To be honest, I meant to put this up here a long time ago. But then I chickened out in the last minute. Out of all the short drabbles I wrote for the kinkmeme, this one was my favorite. So I decided to post it as a celebration of Valentine's Day!
De-anoned for this prompt:
"One-sided Shizuo/Mikado angst where Shizuo falls for Mikado not because of his moe-ness/uke-ness, but his show of strong leadership in Dollars and/or other admirable traits. Angst due to the fact Shizuo knew he had no chance to be together with Mikado for various reason (he's just a subordinate, taboo, gossip,etc).
I think it'll be better if the story is set in an alternate universe. Mikado is still the boss/leader of Dollars while Shizuo is his trusted and loyal confidant-cum-bodyguard. Throw in a few turf wars between the color gangs in Ikebukuro to spice things up. Also Izaya if you want."
I don't own. And if this seems a little different from what's up on lj, it's because I've edited it a little. Please enjoy!
Warnings: AU, Angst, violence, crossdressing, foul language, Awakusu-kai, improbable situation, and Izaya.
When one sees Ryugamine Mikado, the first thing they notice about the boy is his shyness. They would undoubtedly notice his soft smiles, his hesitant demeanor, and the naïve smile of trust. The last thing that anyone would notice when Mikado is smiling like that is that this boy just might be badassed.
So when people asks Shizuo exactly what it is about the Dollars Leader that makes his heart beat faster and his face flushed, they always double-take at his answer.
"Are you sure you don't mean his moe-ness?" Shinra asks.
"No, I mean that he's a good leader."
"Because he's so moe, right?"
"No, because he's that powerful."
They stare at each other, disbelief coloring Shinra's face. "There's no way that Mikado-kun could possibly be badassed!"
Shizuo shrugs. Half of him is annoyed at Shinra for being so disbelieving. But deeply inside, he's kind of glad that he's one of the few who gets to see Mikado's cool side. Because that means that the Dollars Leader trusts him that much. And that thought alone is enough to keep Shizuo going for days.
The ex-debt collector would be the first to admit that he really didn't know what to expect when he first saw the boy.
Shizuo had lost his job that day. And he had been sure that if Tom's boss didn't want to hire him, then pretty much no one in Ikebukuro would. Frustrated and angry, he had been puffing at his cigarette in the park, sitting hunched over on a park bench. He glared at everyone that walked by, and everyone gave him a clear fifteen feet radius.
So imagine his surprise when all of sudden, someone held up some yen to his face.
The jobless man scowled. "I don't need charity."
"This isn't charity," the person replied, his voice calm and collected. "This is a job offer."
Shizuo finally looked up at the person. It was a boy, no older than 16 at most. The boy was wearing Raira school uniform, and in all sense of the word, he was average looking. The only thing that caught Shizuo's interest was the cold blue eyes that seemed to be calculating Shizuo's worth. It was probably the first time in a long time the blonde ever saw someone look at him without disdain, anger, or fear.
"Kid, aren't you too young to be offering people jobs?"
The boy smiled, but it never reached his eyes. How mysterious. "It appears that I'm not too young to be killed."
Was that bitterness in his voice? Shizuo wasn't sure. Instead, he puffed at his cigarette. "Why are people trying to kill you?"
"Because I'm the Leader of Dollars."
The blonde vaguely remembered hearing something about Dollars. About how they were transforming the streets of Ikebukuro or something. He hadn't been listening at the time and half of him wished that he had been paying attention, because the kid in front of him was rather interesting. So without really knowing what he was doing or what he was signing up for, Shizuo stomped out his cigarette. Then with a grin, said…
"Alright. Bring it on."
"So what exactly do you want me to do?" Shizuo asked.
The kid laughed a little at that. "You agreed to this job without asking what it's about?"
The blonde shrugged, trying not to look so sheepish.
"I need you to protect me. Make sure no one kills me."
"What? A bodyguard?"
The kid smiled for real this time, allowing the cold harshness to melt away into something sweet. "Exactly. That's why it has to be you, Heiwajima Shizuo-san. You're the only one strong enough."
"Tell me this is a joke," Shizuo begs his boss.
His boss gives him an apologetic smile. "I thought it'd be for the best."
The two are currently in the Dollars Headquarters, which is located in the basement of an abandoned office building. There are others around, looking at each other in an awkward sort of way. They seem to be giving Shizuo pitying glances, except for Karisawa Erica who looks just waaaaaaay too happy for her own good.
"Which is why I asked Karisawa-san to help you out," their boss continues motioning to the otaku girl.
"I refuse!" Shizuo snaps. "I can't do something like… like…" His face flushes. Of all the things his boss can ask of him, how can his boss choose… that?
Mikado sighs, dropping the nice-guy act. "Then I guess I can just fire you and ask Oriha-"
"I'll do it!" The blonde is surprised at the sudden hostility in his own voice. He knows it's rather childish, the way he always become overprotective of his boss whenever that flea is around. But he can't help it. The flea always looks at the boss like he wants to eat him. And as the boss's bodyguard, Shizuo isn't going to allow that to happen.
Erica shrieks with happiness. She then brings out a box of clothing and drags Shizuo away. Any desperate look asking for help is met with stoned silence.
Assholes. All of them.
"Since it's Shizu-chan, I thought I should pick something modest," Erica says. She's babbling a mile a minute and Shizuo has long stopped paying attention. Because currently, his eyes are glued to the clothing the otaku girl pulls out from the box.
Things can't get any worse.
There are four sets of clothing on the ground that the girl pulled out. The first is a female bartender uniform with too short of a skirt. The second is a black tube dress… also too short. The third is a black kimono with blue dragon patterns. The fourth… is a maid's outfit… also with too short of a skirt.
Shizuo rubbed his temples. Mikado wants me to wear one of these?
"We'll get Mikapuu's reaction on each one. So put one on and go show yourself to Mikapuu. Got it?"
The bodyguard never wanted to kill someone as much as he did then.
When the Dollars were first formed, they were just group of kids gathering online. And before Mikado knew it, the Dollars went offline and began to form a group that began to challenge everything and everyone. As the founder, Mikado did the only thing natural. He tamed the group.
Then suddenly, everyone was after his life, trying to destroy the Dollars Leader for revenge or some other petty reasons. He survived for a few months with Kadota and his group by his side, but there was only so much he could do against Yellow Scarves, Blue Squares, and Saika. When he got Heiwajima Shizuo on his side, he had thought things would change. That Dollars wouldn't be targeted anymore.
Of course, that wasn't the case at all.
Everyone perceived him as the new threat and came after his group with renewed force. And then when Awakusu-kai joined the fray, Mikado had no other choice. He went to Orihara Izaya and asked for help. So with the informant's advice, Mikado set up one thing he never thought would ever be possible.
He set up a peace negotiation with Awakusu-kai.
There was only one request the yakuza group had for the meeting: Mikado could bring as many underlings as he wanted as long as they were women.
This thus brings us to our current situation.
There's something about being under Mikado's stare that makes Shizuo blush furiously. Or perhaps that has more to do with the fact that Karisawa isn't shutting up about how she can make Shizuo's breasts bigger by stuffing it or what not.
"That looks good on you."
The bodyguard looks at his boss, half in disbelief and half in excitement of being praised.
"But bartender outfit is too obviously Shizuo."
Mikado is smiling apologetically, but Shizuo gets the feeling that his boss is rather amused by all of this. He can be such a sadist. But that is exactly what the ex-bartender loves about Mikado. The calm way he can weigh every decision and come to a conclusion, the way a single smile can make grown men turn to mush, the way his eyes seem to catch every single detail about everything.
And despite being embarrassed to death about wearing women's clothes, if it means that he can continue to be by this man's side, Shizuo really doesn't mind.
"Then you should wear the maid outfit!" Erica squeals.
On second thought, maybe Shizuo thought too soon.
In the end, Mikado shakes his head at all of Erica's choice. The maid outfit's too similar to the bartender outfit. The tube dress is too risqué for this meeting. The kimono is too yakuza-like. He doesn't think it'd go well with the Awakusu-kai.
"Then what am I supposed to wear?" Shizuo asks, finally frustrated. And why didn't you dismiss those clothing beforehand so I didn't have to put them all on?!
Mikado sighs, rubs his temples and states, "Well, I guess this really is the only way."
He takes out his messenger bag and takes out a plastic bag. "Wear what's in here," Mikado tells him.
When Shizuo goes to the bathroom to try on what's in the plastic bag, he can't help but to chuckle lightly under his breath. That's so like him. In the bag is black jeans, a simple white T-shirt, and a sleeveless leather jacket. He puts them on without a fuss. In the mirror, he looks like a dangerous version of himself, someone who can murder with just a glance. And he's surprised that such a simple combo of clothes can give him a dark and powerful look.
I wonder if he got these specially for me… The thought makes him blush, because there's only one other person who's gotten him clothing recently and that person is related to him. Mikado isn't. And yet he always does little things like these that make Shizuo willing to jump in front of any danger for him. But more so than that, he wants to…
Shizuo stops the train of thought. I love him, he knows that without a doubt. It's a feeling that people had to explain to him, but it's something he understands instinctively. He loves Mikado. But I can never be with him. This is also true, too. Because Mikado is the Dollars Leader, someone who is about to enter the world of yakuza and never look back. Because Mikado is someone who must be protected, no matter what. And feelings like these would only get in Mikado's way.
He forces himself to breathe deeply. He must never find out.
"No!" Erica shouts when Shizuo stands in front of Mikado and the others, waiting for his boss's approval. "You don't look like a girl at all!"
Mikado sighs, looking tired. Shizuo wishes he can make everything go away and allow him to rest. But he doesn't say a word, because he knows that would be overstepping his bounds. So instead he just waits for Mikado's verdict.
"Karisawa-san is right," Mikado admits. He looks at Shizuo. "You're just too manly to be turned into a woman."
It's flattering that Mikado thinks him as manly. But in this case, it's a bad thing. He has to pass off as a woman to be by his boss's side as his protector. If he can't manage that…
"Oh! I got it! We'll give him a tube top and roll up the bottom," Erica says, excitement sparkling from her eyes. "Then we'll stuff his chest so that it looks like he's just wearing a strapless tube top bra!"
Everyone looks at Erica and then at Shizuo. The blonde can literally see their brains churning. Then Mikado breaks into a heartwarming smile and says:
"Karisawa-san! You are a genius!"
Shizuo loves standing next to his boss. Because this is where he belongs, by Mikado's side. This is a position he can never give up, never will let go off, because it's the one that Mikado offered him. Mikado had said that only Shizuo could fill this role. So this role Shizuo would fill, because that is Mikado's wish. No matter what, he will stand by that boy, not only because of the role, but because he loves that boy to death.
Which is why he will always fight off whoever tries to harm the kid, whether they be Yellow Scarves or Blue Squares. Which is why he always chased the Informant away whenever he got too close to the kid. Which is why he fought off hordes of knife-wielding crazies, who wanted to harm his boss, with nothing but Celty's glove for protection. Which is why Shizuo had taken the bullet for Mikado when Awakusu-kai first targeted the boy.
Sometimes Shizuo wondered if Mikado already knew his feelings for him Maybe that's why the boy kept him around. Maybe that's why the boy smiled so kindly to him, because he also returned Shizuo's feelings. And whenever his thoughts turn this direction, he can't help but to push them away and chide himself for being so selfish.
His job is to protect Mikado. Nothing more. Nothing less. He can't fantasize about being with his boss. For one thing, his role is to protect the boy, not anything more. For another, Mikado's his boss. And for one another thing, the age difference! And not to mention… He can't let Mikado make more enemies like that. Shizuo is a well-known and well-hated figure in Ikebukuro. By freely admitting his love for Mikado, he would be sentencing the boy to an earlier grave than that already granted to him.
So whether he has to get angry, fight, be shot at, or even dress like a woman, Shizuo will do it. He will do his duty, because he wants to stand by Mikado's side without being a burden.
After all, that's where he belongs.
They are staring at him. It's unnerving. Mikado is smiling calmly at the Awakusu-kai members, and Shizuo stands by his side, scowl clear on his face. He's wearing the clothes that Mikado picked out for him, except with a tube top instead of a T-shirt. Erica has assured him that he can pass as a woman, so he's not really worried. But he can't help but to find it unnerving, the way that everyone seems to be staring at him.
Half of him wishes that the crazy girl is there with him, and he mentally scoffs at the thought. Mikado had said it himself: "I just need Shizuo by my side." And if his boss is confident in Shizuo's ability to protect him, then Shizuo doesn't need the crazy otaku girl here.
"Ah, I see you left your dog at home."
Shizuo bristles, but he doesn't fly into rage, because Mikado places a hand on his arm. His boss is giving him a warning glance, and Shizuo understands that this is part of the Awakusu-kai's test. So he forces himself to calm down. He forces himself to not go for that man's neck, because that's what Mikado wants.
"Shizuo-san is not a dog," Mikado scolds the informant. "He's my bodyguard."
The informant is looking at Shizuo with a knowing look. Shit. Don't tell me he's figured it out already? The blonde tenses, but Mikado's hand hasn't moved from his arm. So he moves his focus from the informant to around the room. They are in Izaya's office in Shinjuku. Mikado sits in one of the couches with Shizuo standing behind him. The couch across from them holds the two Awakusu-kai members, most likely someone with power. Their underling stands all around the room. Izaya sits on a love seat by himself.
"So is that your answer?" Izaya asks.
His boss squeezes his arm, almost reassuringly. Shizuo can't help but to wonder who Mikado was trying to reassure. What's going on? What answer?
Mikado's eyes darken. "… Yes."
And suddenly, there are arms everywhere, grabbing Shizuo and holding him down. The blonde struggles, because if they're grabbing him, then there's no way that they're letting Mikado be.
"Shizuo," his boss calls to him.
The blonde looks up, and every will to fight cease within him. His boss is fine. During the commotion, Mikado has stood and walked toward the flea. And there he stands, by Izaya, who is still sitting in the love seat. The informant laughs at Shizuo.
And the bodyguard finally understands that this is the deal his boss has made with the Awakusu-kai.
"I'm sorry, Shizuo," Mikado tells him from Izaya's side. "But they agreed to work with us in the condition that I turn you over-"
"Dressed like a little bitch you are!" Izaya adds in his usual sing-song voice. "Although I'm not a total fan of your clothing choice, I suppose I'll have to take it!" The informant continues, his voice mocking. "I can't believe how much of a whipped little bitch you are! Actually going along with it! Tell me, Shizu-chan, do you like being dressed like that?"
The flea keeps talking, but Shizuo has long stopped listening. His eyes are trained on his boss. Betrayed. Betrayed. Betrayed. Just like his heartbeat, the single word reverberate in his head, his ears, all throughout his body. Mikado looks back at him with cool, calculating eyes. The same eyes that had given him orders as the Leader of Dollars. The very same eyes that had once asked the blonde to protect him.
And those same eyes were now throwing him away. Tossing him aside, because he no longer has any use. Because that's what one does to tools. Once its purpose runs out, you throw it out.
Ah. I guess I really was nothing more than a tool…
It shouldn't hurt this much. It shouldn't cause this foreign sensation of moisture gathering around his eyes. It shouldn't cause this ache in his heart. Shouldn't cause so much pain. It makes no sense at all. Because he's certain that he's prepared himself for this. He knew and knows that he can never be with Mikado. This just makes sure that the one he likes stays safe. This just makes sure…
Shizuo smiles. Because he knows that this is the last time he'll ever see his boss. Ah, I guess he's not my Boss any more. "I'm glad I could be of use to you."
The rest of the day is a blur. He just remembers being taken by the men to an abandoned warehouse. There must have been some sort of a beating, because he can no longer move his body. But the pain in his heart overrides any other pain in his body. Because despite knowing that Mikado doesn't love him, despite telling himself repeatedly that this is the only right thing that could have happened, his heart refuses to quit weeping. Weeping at the loss of his position as the Boss's bodyguard, the loss of his right to protect the boss, and the loss of having the boss by his side.
He doesn't know how long it lasts. He doesn't know for how long he has been beaten, how long he's been starved, how long ago he's been abandoned here. All he knows is that one day he awakes to find himself in a comfortable bed. The background of the warehouse has suddenly shifted to what looks like an apartment room. He's been here multiple times before. Before when he was still allowed to be by the boss's side.
"Ah! Shizuo! You're awake!" As predicted, the underground doctor appears in the room, carrying a tray of food. "Good to see you, buddy!"
His cheerfulness rubs Shizuo the wrong way. But for the life of him, the blonde can't find the strength to become angry. He just stares at Shinra, feeling lifeless, useless.
"You're really lucky that my beloved Celty found you when she did! Jeesh, they really did a number on you. What were you thinking, letting them beat you up like that?"
"… I was fired."
Shinra doesn't hear the soft spoken words, and continues on in that Shinra kind of way. Normally, this would annoy the crap out of Shizuo, which would make him strangle the doctor or hurt him somehow. But once again, Shizuo just doesn't see the point.
"He fired me."
And finally, the doctor hears. Shinra is looking at him, completely befuddled, his smile frozen in place. "What do you mean?"
"I was fired again. He made a deal. He doesn't need me anymore, so he tossed me aside. He threw me away, Shinra. He doesn't need me. Doesn't need me." And by his side now is that stupid flea.
"What are you talking about?"
"The deal with the Awakusu-kai. He made a deal with them. Their support for me."
There's pity in the doctor's eyes. He doesn't say anything anymore. He just places the tray of food by the bedside counter and walks out of the room.
Shizuo doesn't eat.
The ex-bodyguard doesn't know how long he's been at Shinra's place. He just knows that the underground doctor is being more than considerate, not kicking him out at all. Instead, Shinra allows him to mope around the apartment.
Few times, they try to hold a conversation. But Shizuo just can't form more than few words sentences. Shinra must be frustrated with him, but he's forever patient in a Shinra-kind of way. Celty does her own little thing to try to cheer him up as well. Whenever Kasuke is on TV, she always drags Shizuo along to watch. She's a good friend like that.
And soon, the pain diminishes until all that's left is a dull ache and numbness. All he can think about is those cold eyes. All he can wonder about is whether or not his ex-boss is doing alright. Does Izaya protect him like Shizuo did? Does Awakusu-kai provide the protection and support the boy wanted? Is everything going the way the Dollars Leader had planned?
One night after dinner, something different happens. Shinra's in the kitchen, doing the dishes. Shizuo has his eyes closed, but he's sitting with Celty, who is intensely staring at the TV news. Then all of a sudden, she waves her arms around wildly and pulls on Shizuo's arm.
He opens his eyes and looks at her. Then he brings his attention to what she's pointing at. The news channel is doing a special on how…
Suddenly, his attention is fully on the screen. His eyes staring at the person the news anchor is interviewing on the field. His mouth opens, but no sound comes out. All he can do is gape at the person on TV, because the things the TV is saying are not making sense.
"How did you manage to single-handedly bring down the Awakusu-kai?" the interviewer asks.
"This was all possible thanks to Heiwajima Shizuo," the person answers with a sheepish smile. "Without him by my side, I would never have gotten this far." Then the camera zooms in on the soft smile of the person whose name is on Shizuo's tongue but will not leave his mouth. "Shizuo, I'm waiting for you to come home."
And suddenly, the TV is no longer inside the building. It's making its way out the balcony and down to the streets of Ikebukuro. Celty is typing furiously, pointing fingers and making angry gestures. But Shizuo isn't listening or looking.
There's no way that can be true. This is a cruel joke. There's no way that that person could have said what Shizuo thought he heard. This is a terrible lie. Something the informant put together to break him. If that is all true, then why is he shaking so much? Why does he feel like screaming, crying, and perhaps even jumping out of the balcony after the TV?
"Shizuo," Shinra says, his hand on the blonde's shoulder. He looks serious for once, which is a miracle in and of itself. "I think you need to talk to him."
And the ex-bodyguard knows that. He knows he needs to go to that person and demand to know the answers. But he's scared. He's so scared to know the answers. Because he's seen the Dollars Leader's ability to lie, to deceive, to convince. He's seen how the boy reduced grown men into crying lump of shame. He's been by the boy's side when he completely tripped Orihara Izaya and watched as the flea fell into a trap. And before he threw out the TV, they were recounting how that boy destroyed Awakusu-kai.
Shizuo knows better than anyone the true strength of that boy. After all, that's exactly what he fell in love with. The boy's "badass" side. And more than anything, he's scared of finding out that what the boy had said on TV was a complete and utter lie.
He hasn't been here in ages. The Dollars Headquarters. They all let him in with friendly pats. There are even shouts of, "Dude! Where have you been?" It feels almost like he's returned home. But he reminds himself that this is just an act. They're just being friendly because that's what the boss has asked of them.
Erica waves him over. "You're here!" she squeals. "You're finally here! Mikapuu was worried sick, you know!"
Liar. Shizuo doesn't say a word. He just nods mutely.
"So go in there and cheer him up, okay?'
And suddenly, Shizuo is shoved into the Dollars Leader's office.
They call it an office, but it really is just a small room with a desk and bookshelves. The boss is currently asleep on the desk, his hands still touching his laptop keyboard.
Something tugs at his heart. It's bittersweet really. Because he's always been by the boss's side, he's always been the only one to see this kind of sights. But he no longer has the right to see this. With that thought, he goes to wake the boy, wishing he could let the boy sleep for as long as he wants.
Dazed blue eyes look up at him. And Shizuo realizes that the boy has been crying. His eyes are puffy and red, and Shizuo wishes he can take the boy in his arms. But I'm not allowed to love you.
Then the eyes suddenly focus and shock is written all over the boy's face. "Shizuo!" he shouts.
And without caring for any etiquette or Shizuo's own feelings, the boy throws his arms around Shizuo's lean body. For the longest minutes, the blonde is frozen to the spot. What should he do? How should he react? Should he be angry for being abandoned? Should he be suspicious that this is just an act?
Then he hears the boy break down into sobs, and Shizuo doesn't care. He just wraps his arms around the lithe form and holds Mikado.
"I'm sorry," the boy sobs into Shizuo's chest. "I'm sorry, so sorry. I'm sorry…"
You sound like a broken record. But Shizuo finds it endearing. And despite all the pain of betrayal, he finds that he is still in love with the sobbing mess of a boy. And with every apology the boy utters, Shizuo's mind whispers his confession. I love you. I love you. I love you…
"When you first set up the negotiations, were you thinking of destroy them?" Shizuo asks.
The two are sitting facing each other in a different room. They have hot tea in front of them on the table, but Shizuo doesn't touch his. He prefers to know some answers first. And there are lots of things that Mikado had hidden.
"Yes," the Leader of Dollars says. There's the cold gaze back in his eyes as he sips the tea gently.
"So from the beginning, you gave me away, knowing that you were going to betray them?"
"Why didn't you tell me anything?"
"I thought my betrayal would cause your rage. I thought you would fight back." He gives Shizuo a pointed look. The blonde understands what the boss is asking without the question being spoken.
I was too heartbroken to be angry… Pff, like I can say that. Shizuo looks away and doesn't answer. The boy just sighs.
"I asked Celty-san to hide nearby. So that when you became angry, she could help you escape from their clutches. But instead, you allowed them to take you without a fight and Celty-san spent some time tracking you down. Of course, Shinra-san was also informed so that he can heal anyone without questions asked."
So even he knew? Then why didn't he say anything?
"The hospital fee is coming out of your paycheck, by the way."
"Why do you look so surprised? I never dismissed you as my bodyguard, you know."
There's a stunned silence before Shizuo bursts out laughing. He laughs because he can't believe his luck. He laughs because he really doesn't know how else to show his emotion. He laughs because he's back by boss's side. Because Mikado is looking away, his face blushing as he stares into his tea cup. He's so cute.
"Please don't do that again."
Mikado is shaking, the blonde realizes with a start, laughter dying on his lips. "Please don't ever think of yourself as a tool. You are, and will always be, very important to me, Shizuo. So don't leave me."
Ah, when you put it like that… how can I even think about leaving?
"Even if you get sick and tired of me, I won't leave," Shizuo vows. "I will never let you fall. I'll stand up with you forever. I'll be there for you through it all. Even if saving you sends me to heaven."
"You don't have to go that far! Just… just stay by my side." Mikado is blushing, his "badassed-ness" giving way to his cute side.
But it's just as well, because Shizuo loves both side of Mikado. He loves how shy his boss is, how soft those smiles are, how hesitant he is, and how naively he would place trust in the strangest of all beings like Shizuo. He loves how calm he is, how calculating, how he can destroy even a yakuza group if he felt like it. Shizuo loves the coldness and cuteness that makes Ryugamine Mikado... well, Mikado.
And even if Mikado does decide in the future to toss Shizuo out, he doubts he'll be able to let go so easily next time. No, next time, he'll grab onto his boss and demand an answer. He's never letting go again.
"Ah," Mikado adds suddenly. "Since Awakusu-kai's demise, the other rival groups have been targeting my life again."
Shizuo chuckles at that. "You're just good at pissing people off." He stands up and stretches, tension finally leaving his body. He feels like he can breathe again. "But don't worry about it. It's my job to protect you."
Because you're my true love, my whole heart…
Mikado smiles. "Then I'll be relying on you."
Please don't throw that away.