 

The boss paused and pursed his lips. "How much are we talking for the restaurant?"

 

Chuuya sighed and pulled out his checkbook, writing down a quick number before handing it over and watching in satisfaction as the human's eyes bulged in shock and he nodded his head in a daze. "Good, it seems you're smarter than you present yourself. A law suit would ruin you and you'd never open another restaurant again, at least now you have a chance, however slim." He would make sure any possible business ventures of the man failed, but it would be entertaining to watch him try. "Verlaine will be by tomorrow morning, make sure to be here or I'll buy the land out from under you. The bank owes me quite a few favors." With that he dismissed the man with a wave of his hand.

 

Gently Chuuya tapped on Dazai’s shoulder. "Dazai, everything's alright now. How about we go to the kitchen now? I'll drive you wherever you want afterwards. This wasn't a true business dinner, just an obligatory celebration that I'm done with now." He assured.

 

Dazai nodded his head slowly. "You're sure I'm not taking you away from your dinner?" He asked softly. The idea that he could be dragging Chuuya away from something important bothered him. "If it wouldn't be too much trouble, I'd like to be dropped off at the coffee shop," Dazai said shyly as he started towards the back to get his bag and get the leftovers the cooks had been keeping for the kids.

 

Once he had everything collected and had his jacket on, Dazai looked at Chuuya with a shy smile. "Thanks, Chuuya. I really do appreciate this." There was nothing like playing with the coffee presses to calm himself down.

 

Chuuya waved his hand dismissively while nodding towards his business partners. They were drunk and busy flirting with Moriah, he'd call a car for them later. "It's no problem Dazai. I offered, remember?" He teased, holding open the door for the man and leading him over to the car.

 

Before Dazai could, Chuuya had opened the car door for him and helped him inside. Once he was settled the mob boss got in the drivers seat and took off towards the coffee shop. "I'm sorry by the way. I may have crossed a few lines tonight by calling you by your first name and touching you without asking. Claiming to be your boyfriend was also not my finest moment without consulting you. So, I apologize even though I don't regret it. What I regret is not stepping in sooner. I can't believe either of those men, the drunkard and the owner. I'm sure mother will be singing your praises though. Thanks to this I finally gave in and am buying a restaurant. She's been begging me for years to get involved in the buisness." He sighed and rolled his eyes fondly.

 

Dazai smiled a little. "Yeah? That's high praise indeed." Chuuya had told him about his adopted mother, Kouyou, in the last couple of weeks they'd been texting. "As for inside, it's okay. You were just trying to help me, I don't mind. I'm not used to touches like that aside from my kids or my siblings, but it was nice. I felt safe," he admitted shyly. 

 

Before tonight in Chuuya's arms, the only other pair of arms he had felt completely safe in was Fukuzawa’s, and it was still different. Fukuzawa’s arms very much felt like a parent shutting out the world for their child. In Chuuya's arms, he not only felt safe, he also felt cherished and important as stupid as that was.

 

It was decided. He needed to talk to Fukuzawa about everything that had been going on recently and sort out his tangled feelings. Dazai pulled his phone out and smiled at the text from Ranpo. Take your time. We're fine, don't force yourself to come home before you're ready on our account. Have fun, relax, make a new coffee. There was also one from Fukuzawa. Ranpo texted. I'm in my office going over paperwork, my door is open and the alley door is unlocked and waiting for you. Please be careful, Dazai. 

 

Both texts made him feel warm and fuzzy from the concern for his well being they both showed. The best part was, he knew they both meant it. Ran and Poe would stay with his kids and get them to school the next day if that's what he needed, and Fukuzawa would let him stay in the coffee shop until he fell asleep. Without fail he would wake up in the room designated as his at Fukuzawa’s house.

 

Chuuya smiled to himself. "I'm glad you felt safe. My goal is never to make you feel threatened or unsafe. Please tell me if I ever make you uncomfortable even in the slightest so I can stop. Enough people are uncomfortable being around me as it is. You're peculiar Dazai. Most people would have found out I was a mafia boss and ran for the hills. Instead you feel safe with me. Truly a strange thing." He chuckled to himself and shook his head in disbelief.

 

He parked the car out front of the coffee shop and tilted his head with a smile while looking at Dazai. "Well, this is it. I hope you have a great night Dazai." Chuuya said sincerely, making sure to face Dazai as he spoke with him. He would have drawn it out longer if he didn't know his dads would be at headquarters soon and he should be there to greet them.

 

Dazai smiled shyly at Chuuya. "Thanks, Chuuya. I appreciate it." He unbuckled his seat belt and slid out of the car, grabbing the boxes of food before closing the door and heading towards the alleyway next to the cafe. He knew Fukuzawa would probably be waiting at the door for him soon. Spending a night among the presses and curling up to watch Fukuzawa do paperwork sounded heavenly right about now.

 

Hopefully Chuuya wouldn’t notice or care that he was heading for the alley, even if he had a feeling that was a useless hope. "Osamu, where are you going?" Yep, Chuuya had noticed. 

 

Dazai turned to face the car and saw Chuuya had already gotten out looking worried. "My boss left the alley door unlocked for me. I don't take my key to the restaurant with me." He didn't trust his co-workers not to steal it to be funny.

 

Chuuya laughed softly as he reached Dazai’s side. "Considering how our first meeting came to be, I figured you would have learned to stay away from alleyways by now. Let me walk you to the door so I know you're safe? I'll worry all night if I don't." 

 

Dazai nodded his head slowly and Chuuya smiled while placing a hand on the small of his back and leading him down the alley over to the door without incident. "This is where we part ways for now then. Don't stay up to late messing around in there, you need sleep. Especially after the day you just had. Have a good night Dazai."

 

Dazai smiled and waved to Chuuya just as the door opened. He immediately bound over to Fukuzawa and wrapped his arms around the man he saw as a father. "It was a rough shift. That same customer was back and groped me multiple times and then yelled at me while throwing his wine on me." He hated the restaurant, but the themed cafe was just as bad if not worse in terms of him being groped. 

 

Fukuzawa hummed softly and wrapped his arms around Dazai as he walked him inside. He closed and locked the door before he responded. "Is that why you're here so early? Did the boss of the establishment send you home because of that man again?" He asked gently even though his blood was boiling at the mistreatment of one of his children.

 

Dazai nodded his head. "He let me keep my wages, tips, and the leftovers tonight. Only because Chuuya was there and came to my defense. He said my boss shouldn't let his employees be treated like that and he would just buy the restaurant to ensure it didn't keep happening." Fukuzawa was a calming presence and he never minded Dazai hanging on to him and just babbling to release tension.

 

"I knew I wasn't in the right frame of mind to go home yet, so I came here. I don't want the kids to worry, and Ran assured me he and Poe had them." He considered himself so grateful to have Ranpo, Yosano, Poe, and Fukuzawa in his life. Even Kunikida would help him out in a pinch if he asked, he just hated bothering people.

 

Fukuzawa furrowed his eyebrows briefly, the name Chuuya sounded familiar but he decided that wasn't to be worried about at the moment. "Well, Chuuya wasn't wrong. You and any other staff should never be treated that way. Not only is it morally wrong, it's illegal." He shook his head in disappointment at the restaurant staff and decided a change of subject was in order. Dazai going on about the mistreatment wouldn't help him relax.

 

"I'm very proud of you for recognizing you needed time to decompress and letting people help you, from allowing Chuuya to come to your aid , to asking Ranpo and Poe to watch the kids. Speaking of, this Chuuya must be quite powerful to simply buy the restaurant. Is he someone you know well or did you just meet?" Fukuzawa noticed the way Dazai’s eyes softened when he spoke of Chuuya and decided that would be a good distraction for the moment.

 

Dazai smiled shyly at Fukuzawa. "You remember a couple of weeks ago when I came to work with my head split open and collapsed?"

 

Fukuzawa nodded his head. "How could I forget? You scared us all badly." To come out of his office upon hearing Kunikida’s panicked screams and see his child collapsed on the floor bleeding was not something he would ever forget. No, he had been ready to take Dazai to the hospital then and there. 

 

Dazai ducked his head. "The thugs who did that to me were after Chuuya. His full name is Chuuya Nakahara and he's the boss of the Port Mafia. He came by here a couple of days after the accident to check on me and to return my wallet. He also gave me the new phone I've been using, said it was his fault my old one got broken. We've been texting back and forth the last few weeks and then he was seated in my section at the restaurant tonight for a business dinner. I didn't get to keep the table of course. My boss gave it to Moriah because it was considered to important a table for me to wait. Boss said they should have been seated in Moriah's section and it was a mistake."

 

He had been working in the restaurant longer than most of the current waitstaff, yet he still usually wound up with the problem tables and got his earnings docked. "Why do they hate me? Do I not work hard enough for them? I try not to complain or to mess up the customers orders, I really do. I never have that problem here." This coffee shop and Fukuzawa were his safe space.

 

Fukuzawa decided to leave the problem of Chuuya Nakahara for later as he ran his fingers through Dazai’s hair to help calm him. It seemed he'd have to get involved again in Heavenly Realm affairs much earlier than he wanted. He wasn't about to allow such a volatile and unstable god to be around his child. 

 

It was clear the destruction god had a vested interest in Dazai, and wherever Chuuya was , trouble never seemed to be too far behind. If Chuuya was in the Human Realm, chances are Kouyou or one of his fathers were as well. He'd make contact as soon as Dazai fell asleep or went home and find out what the young god wanted. Knowing Chuuya, he was already well aware of Fukuzawa’s presence and was purposefully staying away. With the training and power he had there had to have been a specific reason he was keeping himself away. It was a good thing he was yet to meet Ranpo or Yosano, he'd be able to spot their repressed magic from a mile away with his own experience with it.

 

Fukuzawa hummed softly. "Just be careful around Mr.Nakahara. He may seem nice enough with good intentions, but you never know what he's truly after. That man is still a mob boss, and a very dangerous and powerful one. Be cautious." He warned, hoping to keep his familiarity out of his voice.

 

"The way they treat you is not your fault Dazai, not even close. They target you because they know you don't have another choice but to take it. You're a struggling college student with three kids, you're overworked, and you've been mistreated your whole life. They want to take advantage of that and save themselves the money and trouble when they can. If they give you problem tables they give themselves a reason to dock your pay by blaming what happens o n you, even when it's not your fault." Fukuzawa explained, leading Dazai back behind the counter and towards the coffee presses to help him calm down.

 

Dazai relaxed a little upon being by the presses and unconsciously began getting ingredients down for hot chocolate. "I'll be careful, promise. I figure Chuuya will get tired of me soon enough. I know I'm not what he would be looking for in a partner, but I couldn't help but feel so safe when he was holding me tonight. He drove me here and even walked me to the door because of what happened last time I cut through an alley."

 

Fukuzawa smiled softly as he watched his child among presses. Being among the presses calmed all three of his children down, but not to the extent it calmed Dazai. He very carefully didn't allow his thoughts to drift to the child he had lost by giving her up. Dazai needed him now.

 

"Don't put yourself down like that, Dazai. Anyone would be lucky to have you, and if they love you, they will love your kids without hesitation. It will be because they're yours at first, but their charms would win your love over soon enough." He just hoped his son didn't set his sights on the destruction god or vice-versa. Dazai was already clearly enamored with the other god if his tones were anything to go by.

 

Dazai smiled faintly as he fixed the hot chocolate for himself and Fukuzawa. "You always say that. I'm not looking for anyone, father, I just want to graduate and provide a better life for my children. They deserve better." He said softly, the term of respect and endearment for Fukuzawa slipping out in his exhaustion. It wasn't the first time this had happened, nor would it be the last. 

 

Dazai usually wasn't aware of these little slip-ups, but he was tonight. He froze in the middle of adding the melted chocolate to the correct press and cringed as he waited for his ever patient boss to finally declare this the last straw and kick him out. Fukuzawa wasn't his father, as much as he wished otherwise, he was Sano and Ran's father.

 

Fukuzawa smiled softly and ruffled Dazai’s hair. "I've always thought of you as one of my children Dazai, and I'm honored that you think of me like a father figure. I know Yosano and Ranpo see you as their baby brother, they're fiercely protective of you, you know. I've had to keep them from hunting down different clients and workers from your other jobs and murdering them. You're as much a part of our family as anyone blood related to us." 

 

"Just like you want to provide a better life for your children, I wish you would let me help provide you with a better one. Gods know Yosano and Ranpo have tried to go behind both our backs and do so. However, I respect your decisions so I won't do so until you give me permission to help you."

 

Dazai smiled shyly. "I'll let you, Sano, and Ran get the kids whatever they want for Christmas." It was all he could bring himself to do right now, but his father and siblings would see it for the big step it was.

 

He turned his attention back to the press and finished pouring the chocolate in and then added the milk to the proper section before starting the press. Dazai was rapidly winding down and knew this would be a night he fell asleep in his father's office watching him go over paperwork. 

 

Fukuzawa couldn't help but smile and squeeze Dazai’s shoulder. "Thank you Dazai, I'm sure Ranpo and Yosano will be very very excited about this. Would you like to tell them or should I?" He asked, leaning back against the counter to simply watch his son.

 

Dazai hummed, only half present as he responded. "I'll tell Ran when I go home and I'll let Sano know tomorrow." He said dismissively.

 

His father smiled and nodded his head. "Okay then, make sure to tell me their reactions. I'm going to be in my office finishing up some paperwork if you need me and possibly on the phone with some old acquaintances I haven't spoken to in a while. Feel free to come in as always." After lingering a few more seconds to make sure Dazai was decompressing and would be okay he turned and walked into his office, leaving the door open a crack.

 

Dazai nodded absently as he started cleaning the supplies he had used to melt the chocolate and mix in the appropriate spices. When everything was clean and the hot chocolate was ready, he poured two cups and walked into his father's office. 

 

Dazai quickly noticed his father on the phone and smiled shyly as he held up the hot chocolate mugs, before carefully placing one on his father's desk, away from the paperwork. He then curled up on the nearby couch with his own mug and just cradled it between his palms as he listened to his father's soothing voice.

 

Fukuzawa smiled at Dazai and took a sip of the hot chocolate. "Verlaine, it's a pleasure to speak with you as always. I normally would have spoken with Kouyou on the matter, but it seems she's busy at the moment. I wanted to speak with you about your son, Arahabaki." He said in the ancient language, the phone held against his ear by his shoulder.

 

Verlaine raised an eyebrow. "Oh? You go missing for centuries and the first thing you do pertaining to any other god is speak to me about my son? You are aware Mori’s a mess, correct? He hasn't been the same since you left. Poor Elise misses you dearly as well. It took your husband a few centuries to convince her it wasn't her fault you left. He tries to make sure you don't come off as a bad guy, but the girl's convinced you abandoned them, not that she's wrong."

 

Fukuzawa grimaced at the mention of his husband and daughter before he sighed softly. "This isn't about me or my family, this is about Arahabaki, who's parading around the human realm under the name Chuuya Nakahara. He's made quite the name for himself and is living up to his title as god of destruction even with his human occupation of mafia boss. Seems he can't stay away from violence and tragedy, though that's not his fault. Normally I wouldn't care what Arahabaki does in his free time, it's none of my buisness. However, he seems to be quite infatuated with my son, and I want to know what he wants. I won't have him hurt Verlaine, the boy has been through enough." He kept his voice carefully level, making sure not to make accusations. Chuuya had gotten his temper from someone after all, and it wasn't Kouyou or Rimbaud. 

 

Verlaine raised an eyebrow. "Son? You have a daughter, but you and Mori never had any boys. So who is this son my Arahabaki is supposedly infatuated with?"

 

Arahabaki  was obsessed with a human by the name of Osamu. It was the only thing his son talked about anymore according to his mother . Rimbaud and himself had yet to speak with Arahabaki on the matter, all their information came from Kouyou, though his consort was planning to do so that night. Kouyou felt certain the boy was his fated consort, and he had to admit it was odd to see his son mooning over a human. Rimbaud complained they couldn't pry Chuuya’s phone out of his hands and their son was texting at all hours and making all sorts of silly faces. There was a lot of sighing involved as well. 

 

Rimbaud thought it was cute, Verlaine just wanted to see if this Osamu was worthy of his son. Arahabaki needed someone with a lot of empathy and love to give. Not everyone could accept his status as the god of Destruction. Chuuya would be devastated if the human ran away upon finding out his true nature.

 

Kouyou and Rimbaud thought Arahabaki ’s obsession over the human was adorable and young budding romance, but Verlaine was worried. If they were right and Osamu was their son ' s fated consort, the chances of him taking it well weren't high. Not after the tragedy Arahabaki had already experienced when it came to human and god pairs of fated consorts. 

 

Fukuzawa laughed softly and shook his head. "You're correct, Rintarou and I never had any sons together. Biologically the boy isn't mine, but he's very much my son. You should understand that better than anyone. His name is Dazai Osamu, Arahabaki apparently met him a few weeks ago after Dazai got wrapped up in his mess dealing with a few thugs. Your son returned his phone and wallet a few days later at my shop. That's at least the story Dazai told me of how they met." 

 

“I only just found out Arahabaki was in the Human Realm today, and that's only because he drove Dazai to the coffee shop. Now, I want to know what your son's intentions are with mine. I know Arahabaki's a good kid, but he's still a kid and an unstable one at that. Dazai is fragile and I won't have him toying around with my son like another one of his escapades." Fukuzawa warned, taking another sip of his hot chocolate and ignoring Dazai’s curious stare.

 

Verlaine hummed in agreement. "I do understand. If it helps, Kouyou thinks the boy is his fated consort. Rimbaud and I are going to sit him down and talk to him about all of this. I don’t think he's toying with your boy. If he is, I'll nip it in the bud myself. You have my word on that, Fukuzawa."

 

Dazai watched his father in interest at the beautiful language pouring out of his mouth. It wasn't one he recognized, but he wouldn't mind learning it if it was so pretty sounding. Slowly he began to drift off from a combination of exhaustion, and feeling safe in his father's presence and office while his father worked. He was unaware of his mug of hot chocolate toppling out of his hands towards the floor as he finally gave in to the sleep tugging at him.

 

Fukuzawa used his powers as a god to stop the mug from hitting the floor and instead floated it over to settle on his desk. He stood up and draped a blanket over his son's sleeping frame, a blanket kept in his office specifically for nights like these. "I'll hold you to that Verlaine." He said quietly before the line went dead.

Chapter Text

Chuuya looked up when his dads walked into his office and smiled at them. He had been checking his phone every few minutes while he worked to see if Dazai had texted him to say he had made it home safely. Dazai was exhausted from everything and needed to go home and rest. "Papa, Father, can I help you with anything?" Usually Verlaine was the one to stay late and help him with training schedules. Rimbaud would help with paperwork in general. 

 

Rimbaud smiled soothingly at his son. "We wanted to talk to you about this Osamu you seem so fond of. It's a very important conversation, Arahabaki, so please refrain from checking your phone while we talk." 

 

Chuuya guiltily set his phone down at the knowing look from his parents. "He hasn't texted to let me know he's home!! I dropped him off at his coffee shop to decompress after he was groped multiple times and had wine thrown on him, all because the bastard doing that knew the restaurant wouldn't come down on him for his behavior. Oh, I might have bought a restaurant, Verlaine."

 

Verlaine blinked in surprise but ultimately just sighed and shook his head. "Your mother will be happy about it at least. You may have decided to buy it as a personal decision, but it was a smart business move among the corporation side. But we're getting off track. Dazai Osamu, huh? You do know this boy has been claimed by Fukuzawa as his son, correct?"

 

Chuuya thinly avoided letting his surprise show. "I was aware his boss at the local coffee shop was a Fukuzawa, and I'll admit the thought did cross my mind that he may be the king's consort. I, however, wasn't aware of the fact that he had claimed Dazai as his son. How are we talking here?" He very much hoped Dazai was not related to Fukuzawa through blood. Mori would lose his head and probably kill the boy in a fit of jealous rage.

 

Verlaine smiled faintly. "Not biologically at least. Apparently it's similar to what Arthur and I have with you. He wants to know what your intentions are regarding his son. If you're only interested in the boy as a fling, he asks that you stay away."

 

Upon seeing the indignant look on his son’s face, Verlaine held up a soothing hand. "He wasn't saying that's why you're interested, just if you are to stay away. He said the boy is fragile and has been through a lot. Fukuzawa is fiercely protective of him, just as Arthur and I are of you." He and his consort would happily kill anyone that hurt their children. 

 

Chuuya huffed and leaned back in his chair. "I know he's fragile, I've observed him enough to get that. I'm not completely hopeless in social situations you know.  Not to mention I obviously had Hirotsu run background on Dazai immediately, I know enough about his past and his life to understand he doesn't need a fling or someone playing with him. I don't know what it is I feel for him or what I want. I just know I want to protect him and make him happy." 

 

"He's so amazing father, a little insane if you think about it, but amazing. He isn't even scared of me! He knows I'm a mob boss and he's been there when I make threats and was in the other room when I killed people, and yet he said he feels safe with me. Safe enough to relax into my touch and tease me like I'm so me kid he met in college!" Chuuya’s smile was awestruck as he shook his head in amusement and disbelief.

 

"If it was only a fling or a passing interest I would have gone for literally anyone else. I don't go after struggling or vulnerable people when I look for sexual partners, that's deplorable. I'm offended Fukuzawa would even insinuate such a thing, especially with how he handles the relationships in his life. He needs to come off his moral high horse. When it comes to Dazai, there's this weird need to protect him and dest ro y anything even remotely close to hurting or upsetting him. He makes my chest feel weird and my head all floaty. I thought he cursed me for a solid week after I first met him. I'm still not entirely convinced he didn't." Chuuya attempted to explain, but he had never been the most eloquent with words.

 

Rimbaud smiled soothingly at his son. "It's not a curse, Arahabaki. The feelings you're describing are what I feel for your father. What do you remember about consort bonds and how they manifest?" That was a lesson all divine children learned at their school in the heavenly realm. 

 

Chuuya furrowed his brows. "What does remembering a school lesson have to do with Dazai?" He demanded, sitting up a little straighter in his chair and crossing his arms. Consorts and their bonds weren't his favorite story, especially since he knew he didn't have a fated consort as the god of Destruction. No one would want to be attached to him and no one should have to be. It didn't matter, he didn't want a consort anyways.

 

Rimbaud smiled gently. "We'll get there, just answer the question, please?"

 

Chuuya sighed, but he did answer the question. "Usually consort bonds start out with both parties feeling somewhat enamored of each other, and depending on the strength of the bond, fiercely protective. As the bonded pair grow closer, the bond deepens. The different stages involve being able to sense each other's emotions, then talk to each other in their minds, then comes being able to show each other pictures and memories as a form of communication, and finally comes seeing through each other's eyes. Each consort reaches the next stage of the bond at a different pace. The fastest one being Mori and his consort. It's rumored that it only took them a year to go through all the stages."

 

Verlaine snickered as he nodded. "It only happened because they were both so stubborn and had trouble apologizing after their fights, so they relied on the bond to make sure the other still loved them."

 

Chuuya rolled his eyes and scoffed. "Yeah, and look how well that turned out. Fukuzawa fucked off to the Human realm for centuries and has had their bond blocked off for even longer while leaving his fated consort to pick up the pieces of himself and their daughter while trying to run a kingdom. If that's love I don't see why anyone would fucking want it. I'd rather lose control of my powers a thousand times over. You guys are the only 'fated consorts' I've seen actually work out and that's probably because you guys grew up together. Every other pair is just some half baked relationship completely reliant on the fact that they're fated to eachother. It's an illusion at best." 

 

“Weren't Mori and Fukuzawa a human and god pair originally as well? Those relationships are always worse off than godly pairs. It's a trag e dy waiting to happen. But I digress, you both know my feelings on it. What does any of this have to do with Dazai? If you're going to tell me I need to drop this little infatuation and start looking into taking a consort you can stop right now and screw off. I don't want a consort, not even one only in title. " He grumbled, uninterested in the process of cho o sing another god to be joined as a pair with and become consorts with them through marriage instead of the natural bond.

 

Rimbaud sighed quietly. "Mori and Fukuzawa were having a lot of disagreements before Fukuzawa left. The king was starting to grow mad with power and was abusing it. This was when you were in mourning, so you were unaware of everything. Fukuzawa asked him to stop and step back from running everything with an iron fist and spend more time with his consort and daughter. There was a huge fight and it amounted to, Fukuzawa could leave, but he couldn’t take Elise. No one expected him to actually go through with it. He did and until tonight, no one had heard from him since."

 

Chuuya rolled his eyes, even if he got more stiff at the mention of his grieving. "If Mori was being a power abusing dick and Fukuzawa wanted to leave, that's all good and fine for him. However they should have never got Elise caught in the crossfire. How could Fukuzawa just up and leave his daughter when they were fighting about Mori not spending enough time with them and going power hungry? Did it not ever cross his mind that he was leaving her in an unsafe environment? Luckily she wasn't and Mori snapped out of it, but there was always the pretty big possibility that Elise would be neglected or used as a chess piece. That's fucked up. Now she just thinks Fukuzawa hates her and regrets ever having her. She hates him right back. Great parenting." He felt significantly less okay with Dazai being around Fukuzawa and seeing him as a father figure now that he thought about it.

 

Rimbaud gazed at his son with a rueful smile, knowing this wouldn't go over well. It was best to rip the bandaid off now before he got too worked up over another topic. "Enough about Fukuzawa and Mori, there life isn't our business. We're not going to tell you to forget the boy and find a consort. Namely because he is your consort. Your mother told us that she felt certain of it last night when she checked in. Dazai Osamu is your fated consort, Arahabaki. That's why you feel so protective of him." 

 

Verlaine and Rimbaud braced themselves for the explosion that was bound to happen. Chuuya would not take this news well. He wanted nothing to do with consorts, fated or otherwise. 

 

Chuuya went completely still in his seat as the color drained from his face. "Excuse me?" He asked, voice devoid of emotion as he looked between his two dads, searching their faces for any signs that this was only a sick joke. When he didn't find any his eyes flashed red as he slammed his hand down on his desk, turning it to dust as he stood up and started pacing the room, floor cracking beneath him with every step. 

 

"Gods I'm such an idiot!! How the fuck did I miss this!?! I should have known!! God dammit the minute I met him I should have gotten the fuck out of Yokohama and never looked back!!" He yelled, throwing his coat off and sending it down through the floor into his mothers office. 

 

His jaw was clenched tight and his pacing didn't cease. He only gave slight pause when the windows of the mafia headquarters exploded and the power for the city went out, but he was quick to brush it off and continue dest ro ying random things in his office. Finally his reign of destruction came to a stop when the screams of subordinates he'd been killing without his consciousness knowledge reached his ears. Quickly he withdrew his powers back into himself and collapsed into his chair where he dropped his head into his hands.

 

"Of course it's Dazai. Why the fuck would it be anyone else? I knew it was too good to be true but I pursued it anyone. Shit. What the hell do I do?" Chuuya asked, looking up at his parents with a lost and defeated look in his eyes.

 

Rimbaud moved over and pulled his son into a hug. "You have a couple of options. You can walk out of his life, or you can see where this goes. You said yourself you were fond of the boy and protective. As he's human, you don't have to ever be more than friends if you don't want to."

 

Verlaine sighed. "You can also walk out of his life forever and give up any budding friendship. He will be hurt, but humans bounce back much quicker than we gods do. Just be aware that if you decide to change your mind later on, Fukuzawa will make it very difficult for you to get near the boy. We will support you, no matter what you choose."

 

Rimbaud moved over to lean against his consort. Verlaine smiled gently at his son. "If he weren't Fukuzawa’s adopted child, the third option would be to get rid of him. However, Fukuzawa was never someone to be messed with human or god."

 

The glare Verlaine received for that suggestion was murderous at best. "No one is touching a hair on his head unless they want to lose theirs." He growled before pausing and scrubbing his hands down his face. "I see it now. How the fuck did I miss that, seriously!? I haven't given two shits about a human in centuries and all the sudden I'm willing to murder my family for one. I'm an idiot."

 

Rimbaud smiled gently at his son. "Arahabaki, you don't need to make a decision now. How about you take some time away from the human realm and calm down? He knows you're a mob boss, you could send him a text and say you wont be able to talk for a while because of something to do with work. Dont wait for a reply and leave your phone here while you go to the heavenly realm and talk to your mother about all of this. She'll know better how to help you than we do. It'll give you time to calm down from the shock and make a rational decision."

 

Chuuya bit his lip and slowly nodded. "Okay. Yeah okay, I think that can work. I just… I don't want a consort but I don't want to hurt him either. I care for him even if that's just the fated bond talking. Can you guys let mom know I'm going back for a few days and that I'll see her there while I wrap everything up here?" He asked.

 

Verlaine nodded and ruffled Chuuya’s hair. "Of course. I'll go call her now." He agreed and slipped from the room. He sent a text to Fukuzawa briefly explaining the situation before calling Kouyou and telling her the play by play. 

 

Chuuya grabbed his phone off the ground and dusted it off before opening it and sending Dazai a quick text while Rimbaud watched over his shoulder to make sure he didn’t say anything too upsetting.

 

Hey Dazai, just thought I'd give you a heads-up that I won't be able to talk for a while. One of my executives are out on family leave so I'll be really busy dealing with their meetings and work load on top of my own. I'll have to go dark for a while, so I figured it right to give you notice so you don't sit there overthinking. I hope you understand. Stay safe and don't do anything stupid.

 

Verlaine walked back in and smiled. "Your mom and sister are looking forward to seeing you. Also, Dazai fell asleep while I was talking with Fukuzawa earlier. That's why he never told you he made it home. Apparently this isn't uncommon on nights like he apparently experienced earlier. Fukuzawa takes him home those nights."

 

Chuuya furrowed his brows in thought. He was glad Dazai was safe, even in the midst of this panic, but what about his kids?  He decided not to say anything as his father didn't seem to know about the kids and he would rather they not think badly of Dazai, even if he had no intention of pursuing him.

 

Rimbaud smiled gently at his son. "Take all the time you need, your father and I will handle things here until you get back. I know you’re probably torn a couple of different directions, even if you never wanted a consort, you found him and are protective of him. Just leave the restaurant information with us and we'll see to it." Arahabaki had likely interfered for his consort and if no one followed through on the restaurant, the poor boy might lose his job or get unflattering hours to work. None of which would make his son happy. 

 

Chuuya nodded at his dad's words. "Yes, the restaurant has to happen. They were being cruel to Dazai. They gave him the worst tables from the sounds of it, and apparently it's not uncommon for him to be hit upon or groped. If he manages to upset the customer in any way, he gets his wages and tips docked. The owner inferred that when he said Dazai could leave early after I stepped in and nothing would be docked. For that to even be added means it's happened before and frequently if how resigned Dazai looked was any indication."

 

Rimbaud frowned indignantly. "How is that place still in business? I don't care who they were treating like that, one doesn't treat their employees so badly in the hospitality industry. Waiters and Waitresses are supposed to feel safe enough to report people like that, not fear they'll lose their job or their hard earned wages." The mafia was cruel, yes, but Arahabaki didn't randomly pick subordinates that he disliked to go on more dangerous missions, nor did he come up with petty excuses to dock their pay.

 

Verlaine placed a calming hand on his husband's shoulder. "We'll correct that and hire a competent manager to run the place. I'll interview all the staff individually before I make any decisions about firing randomly." After all, some of them could have treated the boy like that in fear of losing their jobs. It wasn't uncommon in toxic workplaces for that to happen. He then looked at his son. "You need to get going, I promise we will do our best to respect whatever decision you reach."

 

Rimbaud nodded and leaned into the touch while Chuuya faked a gag. His papa smiled fondly. "You know Arahabaki, for someone twenty-two centuries old your sister is more mature than you." He teased, happy to see his son already starting to calm down by distracting himself.

 

Chuuya huffed as he stood up from his chair and handed his phone over to Verlaine, his father was the least likely to snoop through it. The same could not be said for Kouyou and Rimbaud. "She still sees the world through the innocent lens of a child."

 

Verlaine snorted and flicked his sons head. "I'd hardly count you as an adult, boy. You may be legally an adult in the Human Realm, but in the Heavenly Realm you're a baby."

 

Rimbaud laughed and lightly smacked Verlaines arm. "Oh hush, he's garnered more respect in the Heavenly Realm than most people do by triple his age."

 

Chuuya rolled his eyes. "I think you mean fear. The other gods' opinions of me are none of my concern. Mori leaves me alone and lets me do as I please, so I don't care. It was good seeing you both, even if we're parting much earlier than anticipated. I'll be back soon enough, being around only Kyouka and mom for any longer than a week will get me sent to a shrink." He joked. 

 

Chuuya hugged both his dads before grabbing his hat and using his powers to retrieve his coat. Once he'd made himself look a little more presentable so his mother wouldn't chew him out for his lack of class and manners he snapped his fingers and teleported himself to the Heavenly Realm.

 

Chuuya was tackled by a small blur of red and blue as soon as he arrived at his mother’s house in the heavenly realm. "You're here! You're here!" Kouyou walked into the room and smiled warmly. 

 

"Kyouka let your brother see your pretty face. He hasn't seen you in a while and I know he would like to actually see you instead of this creature hanging off of him," she teased gently. 

 

There was a whine before the blur detached itself from Chuuya to reveal his baby sister. She then looked up at her brother and pouted. "You never call or come visit me, Arahabaki."

 

Chuuya laughed as he lifted his little sister into his arms and tossed her in the air. "You wouldn't answer anyway! Don't act like you and Elise aren't attached at the hip." He teased as his little sister squealed with laughter.

 

Kouyou walked over to kiss her son’s cheek. "It's good to see you again, Arahabaki, even if it isn't under the best circumstances. Why don't you take your throwing of your sister outside and I'll call you in when tea is ready and we can discuss everything then. How does that sound?"

 

Chuuya nodded his head. "That sounds perfect, mother. We'll see you for tea." He kissed his mother’s cheek in return before tucking his sister under his arm. "Come on, you. Let's go play." Kyouka kicked her feet in delight and squealed. She had missed her big brother and hated that she couldn't be in the human realm with him.

 

Kyouka flopped in his arms so she could look up at her big brother, a curious gleam in her eyes now that she'd calmed enough to register her mothers words. "Why isn't it the best circumstances, Arahabaki? Are you in trouble?" She asked, a frown pulling at her lips.

 

Chuuya shook his head and tossed his little sister in the air again to distract her. "No Kyo, I'm not in trouble. I just need moms advice on something to do with the human realm." 

 

His reply only served to make Kyouka more interested. She caught herself using Chuuya’s shoulders and wrapped her legs around his waist so he couldn't throw her again. "What's the human realm like? I know you said I had to wait until I'm older, but I almost am old enough!! Father says in a few more months I should be able to go visit you for a short while!! I think I should know more about that place, just to be safe."

 

Chuuya raised an eyebrow. "Shouldn't they be teaching you about the human realm in school? My experiences there have been a lot different from most gods Kyouka."

 

The little girl pouted at her brother and poked his cheek. "A first hand account is way better than what they drone on about in the classroom! Your unique experiences mixed with the typical knowledge will only serve to better prepare me!" She defended.

 

Chuuya laughed and ruffled her hair. "When did you get so good at negotiation? I don't think mom would approve of your tactics."

 

Kyouka turned up her nose, looking eerily similar to a certain blonde godly princess. "I don't think mom approves of all the time you spend in the human realm either, but you still do it. If you must know, I learned it from King Mori. Elise and I have listened in on a few of his meetings."

 

Chuuya shook his head in amusement. "Do mom and Mori know you two have been listening in on meetings? Better yet, does Father? There's a reason you and Elise aren't allowed to sit in yet. You're both simply too young still."

 

Kyouka puffed her cheeks out. "You said as long as we don't get caught we're golden! What happened to the big brother who said that?"

 

"I believe that was in reference to sneaking sweets, not listening in on meetings. Honestly, Kyo. What are we going to do with you?" He tickled his sister's sides to help distract her. She was entirely too curious and like their parents and himself, relentless when she wanted information . It didn't help that her best friend was the Princess of the Gods, and as such very accustomed to getting anything she wanted. The one exception being her missing father.

 

Chuuya sobered at that thought. If Mori found out Fukuzawa was in Yokohama, he would stop at nothing to try and get his consort back. As much as he thought it might be funny, he didn't want Dazai to lose his parent figure and one of the few people that apparently cared about him. No, he wasn't supposed to be thinking about Dazai, at least not when he had his little sister in his arms wanting attention. 

 

Kyouka smiled sweetly up at Chuuya. "You could take Elise and I back to the Human Realm with you. Then you could watch us and make sure we don't listen in on any meetings."

 

Chuuya snorted and flicked her forehead. "You said it yourself Kyo, a few months and I'll be able to take you to the human realm. We'd have to talk to Mori and father about bringing Elise." He just had to bring them to the Human Realm, not Yokohama. He'd keep them as far away from there as possible.

 

His little sister whined and kicked her feet. "But I don't want you to go back to the Human Realm without me! You're never home, you never call, for all I know you could have run off like King Fukuzawa and I'd never see you again!" Kyouka's bottom lip trembled and her eyes started to water.

 

Internally Chuuya cursed under his breath as he started to bounce his little sister in his arms to sooth her. "Kyouka, I would never leave you like Fukuzawa left. I know I can be gone for a long time, but all of that will change soon when you can come to the Human Realm. I'll happily hang out with you and take a day off work whenever you want to. I can call you everyday from now on if that's what you want. Please don't cry Kyo." He cooed as he rubbed her back.

 

Kyouka sniffled as she peered up at Chuuya. "Why can't you just stay here until I can go to the Human Realm, or at least come visit more often?"

 

Chuuya sighed softly. "You know why Kyo. The gods aren't a fan of me, and things always get uneasy when I'm back up here for extended amounts of time. They're scared of me. It's easiest to stay in the Human Realm and keep things at peace instead of making everything tense here."

 

The little girl bit her lip as her eyebrows furrowed. "Baki, I don't understand why they're scared of you. You're not scary, you're really nice. No matter how much I tell people that, the kids at school don't believe me. They say you're a monster, but that doesn't make any sense because you're a god, and a really big softy. Why do they say you're a monster? I heard a lady tell mom a few days ago that you're 'nothing but a weapon Mori’s sharpening to use against us all.' What's that mean?"

 

Chuuya suppressed a flinch at the words coming from his sister and paused to try and think of a way to respond that she would understand. "… People are scared of me because of my powers. You know how I'm the God of Destruction? Well, that gives me a lot more power and freedom with what I control than most of the other gods. Almost anything can be twisted into a form of destruction, just like it's the same way with creation. I used to really struggle with my powers and lose control. I hurt a lot of people without meaning to Kyo, and at the time I was so young I didn't understand fully what happened. That's why people call me a monster. Mori sunk a lot of time and effort into getting my powers under control and stopping me from hurting people. Because of that I'm very loyal to him. That lady thinks Mori wants to use my powers and the fear people have in me to keep the other gods under control, but really Mori and I are just friends. He's kind of like our uncle."

 

Kyouka looked at her brother even more confused. "That doesn't make any sense. You were little and didn't have any control over what happened. That's like blaming the Goddess of Song for randomly singing during class before she had her powers under control. King Mori was only looking out for everyone's safety by helping you, even I can see that. Gods are stupid." She pouted, seeing the rest of the Heavenly Realms short sightedness as the reason she didn't get to hang out with her brother.

 

Chuuya smiled faintly as he ruffled his sister's hair. "They just fear what they don't understand. They don’t understand why I was the one born with such powers, both because you and I weren't born in a conventional method and because they don't understand why there needs to be a god of destruction in the first place. People don't like what they don't understand and that goes double for gods."

 

Kyouka scowled at the thought of the gods keeping her brother from her. "Then they're stupid. Mom is really powerful as well, and we learned that usually the more powerful the god, the more powerful their children. Some of my classmates have been trying to scare me, but I'm not. They say the demons and animals are getting restless and they're going to eat me because you want to be an only child."

 

Chuuya threw his head back and laughed. "Did you tell them that I don't control the demons or animals, and even if I did, I quite like having a little sister?" It wouldn't make everyone believe what they said about him anyway. He would track those kids down and have a chat with their parents, but it probably wouldn't do much considering gods and goddesses of all ages were terrified of him. However, nothing said he couldn't tell his mom what people were saying to her precious little girl.

 

Kyouka nodded sagely. "That's what I said, and then Elise started yelling at them."

 

"Arahabaki, Kyouka, the tea is ready! Come inside now so we can enjoy it." Kouyou called as she appeared in the doorway and smiled at the sight of her children together again. She knew Kyouka had missed her brother, but Arahabaki truly was better off in the human realm long term right now.

 

Chuuya smiled and carried his sister with him as he walked towards the house. "It seems like you and Elise have gotten even closer since the last time I saw you both. Tell her I said thanks for defending me." 

 

Kyouka nodded dutifully as she was set down and went running off to the living room where they always had tea as a family. Chuuya watched her go fondly before turning to his mother. "Has she told you the kids at school are being mean to her because she's my sister?" He asked, leaning back against the wall as he studied Kouyou.

 

His mother sighed and nodded her head. "She has and I told her to ignore it. The publics opinion of you has never been good and it's never changed. She knows who you really are and that everything they say is false, that's what really matters. I don't want her getting in trouble for defending you when it won't do anything. It upsets her, but it'll only get worse if she keeps reacting."

 

Chuuya clicked his tongue. "I just hate that she has to go through this. Me having to deal with it was one thing, but she didn't do anything to deserve this. It's not even her powers that they're afraid of, she just got the short end of the stick and wound up related to me. She can't control that."

 

Kouyou grabbed her sons ear and tugged. "You didn't do anything to deserve this either lad. Get that through your head. You didn't choose your powers and you never chose to cause the tragedies that happened. You couldn't control that just as much as your sister can't control who her brother is. Which incase you haven't noticed, she utterly adores you and wouldn't want anyone else as a brother."

 

Chuuya winced as his mother tugged his ear. "Okay, okay!! I get it, I didn't do anything to deserve their anger and fear."

 

Kouyou hummed as she looked at her son. "You know the ones worth knowing don't care about your powers. Do Nikolai and Sigma flinch from you?"

 

Chuuya snorted. "I don't think Niki flinches from anyone. Even the ones who upset him don't get a flinch, they get him at his craziest, just because he refuses to let them know they hurt him."

 

Kouyou nodded firmly. "Exactly, and I won't deny that you need to be away from their toxicity and you have flourished in the human realm."

 

"What am I, a budding flower?" Chuuya grumbled, pushing off the wall and making his way into the living room to find his little sister attempting to pour them tea. 

 

He quickly put a stop to that certain disaster by taking the kettle from her and setting it back on the tray before sitting next to her. "Were you trying to make it so mom would have to make more tea and you'd get more of my attention?" Chuuya teased.

 

Kyouka pouted and shook her head. "No, Elise has been practicing with me so I can serve the tea at our tea parties. I wanted to see if I could do it."

 

Chuuya laughed and poured the tea himself before handing a cup to both his mother and sister. "You can practice later with water, not scalding hot tea. Just because you'll heal quickly doesn't mean it wont hurt like a bitch."

 

"Language Arahabaki." Kouyou scolded and Chuuya had the decency to look sheepish as he scratched the back of his neck and flashed his mom an apologetic smile.

 

Kyouka looked between her brother and mom and when neither of them spoke up to start a conversation she huffed. "Is this some secret talk I'm not supposed to know about? Is that why Baki came home? Because he needed to tell you something?" She asked her mom.

 

Kouyou smiled soothingly to her daughter. "It's not because we don't trust you Kyouka, there's just some things you don't need to worry about at your age. Your brother is experiencing some… difficulties in the Human Realm and he needs my advice." She explained and took a sip of her tea.

 

Kyouka pouted at her brother and mother. "I can help! I'm a very good listener, you've both said it yourselves. Besides, the answer is obvious. Baki just needs to stay here with us!"

 

Kouyou shook her head with a fond smile. "I know you are, darling. However, you're still a little young for this particular conversation. I'm not ready to have it with you, no matter how ready you think you are. Stay my little girl a bit longer?"

 

"Fine! I want to go visit Baki soon though in exchange for not listening to the conversation."

 

Chuuya watched in amusement as his mother hid a smile while fixing her tea the way she preferred. "You drive a hard bargain, Kyouka. However, I think we can figure something out." In the grand scheme of things Kyouka's request wasn't anything they weren't already going to do. She didn't need to know that though.

 

Kyouka lit up and wriggled in her seat. "I'm going to hold both of you to that!!"

 

Chuuya reached over to ruffle his sister's hair. "We won't dare forget!" He teased as his mother nodded in agreement. He was and he wasn't looking forward to the conversation he'd have to have after tea.

 

Kyouka stayed in good spirits while finishing her tea quickly. "I'm gonna go play at Elise's house right now! That way you guys can have your secret conversation earlier and I can spend more time with Baki later!" She proclaimed and stood from her chair before kissing her brother and mother on the cheek.

 

"Behave and be safe, darling. I don't want Mori to call saying you set the kitchen on fire again!" Kouyou called out to her daughter fondly.

 

Kyouka whined as she quickly left the room and shouted over her shoulder. "That was one time!" Soon after the sound of the front door opening and closing was heard.

 

Chuuya sighed and shrunk down slightly in his seat as he rolled the tea cup in his hands. "So, you knew Dazai was my consort the whole time?" He asked, cutting straight to the point.

 

Kouyou sighed as she took another sip of tea. "I had my suspicions, yes."

 

Her son's eyes narrowed as his grip tightened on his cup. "And you didn't tell me, why? Mother, you know my feelings on consorts! If you had told me right away I'd have left well enough alone and let both of us carry on with our lives, not make it into the big tangled mess it is now!"

 

Kouyou stared down at her tea pensively. "I know your feelings, lad. However, I always wanted you to give it a chance. You know that, I chose to neither encourage nor discourage it." She then looked up at her son. "I had Hirotsu run a check on him when you first came back talking about the human and what the men encroaching on Mafia territory had done to him."

 

Chuuya tensed up at the reminder of his first meeting with Dazai and how much he had been bleeding. Then his mother’s words registered and he stared at her indignantly. "Why would you run a background check on him?! You were encouraging me to stay away…." He trailed off as he realized his mother had tried in her own gentle way to discourage his interest in Dazai.

 

Kouyou nodded her head. "As you have experienced first hand, we gods are not reasonable when it comes to consorts, even when we don't realize they're our consorts. The question now is, what do you want to do?"

 

Chuuya furrowed his brows. "What do you mean what do I want to do? You know how I feel about consorts. I came to see you to get some advice."

 

Kouyou sighed very softly. "Obviously the boy can't be killed with a certain King's consort having claimed him." One did not mention Fukuzawa by name in the heavenly realm if it could be helped. It was also easier not to draw Mori’s attention by using his name in conjunction with consort in way shape or form.

 

"The other two options are you can have the bond dissolved and we will erase the boy's memories of you. The final option is you give the bond a chance and see where it leads. Both of you are different from the usual cases. He's a college student with three small children, and you’re a Mafia Boss who happens to be the god of destruction." She wasn't sure what option her son would choose or if he even heard her past the talk of killing his consort. Kouyou was leaning towards no if the furious look on his face was any indication. 

 

"Why do you and Father both think that I would ever be okay with killing him? Just stay away from Dazai," Chuuya snarled at his mother before realizing what he was doing. "I did the same thing to Father when he suggested that earlier, though with more violence. Is this what a consort does? Turn you against your family and loved ones?" He didn't see why anyone thought a consort was something to be celebrated. In his mind they just brought trouble.

 

Kouyou sighed softly and shook her head. "No Arahabaki, that's not what they do. They make you protective and hostile towards anyone who wants to bring harm to them. If your father and I were being more considerate with our words you wouldn't be reacting that way at all. It's a gut instinct to get so violently protective of him right now, but that's only because the bond is so new. As it grows those feelings fade to more normal, manageable levels. If I were to say something similar to Verlaine he'd be able to react rationally thanks to his deeply developed bond with Rimbaud." She explained.

 

"You have to remember Arahabaki, consorts are family and loved ones even if you don't consider them as such. They're like the humans husband and wife. At the end of it all you're supposed to put them above everyone else because they're the person you'll spend the rest of your life with. Usually the idea of killing someone's consort is never tossed around, that's why your reaction is the way it is. If you were anyone else we said that to we'd probably be dead. Your reactions are actually quit mild thanks to your dislike of consorts. Nikolai nearly murdered all of Russia when his consort told him about his spats with the Russian government after they first met." Kouyou attempted to put everything into perspective for her son who now looked greatly confused.

 

"Niki has a consort? Since when?" Chuuya asked, eyebrows furrowed as he tried to figure out how he missed that.

 

"That's not the point of this convers-" Kouyou started before getting cut off at the appearance of two more gods walking into her living room. 

 

"About a century and a half ago! You were in Dubai at the time if I remember correctly. Dos-kun is absolutely dreamy!" Nikolai exclaimed as he flopped down and sprawled over Chuuya’s lap.

 

Sigma sighed and rubbed at his forehead. "Sorry for the intrusion and for him. We were downtown at Nikolai's shop when we heard a rumor Arahabaki was back and I couldn't keep him from running here immediately." He apologized before being yanked down by Nikolai to join him on the floor. 

 

"Exactly! I heard our dear friend ChuChu was back in the Heavenly Realm and I just had to go see his shining grumpy face for myself!" Nikolai poked Chuuya’s cheeks who swatted at his hands.

 

Chuuya frowned down at Nikolai who tilted his head in return. "Why didn't you tell me you met your consort?" He asked.

 

Nikolai laughed so hard he had tears slipping down his cheeks before Sigma dug his elbow into his flamboyant friends side to get him to calm down. "Oh ChuChu, never change. You were so bitter back then about consorts! I don't even want to imagine what your reaction would have been had I shown up and said 'Hey ChuChu, you know how you hate consorts and everything they bring? Well guess what? I just found mine and he's a human!' You would have lost it!"

 

Chuuya gawked down at Nikolai. "He's a human?!"

 

Nikolai pouted. "You say that like it's a bad thing. And correction, he was a human, he already ascended. Besides, Sigma and I were human before ascending. Does that mean you love us less ChuChu?" He batted his eyelashes which earned him a snort from Sigma and a flick to the forehead from Chuuya.

 

"I have nothing against humans or humans who ascend. I just think human and god consort - ships are especially stupid." Chuuya defended.

 

"I don't know~. Siggy, what do you think? I think ChuChu doesn't love us after so much time spent in the Human Realm." Nikolai whined playfully.

 

Sigma cringed at the name and elbowed his friend again. "Don't call me that. Arahabaki's pheromones are the exact same around us as they've always been, though there's something new there not pertaining to us."

 

Chuuya shot the half toned god a warning look but the damage had already been done. Nikolai looked like the cat who caught the canary as he sat up and wiggled his eyebrows at Sigma. "Oh? Please do inform the rest of dear God of Lust. What is it you sense different in our favorite angry gnome?"

 

Nikolai rolled away from Chuuya and narrowly avoided the slap that was aimed at the back of his head. He stuck his tongue out at the God of Destruction before turning his gaze back to Sigma who sighed. "It's the same pheromones I found on you after you met your weird consort and didn't know how to react to it."

 

A set of bi colored eyes snapped to Chuuya, carefully blank of any emotion. "You met your consort?"

 

Chuuya sighed and nodded his head, taking a sip of tea to hide his expression behind it. "I did."

 

Sigma cut in before Nikolai could ask anymore questions. "And seeing as it was in the Human Realm, they're a human. I'm guessing you're here because you're running away from your feelings on the situation." He said indifferently, knowing it would get a rise out of Chuuya.

 

"I am not running away! He's a human and I met him a few weeks ago. I only figured out he's my consort today and I wanted to speak with my mother about what to do." Chuuya retorted, earning an eye - roll from Sigma.

 

"Why do you need to figure out what to do? He's your consort, hooray. That doesn't change who he is as a person. If you just figured out he's your consort that means you stayed in touch with him. To do that you must have liked him well enough as just some random human. Nothing had to change because of the new information, you're just putting to much stock into it. You're letting consorts control your life. Isn't that what you don't want? Don't let a bond decide your relationship with him, whether that be a romantic relationship or no relationship at all. If you want to keep him as a friend, do it. No one said you have to be more. Such a brutish idiot." Sigma antagonized. It was always best to get through to Arahabaki using his own emotions against him.

 

Kouyou smiled at Sigma. "Thank you, Sigma. I told him much the same thing but he stopped listening after I said killing the boy was out and threw a tantrum." She then turned to look at her son. "I also said you could just see where things go with him. The other option was getting rid of the bond and erasing all his memories of you."

 

Nikolai made a face. "That's no good, if ChuChu gets rid of the bond, he's just going to be a pain in everyone's ass."

 

Chuuya ignored Nikolai to focus on his mother. "I never heard you say that." He accused, while trying not to let anyone know how the idea of Dazai forgetting him made him feel. He didn't like that idea one bit. The idea of never seeing Dazai smiling while playing with his coffee presses or texting him at three in the morning because he had been studying and couldn't sleep, hurt. It hurt a lot.

 

Kouyou smiled mildly. "That's because you stopped listening after the first option, which was never really an option at all. If Niki is advocating for you to give your consort a shot, don't you think he and Sigma have the right of it? You don't have to become romantically involved with the boy if that's not what you want. Besides, I think right now he needs a friend first and foremost. You're already doing that, because you text him at all hours."

 

Chuuya automatically protested, even if anyone who knew him could tell his mother’s comment was true. "I don't text him at all hours!"

 

Kouyou raised an elegant eyebrow. "No? Then why did Verlaine call me to say you were on your phone at three in the morning while smiling like a fool?"

 

"It was work related!!"

 

Sigma rolled his eyes and threw a pillow at his friend. "Oh please, you don't smile like a fool for work. If anything you complain about having to sit still and plan or sit still and do paperwork. It's why someone always joins whatever organization you take over, so they can keep you from setting all the paperwork on fire."

 

Nikolai grinned gleefully. "My Dos-kun likes paperwork! I don't know why, but he claims it's soothing. I can't complain though, he's taken over all the paperwork for my shop and everything runs much smoother. He even let's me sit on his lap while he does paperwork!" He winked at Chuuya and wiggled his eyebrows.

 

Sigma rolled his eyes at Nikolai this time while Chuuya faked a gag. "Control yourself, Niki. I don't need to be inundated with the amount of lust you feel for your consort."

 

"Lighten up, Siggy! Everyone should know how I feel about Dos-kun!!" Nikolai grinned wickedly at Chuuya. "You can't tell me ChuChu isn't feeling any lust or having dirty thoughts about his?! Seriously, ChuChu, just give the guy a chance, you won't regret it. Besides, do you want someone else swooping in and stealing him away? I killed the ones that thought they could take my consort from me."

 

Sigma cast a glance at Chuuya and wrinkled his nose. "At the moment he isn't. Though maybe he's just sexually impotent and can't even think of people sexually anymore." Nikolai snickered and Chuuya threw a teacup at Sigma's head.

 

"You fucker! I'll have you know I've had plenty of thoughts about bending Dazai over! I'm not fucking sexually impotent, I have sexual thoughts all the time!" Chuuya argued before realizing what his friend did and glaring. 

 

"So you have sexual thoughts about him and you like him as a person. I'm failing to see the problem here. A consort is just like any other relationship except the feelings are heightened and it's more likely to last. You're just being a stubborn idiot." Sigma sassed and crossed his arms, giving Chuuya an unimpressed look. 

 

"Siggy s right. You know I never wanted to be in a relationship. Then I met Dos-kun and I had all these feelings! It was scary at first and I manipulated my personality to try and make them go away but Siggy didn't let me. Now I've been with Dos-kun forever and he loves me unconditionally! He even let's me wear hi s hat!" Nikolai exclaimed proudly even though that me a nt n othing to Chuuya.

 

Chuuya sighed and rubbed his temples. "Will you both fuck off if I agree to stay friends with him? Also Niki can never say anything about 'sitting in Dos-kun's lap' again." 

 

Nikolai grinned brightly. "Deal!! I won't need to tell you about it anyways! Siggy and I are coming back with you to the human realm and I'll get to see Dos-kun all the time then!!"

 

Sigma patted Chuuya’s shoulder and elaborated at the confused look he received from the destruction god. "Nikolai decided it would be best if we came with you down to the Human Realm for 'moral support' with the anniversary coming up. He also gets to be with his consort more, so it's a win win for him. As always I'm being dragged along in his hair brained schemes."

 

Chuuya tilted his head in question. "Why's his consort in the Human Realm?"

 

Nikolai suddenly deflated and crossed his arms with a pout. "Because Dos-kun wanted to go to college. He didn't get around to it when he was a human, and he finds the Heavenly Realm boring. He needs to stimulate his brain or he'll go stir crazy according to him. He comes home after classes, but it still sucks he's so far away for so many hours! And then there are nights he stays down there for so long in the library to study because I'm 'too distracting' and he won't get anything done."

 

Sigma sighed. "They're currently fighting at the moment because Nikolai's consort said he demands too much of his attention when he was at home, so Niki has refused to talk to him at all since or ask for a minuscule amount of attention. He's going crazy without it and has decided to make up for the lack of attention by talking about his precious Dos-kun non stop. The man hasn't been home in days."

 

Chuuya rolled his eyes. "And you wonder why I don't want a consort." He scoffed.

 

Nikolai narrowed his eyes. "Don't blame that on our consort bond. It's normal in any relationship, human, god, consort, dating, or married. People fight and argue, that's the way relationships work. What's important is you learn and grow from the experience and overcome it. If you can't do that and let a single argument ruin everything you either don't love them or aren't mature enough to be in a relationship. I'm simply giving Dos-kun space to cool down and allowing him to see the error of his ways."

 

Chuuya frowned. "Dazai deserves better than me. He needs someone that can dote on and spoil him without dealing with all my baggage. No matter what he ascended to become, he wouldn’t be accepted because he's my consort."

 

Kouyou shook her head. "He's a bright young man from what you've said. Why don't you let him decide that. Besides, I thought you just wanted to be friends?"

 

Chuuya flushed at being called out by his mother. "I'm not saying I'm going to accept the bond, just if I did he deserves better."

 

Nikolai rolled his eyes and chucked a pillow at Chuuya. "That isn't your choice. He's the only person that could hypothetically decide whether or not you're worthy of him. I went into my consort bond thinking that way, and let me tell you it only fucks things up. Dos-kun and I got in so many fights about who deserved what and it lead to a lot of unnecessary tears and anger. It's only going to make everyone involved feel like shit."

 

Chuuya shrugged his shoulders. "Well, I'm not worried about that considering we're only going to be friends." He defended.

 

Sigma groaned. "Both of you hush. Whatever happens happens and Arahabaki can deal with it then and you can give all the advice you want then Nikolai. When are we going down to the Human Realm?"

 

Nikolai perked up at that question. "Let's go now!! I want to surprise Dos-kun!"

 

Chuuya raised an eyebrow. "What happened to giving him space to realize his wrong doings?" He asked, genuinely curious. He regretted that question when Nikolai flopped down over his legs again.

 

"I forgot about that. I just miss Dos-kun, it sucks without him even if he's a stupid jerk who doesn't want to give me attention. I just want to look at his stupidly handsome face!! Is that so much to ask for!! I want his pretty eyes on me and only me when I get to spend the few hours a day with him I'm allotted because apparently school is more important!! Stupid Dos-kun!! Stupid stupid stupid!" Nikolai cried out dramatically while Sigma sent Chuuya an accusing look for bringing it back up.

 

Kouyou smiled gently at the boy sprawled across her sons lap. "I'm sure he was just stressed out Nikolai. It's no excuse for what he said, he knows how much attention you need and how sensitive you are, but you should try to see it from his side. He probably didn't mean it."

 

"Yes he did! He wouldn't be off doing who knows what in the Human Realm for days if he didn't mean it!! Dos-kun never let's things fester, he thinks it's a waste of time when he could just fix it!! He's probably out with someone else giving them all his attention and not even thinking about me!!" Nikolai wailed and Sigma face palmed.

 

"Nikolai, no matter what your issues with your consort are at the moment, it's not your decision when we go back. That all depends on when Arahabaki’s comfortable. If you want to fix things with him do it on your own time and go to the Human Realm you r self." Sigma cut off his friend's whining and looked to Chuuya for an answer.

 

"I can't go to the Human Realm by myself. I don't like it there." Nikolai mumbled and was promptly ignored.

 

Chuuya shrugged his shoulders. "In a few days I guess. I think Kyouka would kill me if I went back today. She was complaining earlier about how long it's been since she's seen me."

 

Nikolai booed. "So spend the day with her and then we can go tonight. I know this cafe that Dos-kun has mentioned. Supposedly this place has themes each week and decorates accordingly. I saw it in a text chain with one of his classmates. Dos-kun apparently goes there to study when it's a group assignment, and the other place is the Neko Coffee Shop, their coffee is to die for. He brought me some home once."

 

Chuuya very carefully did not react to the name of Dazai’s favorite work place. Nikolai and Sigma would smell the interest on him if he reacted. He also had to keep the surge of jealousy at bay. It was irrational to be jealous of the mere thought another god might have interacted with Dazai besides Fukuzawa and Chuuya himself.

 

"Arahabaki can't just do that, Kyouka would have a massive tantrum, and no one wants to listen to her cry, especially when it sets Elise off as well." Sigma protested, not caring that they wouldn't be here to hear said tantrum. Everyone would complain to him because they were scared of his friends.

 

Kouyou laughed softly. "I will handle your little sister, Arahabaki. If you want to go back tonight, I will manage Kyouka."

 

Nikolai clapped his hands in glee. "Look at that, problem solved!! Let's go find that little sister of yours so we can go to the Human Realm! I want to see where Dos-kun has been hanging out!"

 

Sigma rolled his eyes. "Don't pretend to have such innocent intentions. We all know you’re hoping to see him and figure out what he's doing. That and you also want to see what he's up to and where he's going when he's getting home so late. You're paranoid." He accused.

 

"I am not!" Nikolai snarked back.

 

"Shut up, both of you. I don't care what Niki wants to do, that's up to him whether or not he hurts his own feelings by letting his imagination get away from him. Kyouka went to Mori’s to hang out with Elise. We can go there or we can wait for her to come home." Chuuya cut in.

 

"I vote we go see her now. She'll be upset if her time is cut short with you because she was with Elise, who she gets to hang out with all the time." Sigma reasoned.

 

"But if we wait until she gets back then when she throws a fit about ChuChu leaving Elise wont be there to also lose it." Nikolai shot back.

 

Chuuya bit his lip in thought. His friends both had valid points. After a few short moments of deliberation he came to a conclusion that had nothing to do with his little sister.

 

"We'll go now and see her." He decided as he finished off his tea.

 

If he didn't at least s ay hello to Mori , Chuuya would never hear the end of it. Not only that, but once the king caught wind he was petty enough to show up in the Human Realm just to annoy the young God of Destruction. Being so close to his consort was bound to set of f signals in Mori and everything would go to shit from there.

 

Nikolai cheered while Sigma sighed and glanced at Kouyou to save him. Dealing with Mori, Elise, and Kyouka? He'd rather not, especially with the additions of Arahabaki and Nikolai. 

 

Kouyou laughed warmly. "Very well, good luck with your tea party boys." Upon seeing the deer in the headlights look from all three, she smiled. "Kyouka and Elise have multiple tea parties a day. Their favorite is when they convince Mori to attend, and now they'll have three new guests." Her son was excellent with his little sister, but a big tea drinker he was not. Arahabaki, like Mori, preferred coffee.

 

Chuuya groaned to himself. "If it makes her happy, I suppose I can deal with it."

 

Nikolai had caught on to something else. "Do they get Mori into a dress for these tea parties?" He laughed at the looks of horror and disgust on his friends faces. "What? I make costumes for a living, so this should get me some good business from Mori and Elise. Dos-kun always says I should take advantage of every opportunity thrown my way."

 

Chuuya shook his head. "We didn't need the idea of Mori in a dress, Niki. Thanks a lot." He grumbled, moving over to kiss his mother’s cheek. "Let me know when Kyo's able to visit. I'll clear my schedule and take her a couple of places that day." 

 

His little sister wouldn't be allowed to stay in the human realm for more than a day or two. It took time for the younger gods to adjust to the Human Realm. Kyouka would be allowed a couple of visits a month for the first three months or so. If she took to it well, she would be able to try staying with them a few weeks to a month on a trial run before getting to live in the human realm with them full time .

 

Kouyou smiled warmly and laughed. "Like your little sister will let me forget. I'll have to talk to your father first, so I'll let you know as soon as we come to a conclusion. Now off with you three before you miss introductions. Please do tell me if Mori ends up in a hot pink boa and princess crown at some point."

 

Chuuya snorted. "I'll take that over Mori in a dress any day. At least that's funny and not traumatizing. If I see any pink feathers, I'll let you know."

 

Nikolai wrinkled his nose as he rolled of Chuuya’s lap. "A man in a dress is not traumatizing ChuChu. So old school." He reprimanded.

 

"Your right, it isn't. However, Mori in a dress is. Do you really think his pale white legs will look good framed by ruffles and pleated edges?" Chuuya shot back.

 

Nikolai shivered in disturbance at the idea."Okay, I take it back. Dos-kun was wrong, some opportunities need to be passed up no matter what gain you might get from it. I could never forgive myself if I was the reason that became anything more than nightmare fuel."

 

Sigma sighed loudly to get their attention. "Let's go, you can argue and be traumatized later. None of this will matter if we can't even get there within the next day."

 

Nikolai began bouncing again. "We should go to the themed cafe to eat tonight!"

 

Chuuya and Sigma both made a face behind their friend's back. That was anything but appealing. However, Niki rarely got so excited about things involving the human realm. They could indulge him for one little meal. He would either love it or hate it, but the costumes might give him ideas of his own. No matter their thoughts on the matter, Chuuya and Sigma always tried to support Niki's artistic endeavors.

 

Nikolai grabbed his friends arms and then teleported them right into Mori’s living room. Kyouka and Elise were indeed in the middle of a tea party, however Mori was staring at a portrait of Fukuzawa and baby Elise that hung above the fireplace.  It showed he was thinking about his consort again. 

 

Kyouka pouted as she threw herself at her brother. "No fair! No fair!! You were supposed to come get me as soon as you finished talking to mom, not get Niki and Siggy!!!"

 

Chuuya laughed as he poked his sister's nose. "They invaded the house right after you left. You know Niki drags Sigma around like a rag doll." 

 

Sigma nodded as he gave Kyouka a long suffering look. "It's not as fun as you think it is. I get dragged here, there, everywhere! His consort thinks it's adorable and does nothing to stop him."

 

Chuuya snickered as he looked at his friend. "At least he's not jealous of you?" Sigma might be the god of lust and empathy, but he himself was very happy remaining single.

 

Sigma huffed, finally looking more than mildly annoyed and actually disgruntled instead. "Oh trust me, he very much was in the beginning. Though I put an end to that quickly." He cast a quick glance to Elise and Kyouka to let Chuuya know it wasn't a child friendly story.

 

Nikolai playfully pouted at Kyouka. "What's the matter Kyouka? Do you not like us anymore now that your big brothers back?"

 

Kyouka's eyes widened and she shook her head. "Of course I still like you guys! I just wanted to spend some alone time with Baki." She said softly.

 

Chuuya smiled gently at her and ruffled Kyouka's hair. "You'll get to. Mom's probably talking to father right now about you coming to the Human Realm soon. She said she would when we left."

 

Kyouka furrowed her eyebrows. "That means I won't get to spend time with just you and me now, doesn't it?" She asked, fiddling with her fingers in her lap.

 

"I'm afraid not Kyo. I've got to go back tonight and continue on with bu si ness as usual. I more or less resolved what I needed to here and with mom back in the Heavenly Realm things are vulnerable at work." Chuuya tried to explain.

 

Kyouka looked up at her brother with tears in her eyes. "Dad and Father are there. Can't they handle things for a few days?"

 

"No, unfortunately not. My people don't know our dads very well. I still have to be there for reports and such. I know it's not fun for you, but I need to be there for my people. When you come to visit though, I'll take the day and we'll do whatever you want. That's a promise."

 

Mori turned from the portrait and smiled faintly. "I do wish you didn't have to hurry off, Arahabaki. We haven’t had a chance to continue your chess lessons." He knew Arahabaki was very happy for that, the boy still hated sitting still for very long.

 

Chuuya didn’t try to hide his glee as he faked a frown and wrinkled his nose. "What a pity. I've been looking forward to them for centuries." He said sarcastically.

 

"You know, I'm starting to think you throw yourself into your work so much just so you can get out of them." Mori accused playfully and Chuuya laughed

 

"Unfortunately I'm not. You know how difficult it is to run an empire, even if I'm doing it on a much smaller scale. The humans have so many rules and regulations and since it's a ruling jobs and not lives, even the underground side of everything has cert ai n criteria that has to be met for the subordinates to work efficiently and not tr y to overthrow me. Humans are difficult." Chuuya waved a hand dismissively like the very thought of it was tiring.

 

"Yes, I much prefer being a king over being a boss. I don't have to answer to anyone, you still have to worry about the Japanese government. A pity you haven't taken them out yet."

 

"They're key players. Why would I get rid of a perfectly good knight just because he has a little bit of attitude. That can be corrected with the proper amount of discipline and training. They're much to valuable to get rid of just yet. They get me what I want for legality, and so long as they continue to do that they' ll live." Chuuya explained.

 

Mori smirked. "It seems you like chess much more than you let on Arahabaki."

 

Chuuya made a face. "Not even, but you've made me play it so many times I naturally speak in chess terms around you. So you see, it's really all your fault. I was perfectly happy not being able to throw those terms around."

 

Mori smiled in amusement. "Chess is very helpful, Arahabaki, as you have so clearly realized yourself. It helps you think ahead and be a more effective ruler. Now, surely your business can run efficiently without you for a few days? Kyouka and Elise have both missed you dearly."

 

Chuuya shook his head. "I'm afraid not. If mother was there I could, but I'm afraid my subordinates aren't used to dad and father, and as such are less likely to obey any orders from them. You know it takes the humans a while to warm up to change."

 

Mori sighed. "Yes, troublesome creatures really. They're minds work so slow and they have no sense of respect for those above them." He shook his head in amusement, they made for good entertainment.

 

"You know you find them interesting. After all, what's more entertaining than playing chess with pawns who don't even realize how low down they truly are or that they're even being manipulated? I've found humans can be quite unpredictable, even when they know there's a greater power dangling over their head." Chuuya mused.

 

"You would know better than most after all the time you've spent there Arahabaki. I don't think I'll ever understand why you choose to stay down there though. Public opinion of you isn't favorable here, but it's not any better in the Human Realm. Becoming a mafia boss tends to have the effect of making people fear you." Mori lifted a tiny pale pink teacup to his lips and Nikolai had to stifle a laugh into Sigma's shoulder, who was also struggling to not react to the sight.

 

Chuuya smiled and had no qualms about laughing. "Mori, it's hard to take you seriously when you look so ridiculous. Either way, I didn't come here to talk cryptically about my life and the Human Realm. If you want to do that I can schedule a later date for us to meet. For now, Kyouka, what would you like to do? The choice is yours on what we do."

 

Kyouka looked up at her brother. "I want you to have a tea party with me. Pink cups and all, Sigma and Niki have to do it too."

 

Chuuya smiled at his little sister. "If that's what you want, Kyo, I'll do it. I can't speak for Niki and Sigma though. You know that."

 

Nikolai grinned and happily plopped down next to Chuuya, who has taken a seat next to his sister. "I will gladly have a tea party with you Kyouka! It'll be so fun! I like your pink tea cups."

 

Sigma wrinkled his nose and looked to the door. "I have… godly duties to attend to. I'll have to join you at a different date."

 

Chuuya raised an eyebrow as Nikolai grabbed Sigma's hand and yanked him down to sit next to them. "Sit down and have tea before I make up with Dos-kun solely to have him fuck me in your room." Nikolai hissed under his breath so only his two friends could hear him.

 

Sigma paled and sighed deeply. "Fine, I suppose my duties can wait. Tea is supposedly good for the mind." He forced out.

 

Nikolai was all smiles again as he looked at Kyouka. "We're yours to command, Miss Kyouka."

 

Chuuya’s little sister lit up as she began whispering excitedly to Elise. The little blonde princess nodded before taking off to her room and returning with multiple feather boas. Chuuya was given a blue one, Niki green, Sigma a purple, and Mori was granted the hot pink feather boa.

 

Elise looked up at her dad. "We don't have enough tea and food for six people!! Can we go get some more dad?"

 

Mori smiled indulgently at his daughter. "You'll miss your tea party if we go buy treats. If you ask nicely, Arahabaki might help you make cookies for the tea party or your Aunt Kouyou might send snacks."

 

Chuuya shot Mori a death glare over the little girls heads. He hadn't made those cookies in centuries! The last time had been Kyouka's fourth Christmas. Sigma snickered and elbowed Chuuya, taking a great amount of pleasure in his friend having to do something he doesn't want to like he had to stay for the tea party. 

 

"Come on ChuChu, for the tea party! Besides, you're already robbing your little sister of time with her beloved brother. The least you could do is make cookies with them before we have to go." Nikolai teased, making sure his voice sounded completely sincere.

 

Kyouka blinked up at Chuuya with big puppy dog eyes, her bottom lip jutted out. "Please Baki?" She pleaded quietly.

 

Chuuya groaned but nodded his head. "Alright, Kyo. I'll make your cookies." Under his breath he hissed at Nikolai and Mori. "No leftovers and you each only get half of one a piece for bringing that up."

 

Mori gave Chuuya his best wounded look. "That's very stingy for a tea party, Arahabaki."

 

Chuuya shook his head. "No, you and Niki are watching your figures, so that means Elise and Kyouka get your portions. Isn't that right, Elise?" The little girl had an insatiable sweet tooth, and getting extra at her father and Nikolai's expense wouldn't phase her.

 

Elise nodded her head quickly, blonde curls bouncing. "Yep!! More for me and Kyo!! That's perfect, thanks Baki!!"

 

Chuuya smiled smugly at Mori and Nikolai. "See? I even have permission, so you can't whine about it."

 

Nikolai huffed. "Like hell I can't." He grumbled before flopping down on top of Chuuya and starting to loudly complain. "I need my portion of the cookies ChuChu!! I can't live without them! I'll die if I don't get them!! First you call me fat and then you try to kill me!! Why do you hate me Arahabaki?! I've only ever been nice to you!! You're one of my bestest friends and this is the treatment I get!? Way to kick a man while he's down!! First Dos-kun doesn't love me, and now you don't either!! Both of you think I'm annoying and ugly and that's the real reason you're both always in the heavenly realm!! I should just glamour myself invisible so you never have to look at my hideous, fat, annoying self again!!!" He wailed at the top of his lungs as fake tears rolled down his cheeks.

 

Sigma's eye twitched at his friends dramatics but before he could yell at him Kyouka was pulling him into a hug and wiping at his tears. "It's okay Niki! I'm sure Baki didn't mean it like that. I think you're beautiful and your real personality is one of the best one's ever! You can have some of my cookies if it makes you feel better." She offered.

 

Nikolai sniffled and looked at the little girl innocently like he hadn't just manipulated her into giving him the cookies. "You'd really do that for me Kyo? You're the best!" He perked right back up and ruffled her hair.

 

Sigma scoffed and tugged harshly at Nikolai's braid. "Do you have no shame?"

 

Nikolai flashed him a quick grin that the girls couldn't see. "Not when it comes to ChuChu's cookies." He winked and got smacked upside the head, a pout quickly replacing his smile.

 

"You can have my cookies, jerk. Don't take them from a little girl who just wants to spend time with her brother." Sigma relented, going in to what he knew Nikolai really wanted. No matter how much he liked Chuuya’s cookies he would never take them from Kyouka.

 

"You would do that for me Siggy?! Aww you're so sweet!! I knew you loved me! At least someone here does." Nikolai gave Chuuya a pointed look as he clung to Sigma. The god had given up on escaping his friend at that point and resigned himself to his fate o f being hung off of and laid on.

 

Elise pouted and shook her head. "No!! You don't get cookies for trying to take them from Kyo and Siggy!! You get what Baki gives you. If you apologize to Baki, he will give you and dad more cookies. Right, Baki?"

 

Chuuya nodded as he fought off a laugh. "That's right, what if I wanted to take my favorite girls out for crepes and you and Mori ruined that surprise by insisting I make cookies."

 

Elise and Kyouka both perked up at the mention of crepes. Kyouka immediately tugged on her brother's arm. "We can go out for crepes, Elie and I don't mind. Honest!!" Who wanted cookies when they could have crepes?

 

Chuuya smiled as he ruffled his sister's hair. "Crepes then?" 

 

Nikolai pouted. "That's not fair, ChuChu!! You were supposed to make your famous cookies for us!"  He threw himself fully over Sigma's lap and let the fake waterworks start. "ChuChu hates us, Siggy!!"

 

Sigma shrugged. "If he hates us that means I get more peace and quiet. Quit crying, it's messing up your eyeliner."

 

Nikolai gasped and quickly sat up, wiping under his eyes before he paused and glared at Sigma. "I'm not even wearing eyeliner!!"

 

Sigma snickered. "It got you to stop crying, didn't it? You've never been against a little white lie here and there."

 

"This is outrageous! I'm being attacked!! King Mori, tell them to knock it off!!" Nikolai whined and rolled away from Sigma and back to Kyouka. "You're the only one who likes me Kyo." He pouted and preened when he got his head pat.

 

"That's okay, they all have horrible taste in company anyway. Sigma doesn't like anyone, Baki spends all his time with humans and not me, Elise has really stuck up friends at school, and King Mori only ever talks to mom, papa, and father, and they're really grumpy." Kyouka reassured Nikolai.

 

The God of Personalities hummed. "I do feel much better now that you point that out Kyo. If they liked hanging out with me, that would mean I'm bad company. Dos-kun spends all his time with humans too, so since he doesn't like hanging out with me that just means he has bad taste in those he surrounds himself with!" Nikolai proclaimed like he'd cracked a secret code.

 

Sigma groaned. "Kyouka, I know you mean well, but please don't put anymore crazy ideas in his head. He's got a big enough ego as it is and he's already irrational."

 

Kyouka tilted her head in confusion. "No he doesn't. I've never heard him say one good thing about himself."

 

"You've also never went clubbing with him." Sigma grumbled under his breath and Nikolai snorted.

 

"My as- butt looked great in those shorts and you know it!" Nikolai teased while both girls looked incredibly confused.

 

"What's clubbing?" Elise asked, looking between the four men.

 

"What's an as butt?" Kyouka chimed in.

 

"Nothing you two need to concern yourself with. Sigma, Nikolai, please watch your language around the children." Mori said with a pleasant smile on his face and clear threat in his voice.

 

"How about we go get those crepes now girls?" Chuuya interjected over the girls protests at being called children, successfully stealing his little sister and Elise's attention as they nodded excitedly and started scrambling to get ready to leave.

 

Nikolai gave his friends a lofty stare. "You're both just jealous of the way I look better in my boa than either of you could ever hope to look."

 

Kyouka nodded in agreement. "You really do pull your boa off well, Niki. Baki looks good in them with certain outfits. His current outfit isn't one of them." She wrinkled her nose at her big brother's mafia black attire. It was so boring compared to his godly outfit.

 

Nikolai beamed at Kyouka. "Thank you, Kyo!! This is why you're my favorite after Dos-kun." 

 

Sigma rolled his eyes at his best friend. "Oh please, you say that to me, to Baki. You say it to anyone that sides with you."

 

Chuuya snickered. "Yes, he's said it to you a little too often, hasn't he Sigma?" It was a running debate between them as to who Niki would declare to be his favorite from day to day.

 

Sigma laughed and shook his head. "That's only because you haven't been around in centuries and he's fighting with his consort. Otherwise his precious Dos-kun takes up spots one through seven."

 

Nikolai nodded happily. "Yep! One Dos-kun for every day of the week! Saturday Dos-kun always has spot number one. Though currently Dos-kun is not in the running for my favorite." He huffed and glared at his phone. He hadn't gotten a single text message from his consort in the last two whole weeks!

 

Chuuya raised an eyebrow. "If he's not in the running for your favorites, then where is he in your ranking?"

 

"Below Fitzgerald." Nikolai hissed and crossed his arms. 

 

The god of trade and commerce was probably as most disliked as they came, only being topped by Arahabaki and Nikolai themselves in the standing of the Heavenly Realm. Though the difference was that despite not liking him, Fitzgerald was essential for how the gods lived their lives in the Human Realm, so everyone had to play nice even if he was a dick.

 

Sigma gaped at his friend. "What?! Just yesterday you told me he was still above Lovecraft!" Nikolai wasn't a fan of Lovecraft, he thought he was creepy, but he still didn't despise his very existence! He had made multiple attempts at killing Fitzgerald, though his plans were always thwarted by Sigma or his consort.

 

Nikolai shrugged. "That was yesterday. Today marks two weeks since I last saw or heard from Dos-kun. The longer he ignores me, the further he drops."

 

Sigma rolled his eyes and poked Nikolai. "This makes me so glad I don't have a consort."

 

Kyouka smiled at her brother. "Baki never wants a consort, so he can spoil me forever and ever." She was fine with her big brother not having a consort. When Nikolai met his consort, he didn't come play with her forever!

 

Mori chuckled as he pulled Elise's hair back in her favored style. "Yes, but I feel like Baki will eventually get bitten by the consort bug. The only question is what he'll do when he meets said consort." His eyes were glimmering as he looked at Chuuya.

 

Nikolai and Sigma glanced at each other and bit their lips to keep from laughing at the look on Chuuya’s face.

 

"Yeah, no. I'll be happy if I never get bitten by that bug. It only seems to bring pain and sorrow unless you're dad and father."

 

Mori nodded in understanding. "It can be very painful and sorrowful, but you must never forget, Arahabaki, they can also bring you your greatest joys." He held his daughter close to emphasize that she was the joy he had left from his consort. 

 

Elise turned in her dad's arms to hug him properly. She hated her father for up and leaving them. Didn't he know how much they had needed him? Of course her father didn't care, he left them and her dad had never been quite the same. All his smiles became forced and he always seemed to be so sad.

 

Mori smiled gently at his daughter and kissed her head. "I'm alright Elise." He assured and was shocked when she shook her head.

 

"It's okay to be sad, dad. Father left us and you loved him, you still do even if he isn't here. That's got to hurt." She reasoned.

 

Mori offered his daughter a small genuine smile. "It does hurt, but I have you, and that has helped me more than you know. My precious Elise."

 

Elise snuggled into her dad's hold and smiled up at him. "You'll always have me, dad."

 

Chuuya reached over to gently ruffle Elise's hair. "We better get going if we don't want the crepe place to close. I know you and your dad would hate that, wouldn't you, Elise?"

 

The young girl nodded rapidly. "We can't let that happen. Onwards to crepes!" She pointed towards the front door as Chuuya scooped Kyouka up and tossed her in the air before catching her and placing her on his hip.

 

A few hours later, Chuuya brushed some hair out of Kyouka's face as she tried not to cry over him leaving. He gently tipped her head up to see the pretty bluebell eyes filled with tears. "Do you have to go back, Baki? I miss you when you're gone."

 

Chuuya smiled softly as he wiped her eyes with the edge of his coat. "Oh, Kyo. You'll get to see me again before you know it. Now give me a hug and send me off with a smile?" Nikolai and Sigma were waiting patiently for the siblings to say goodbye before they dragged their friend back to the human realm.

 

Kyouka sniffled and rubbed at her eyes with her hands before beaming up at her brother and latching on to him in a tight hug. "Bye, Baki. Have a good time and be safe in the Human Realm. I better see you soon or I'll be really upset with you!"

 

"I wouldn't dream of staying away for so long again. It'll only be a few months before you can come see me in the human realm and we'll have the whole day just to ourselves then. That's short even in human terms. I'll call as often as I can, okay?" Chuuya asked gently while patting Kyouka's head. She had buried her face in his stomach and was clutching hi s coat tightly in her fists.

 

Kyouka stayed silent for a few moments before pulling away and nodding her head. "I'd like that Baki. Then you can tell me all about what you've been up to. I love you! See you soon!" She called out while she darted over to Kouyou and jumped into her arms. Her mom settled the little girl on her hip where the young goddess buried her face in her mom's neck.

 

  "I love you too Kyo! You'll see me again before you know it!" Chuuya promised while walking over to Nikolai and Sigma.

 

  "Bye everyone! It's been great spending time with you all, but my duties as a best friend have pulled me away! Don't fret, we'll meet again!" Nikolai announced before doubling over at the elbow to his stomach.

 

  "We'll see you all i n a few months most likely. Thank you for treating us so well these last few centuries and being there for us. It is truly appreciated." Sigma nodded to Kouyou and Mori while Nikolai rolled his eye.

 

  "No need to be so stiff Siggy. They actually like u s you know. Besides, it sounds like you're thanking them for everything before you die. And you say I'm the dramatic one." Nikolai complained while Chuuya laughed.

 

"Bye everyone! It was so great to see you all again and I'll see everyone hopefully soon!" Chuuya waved as Nikolai grabbed his arm and Sigma's legs, just to annoy their bi colored friend, before teleporting them to the Chuuya’s office in the Human Realm.

 

Nikolai let go of his best friends and stretched his arms in delight. "Okay!! Let's go find that cafe and get some real food! No offense, ChuChu, the crepes were great, but now I want some real food and maybe some coffee. Dos-kun has brought me some back from a coffee shop before. It has vodka in it! Do you think I could get vodka on my coffee at the cafe?" 

 

Chuuya smiled indulgently as Nikolai babbled. "Probably not, Niki. That sounds like a specialty coffee, and most cafés don't do that." There was something tugging at his brain about the coffee with Vodka. That sounded like something Dazai would make or enjoy making. He had left his phone with his father, so he couldn't just pull it out to check.

 

Sigma rolled his eyes. "You don't need any alcohol this early. Besides, it was late in the Heavenly Realm but it's been a good few days here since Arahabaki left. The time difference is annoying, but we have to adjust." He looked down at the watch on his wrist, having changed into black slacks and a purple button up while being transported to the human so he didn't stick out like a sore thumb in his godly outfit.

 

Nikolai whined and grabbed Sigma's arm to check the time. "Holy fuck it's already the afternoon!" After being away from the Human Realm so long it was quite the shock to see how much time had passed so quickly.

 

Chuuya laughed and bumped his shoulder with Nikolai's to get his attention. "It's weird, isn't it? That's not the concern right now though. If you want coffee and food tell us what the café is called."

 

"I uh actually don't know. Dos-kun always just said the café near campus." Nikolai smiled sheepishly while Sigma groaned.

 

"Great, a bunch of college students. If they're anything like your consort I'm going home." Sigma grumbled.

 

Chuuya shrugged his shoulders. "What college does he go to?" He asked while already leading his friends out of his office and to the elevator.

 

"Yokohama North last time I looked at his textbooks. He doesn't tell me much about college. Stupid Dos-kun. If I rem em ber correctly the logo for the café had cat ears in it." Nikolai grumbled before perking up at the sight of the elevator. He'd only heard about them in passing from other gods.

 

Sigma paused while Chuuya’s eyebrows shot up, however Nikolai was to preoccupied with pushing the down arrow to notice. "Arahabaki, are you sure it's best we let him decide where to go and not the local?"

 

Chuuya grit his teeth. "He'll figure it out eventually. Do you really want him to not know his consort is going to a costume café to 'study' almost everyday? He'd hate us if we didn't let him find out."

 

"Or we could just tell him instead of taking him there and letting him figure it out for himself? He's already on edge with their fight and not seeing Fyodor for weeks, this could push him off it." Sigma reasoned.

 

"You know he won't believe us. He won't let himself believe us until he sees it." Chuuya retorted and Sigma couldn't argue when his friend was right.

 

The discussion ended there as the elevator opened and Nikolai rushed i n . He looked around in awe before setting his sights on all the numbered buttons. A mischievous grin spread across his face as he made eye contact with Chuuya and Sigma and dragged his hand down over all of them after his friends stepped inside.

 

"Niki what the fuck!! This is going to take forever!" Sigma groaned and leaned back against the elevator wall while Chuuya watched in amusement. Nikolai should at least be allowed to enjoy the Human Realm while he could before he got his heart broken. 

 

Chuuya smiled at Nikolai and gave his outfit a pointed look. "You should probably change before we get to the bottom floor." He suggested seeing as Nikolai was still in what humans would consider traditional dress.

 

Nikolai tilted his head before understanding dawned on him and his eyes went wide. He grinned and snickered before snapping his fingers and changing his outfit into something he had been working on in his shop. It was a red lace tank crop top that only had solid material over the chest. He had a leather jacket over it along with jean shorts that were ripped and short enough to make Sigma do a double take.

 

Chuuya snorted. "You should only wear that if you plan for every human to hit on you or try to feel you up. Especially since we're not going to a club. Maybe swap the shorts for actual jeans and you should be okay."

 

Nikolai pouted at Chuuya's lack of reaction. "You're no fun, ChuChu!!"

 

Chuuya smirked. "Mafia boss, it's not the first time or last time I'll see something like this. People try to seduce me or throw themselves at me all the time. I've fucked a few of the prettier would be assassins and then killed them just when they were getting over such a good fucking."

 

Nikolai rolled his eyes. "I'll have you know it's not for you or other people. I'm inadvertently pissing off Dos-kun. He would get so grumpy and jealous if he saw me wearing this out, which is why I'm doing it. Even if I'm not seeing him, it's the fact that he would be upset if he did see me. If I'm upset with him, I'm going to do things to spite him." He huffed.

 

Sigma rubbed his temples. "You're so petty it gives me a headache."

 

Nikolai grinned maliciously. "And Dos-kun knew that when he agreed to be my consort. He should have thought it through before he decided I was too much work and he didn't want to deal with me and give me the proper attention. If he wont I'm sure someone else gladly will." He sassed.

 

Chuuya laughed as he looked at his friends. "We might as well get going before my dads catch us and make us stay and do work. Father has my phone, so I can't text anyone that I'm back. Not that I want to."

 

Sigma sighed loudly. "Why are both my best friends such idiots in denial? You want to text your Dazai that you're back, and don't try to deny it. I can sense the eagerness pouring off you at the mere thought of him. Where does he work? You can swing by and surprise him."

 

Chuuya pouted at being called out. "I know his coffee shop days and hours, and I bought the restaurant he was working at when they let a customer abuse him verbally, grope him, and then had the nerve to try and punish Dazai for it. I know he has a third job, but I didn’t have time to have Hirotsu track that one down."

 

Nikolai cackled in delight. "ChuChu's got it bad!!"

 

Chuuya rolled his eyes. "Like you don't. Even though you're mad at your consort you're still singing his praises."

 

Nikolai gasped in offense. "I have not been!! I've been talking shit about Dos-kun all day!" He claimed.

 

Sigma shrugged his shoulders when two pairs of eyes landed on him to break the tie. "It's definitely not the normal consort rants I have to listen to where there isn't a single bad word about him, but you have still been praising him Niki."

 

Nikolai whined and shook Sigma by the shoulders. "I've mentioned him, not praised him! Why can't you both know the difference?!"

 

"Because when it comes to you it's the same thing." Sigma said flatly, unphased by the fact that he was still being shaken.

 

Nikolai pouted. "I see how it is!! My two best friends don't love me! They'd rather malign me than see I'm right!"

 

Chuuya laughed as he pulled Nikolai away from Sigma. "You're right, Niki. We are the meanest best friends in the whole world. We don't let you rant, we don't indulge your crazy ideas, we don't let you dress us up, and we definitely didn't encourage you to open your own costume shop, did we Sigma?"

 

Sigma snickered as he grabbed Nikolai's other arm to stop him from flailing. "Not at all. If we're so mean, we shouldn't listen to his complaints about his Dos-kun anymore."

 

"Fine, fine! You're the best friends any god or human can ask for!" Nikolai then turned to peer at Chuuya. "Tell us more about your human, ChuChu?" He queried as Chuuya started leading them toward the campus after exiting the Port Mafia headquarters.

 

Chuuya got a dopey smile on his face that he was unaware of, causing Sigma to wrinkle his nose. "He's got a silver tongue for one thing. He likes to call me Chibi and doesn't hesitate to call me out on my bullshit. Dazai can be a cocky little shit with no sense of self preservation. I went to his work to return his wallet and phone a few weeks ago and he told me I needed to drink more milk and that maybe then I'd grow!"

 

Nichola doubled over laughing while Sigma snickered behind his hand. "He isn't wrong ChuChu, milk will help your bones grow big and strong!!" Nikolai teased and was promptly flipped off.

 

"Fuck both of you. Dazai can also get really shy at times, and he's the most caring human I've met in a long time. He's got three kids he adopted from foster care and his world revolves around them.  I already told you he's working three jobs, but he's also a college student studying medicine. H i s sleeping habits are terrible because of it, almost as bad as my own." Chuuya continued, a smile still on his lips as he shook his head and laughed softly just thinking about Dazai.

 

"Don't even get me started on how good looking he is! His hair is curly and almost a chocolate brown that's on the longer side by human m ale standards. He's tall, the fucker says he's 5'11" but I think he's just saying that to mess with me and he's actually 5'10". He's broader than I am with pretty wide shoulders and an ass to worship. Whenever he smiles he does this adorable thing where one corner of his mouth is lifted more and his nose is ju s t slightly scrunched. His eyes are the pretties t set of eyes I've ever seen. They're normally a dark brown with flecks of gold, but when he's smiling and the sun hits them just right they look like honey. When he's angry or upset they take on the burgundy undertone that makes everyone's knees weak!" Chuuya ranted.

 

Sigma gagged at all the lust rolling of Chuuya. "Yeah, you totally just want to be friends with the guy." He rolled his eyes.

 

Chuuya looked over at Sigma with a lofty smirk. "You'll understand once you see him, and you already made me admit I want to bend him over."

 

Sigma gagged again. "That doesn't mean I want to hear you going on and on about him like Niki does his /precious/ Dos-kun."

 

Nikolai jabbed Sigma's side. "I'm ranting hatefully about Dos-kun, not going on about how precious he is! Get your facts right, Siggy."

 

Sigma rolled his eyes yet again. "So sorry, I don't know what I was thinking. Do forgive me, Niki."

 

Nikolai nodded benevolently, his braid bouncing over his shoulder. "You're forgiven, Siggy." He lit up upon seeing the cafe coming into sight. "Look, there it is!! Hurry up, I need to go make Dos-kun jealous!!"

 

Chuuya and Sigma both traded uneasy glances as Nikolai let go of their arms to bounce ahead and open the door, only to stop dead.

 

Nikolai stared around in shocked confusion. This wasn't some sweet little cafe. All the waiters and waitresses were walking around dressed like sexy maids and dodging groping hands. "What the fuck?!" He was too much for Dos-kun, but his consort could study here?!

 

Sigma grimaced at the lust coming off the place in waves and had to fight off a disgusted face. He forgot how little self control humans had. At least in the Heavenly Realm the gods were able to damper their own lust, humans had no such capability. "This is worse than I thought." Sigma whispered to Chuuya who only nodded his head while placing a hand on Nikolai's back and leading him to the nearest booth.

 

"I'm going to kill him. No, I'm never going to look at or talk to him again!" Nikolai hissed, sliding as close to the window as he could and crossing his arms.

 

"Don't jump to conclusions Niki, maybe it's a misunderstanding and we're at the wrong café." Sigma tried to reason, even if he knew this was the only café around here from previous trips to Yokohama. 

 

Nikolai laughed bitterly and shook his head. "No, this is the place Sigma. Gods I'm such an idiot."

 

Sigma flinched at the use of his real name and looked to Chuuya for help. "No you're not Niki. How could you have known he was coming to a place like this to study? It isn't your fault, so get that through out of your head right now. It's only natural you wanted to get the most out of the short time with him you got each day. The fact that he got upset with you for that and decided this was the best place to spend his time isn't on you." Chuuya soothed, rubbing his friends back.

 

"He was going here before that! I mean fucking hell he gave me desserts from here! What kind of twisted joke is this?! He must have thought I was such a gullible moron." Nikolai grit his teeth while pulling his knees up to his chest and setting his chin on them. 

 

"Let's just go back to Arahabaki's penthouse then. I don't want to be here with all this lust, you don't want to be here because of Fyodor, and Arahabaki couldn’t give less of a fuck where we eat." Sigma attempted to coax his friend into leaving only to get a shaken head in return.

 

"No, the food was good at least. Now I want to eat my feelings and then we can go back to ChuChu's. I need comfort food and then I'll commit a few felonies. Got any work for me to do Mr. Mafia Boss?" Nikolai asked, fiddling with the laces on his black leather boots.

 

Chuuya nodded slowly. "I should have a few things you can take care of that will fit your needs. If for some odd reason I don't we can go to Tokyo and you can do as you please there. If it's not a work hit it needs to be done outside my territory."

 

Nikolai nodded his head, eyes noticeably less bright and lacking back their sadistic gleam and their happy one. His eyes were simply blank. "Okay, cool. Let's order and get out of here then."

Chapter Text

Dazai leaned back in his chair and smothered a laugh as Ranpo started complaining to the professor for the hundredth time that day. He turned to his other seat mate and smiled apologetically. "Sorry, Fedya. We were all running late this morning and he didn't have time to eat many sweets. Poe wound up having to take my kids to school so Ran and I could make it to the lecture in time."

 

Fedya, known to most humans as Fyodor Dostoyevskey, smiled in faint amusement. "It is no trouble. Things are never boring when Ranpo starts complaining." His violet eyes showed his true mirth while most of his black hair was hidden under a white ushanka. He was dressed down today in black jeans, and a white shirt.

 

Ranpo paused in his ranting and threw himself over his brother. "Do you love me, Zai? I need coffee and candy!!"

 

Dazai laughed softly as he patted his brother's head. "Sorry Ran, I have to go straight to the cafe after my lecture today, then home long enough to change and get to the restaurant." Verlaine kept a close eye on the place as the new boss, but Dazai hadn't mentioned his other two jobs to his new boss, not wanting to get fired. He was pretty sure the man was connected to Chuuya, but hadn't ever worked up the nerve to approach and ask.

 

Ranpo pouted. "Boo!! Forget the cafe! You should just come back to the coffee shop, Zai. We all know it's your happy place."

 

"You know I can't do that Ran. I get better tips from the café and I'm not scheduled to work at the coffee shop." Dazai explained for what felt like the millionth time. 

 

Fyodor raised an eyebrow at Ranpo. "If you just want sweets and coffee from Dazai why don't you come to the café with us and we can work on the group project while we're there? I normally go there to study after lectures anyways."

 

Ranpo paused to think before nodding his head. "I can live with that. Ed was going to have to come get me with the car anyways since Sano's working today. If I go to the café he won't be watching the kids by the time he comes and gets me since Sano will be off work by then. Zai he'll insist on driving you home, and I'm sure we could give you a lift Fyodor. That way you'll get back to your own significant other faster." He grinned in amusement at both his desk mate and his brothers shock.

 

"Fedya's in a relationship?!" Dazai asked in complete shock.

 

Ranpo looked at him like he'd just asked if the sky was blue. "Duh. Where do you think all those hickeys come from? Or came from I mean. I haven't see a single shitty cover up job on your neck in weeks. Trouble in paradise?"

 

Fyodor sighed and leaned back into his chair. "Yes, I'm in a relationship and yes there is 'trouble in paradise' as you so eloquently put it. I haven't seen Niki in two weeks, but things were rocky at best then."

 

Dazai frowned in concern. "Why? What happened?" He asked; hopefully Ranpo or himself would be able to help their friend.

 

"Well, let's just say he was never too keen on me going back to college since I don't technically need the degree and he thought it was a waste of time. He's been putting up with it though and I've been trying my best to balance school, my home life, and work. Two weeks ago before that big test we got into a fight and we haven't spoken since." Fyodor explained.

 

Ranpo snorted, earning him a warning look from Dazai. "You haven't spoken in weeks and you haven't done anything to fix that? Last I checked communication was key in a relationship."

 

Fyodor shook his head while gathering his books seeing as the class had ended while they talked. "It isn't that simple."

 

Dazai elbowed Fyodor lightly in the side. "I'm pretty sure it is that simple. How long have you guys been together?"

 

"Feels like a century and a half." Fyodor joked while handing Dazai his backpack and watching as his friend immediately checked his phone.

 

Dazai frowned slightly at the lack of messages from a certain mafia boss. It had been days of radio silence and he was starting to worry about whether or not Chuuya was okay. "Are you ready to let all of that go? All the good things you felt in that time?" He asked

 

It was Fyodors turn to frown as he shook his head. "No, I'm definitely not. I love him." He stated matter of factly.

 

"If you love him then make it up to him and don't be an insensitive asshole in the future." Ranpo cut in and once again Fyodor had to stop an marvel at how he figured that out with hardly any clues.

 

"I'm quite sure his best friend would gut me if I waited much longer anyways. I was going to try and smooth things over after the café." Fyodor admit ed as they walked out of the lecture hall.

 

Dazai laughed softly. "So he has a Sano in his life? I'm glad you have someone you love, Fedya. Don't let it slip away. If you want to skip out on the project tonight and go make it up to him, you can."

 

Fyodor shook his head. "No, he won't get off work until after we're done at the cafe. Besides, if we get this project finished, I can spend a couple of weeks with him. We won't have very many in person lectures after this project."

 

Ranpo snorted. "You two won't, but I'll be stuck in hell with you both back online. The only good classes are the ones with Edgar."

 

Dazai smiled faintly. "You could always go online, Ran. Then you could do classes at the coffee shop with me and have as much coffee as you like." He shoved his phone down into the depths of his bag, not wanting to think that maybe Chuuya’s message had just been a way for him to gracefully get out of continuing to talk to Dazai. "Ran probably already knows, but it's maid week, Fedya. Just a heads up, I know the cafe isn't your favorite place to study. Are the noise canceling headphones helping?"

 

Fyodor nodded his head. "Joy. Oh well, I can live with it if it means we get our project  finished. As for the headphones, they help greatly. I'm considering a pair for Niki. He gets overwhelmed sometimes, and I think those would help. You should really take your own advice Zai. You need noise canceling headphones as well."

 

Dazai immediately shook his head. "Too expensive, and if the kids need me I wouldn't be able to hear them." He refused to let his father or siblings buy him a pair, even if they would be a great help.

 

Ranpo rolled his eyes. "Not for at home, by the time you actually get to studying on those days the kids are fast asleep and you'd hardly have a reason for them. Fyodor means for when we study at the coffee shop or the library. I know they're expensive, but you could let father get you them as your only gift for Christmas?" He suggested.

 

Dazai shrugged noncommittally. "I'll think about it. I've already agreed to let him, you, and Sano buy the kids whatever you want for Christmas, letting father get them for me seems like too much."

 

Ranpo shook his head. "What if all three of us join together and get you them as your Christmas gift?"

 

Dazai paused and thought for a second. "I think I could deal with that." He agreed hesitantly.

 

Fyodor raised an eyebrow. "Isn't the whole point of gift giving that the gift is a surprise?" He asked genuinely. The Heavenly Realm didn't really celebrate Christmas, it was the biggest work day of the year right next to New Years where everyone was going to shrines. While humans had the day off and spent it lounging with family, the gods ran themselves ragged. He never celebrated Christmas as a human either, so it was something he was in the dark about. 

 

Ranpo laughed and flashed Fyodor a bright grin. "Not when it comes to Zai! He's very particular about how much people can spend on him and he tends to never tell you what he wants. You have to rip it out of him over months of consistent asking and prying and very good observations."

 

Dazai huffed. "You mean stalking me whenever I go to the store from August through December?"

 

"You call it stalking, I call it information gathering." Ranpo shrugged.

 

Dazai decided to ignore his brother and turned his attention to Fyodor. "What are you doing for the holidays Fedya? I've never heard you talk about family and you only just told us about your boyfriend today."

 

"You never hear me speak about my family because they are dead, they have been for a long time. As for the holidays, I'll be working as will Niki." Fedya replied casually while hi tch ing his backpack further up his shoulder.

 

Dazai gawked at him. "Even I don't work on Christmas! Why would you both do that?" He carefully avoided the topic of Fyodors family again, even if the man didn't seem bothered by it.

 

Fyodor laughed softly. "You also have three young children who you want to give amazing childhoods to. That would involve normal Christmases. Niki and I have never celebrated Christmas before, so we don't see a reason to take off work. We might hang out with some friends later on in the day, but it's nothing like what you're talking about." After the humans praying died down they generally all met up at Kouyou or Mori’s to have dinner and complain about all the work. Though last year Nikolai had decided he had better plans that involved a sexy santa lingerie set and things snowballed from there.

 

Ranpo snorted. "That's depressing. You're so melancholy Fyodor. Like a walking grey storm cloud."

 

Dazai pouted and shook his head. "That's so boring Fedya. You and your boyfriend should take Christmas off and come spend it with us."

 

Fyodor chuckled and smiled slightly. "I'll talk to him about it later on after we've made up. Though I'm warning you now if Niki and I come he's probably going to drag Sigma along."

 

"Who?" Dazai tilted his head.

 

"Sigma, he's Niki's Yosano if Yosano split dyed her hair and was a tall twenty year old man who's only attitudes were snarky and grumpy. They were best friends long before I met them. They have another best friend but I've never met him, he travels a lot for work and he hasn't been home in a few years." Fyodor explained as they reached the café.

 

Dazai nodded his head. "I have to go get changed and clock in, can one of you take my bag?"

 

Ranpo reached over and grabbed his brother's bag. "We'll get started, come bring me coffee and sweets as soon as you get clocked in!"

 

Dazai snickered. "We don't have coffee presses here, Ran. You would be dealing with coffee from a pot. Maybe you'd prefer a bottle of ramune instead?"

 

Ranpo made a face upon being reminded that the coffee here sucked. His brother was talented, but there was only so much he could do with subpar or no ingredients. "You're right, I want a cherry ramune instead!"

 

Dazai turned to his other friend. "What about you, Fedya? Do you want anything?"

 

Fyodor nodded his head and smirked at Ranpo. "I'll take a pavlova, but don't bring a plate or utensil for your brother to help. I'll take what I don't eat to Niki. He loves the pavlova from here."

 

Dazai beamed at both of them. "Got it. Vodka and pavlova for Fedya, and Cherry ramune with red velvet cupcakes for Ran. I'll be back soon." He then bounced off to go get changed and clocked in before he placed the orders and grabbed the ramune and vodka, dropping them off at the table before going around to check on customers just being seated. His maid costume and his cat girl outfit got him the best tips, but also got him harassed the most.

 

Chuuya choked on the water he was sipping at when he caught sight of Dazai in his maid outfit. Sigma and himself had been trying to coax Nikolai into talking, but he'd gone radio silent after ordering. When he looked up to flag down their waiter for the check the last thing he expected to see was his consort and friend i n a tiny dress and stockings.

 

The sound caught Dazai’s attention and he turned to make sure the costumer was alright before he froze and went red at seeing Chuuya sitting there. "Chuuya?" He forced out, shock and embarrassment clear in his voice.

 

Chuuya coughed a few more times before finally being able to respond. "So this is job three? I didn't expect to see you here."

 

"I didn't expect to see you here either. What happened to being busy and going dark?" Dazai asked before he could stop himself, still slightly in shock.

 

"I just got back about an hour ago and one of my executives still has my phone so I didn't get to text you. I was gonna stop by the rest a urant after this and get it on my way home." Chuuya explained while taking a careful sip of water to help the burning in his throat.

 

"I was starting to get worried something had happened to you, Chibi." Dazai smiled teasingly . Nikolai slightly perked up at the nickname Chuuya had mentioned in passing. 

 

Chuuya smiled back and laughed softly. "There's nothing to worry about Dazai, trust me." 

 

Nikolai took the slight lull in conversation as an opportunity to butt in. "ChuChu, your mom would be so disappointed in your lack of manners! You're supposed to introduce people to each other when you know both parties!" He playfully reprimanded even if Chuuya and Sigma could tell it was painfully forced. "I'm Nikolai, his bestest friend in the whole wide universe!" He introduced himself and waved to Dazai. 

 

"This grumpy guy who looks like he'd rather be anywhere else is Sigma, don't mind his face he just doesn't like people. He's ChuChu's second bestest friend." Nikolai grinned while Sigma waved awkwardly, he was never good at first introductions, especially to people who were lusting after his friend and Chuuya was trying very hard not to undress with his eyes.

 

Dazai felt his eyes widen. "So you're the infamous Niki the pavlova is for. Fedya was just telling me all about you."

 

Nikolai's own eyes widened. "Fedya? My Dos-kun?" 

 

Dazai snickered at the nickname. "Never let my brother hear that nickname. He will never leave him alone about it. I share classes with your boyfriend and apparently I'm the only one of our class members he can tolerate. Even my brother grates on his nerves from time to time. Ran is more of a know it all than I am, Chibi." He explained to Chuuya.

 

"If I'm such a know it all Zai, I'd know how to convince you to let us get you the noise canceling headphones." Ranpo declared, popping up next to his brother and stealing a cupcake off the tray. His eyes flickered to Nikolai and a wicked gleam entered them. "I'll take the tray back to Fedya!" He sang, trying to steal it from his brother. 

 

Dazai simply clutched the tray tighter. "I'll get in trouble if I let you carry the tray, Ran. You know that, they'll think I'm being lazy. I'll follow you back to the table. I need to see how the project is coming anyway."

 

Ranpo sobered at the reminder of how this place treated his brother. "They have workers practically humping customers, but they would rather get on to you. I hate these people, Zai. I know you say the tips aren't as good, but you could make some serious money off your coffees if you patented the recipes and sold them." He hated this place, but the restaurant wasn't so bad anymore. The new boss kicked out anyone that acted inappropriate with any of the workers.

 

Sigma huffed. "People are doing a lot fucking worse than humping here. There's two couples having sex in the bathroom stalls right now. Get out of these places as soon as possible, they're dying out anyway with the mistreatment of their employees and the objectification of people."

 

Chuuya raised an eyebrow. "Oh? Is that what your trips have been about recently? Dealing with places like this?"

 

Sigma nodded and Nikolai piped up again. "They always make him more grumpy than usual."

 

Dazai tilted his head. "What exactly do you do Sigma, if you don't mind me asking that is?" The idea that the café could go out of business or get shut down made him uneasy, he really needed this job.

 

"It's considered a type of social work. I deal with the legal side of Arahabaki's bu si ness es , which entails making the city a more investor friendly place. It's a common trend I saw while running over some numbers when I was trying to figure out how to rebrand a few spots, including this one, and make them more… desirable." Sigma explained flippantly. He spent little time in the hu ma n realm and only came down to actually see properties and bu si nesses. Otherwise he stayed in the Heavenly Realm with Nikolai even though he worked for Chuuya.

 

Dazai raised an eyebrow at Chuuya. "Arahabaki, huh?"

 

Chuuya smiled sheepishly. "It's my given name. Really only my family use it, though it's a toss up most of the time. I'm pretty sure my mom and Sigma are the only two who call me Arahabaki at all times." He explained.

 

Dazai grinned. "I think I prefer Chibi over both Chuuya and Arahabaki. ChuChu has to be a close second." Nikolai snickered at that.

 

"Don't you have a project to be checking on?" Chuuya huffed, a pout playing on his lips.

 

Dazai laughed and nodded his head. "Yeah, and I have actual work to do. Do you guys need anything else I can grab after I see what Fedya's up to?"

 

Nikolai stiffened and looked at Dazai with wide eyes. "He's here?!" He hissed, sinking down his seat and looking at Chuuya and Sigma in panic.

 

Dazai nodded as he pointed to the pavlova. "Yeah, he ordered this and planned to take most of it home to you. He will probably have to stab Ran a couple of times to keep him out of it. We're working on an Economics project that crosses over with the medical class Fedya and I are in. Basically it's the prices of medications through the years versus home remedies. Which one is more cost effective in the long run, and which one is currently ruling the market. Then we have sub questions for each group, including the history of some of the bigger ones. I will be so glad when Economics is over with." He admitted, pulling a face.

 

Dazai paused before sliding the pavlova off his tray and placing it in front of Nikolai. "Here, he ordered it to take home to you anyway and this keeps my brother out of it." He patted Chuuya’s head before hoisting the tray over his head. "Just yell if your table needs me, Chibi." He then sauntered over to his brother and Fedya, replacing his brother's empty ramune with a new one and putting the cupcakes in front of him. Dazai then glanced at Fyodor. "Your boyfriend is pretty, and I left the pavlova with him."

 

Fyodor stiffened in shock. "Niki's here?! He usually isn't off work yet." He immediately craned his head to look for his consort. 

 

Dazai shrugged. "Yeah, he's here with the Sigma you mentioned and my friend, Chuuya. Small world, huh?" He asked, even though he knew Fyodor was no longer paying attention to him, having caught sight of his boyfriend.

 

Nikolai yelped when he saw Fyodor looking at him and ducked down further into his seat. Fyodors eyes had darkened considerably since first catching sight of his boyfriend. "What a brat. I know we're fighting and all, but seriously, he decides to wear that outfit out of all the clothes he has?" Fyodor grumbled.

 

Ranpo raised an eyebrow while licking the icing off the top of a cupcake. "Do you really think you have the right to be nitpicking things like that at the moment when you're in the situation you're in? I thought you were supposed to be smart? This definitely doesn't look good. You said something to your boyfriend which was a serious dick move, maybe something pertaining to attention, and the next time he sees you you're sitting in a sexy costume café to 'study'. Think about how that would look from his perspective." 

 

Fyodor grimaced and gazed over at Nikolai again, unsurprised to find his consort avoiding looking at him like the plague. "This definitely looks really bad. Fuck. He's already so sensitive and insecure when it comes to shit like this." He groaned and dropped his head into his hands.

 

"Then why are you still sitting over here instead of going over there to explain? The longer you let the issue continue the more time he has to come up with his own conclusions." Ranpo warned, no longer entirely interested in the conversation as he bit into his cupcake.

 

Fyodor sighed as he stood up. "I hate when you're right." Ranpo beamed and made a shooing motion with his hands, a motion Fyodor reluctantly listened to and left their table to go to his consort.

 

Sigma flicked Nikolai's forehead. "He's coming over here." He warned his friend who was refusing to look away from the window.

 

"I don't care." Nikolai huffed and stiffened when a very familiar figure came into view through his peripheral vision.

 

"Niki, can we talk for a moment or are you still too upset and want your space?" Fyodor asked gently.

 

"What's there to be upset about?" Nikolai sniped, causing his consort to sigh softly.

 

"I know how this looks, but it's not what you think it is. I only come here when it's absolutely necessary. Today I would have much rather been home with you over being here to work on a group project. This is the only time Dazai can even remotely help with his busy schedule. If I'm by myself or Dazai doesn't work at the café that day we're in the library. You can ask him or Ranpo if you'd like. Ranpo won't lie for me, he doesn't like me much, and I know you're able to tell if they're lying or not anyways." Fyodor explained, watching his consort closely for any change in body language.

 

Nikolai turned his head slightly more towards Fyodor. "And? You come here, whatever. Normally I'd be pretty annoyed you didn't tell me about the nature of this place that you go to quite often, but there's a reason I'm pissed about it instead." He coaxed while also venting about how upset he actually was.

 

"Nikolai, I'm very very sorry about not coming home or at the very least letting you know I was okay. I'm even more sorry for saying you demanded too much of my attention while at home and that you were too much of a distraction. I was stressed out with my huge test coming up, but there was no reason for me to take that out on you, especially when those words are so far from the truth and I knew how much they'd hurt you. I just really need to do well in these classes and learn as much as possible." Fyodor apologized while ignoring Chuuya’s glaring and Sigma's impassive gaze. He was focused sole l y on Nikolai who whipped around to glare at him.

 

"Your need to be the best and the smartest is so important that it takes precedent s over our relationship?" Nikolai snapped, voice like ice as he raised a challenging eyebrow.

 

Fyodor smiled soothingly and shook his head. "No Niki, it doesn't even come close. The whole reason I'm going to college and putting so much effort into it is because I'm going for you." He admitted.

 

Nikolai's face screwed up in confusion as he studied his boyfriend with furrowed eyebrows. "I never asked you to go to college or expressed an interest in you going."

 

"I'm studying bu si ness, trade, and economics because I want to be able to better help you with your shop. I could care less about a degree or being the smartest, I just want to help make running things a little smoother." Fyodor admit t ed and everyone at the table watched as Nikolai visibly melted and his figurative walls came down.

 

"You mean that Dos-kun? You're sorry and you were only doing it for me?" Nikolai asked softly and when Fyodor nodded he threw himself over the table and wrapped his boyfriend into a tight hug.

 

"You're such an idiot! A big, stupid, loveable, idiot!" Nikolai babbled, happy to have his consort back in his arms and to no longer be fighting with him.

 

"Does that mean my apology ha s been accepted?" Fyodor asked while discreetly pulling the back of Nikolai's leather jacket down to cover more of his legs and ass.

 

"Under the terms that you model for me for at least three weeks to completely show you're sorry." Nikolai bargained.

 

"I have no problems with that." Fyodor assured and couldn't help the small smile on his lips when Nikolai beamed up at him.

 

"Then yes, I accept your apology." Nikolai agreed.

 

Dazai had been nearby and clapped happily as he let out a cheerful whistle. "Take the night off, Fedya. You can come by the coffee shop in two days, Ran and I are both on shift then and we will be able to work a little longer anyway. Kunikida happens to not be scheduled that day."

 

Fyodor nodded without looking away from his consort. "Does that sound good to you, Niki? You heard, Zai. He's going to be nice and not make me work on the project for a couple of days so I can spend time with you. Zai is the one who makes the vodka coffee I always bring you when I come home."

 

Nikolai reached up and snagged Fyodors hat to wear himself. Once it was settled on his head he hummed in consideration. "That works for me, but we're staying here Dos-kun. I have work to do and moral support to provide."

 

Dazai smiled playfully on his way to another table. "It's white chocolate vodka, get it right, Fedya." He teased before turning his attention to a leering regular. "What can I get you sir?"

 

The man reached out to slap Dazai’s ass. "Are you on the menu yet, Dazai? I would make it worth your time."

 

Dazai stiffened at the slap and proposition. "I'm afraid not, sir. What can I get you off the menu that's laying on the table in front of you?"

 

The customer frowned as he squeezed Dazai’s ass. "Really, I would like you, however if you're going to keep playing coy, I suppose I'll have a small black coffee and a piece of pecan pie. Think you can manage that much?"

 

Dazai nodded his head as he pasted his customer satisfaction smile on his face. "Yes sir, one piece of pecan pie and a small black coffee coming up." He then turned to go check on his other tables on his way to the kitchen. He could only hope Ran or Fedya didn't decide to try and step in again. He forgot to take into account Chuuya’s reaction. 

 

Chuuya was seething after seeing the way Dazai was treated. Sigma had latched on to him. "You can't just destroy the man, Arahabaki," he hissed. "At least wait until your Dazai isn't around to get in trouble for it."

 

Fyodor glanced up from Niki, but didn't loosen his grip. "Ranpo and I have been told off for interfering. Unfortunately, this place just sees it as a chance to take his tips and dock his pay. He can't afford that with his kids, and he's too proud to take money from any of his family or me."

 

Chuuya snarled silently. "I will get him a better job, but I am going to burn this place to the ground." He caught Dazai’s hand when his consort walked past and looked at him gently. "Are you okay, Dazai?"

 

Dazai nodded as he shot Chuuya a genuine smile. "I'm fine, Chibi. It's nothing I'm not used to. Don't worry about it. Please, I need this job, I need to keep working to provide for my children." He pleaded softly. Secretly he missed hearing his first name from Chuuya’s lips. It had sounded so nice that night.

 

Chuuya frowned and kept his hold on Dazai’s hand. "It's not something you should have to be used to, and just because you are used to it doesn't make it right. You know I can help you find a new job Dazai."

 

"Your concern is touching Chibi, but I'm really fine. Have you ever thought I actually like the attention I get from these jobs?" Dazai asked just to get Chuuya to drop it.

 

Unfortunately for Dazai it didn't work. "You dont." Chuuya stated firmly. "I've watched you every time it happens. You get stiff, your smile drops, and need I remind you of your reaction in the restaurant?"

 

"Chuuya, I can take care of myself. You're like a dog with a bone, you won't let it go. Be a good guard dog and stay put and don't interfere." Dazai gently pulled his hand from Chuuya’s and pat the mafia bosses head before disappearing into the kitchen.

 

Chuuya blinked in shock while Nikolai muffled his laughter into Fyodors shoulder. Sigma placed a careful hand on Chuuya’s back. "Arahabaki, are you okay?" He asked.

 

"Did he just patronize me?" Chuuya asked, looking to Sigma for clarification on what just happened. 

 

"I believe his exact words were calling you a guard dog." Fyodor cut in and Nikolai finally burst out laughing.

 

"He's not wrong!!" Nikolai wheezed.

 

"I liked it better when you two were fighting!" Chuuya snapped and crossed his arms with a huff, glaring daggers at the man who had touched Dazai instead of dealing with his friend and smart-ass consort.

 

Dazai came back out quickly with the pecan pie and coffee, making sure to be efficient so he didn't get yelled at by the manager. This c u st o mer wasn't liable to shout at him, and he'd only ever complained about Dazai not responding favorably to his advances. He set the man s order down on his table and gave him his best customer service smile. 

 

"Is that all I can get for you today, sir? Anything else on the menu you'd like?" Dazai asked politely and narrowly avoided yelping when the man wrapped his arms around his waist.

 

"You know what I want. Why don't you stop playing coy and you and I get out of here?" The customer winked and Dazai had to fight off a gag while subtly trying to slip out of the mans grasp.

 

Before Chuuya lost all self control and marched over there Nikolai wiggled out of Fyodors arms, placed the ushanka back on his consorts head, and skipped off to the table. He plopped down in the seat across from the random human, earning himself both their attention. 

 

"Hi! Dazai, is it? Can you get me a hot chocolate to go and the bill?" Nikolai requested sweetly while tilting his head.

 

With the appearance of Nikolai the costumers attention was quickly switched to him seeing as he was showing a lot more skin. "What's your name, or can I just call you gorgeous?" He purred while Dazai hesitated for a second before doing as Nikolai said.

 

Nikolai smiled easily, his body language shifting as his eyes went flirty. Sometimes his ability to manipulate his personality really came in handy. "That depends on how quickly you can get me out of here." 

 

The man s eyes went wide and he quickly fumbled with his wallet. After he placed down a large number of bills he stood up and held out a hand to Nikolai, which the god took while internally thanking himself for wearing red gloves. With a great amount of effort he didn't go rigid when the c u st o mer grabbed his ass and used that hold to lead him out the door.

 

Sigma pushed Fyodor back down into the booth when he automatically got up. "Stay put. You know he isn't letting that guy do anything to him. Niki will probably cut off his hand first for that."

 

Fyodor seethed, his reactions even more possessive and angry than Chuuya’s since he and Nikolai had accepted their consort bond and had been together for years. "Doesn't change the fact that I'd like to kill that man slowly for looking at what's mine."

 

Sigma rolled his eyes. "Every human in a ten mile radius had been looking at Nikolai, that's just how their species is. They see skin and they revert into primal animals. Disgusting." He wrinkled his nose.

 

Dazai came back out from the kitchen once again with the bill and hot chocolate in hand, but paused in confusion when the table was empty aside from a stack of cash that was far more than needed to pay the bill. He looked over to Chuuya's table for answers after grabbing the money and keeping the bill and travel mug in hand. 

 

"What happened to Nikolai and the customer?" Dazai asked with furrowed eyebrows while Fyod o r grabbed the hot chocolate from him.

 

"He left with him." Chuuya shrugged and only realized what he said made no sense when Dazai gawked at him. "No! Oh gods no, not like that! He took it upon himself to… deal with the man. He'll be back in a little bit."

 

Dazai nodded slowly. "He didn't have to do that. That guy can get pretty handsy, but after I turn him down a few times he'll leave."

 

Fyodor sighed and rubbed his temples while leaning back into his seat. "Niki likes to act before he thinks sometimes. He saw a man making you uncomfortable, decided he didn't like it, realized he could fix it, ans did the first thing he could think of to get the guy away from you and not get you in trouble."

 

"Is he gonna be okay? No offence to Nikolai or anything, but that guy is pretty big." Dazai bit his lip in worry and cast a glance to the door.

 

Chuuya snorted and nodded his head. "That guy is nothing. I assure you Dazai, you have nothing to worry about or get upset over. He works for me, he'll be just fine. In fact he'll probably find this quite boring." Nikolai hadn't worked for Chuuya in centuries, but he'd never been fired so it wasn't technically lying.

 

Dazai blinked as his mouth formed an 'o' shape. He was just coming to the realization that Nikolai wouldn't just be telling the man off or getting into a fight with him. "That… makes a lot more sense. What do I do with all the extra money then?" Finding out Nikolai was a mafia worker raised several questions, specifically about Fyodor and how much he knew, but he didn't think it would be wise to ask them in the café.

 

"You keep it as a tip silly!" Nikolai interrupted while walking back over to the table, a pep in his step and not a hair out of place. 

 

However he was now missing his jacket and gloves. Fyodor clenched his jaw and pat his thigh where Nikolai happily took a seat and wrapped his arms around his consorts neck. He quickly kissed Fyodor s cheek and smiled at Dazai.

 

"He told me he wanted you to keep the money before he ran away!" Nikolai explained while Chuuya snorted and Sigma shook his head in amusement.

 

"Ran away my ass." Chuuya mumbled.

 

"He ran away ChuChu. Just not quick enough. Anyways, I hope you don't mind I took care of him Dazai! He was a really gross dude!" Nikolai wrinkled his nose.

 

Dazai shook his head as he offered Niki a shy smile and shifted a tiny bit closer to Chuuya instinctively. Chuuya made him feel safe after all. "No, as long as you're sure you're alright, I don't mind. He was one of my nicer regulars, and luckily didn't know about the restaurant or coffee shop," he said absently. 

 

Fyodor winced at the murderous expression crossing both Chuuya and his consort's face. "Yes, some of your customers can get particularly enthusiastic about you. However everyone throws them out of the coffee shop with glee, and now the restaurant as well. You said the new owner doesn't tolerate anyone messing with his employees right?"

 

Dazai nodded. "Yeah, Mr. Verlaine has thrown a few customers out for harassing me and a couple of the younger waitresses that were hired and are just starting out. As for the coffee shop, I think it's a competition. Ran embarrasses them by revealing all their affairs for public consumption, Sano tries to use her scalpels on them claiming she needs more practice with surgeries and autopsies. Kunikida just throws them out for disrupting his schedule and father threatens to decapitate them with his katakana if they don't leave me alone."

 

Fyodor snickered as he nuzzled his consort and placed his hat back on Niki's head. "Yes, it's quite a sight to see. Fair warning, Niki has decided he likes you, and will probably help them with that."

 

Nikolai nodded as he made grabby hands for the hot chocolate. "Of course I like Dazai! He's nice and ChuChu likes him. I'm glad Verlaine is taking care of you, he can get pretty ugly when his people are disrespected.  ChuChu got his anger issues from somewhere, and they were definitely not from Rimbaud or Kouyou." He made a face after the drink was handed over and didn't taste like the good stuff his consort had brought him before.

 

Fyodor chuckled as he kissed Nikolai's neck. "The coffee and hot chocolate are never from here. Usually Zai will swing by the coffee shop and make me something to take home the days we study in the library. He makes all the coffee and hot chocolate I bring you, and he's a snob."

 

Dazai pouted. "Just because I hate instant coffee and hot chocolate does not make me a snob, Fedya!"

 

Ranpo came over and pulled his brother away to start checking him over after seeing the customer grab him. "Yes you are, Zai. Only the highest quality chocolate will do for your coffees and hot chocolates and only the highest quality ingredients for whatever else you're putting in. It's what makes the shop so popular. You get it from father and it's nice to see you not be cheap about something for yourself."

 

Chuuya laughed softly. "It's nothing to be ashamed of Dazai. You take pride in what you make and you think others should put the same amount of care into it as you do."

 

Nikolai nodded in agreement. "I'm a snob about the fabrics I use at my store, just like you're a snob about your ingredients. I hate shopping around here, all the clothes are gross and their fabric quality is even worse." He huffed, upset by the mere thought of human realm clothes. 

 

Fyodor squeezed his hip and whispered something into Nikolai's ear that had the god calming back down and smiling. Sigma gagged and Chuuya blanched, both able to hear what was said thanks to their godly hearing. 

 

"Aren't you both supposed to be going away now? Fyodor was released from his group project duties and you already have you r comfort food Niki." Sigma reasoned.

 

Nikolai perked up and turned in Fyodors lap to look at him, effectively going from sitting in his lap to straddling him. "Siggys right! Where have you been staying Dos-kun? Let's go there and have fun! I need to retake your measurements anyways, you look thinner." He narrowed his eyes and clicked his tongue while looking his boyfriend up and down.

 

Fyodor hummed. "I've been staying in a studio apartment I bought a while back. Some of your work stuff is scattered about there, so you'll be able to do as you please." Nikolai hadn't been to the apartment, Fyodor had bought it nearly fifty years ago and Nikolai had never been, but when his work spaces got too crowded they used it as storage. 

 

Nikolai beamed and slipped from Fyodors lap. He grabbed his consorts hand and pulled him up, not letting go as he waved to everyone in their little group. "Bye bye! See you tomorrow Siggy, ChuChu! It was great to meet you Dazai, I didn't really get to meet you Ranpo but you're interesting! I expect work to do tomorrow ChuChu!" He called over his shoulder while pulling his consort out the door before Fyodor could say goodbye. 

 

Sigma looked thoroughly grossed out and shivered in disgust. "Now that that's sorted out, I'm leaving and staying far, far away from wherever Nikolai and Fyodor end up." He said as a way of goodbye before he got up and left, not bothering to tell Chuuya he'd see him tomorrow with Nikolai. His friend would know he'd be there.

 

Dazai smiled at Chuuya and tilted his head. "I suppose you'll be leaving too?" He asked, masking the disappointment he felt at the idea of Chuuya leaving.

 

Chuuya hummed and shook his head. "No, I have time. I don't need to check up on the restaurant until later."

 

Dazai's grin got a little more bright. "You're coming to the restaurant later? I'll see you then I guess. If you're going to stay why don't you sit with Ranpo so you're not over here by yourself?" He offered.

 

Ranpo studied Chuuya for a quick second and nodded his head. "I don't mind you sitting and entertaining me. It's not like I'll be working on the project without my personal Russian babysitter." He wanted to know more about this mafia boss his brother was so close with.

 

Chuuya laughed. "Don't let Niki hear you say that, he'll get jealous. I suppose I can sit and keep you in line for a while." He shrugged. The man was putting his instincts on edge and setting off several different signals in his brain, but he couldn’t pinpoint it. Hopefully spending more time with him would illuminate what this anomaly was.

 

Dazai beamed happily, not bothering to mask it. "Great! Chuuya, this is my brother Edogawa Ranpo. Ran, this is Nakahara Chuuya. He's the one who saved me from the thugs the day I took the shortcut." His family had been paranoid about that, and ever since, someone made it a point to come get him and the kids so there was no more cutting through alleys.

 

Ranpo studied Chuuya through slit emeralds. "So we have you to thank then? You have my gratitude for saving Zai. I'm sure you can understand that he's very important to us."

 

Chuuya smiled faintly. "Yes, I'm seeing that. I'm glad he has someone looking after him."

 

Dazai laughed. "Ran? No, that would be Sano and Poe," he teased. "If it's not a sweet or doesn't produce a sweet, Ran can't be bothered."

 

Ranpo threw his arms tighter around his brother.   "You say that like you don't provide my coffee and hot chocolate, Zai. I thought you loved me!"

 

Dazai snickered as he looked at his brother. "Yeah, yeah. I make the best chocolate death you've ever tasted. Do you want more red velvet cupcakes or do you want some of the strawberry that are about to come out of the oven?"

 

Ranpo perked up at the offer of fresh cupcakes. "I'll take some strawberry, with strawberry ramune!" He cheered.

 

Dazai nodded before turning to Chuuya. "Do you want anything, Chibi?"

 

Chuuya smiled in amusement. "I haven't actually looked at the menu, but an apple turnover might not be bad. Niki was debating between that, the pavlova, and a mini cake earlier." He then turned to Ranpo. "So you're the one who encouraged him to create that horrible chocolate death concoction he was talking about in some of his texts. Dazai doesn't need to clog up his arteries and have a heart attack. Neither do you, but that's for your family to worry about." He could still care less about this Ranpo character, besides being jealous that he was hanging off of Dazai.

 

Dazai nodded happily. "One apple turnover it is. I'll leave you and Ran to get acquainted." He easily slid out of his brother's hold, patted Chuuya’s head again and headed to the kitchen, unconsciously putting a sway in his hips for the mafia boss staring after him.

 

Ranpo stepped in front of Chuuya, blocking his vision of Dazai. "So, what does a mafia boss want with my little brother?"

 

Chuuya stared at Ranpo impassively. "I consider him a friend. Just because I'm a mafia boss doesn't mean I have evil intentions towards him." Would Dazai be upset if he killed this strange and annoying human? There was something about him that was setting Chuuya’s teeth on edge, not a feeling he got very often.

 

Ranpo rolled his eyes and snorted. "I saw the way you were looking at my brother's ass and hips. Just a friend wouldn't be staring and drooling."

 

Chuuya raised an eyebrow. "Am I not allowed to think my friends are good looking? Sigma is good looking, Nikolai is good looking, though I'd never stare at them like that considering they're more like brothers to me than anything else. Dazai is attractive, I'm secure enough in our friendship to be able to admit that and appreciate it." He shrugged.

 

Ranpo scoffed. "Uhuh. Wanna know who else started out as friends that just thought the other was good looking? My boyfriend and I. Now we live together."

 

"I'm getting really mixed signals here Ranpo, do you want me to be into your brother or not?" Chuuya snarked. This man was seriously getting on his nerves.

 

Ranpo fully opened his eyes and stared at Chuuya like he was an idiot. "I want you to be honest with yourself about what you want from my brother before giving him any mixed signals. He's fragile. Quite frankly I don't care who you are, hurt him and I'll destroy you." 

 

Chuuya snorted, ironic a human was claiming he was going to destroy the God of Destruction. Wait, that was it! Dazai wa s Fukuzawa’s son, and Ranpo was Dazai’s brother. That mean t Ranpo also ha d to be Fukuzawa’s son. Originally he only thought Ranpo was an adopted son like his consort was to Fukuzawa, but now it seemed that wasn't the case. 

 

The only logical explanation was that Ranpo was Fukuzawa’s biological son, and at least half a god! Whether or not he was Mori’s was up for debate, but he definitely wasn't a human and that would explain the uneasy feeling Chuuya got around him. With this new information it seemed he'd need to speak with Fukuzawa. 

 

Not telling Mori about his consorts location was one thing, but finding out Fukuzawa cheated and had kids with someone else was completely different. He already felt shitty after seeing Mori stare longingly at the painting in his living room and knowing where his consort was. It would make sense if the kids weren't Mori’s, it was the only reason Ranpo's power levels would be so low. If Fukuzawa had really had kids with someone else, that was not only cheating and heartbreaking for Mori, but it also had legal repercussions in the Heavenly Realm.

 

"I'd find it truly entertaining if you tried, Ranpo, but I'm not interested in hurting Dazai at all. So, unfortunately we won't be able to test out your skills in dest ro ying me." Chuuya replied, tone nearly patronizing. 

 

Ranpo stared Chuuya down. "You say that, but I don't think you realize how fragile he is. You need to decide what you want from him, whether that is to be friends or something more. Dazai has never taken to anyone the way he took to you. I've seen the texts. Sweetheart? You really think friends who have just met call each other pet names?"

 

Chuuya rolled his eyes. "I think you're trying to look for excuses."

 

Ranpo shook his head briefly. "No, he's been hurt too much to trust easily. He trusts you, and he kept the very expensive phone you gave him. We'd been trying for two years to let us replace his phone, but it took you coming along for it to happen. Thanks to texting you, he's gotten better about communicating with us."

 

Chuuya stared impassively at the living proof that Fukuzawa had done something he wasn't supposed to do. "You're acting as though I want to hurt him."

 

Ranpo shrugged. "I don't think you would mean to hurt him. However, he's attached to you, and if you inadvertently hurt him and break his heart, he'll never trust anyone with it again. Dazai would throw himself into the raising of his kids and never again take a chance for himself. He'd let life pass him by and work until the kids didn't need him. If you don't want him then you need to tell him before you break his heart."

 

Chuuya sighed softly and motioned for Ranpo to actually sit across from him in the booth. He waited for the man to sit before replying. "As I'm sure you know, Dazai isn't even aware of his feelings for me. Or at the very least he isn't willing to admit them to himself. For me to be romantically involved with anyone would be unwise to say the least. With my profession it would be more than dangerous for me to get that close to Dazai, especially considering the fact of his kids. I refuse to put him or the kids in such an unsafe and unfair position. I'm being selfish enough as it is just being friends with him."

 

Ranpo raised an eyebrow. "Don't you think that's a decision he should make for himself? Whether or not he wants to take that risk is his choice, nor yours."

 

Chuuya shook his head. "It's not a decision one can make without all the facts or a full understanding of the situation, which he doesn't have. Honestly, without having been in my position neither him nor you would be able to understand no matter how much of a genius you both are."

 

"Then tell him all the facts and let him come to that conclusion himself." Ranpo stated like it was the obvious conclusion.

 

Chuuya laughed softly, lacking any amusement as he shook his head. "I can't tell him everything, even if I had the desire to. Which I don't, by the way. He doesn't need to shoulder that burden. In my experience, people like me are better off alone without close connections to outsiders."

 

Ranpo raised am eyebrow and crossed his arms while leaning back into the booth. "Outsiders, huh? What, are you part of a cult?" 

 

"No, I'm not. Outsiders as in someone who doesn't live this lifestyle." Chuuya was no longer talking about his human profession, and instead his godhood. "I've witnessed far too many tragedies in situations terribly similar to Dazai and I's." He clenched his jaw at the thought alone.

 

"And what about Nikolai and Fyodor? As far as I can tell, Fyodor isn't part of the Mafia but Nikolai is. They seem to be making things work." Ranp o challenged.

 

Chuuya snorted and shook his head. "That's where you're wrong. Fyodor was part of the Russian mafia before things took a turn for the worst over there. He knew everything and exactly what he was getting into when it comes to Nikolai's mafia standing." Nikolai's Dos-kun rants seemed to actually be coming in handy.

 

"Either way, I'm not looking for a relationship and Dazai and I are only friends and will remain that way no matter what you, or Sigma, or Nikolai say. I'm not ready for a relationship, and certainly not one with someone I actually care for. That's self sabotage and it'd only end with both of us getting hurt. I care for him too much to put him in that situation. I'd be more concerned if I was willing to be in a relationship with him. That would mean I hardly care for him. If I want physical intimacy I can get it from people with no feelings involved and no risk to either party. I'd rather be a friend to Dazai, something he actually needs right now, th a n an unsuitable boyfriend who will only hurt him in the long run." Chuuya sighed heavily.

 

Ranpo shook his head in frustration. "Fine, tell my brother something has come up and you're not going to be around. I would rather he not get his hopes up when you're not interested in being honest with yourself. If you're just going to cop out with the he needs a friend excuse and not let him choose, then you don’t deserve him."

 

Chuuya counted to ten in his head and breathed out through his nose while his hands were clenched in fists, his frustration only growing the longer he spoke with Ranpo. "What happened to letting him decide for himself? Don't you think it's his choice whether or not I stay in his life as a friend? I understand you're trying to protect him, I would have done the same thing had I been around when Nikolai met Fyodor or if Sigma ever decides to try dating. Hell, I've done the same exact thing you're doing right now, but guess what, trying to control his life to protect him is only going to make him hate you."

 

"We've only been friends thus far, and you know what, if he decides he doesn't want me in his life, that's his decision and I'll respect it. What I won't do is take orders from the likes of you no matter who you are to him. It's not your life to control and manipulate, he's a big boy and he knows everything he needs to for this decision. If he likes me as much as you think he does,  do you really think he won't hate you when he inevitably finds out you're the reason I walked out of his life? Don't be naive. You know nothing about me and nothing about my past or my reasoning for not being in a relationship." Chuuya hissed.

 

He went calm and was immediately all business, leveling Ranpo with a blank stare that had the man across from him genuinely quite fearful. There was a reason Chuuya was the boss of the Port Mafia even while so young in the humans eye. There was an even bigger reason why the organization had thrived. "Try and manipulate or force me into a decision again and you'll end up biting the curb, I don't care if youre Dazai’s brother or not. Your arrogance is astounding, truly you have no sense of self preservation. On Dazai, it's cute. On you, it pisses me off and makes me want to indulge your clear death wish. Just because I'm friends with your brother doesn't mean I wont kill you for your blatant disrespect. I'd implore you not to forget who I am and what I'm capable of. I would never hurt Dazai, but I have no problems hurting you."

 

"Besides, even if I wanted to cut ties with Dazai, which I don't and wont be doing unless he himself asks me to, I can't. In case you weren't aware, I own the restaurant now and he needs that job. If he does decide to no longer engage with me I'm not petty enough to let it effect his work of course, but we'd still be entwined through that. Though from what I've heard I'm guessing you hope we have a falling out if for no other reason that he'd possibly quit the restaurant." Chuuya continued almost flippantly, like he hadn't just threatened to murder the man across from him.

 

Ranpo nodded his head. "Yes, I would, actually. He was swaying his hips for you. He's well aware that he likes you, but hasn't admitted to himself that he's allowed to fall in love. He thinks it's betraying his kids if he wants anything for himself. So he would be hurt if you left, but there would still be time for him to get over you. The longer you stay around the harder he's going to fall, and we'll never get him to open his heart again when he realizes you don't want him like that. Just because you own the restaurant doesn't mean you have to interact with him. You can go in before his shifts start and leave before he arrives to work. It's very doable. As for not being in a relationship, someone close to you was, and they died, it traumatized you enough that you swore to never let it happen to you. So leave my brother alone and just go, I'm begging you not to hurt him."

 

The glasses and plates on the table behind them exploded as Chuuya clenched his knuckles so tightly he felt a few bones crack. He hissed at the feeling, resolving himself to a long winded lecture later, before smiling at Ranpo sharply. "Say another word about me being something as ridiculous as traumatized and I'll sew your mouth shut. Say another word about someone close to me dying and I'll misinterpret it as a threat on my family’s life and stab you through the jugular. Get it through your head that you don't know anything about me or any other person in this world. Hell, you don't even know your own father. You're living a fabricated lie." He sneered.

 

Ranpo stiffened at the mention of his father. "What the hell do you know about my father?" He hissed back, finally showing more emotion than dull amusement and mild anger.

 

"Far more than you. I've known Fukuzawa all my life. I also happen to be quite close to his husband and daughter." Chuuya growled back, aiming to hurt and not thinking about his words while clouded by anger.

 

Ranpo laughed, even if what Chuuya was saying made his gut clench uncomfortably. "My father doesn't have a husband, he's never been in a long term relationship. You aren't close with Yosano, she's never even met you."

 

Chuuya raised an eyebrow in sadistic amusement. "Oh you poor boy, you really do know nothing. I suppose it can't be helped when you're so immature and can't be trusted. Fukuzawa does have a husband, his name is Mori. He's got a whole other family. I'm not talking about Yosano, I could care less about her. I'm talking about Elise, your little sister who Fukuzawa abandoned. Bring her up, I'm dying to know how he'd react to hearing that name out of one of his precious dirty little secrets mouths." He antagonized, taking twisted delight in how worked up and angry Ranpo was getting. He could see all the confusion and conflicting emotions swirling arouns in the man's eyes, and Chuuya reveled in it. After all, he wasn't just the god of physical destruction. 

 

Ranpo was practically shaking in anger, no matter what he tried he couldn't get under this guys skin but Chuuya seemed to get under his so effortlessly. The mafia boss was lying of course, Fukuzawa would never do such a thing, but the insinuation he would was revolting. "You have no-." 

 

He was cut off by the appearance of his brother returning with their food and several other staff members going to clean up the mess Chuuya had made. Ranpo had been so engrossed in their little spat he hadn't even realized something had happened, so he looked at the scene in confusion.

 

"Sorry about the wait you guys, things were a little hectic in the kitchen. Did either of you see what happened?" Dazai asked while setting their food down in front of them.

 

Ranpo shook his head silently while Chuuya smiled and tilted his head. "No, I didn't see anything. We must have been so sucked into our conversation we didn't even realize something happened. Ranpo’s great conversation." Chuuya lied through his teeth and took a bite of his dessert.

 

Dazai set the cupcakes and ramune in front of his brother and frowned when he saw the way Ranpo looked shaken. He immediately reached out to test his brother's temp. "Do I need to see if Sano can come get you on her way to grab the kids? You don't have to stay until I get off Ran, you know that. You need to worry about yourself more than me. I'll be fine to walk home and get changed for the restaurant later. So don't stay because you're worried about me."

 

Ranpo immediately shook his head. "No, I'm fine, Zai. I'm not leaving you here by yourself, I already told you that. You can't get rid of me that easily. I'll just get my homework done early and surprise Ed when he picks us both up in a little while." He wasn't leaving his brother alone with this man if he could help it. No, he didn't trust him with Dazai, not one little bit.

 

The more primordial side of Arahabaki was thrilled that he'd put the partial human in his place and had shaken him so deeply. However, the human presenting Chuuya Nakahara was not. He had maybe gotten a little out of control there. Controlling his emotions had never been an area he excelled at, especially not when it came to Dazai. Stupid fucking consort bond. 

 

Maybe he could get his mother to temporarily block it, or permanently block it? He'd have to see how he felt in a few days. If he rushed to Kouyou right now she'd only tell him to take a few days to calm down. It was also starting to set in how much he'd let out while angry, specifically the things about Elise and Mori. He'd have to figure out something to do there. Fukuzawa would murder him if Ranpo ever actually asked.

 

Dazai furrowed his eyebrows and looked at Ranpo with concern. "You're gonna do your homework without incentive?" He asked to clarify, now extremely worried.

 

Ranpo pouted. "Yes, I am! I'm not immature and untrustworthy." He grumbled and Chuuya bit back a snicker, it seems he'd been right and struck an insecurity.

 

Dazai pat Ranpo’s head gently. "I didn't say you were, you normally just don't see the point when you already know anything. If you want to work on homework, that's completely up to you." He'd be texting Poe to get here as soon as possible and check on Ranpo, his brother was acting very out of character.

 

"Good, I was going to do it no matter what you said anyways. I'll do the best damn homework any of those stuck up college professors have ever seen!" Ranpo exclaimed, he needed a distraction from Chuuya’s words and throwing himself into work would do that while also disproving the mafia boss.

 

Dazai smiled indulgently. "You do that. I look forward to seeing the end product." He then turned his attention to Chuuya. "And what will you be doing with your time Chibi?"

 

Chuuya hummed and shrugged his shoulders. "I'll probably get going after I finish this." He gestured to his food. "I need to get back to work, I'll have a lot of shit to do since I've been gone for so long." He wouldn't, Rimbaud had taken on his duties while Verlaine took on Kouyou’s, however he know needed to talk to Fukuzawa about what the hell was going on with Yosano and Ranpo and also probably give the god a heads up about what he'd let slip.

 

Dazai pouted. "Chibi is always so busy, it's like he doesn't have time for us mere mortals." He teased, missing the way Chuuya stiffened slightly. "If you really must go, I'll see you later on at the restaurant. It was nice to see you and know you're still alive."

 

Chuuya laughed and pinched Dazai’s hip. "Yes, you'll see me later on. Like I told you, there won't be a day where I'm not coming back alive. You've got nothing to worry about." He promised, standing up after finishing off his pastry and handing Dazai a few dollars. "Best service I've had in a long time. I think it deserves a good tip. I'll break your fingers if you try to give it back." He promised and poked Dazai’s chest before leaving, not giving his consort a chance to say anything in reply.

 

Dazai stared after Chuuya for a moment before deciding to take his break. "I'll be right back, Ran. I'm going to take my break before it gets busy again." He made sure his tips were hidden in his apron, even for him this was a lot for one day. If he was lucky, he made this amount at the cafe and restaurant combined. The tips at the restaurant had gotten better under Verlaine, and he was even given a raise along with a few others who stayed proportionate to the number of years they'd been working there. All of this combined meant he might could do something a little nicer for Christmas this year and get more of Ryu's hospital bills paid on.

 

Ranpo nodded distractedly. Surely he could find a good reason to keep his brother away from Nakahara Chuuya. The man wasn't to be trusted with Dazai’s heart.

 

Dazai shook his head and smiled indulgently as he left to go clock out for his break. He texted Poe while he was back there. I think you need to come check on Ran, if not take him home. He's doing his regular non-project related homework willingly, and without prompting from anyone.

 

Poe furrowed his brows as he read the message. That wasn't like Ranpo at all, and if his boyfriend was coming down ill, it was best to get him home to rest. I'm on my way. Yosano just picked the kids up, so you don't have to worry about me going out of my way to drop them off with your father. Just keep an eye on him until I get there?

 

Dazai nodded to himself, if Poe was worried, his instincts had been right. I've just started my break, so I'll go sit with him until you get here to pick him up. He then put his phone up and walked back to his brother's table and sat down with him. "Hey Ran, how's it coming?"

 

Ranpo let out an irritated huff. "Our professors are so stupid!! I’m playing games instead!" He knew that would settle his brother down and reassure him. However, he continued with his digging, interested in finding a valid reason Dazai would listen to in order to keep his brother away from that mafia boss. He didn't trust Nakahara Chuuya with Dazai, no, not when the man claimed to only want to be friends but got pissed when it was suggested he stay away so Dazai wouldn't get hurt and could find love. There had to be something somewhere. He refused to give up, not when his little brother was at stake.

 

Dazai laughed softly and laid his head on his crossed arms that were on the table. "Oh? What happened to making the best homework our professors have ever seen?" He teased, more than happy that his brother was getting back to normal.

 

Ranpo rolled his eyes. "That was before I looked over the assignments and realized how dumb they are and how much of a wasted amount of time they'd take up. Why would I do that when I can spend time with Ed later and you now? That doesn't make any sense."

 

Dazai chuckled fondly. "So what game are you playing? Are you still trying to beat Sano's high score in that surgery game?" He teased happily as his brother made a face. 

 

"The game requires no skill!! It's literally point, click, and drag. Why does she keep scoring higher than me? It makes no sense!!"

 

Dazai snickered. "Maybe because she takes the time to read the instructions?"

 

Ranpo waved a hand. "Instructions are for stupid beings. I am a superior creature and have no need of instructions!" He declared to his brother's amusement as he finally found a lead. It might not pan out, but hopefully he could find a good reason to keep Nakahara from his brother.

 

Dazai smiled teasingly. "So, Sano, Poe, Father, the kids, and I are all inferior beings? We need instructions at least some of the time. Especially when it comes to clinicals and surgeries."

 

Ranpo waved his brother off. "Of course you're not. My family doesn't count for all of this."

 

Dazai laughed warmly. "How kind and considerate of you, Ran! You truly are the most magnanimous person aren't you?" He teased.

 

Ranpo nodded with a smirk as he quickly attached his info to an email and shot it off to Nakahara. "Of course I am. I love my family and only want the best for them!"

 

Dazai smiled softly at his brother as he watched Poe walk in and zero in on them. "I know you do, Ran. We love you, too." He murmured fondly as Poe walked up to kiss Ranpo’s head.

 

"Zai was a little worried about you, so I came by to check on you. It seems I didn't need to be too worried as you're already back to your games." Poe could easily tell something was bothering his boyfriend, but also knew that he didn't want Dazai to know and worry. Therefore he would play along until Ranpo was ready to tell him.

 

Ranpo beamed as he pulled his boyfriend into a quick kiss. "Ed, maybe you can convince Zai that instructions aren't needed for games!"

 

Dazai snickered fondly. "He's still sore that Sano is doing better in a game than him."

 

Poe nodded in understanding. "Ranpo, don't forget your sister is studying to be a surgeon. It's not a surprise she's good at a game about surgery." He appeased softly.

 

Ranpo pouted. "No, it makes no sense!! All you do is point, click and drag!!" He was always happy when he made his brother laugh. Even more so when he was trying to take away someone Dazai cared about deeply already. Unfortunately, Nakahara couldn't be trusted with Dazai’s heart.

 

Poe laughed softly as Karl jumped from his around his neck on to Ranpo’s shoulder, effectively distracting his boyfriend from his annoyed feelings at the game. "You point, click, and drag to certain parts of the body that are told to you in the instructions, Ranpo."

 

"There's an indicator of where you're supposed to drag to!" Ranpo whined while shifting Karl into his lap and running his fingers over the rac coon' s fur. 

 

"Ranpo, love, that comes on after you've taken a long time to figure it out. It's a built in hint system." Poe said gently and couldn't help his fond smile when Ranpo gave him and incredulous look.

 

Ranpo gawked at Poe before looking down at Karl. "Are you hearing this ridiculousness Karl?! And he decides to tell me now!" He huffed and shook his head. "No one in this family loves me but you, pal. It seems it's us against the world.

 

Poe shook his head in exasperation with a loving look in his eyes as he kissed Ranpo’s temple. "How can I make it up to you for not saying something?" If he never addressed it he'd never hear the end of it. His boyfriend could whine about the same thing for weeks on end. The only thing he was worse about than games were his snacks.

 

Ranpo perked up as he was hit with an idea. "You need to help me do research! You do it all the time for your classes and your books when you write in different historical periods!"

 

Both Poe’s eyebrows shot up in surprise and Dazai looked at his brother in confusion. "Research on what?" They asked at the same time.

 

"That's for me to know and you both to find out. Figure it out yourselves like you wanted me to do with the game!" Ranpo stuck his tongue out at them. Hopefully Poe could help him find more dirt on Nakahara to actually get him to leave Dazai alone. He had a feeling what he had sent alone wouldn't do much.

 

Poe blinked and tilted his head. "Ranpo, I can't help you do research if I don't know what I'm researching. Care to elaborate?" He pushed, expecting the head shake he got in return.

 

"I'm testing your mystery solving abilities Edgar! The whole point is you have to figure it out!" Ranpo said absently while turning his attention back to his game, new determination in his eyes now that he knew what was going on.

 

Karl chittered unhappily at the lack of attention but was quickly silenced by Ranpo pulling out a bag of treats from his laptop bag and feeding him one. Poe sighed and looked at Dazai helplessly. The waiter only shrugged, Ranpo was acting pretty normal now, so Dazai was considerably less worried. Poe was there now, in case his brother needed him, so all was well enough.

 

"I've got to get back to work. If you guys need anything just call me over, otherwise I'll be making my rounds." Dazai smiled and pat Ranpo's head, scratched Karl behind his little ears, and waved to Poe before heading off to clock in and then check on his other tables.

 

Poe watched him go until he deemed Dazai far enough away. Only then did he turn back to his boyfriend who was still playing his game with one hand face up on the table. "Are you going to tell me what you need my help with now?" Poe asked while gently taking Ranpo’s hands in his own.

 

"Mhhh, yep! Grab my laptop out for me." Ranpo’s attention still remained on his game while he played one handed. Poe hated the café with a passion, not only because of how they treated Dazai, but also because it was incredibly crowded and loud. It made the man s anxiety act up, so Ranpo was more than happy to hold his hand to help keep him grounded when it was his own strange behavior that had his boyfriend coming in anyways.

 

Poe reached around Ranpo and pulled out his laptop, su r prised to see it wasn't fully powered down like it usually was. He set it down on the table and opened it before looking to his boyfriend in confusion at the email thread pulled up on the screen. Ranpo set his phone aside, his eyes narrowing when he saw Nakahara responded.

 

Poe gently squeezed his boyfriend's hand. "What is it, Ranpo? You look displeased. What has happened that's gotten you so upset? Is it something to do with Zai or Sano?" Only something with his family involved would have Ranpo this upset.

 

Ranpo huffed and leaned into Poe’s side, disturbing Karl in the process and causing the raccoon to make his way on to his owners head. "It has to do with Zai. You know that guy he's been texting a bunch recently and never stops talking about? The short one with red hair?" He waited for his boyfriend to nod beforr continuing. "Well, I met him today."

 

Poe made a sound of understanding. "And you don't like him." He stated, they both knew it was a fact.

 

"Correct, Ed. I don't like him, he's an asshole and he's not to be trusted with Zai. They guy refuses to be honest with himself. Something happened to someone in his past, and because of a relationship they ended up dead. Now he's written off love so it never happens again. It's obvious he likes Zai as more than a friend, and it's even more obvious that Zai likes him way more than a friend. However, the guy refuses to admit that to himself. He knows Zai is into him, and he can read him quite well considering he knows Zai hasn't accepted that fact yet, but he claims it's to dangerous to be in a relationship and he keeps saying Zai doesn't have all the facts he needs to make the decision to become romantically involved with him if they ever were to. Can you believe that! What an absolute idiot. Just tell him." Ranpo grumbled.

 

Poe sighed softly. "When it comes to his job, I can see where he's coming from. If I was in his position, I'd chose to be your friend rather than put you in the danger there would be if we were to become something more. However, I'm sure he's more than capable of protecting Zai, so you're right that it doesn't make sense. I'm sure the man has a lot of enemies, he's powerful and I'm sure in his time as a mafia boss he's made a lot of enemies. With his profession there's bound to be things he cant tell Dazai, or that he simply doesn't want to tell. You can imagine the horrific things he's done."

 

"You can't fault him for being scared after what happened in his past, Ranpo, but you can fault him for not being forward with Zai about not being emotionally ready for anything more. If he knows Zai as well as you think he does, he should know Dazai won't push, especially if it distresses him physically to speak on, which I'm sure is how you picked up on it. I'll tell you now it isn't wise to disregard people s trauma and pretend it didn't happen an d that it won't a ffect their decisions, that will only lead to bad blood and it wont be on him if you do that. You've seen how Zai gets when people discredit what happened to him and the kids, don't be that person to Nakahara just because you don't like him." Poe continued while Ranpo typed on the computer and pulled up and image of Chuuya from a few months back at a charity event. He glared at the photo as his mind whirled.

 

"He's still a p ie ce of shit, I don't care what he's been through." Ranpo hissed, causing Poe to raise an eyebrow at the venom in his words.

 

"Would you like to talk about whatever else it is he did to upset you so greatly? You wouldn't be this upset if it was only about his conflicting feelings for Zai." Poe coaxed gently.

 

Ranpo sighed heavily and dropped his head on to Poe’s shoulder, hiding his face there and muffling his voice as he started talking. "He said he knows my father, and that he's not a good person." He mumbled.

 

Poe furrowed his eyebrows. "That doesn't make any sense, you're older than him, right? How would he know that and you not remember it?"

 

Ranpo shrugged. "He's twenty two, so that's a few years. It doesn't make sense, and logically I know he's wrong but I'm still pissed he'd even insinuate something like he did. Father is a good person." He said firmly.

 

Poe squeezed his hand. "You're right, Mr. Fukuzawa is a very good person. I'd go as far to say he's the best man I've ever met. What did Mr. Nakahara insinuate that would make anyone question that?" He asked gently, rubbing his thumb back and forth over Ranpo’s knuckles.

 

Ranpo grit his teeth. "He said father is married, has been for a long time, to a man. That would mean he cheated with my mother for her to have Sano and I. Nakahara also said I have a little sister that father abandoned when he left his husband. Claims he has this whole other fucking family. He told me to bring up the name Elise and see how he reacts, apparently that's my little sister's name. Little half sister? I don't fucking know! Why am I even entertaining this idea. That girl doesn't exist and neither does Mori."

 

Poe stayed quiet for a second and let his boyfriend's words sink in before carefully replying. "Obviously he only said those things to hurt you. I don't know what you said beforehand, but I'm assuming it wasn't taken well for him to come up with such a slanderous and ridiculous claim. Did you tell Zai about what he said? That may help you on your get rid of Nakahara Chuuya campaign."

 

Ranpo shook his head. "No, I don't want to ever think about those words again. I'm not gonna mention anything to Sano, and especially not Zai when he's just gotten comfortable actually referring to father as family. I'll bring it up to father soon enough, I just need to hear him tell me it isn't true so it can't effect me at all. I don't want that lingering doubt."

 

Poe nodded as he pulled his boyfriend closer so Ranpo was practically in his lap. "It could be that Nakahara was trying to come up with something that would shake you and make you quit trying to protect Zai. I imagine he didn't like being asked to stay away or just be upfront about what he wants. With what he does for a living, Nakahara probably isn't used to people trying to tell him what to do."

 

Ranpo nodded as he ran his fingers through Karl's fur while the raccoon chittered softly and reached out for another treat. "He probably isn't, but I don't want to see Zai hurt again. He's been hurt enough in his life, and I won’t let it happen again if I can do anything about it this time around."

 

Poe sighed softly. "You have such a big heart, Ranpo. I wish you could protect all your loved ones from ever being hurt again, but we both know that's not possible."

 

"It should be, what good is my genius if I can't protect my family? I wish I knew a way to help Zai so he didn't feel like he didn't deserve stuff just as much as the kids. He doesn't even want to let us get him anything for Christmas because he doesn't think he deserves it."

 

Poe smiled faintly. "Yes, and it bugs you that he so easily accepted a new phone from Nakahara when you and your sister had been trying since you first saw his phone."

 

Ranpo snorted as he handed Karl a treat. "My point exactly!! He didn't even know Zai back then except for that brief encounter, and yet instead of simply getting him a replacement flip phone, he gives Zai a model that won't even be released to the public for another three years!!"

 

Poe laughed softly and shook his head. "To someone as powerful and most definitely rich as Nakahara Chuuya, that phone cost nothing. Besides, I'm sure the Port Mafia has their hands in a multitude of technology companies and developments. Nakahara probably didn't give Zai a choice on giving it back, not to mention it could have easily been a bribe to get Zai to keep quiet about what happened at the warehouse. The bodies were in pretty bad shape if the news is to be believed. It was hardly even recognizable as a Port Mafia killing. In fact it seemed the jaw break was done after the men died."

 

Ranpo perked up curiously at that. He hadn't been paying attention to anything about the case of the two thugs who kidnapped Dazai and were later found dead. His little brother had asked him and the other coffee shop employees not to look into it or bring it up, so they didn't. "Do they know the time of death?"

 

Poe nodded his head. "Approximately, yes. It was impossible to get a good tell after they had been dead for multiple days before they were found and examined. It was in the early morning, so if you're wondering who did the killing the only logical explanation would be Nakahara. Of course there was no official evidence of that, but with what we know being personally involved in the situation it's the only conclusion that can be drawn. If Nakahara had called someone else to finish the job it would have taken them well into the afternoon to get there seeing as the crime scene was across the city from the main buildings the mafia runs out of."

 

Ranpo furrowed his eyebrows as he started typing on the computer again, going against Dazai’s wishes and looking up the case. He stayed silent for a few minutes as he read through the first article and frowned. "What the hell? That's not a routine mafia killing, that's personal. They kept the descriptions vague but you can tell it was an emotional killing, there's enough rage in that to fuel at least three serial killers!"

 

Poe nodded in agreement. "But the real question is why Nakahara went that far? These were two low level thugs in a gang outside of town that had never encroached on mafia territory before and seemingly never even interacted with the Port Mafia until that day, seemingly on accident. Even the murders that happened right after Nakahara took power weren't as gruesome, and those were to send a message."

 

Ranpo tapped his fingers against the edge of his laptop. "Which means the only unaccounted for variable is Zai. The only logical conclusion is that Nakahara reacted so vengefully and killed them so violently because of what they did to Dazai." He grit his teeth, that was a problem. It seemed he'd greatly underestimated just how dangerous Chuuya could be when it came to Dazai, even if it didn't make any sense why.

 

Poe frowned in worry as he glanced at Dazai flitting around his tables and seeing to customers. "He's not going to back away easily then, is he? I suppose if you want to get back at him, you could get Zai something he needs but would never ask for."

 

Ranpo Lit up at that idea. "It's perfect!! I'll go ahead and get Zai his headphones early, because Nakahara heard me mention them when he was with all his friends. I won't give him a chance to give Zai another gift. I'll just work around Zai's protests here and there. Thanks Ed!!!"

 

Poe shook his head fondly. "Just don't get him so angry he tries to make you bite the curb. He might not appreciate you stopping him from getting Zai stuff. Tread carefully, that's all I ask."

 

Ranpo nodded his head in agreement. "I'll be careful," he promised as he settled in to scheme and watched over his brother until Dazai’s shift finished and he had changed. "Hey Zai, ready for us to run you home?"

 

Dazai smiled as he removed a few stray bobby pins from his curls. "Yes, I'm ready Ran. Really though, you and Poe didn't have to stay and wait for me." He protested, reaching out to pet Karl and hand him a Poe approved cupcake as he did.

 

Ranpo shook his head. "No can do, Zai!! I told you we'd be giving you a ride home, so don't protest it so much!"

 

Dazai chuckled softly as he nodded seriously. "Okay, Ran. I can get to the restaurant by myself though."

 

It was Poe who nipped that idea in the bud. "We would both feel much better about dropping you off at work, Zai. In fact, call one of us when your shift finishes or call Mr. Fukuzawa. One of us would happily pick you up and take you home for the night."

 

Ranpo grinned gleefully. "If you don't accept help from us, we'll just get Kunikida to come pick you up. Then you'll have to listen to his nagging."

 

Dazai grumbled under his breath, then answered his brother. "Fine, I'll call father when my shift ends, happy?"

 

Ranpo nodded gleefully. "Yep! I'm going to call him after we drop you off, so he'll be expecting you to call. Don't make him worry by not calling. He might not let you leave the coffee shop again."

 

Dazai nodded fondly, even if he knew his brother was completely serious about his comments. "I'll call him, promise."

 

Ranpo clapped his hands and stood up from Poe’s lap, never letting go of his boyfriend's hand while swiping Karl off his head and carrying him. "Great! Now let's get you home so you can see the kids! If we leave now you'll be able to wake Atsushi and Gin up from their nap!" 

 

That got Dazai moving and he eagerly followed his brother and Poe out to the car. His favorite thing was getting to wake his kids up and see just how excited they got when they saw him. Ranpo threw open the passenger door and plopped Karl down on the center co nsu l. Dazai climbed in the back while Poe got in the drivers side. Neither Dazai or Ranpo were allowed to drive. Ranpo because he'd never bothered to get his license thanks to always getting lost, and Dazai because by some absolutely huge mistake his driving instructor had passed him even though he drove like he was in a video game.

 

The car ride passed with relative ease. Dazai watched from the back seat with Karl in his lap as Ranpo and Poe bickered about the music. Eventually Poe gave in and allowed his boyfriend to change the station as he please d , which was halfway through every song because he got bored. The couple held hands in the middle, Poe driving with one hand while Ranpo used his free hand to play on his phone. 

 

Dazai was out of the car before it was even fully parked. He carried Karl with him up to the apartment, taking the stairs two at a time. When he reached the door he didn't even have to unlock it thanks to Yosano being inside. He only bothered to wave to her and hand Karl over before going to the bedroom. Ryu was reading a book for school in the center of the bed where Gin and Atsushi were asleep on either side of him. Dazai smiled and waved at his son while holding a finger up to his lips. Ryu marked his page and set his book aside, more than happy to watch his dad wake up his siblings.

 

Dazai smiled as he leaned over to press a gentle kiss to Ryu's head, happy to get this extra time with them. He hated working all the time, but it enabled him to keep his kids and provide for them, that could never be traded. He then reached over to poke Gin's cheek, gently. His daughter was a light sleeper and would start waking from that touch alone. Sushi on the other hand, required more extreme measures. 

 

Dazai gently pulled the blankets down from around his son, and rucked his shirt up to blow raspberries into his stomach. 

 

The youngest of the three children came awake with a squeal, full of smiles and laughs. "Daaad!!! Stop! It tickles!!!" 

 

Gin lit up as she pounced on her dad's back. "You're home early!!! That means you can spend time with us, right?"

 

Dazai laughed as he pulled his daughter around and down into a hug. "Yes, I have about an hour and a half before I have to be at work. Your Uncle Poe is driving me, so it should only take about ten minutes to go there. That means you get me to yourselves for over an hour until I have to get ready and leave. Now, what would you three like to do?"

 

Ryu raised an eyebrow. "So does that mean Uncle Poe and Uncle Ranpo are here as well? Along with Aunt Yosano?" He asked to clarify before his siblings started shouting out answers. If everyone was here the changed their options substantially.

 

Dazai smiled at his eldest and nodded his head. "Yes, your Uncles and your Aunt are all in the living room." He confirmed, causing Atsushi to cheer in excitement. He was always the most happy at being able to have family time.

 

"Let's go see them and find out what they want to do then!! We got all our homework done with Uncle Poe and Auntie Yosano, so we don't even have to keep time in to finish that!" Atsushi explained to his dad, practically vibrating in place.

 

Dazai chuckled and ruffled his youngest sons hair. "If you want to ask for their opinion, you're more than welcome to." He assured and couldn't get out another sentence before Atsushi was climbing off the bed and tearing off down the hall.

 

"Be careful! Don't run on the hardwood floors!" Dazai called out right before a small crash was heard followed by a thud.

 

"I'm okay!! Uncle Poe broke my fall!" Atsushi yelled back. 

 

Dazai sighed fondly and shook his head while Ryu rolled his eyes. "What an idiot." The boy grumbled while getting off the bed to go check on his brother anyways.

 

Gin wrapped her arms around Dazai's neck and looked up at him expectantly, a smile taking over her face when her dad stood up and carried her into the living room. Atsushi was still on the floor where he crashed and was talking with his uncle like he hadn't just plowed him over. Ryu was sat on the couch watching with a disapproving look. Gin frowned at her brother and wiggled out of Dazai arms to go to him and poke at his cheeks.

 

"Why are you making that face?" Gin asked innocently while sitting next to Ryu on the couch.

 

"Because Atsushi’s dumb." Ryu grumbled while gently batting his sister's hands away.

 

Gin furrowed her eyebrows and shook her head. "No he isn't. That's mean Ryu, you shouldn't say that." She reprimanded and Ranpo muffled his snort at watching his nephew get chewed out by his little sister.

 

Ryu shrugged his shoulders. "Sometimes the truth hurts, that doesn't make it any less true. Just like the fact that you're short."

 

Gin gasped and pinched Ryu's arm. "No I'm not!! Dad, Ryu's being mean to me!" She tattled.

 

Dazai smiled gently at his daughter and squeezed her shoulder. "Princess, Ryu isn't wrong. You are on the smaller side for your age, but that isn't anything to be ashamed about. Your brother is small for his age too. Being short or small isn't a bad thing, if anything it makes you easier to carry!"

 

Gin lit up at that and looked at her dad with stars in her eyes. "It does?! Being short is great!" She giggled and held her arms up to Dazai again.

 

Her dad easily got the message and picked her back up. At the same time Atsushi was finally rolling off Poe and clam be ring up on to the couch next to Ryu, who watched him from the corner of his eyes. Gin waved to Poe now that his attention was away from Atsushi and her uncle was more than happy to wave back. Atsushi had now split his focus between Karl and Ryu.

 

"Sushi, isn't there something you wanted to ask everybody?" Dazai reminded, only getting a half attentive hum in return.

 

"Oi, Jinko, dad asked you a question." Ryu flicked his brother s forehead who whined in return and pouted at him.

 

"No he didn't!" Atsushi claimed, looking to Dazai for conformation.

 

Dazai smiled gently. "I did ask you a question, buddy. Didn't you want to ask your aunt and uncles something?" He prompted, waiting a few seconds before the pieces clicked together and Atsushi beamed.

 

"Yes I did! Thanks for reminding me dad! Uncle Poe, Uncle Ranpo, Auntie Yosano, since you're all here with us, what do you guys want to do before dad has to go to work again?" Atsushi asked, turning his entire body to be able to look at everyone he was talking to.

 

Yosano smiled warmly at her excitable nephew. "It's a nice day out, so why don't we go to the park? We can stay longer if your dad goes ahead and changes, then we can all drop him off together, how does that sound?"

 

Ryu nodded his approval while Gin and Sushi cheered loudly. "Hurry dad! Go change and then we can all go to the park to play!!" Gin demanded eagerly. 

 

Dazai laughed as he handed his daughter to Ranpo. "Okay, I'm going." He kissed Gin's head before vanishing back down the hall to the bedroom to change into his uniform for the restaurant. When he reappeared in the living room the kids were being bundled into shoes and jackets, Ryu with a scarf around his neck and a hat on his head. When he got too cold he was more susceptible to his episodes, so he always took it upon himself to add more layers as it got cooler outside.

 

Atsushi ran over to his dad for help with his jacket. Dazai smiled warmly and crouched down to help zip his son up. Even though he always ran warm and would probably be fine without a jacket, Atsushi liked to wear one so he matched with the his siblings and dad, who all ran colder.

 

Gin then darted over and held her arms up alongside her brother. Both of them were soon settled on their father's hips as the family headed down to the cars , talking with one another while Gin braided small sections of Dazai's hair . None of the kids wanted to split from their dad, so Poe and Ranpo went with Karl in Poe’s car while everyone else got in Yosano’s. 

 

Dazai carefully made sure seat belts were fastened correctly and the kids were comfortable in their booster seats. "What are we going to do at the park? Are we feeding the ducks, or did you have something else in mind?" He asked while straightening Gin’s twisted seat belt.

 

Ryu smiled at his dad. "Can we feed the ducks and then swing?" He wasn't the most active child, but feeding the ducks with his dad and then sitting in his lap while his dad moved the swing back and forth gently, almost idly, was his favorite thing. Sushi and Gin would get into a competition about who could swing higher, but Ryu cherished the quiet moments where he almost had his dad to himself. His siblings were very energetic and outgoing, so they naturally drew attention to themselves, but it was nice when they went off on their own and he got quiet time with his dad. Some of his favorite times were when his dad got home from work and woke them up to let them know he was home. He would then tuck Sushi and Gin back into bed, but would sometimes let Ryu stay up and sit in his lap while he studied

 

Dazai smiled softly as he ruffled Ryu's hair. "Yeah, we can do just that, little man." He then carefully shut the door and went around to get into the passenger seat.

 

Upon arriving at the park, Dazai turned to smile at his kids. "You know the rules. Stay in the sight of one of the adults at all times and if you want to go somewhere else, ask first."

 

The kids all chimed their agreement as Dazai lifted Gin into his arms and let Ryu grab one of his hands. Sushi had already bounced over to his uncles and was being placed on Poe’s shoulders while Ranpo held Karl. The raccoon seemed unhappy with the arrangement and leaped up to Atsushi’s leg before he climbed up to settle on Poe’s head. The little boy laughed happily and started to pet Karl while Poe carried them both over to the play - set, Ranpo’s hand in his so his boyfriend didn't wander off and get lost.

 

Gin tapped her dads shoulder and pointed after them. "I want to go play on the playground with Sushi. Yesterday he was bragging about being able to make it across the monkey bars, but I didn’t see it because we don't have the same recess. Can we go over there?" She asked and didn't need to wait for a reply as Ryu started to lead them after Poe and Ranpo upon hearing his sisters request.

 

"Of course we can, Princess. I want to see Atsushi make it across the monkey bars too." Dazai assured.

 

Atsushi hopped down from his Uncle Poe’s shoulders into his Uncle Ranpo’s waiting arms and was set down on his feet. He took off up the steps on to the play-set with Karl hot on heels and Gin following behind after being set down. Their first stop was the smaller three sides that were used for racing, Atsushi on one side, Karl in the middle, and Gin on the other. Yosano and Ranpo spoke with each other while keeping an eye on the kids, Poe occasionally chiming in.

 

"Are you gonna go on the play - set little man?" Dazai asked his son who was yet to let go of his hand and chase after his siblings.

 

Ryu shook his head and buried his face in his scarf. "No, the doctor said I shouldn't play too much on the playground when it gets cold. I'm at a higher risk for overexerting myself that way." 

 

Dazai frowned slightly down at his son and squeezed his hand. "Ryu, you're still allowed to play, you just have to be careful. Your doctor never said you weren't allowed on the playground."

 

Ryu shrugged his shoulders. "It'd be dumb to take the risk. I'd rather not test those limits and risk an attack when I'm not even all that interested in the playground equipment anymore. I like the swings and the ducks, that's about it when it comes to the park."

 

"Is this about you not wanting to risk the attack or did something else happen?" Dazai asked. Normally Ryu made it a point to not let his sickness stop him from doing things, even if he didn't want to do them. He didn't like giving it that much control over his life or giving people another reason to look at him with pity.

 

Ryu bit his lip and shifted uncomfortable. "It's expensive." He admitted softly and regretted it when his dad's breath hitched.

 

Dazai took a second to calm himself and let go of his sons hand to wrap and arm around him and pull him close. "What do you mean by that Ryu?"

 

"I noticed a while ago that after I have an attack you always work more hours. At first I thought it was because you were mad at me for being sick and causing so many problems, but then in school some kid in my class was talking about how their mom was complaining about medical bills from an accident their dad had. That's when it clicked that you were spending more time at work because you needed to pay off the medical bills from me being in the hospital."  Ryu explained. 

 

"One day while you were gone at work you had left the bills out and I looked through them. Dad, my attacks cost us a lot of money per hospital visit. I know we're pretty tight on money, and you already work so much we hardly get to see you. So why would I risk having an attack and seeing you less often just for a stupid playground I don't even want to play on? Especially when I'd be taking away from their time with you as well." He asked while peering up at his dad.

 

Dazai carefully lifted his son into his arms and hugged him. "Oh Ryu, I love you and your siblings so very much. I hate that I'm not around as much, but I promise you that I don't regret taking on so much work to provide for all of you or pay your hospital bills. I will never complain about having to pay hospital bills if it means I don't lose you."

 

Ryu buried his face in his dad's neck as he hugged him back. "We miss you when you're at work," he admitted.

 

Dazai nodded as he kissed Ryu's head. "Want to know a secret?" When Ryu nodded, he nuzzled him gently. "I miss all of you wherever you're out of my sight, I always have."

 

Ryu tilted his head back to look at his dad to make sure he wasn't just saying that. When he decided that his dad was serious, he smiled slightly and hugged him tighter. "I love you, dad."

 

Dazai gently stroked his son’s hair as he walked over to the swing set and sat down with Ryu in his lap while swaying back and forth. "I love you, too, little man. I'm serious about you not limiting yourself because you're worried about the hospital bills. My new employer has actually helped with that."

 

Ryu furrowed his eyebrows and looked back over his shoulder at Dazai. "You have a new job? Since when?" He asked.

 

Dazai chuckled and shook his head. "Not a new job, a new employer. The restaurant I work for had a change in owner a few days ago. A friend of mine bought it actually."

 

"You have friends?" Ryu questioned innocently, never having heard his dad talk about anyone other than coworkers and family.

 

Dazai clutched his chest and huffed dramatically. "You wound me Ryu! I might not recover!" When all he got back was a raised eyebrow from his eldest he actually answered the question. "Yes, I do have friends from college and those I've met by pure chance."

 

Ryu hummed and tilted his head in thought. "I've never heard of a college student being able to buy a restaurant before. They're all broke."

 

His dad snorted and shook his head. "That's a bit stereotypical, but not exactly wrong. All college students are not broke, just most of them. However, you're right in the idea that it wasn't my friend from college."

 

"So you now work for some random friend you met while strolling along the road." Ryu summarized.

 

Dazai shook his head, very amused at the description of events. "Not exactly, but you've got the basics of it. I don't work directly for my friend, he's a very powerful man so he has more important work to be doing than running a restaurant. I'm pretty sure my new boss is someone who works closely under him."

 

Ryu tilted his head. "You dont know for sure how your boss knows your friend?"

 

Dazai smiled sheepishly and nodded his head. "That's right. I just haven't had the time to ask."

 

Ryu crossed his arms and raised his chin. "You're scared aren't you? If he works for your friend, closely or not, he won't be mean to you. If he is then you can file a complaint with the big guy."