I'm sorry but this idea just wouldn't leave my head! Not to mention I couldn't stop laughing when I first thought of it. So if it seems a little rushed, I'm sorry. If it's slightly OOC, I'm doubly sorry. And if it contains any errors, please tell me so I can (hopefully) get it fixed. Thank you.
Warning: Crossdressing, ShizuoMikado (aka Shounen-ai)
I don't own anything.
It all began at the dinner table, where a 'happy' family of two was enjoying a home-made meal.
"So Namie-san, what do you say to cooking in my bar?"
There was a slight pause as Namie, the one who cooked the meal, tried to process what the grinning idiot was saying. She frowned and chewed her rice slowly. "Izaya-san, you don't have a bar."
Izaya, the grinning idiot, grinned wider. "Not for long!"
Namie, with her usual cool gaze, stared at Izaya. Nope, no sign of backing down. Nope, no sign of pretending that this was a game. Namie mentally cursed. He was serious. Knowing the man, he probably blackmailed someone out of their bar.
"Get a bartender first and then we'll talk," Namie said. Then paused as Izaya's grin turned… well… even wider. Again, cursing mentally, Namie picked up some more rice with her chopsticks. He probably already has a bartender…
"Alright!" Izaya declared loudly. "Remember, you promised!"
Here, Namie wanted to be childish and stick out her tongue and shout, "I did no such thing!" However, Yagiri Namie was a dignified woman. She merely glanced over at Izaya before going back to her food. But on the inside, she was sweating bullets. Just what was that grinning idiot plotting now?
Izaya had, even before he asked Namie, the bartender thing planed out. After all, who was the first person that came to mind when one said "Bartender of Ikebukuro"? That was correct. Izaya was talking about the one, the only…
Now, why the man would want to hire someone who's been trying to kill him since they met in high school is a mystery even to the authoress herself. Perhaps Izaya was bored. Or perhaps Izaya wanted to torture his good friend. Or perhaps Izaya thought of this as a great way to control the bartender. Or perhaps Karisawa Erika was correct and the two were madly in love with each other. Whatever the reason, Izaya wanted that one bartender and no one else.
And he knew the perfect way to get him.
Shizuo stared at Tom in disbelief.
"What?" he asked, fearing if he lost his hearing. Of course, this fear caused his eyes to sharpen with anger and his veins to pop out.
Tom rubbed his neck, obviously uncomfortable of this situation. "Well… you see…" he began. He chuckled nervously. How to say this without making Shizuo lose temper? Tom gulped. I'm so screwed.
Shizuo blinked. "Oh… I thought you said that," he said, looking mildly relieved that he wasn't losing his hearing. Then his brain registered what Tom said. "Wait. Why are you firing me?"
Tom sighed. "Shizuo… you… the last time you lost your temper, that guy stayed in the hospital for six months. And although I'm grateful that you're making people hurry up to pay their debt, if the ones with the debt are dead… well… it doesn't exactly help with the business."
"But I didn't kill them!"
"True," Tom said. "But if they're in the hospital, it doesn't exactly help the business either."
Shizuo frowned. "Then why are you saying this only now?"
"Well… with the bad economy and all… we just can't afford to lose any more customers."
At this point, normal people would get down on their hands and knees and beg for one more chance. But Shizuo wasn't a normal person. He sighed softly, causing a trail of cigarette smoke to appear. He then turned around and wordlessly left. Because Shizuo understood what Tom was trying to say without actually saying it out loud.
Tom couldn't continue paying his deadweight companion.
Of course, if Shizuo had thought about it more carefully, he would have realized that Tom would stubbornly continue to pay Shizuo, deadweight or not. He would have realized that Tom would never have fired him for such a simple reason. He would have realized that someone must have forced Tom's hands. That someone, who was totally not a creeper by the way, had just watched all of this from a safe distance away with a pair of binoculars.
That someone grinned. "All according to plan."
Normal people would consider running into Shizuo a terrible thing. Normal people would run the other way if they spotted someone in a bartender outfit walking their way. In fact, they would scream and run if they noticed a dark cloud gathering over Shizuo's head. Like the one over his head now.
Unluckily for Shizuo, Izaya was not a normal person.
"Shizu-chan!" Izaya sang as he appeared before the man with the shades.
The other's greeting was a nearby traffic sign. It went flying towards Izaya. Now, if Izaya wasn't a master of parkour, he might have been terrified. However, Izaya was a master of parkour. He wasn't terrified of random traffic signs flying towards him. He dodged it with ease.
"Iiiizzzzzaaaaayyyyyaaaaa-kkkkkuuuuunnnn!" Shizuo growled. "Didn't I tell you to stay out of Ikebukuro?"
He then proceeded to pick up a street lamp. The informant shrugged. "Must have missed that part."
Shizuo swung the street lamp. Izaya, once again, dodged the blow with ease.
"Hey Shizu-chan, is it true that you got fired?"
The street lamp swung past Izaya's head. The informant's grin lessened. That one was close. Shizu-chan must be really pissed! At that thought, Izaya's grin grew. "You know…"
The street lamp nearly missed his left ear. "I have a job opening for a bartender."
The street lamp ceased to move.
Izaya was grinning again. I win! "What do you say, Shizuo?"
The man chucked the street lamp at Izaya before turning around and leaving. Izaya's grin faded. I miscalculated?
"Hey Shizu-chan! You know no one else is going to hire you, right?"
Yes, Shizuo knew. However, he'd rather die a hobo than work for Izaya.
"The pay is great!"
On second thought, Shizuo could ignore his pride for a bit. Just for a little bit though.
Namie stared at the bartender in disbelief. The bartender glared at her. When her mind finally returned from a small trip to Seiji's bedroom, her mouth finally formed words.
"Heiwajima Shizuo… san?"
The bartender grunted.
Namie slowly turned to her side, only to be greeted with Izaya's bright grinning face. Namie sighed. "Ok. You win. I'll be your cook."
The bar that Izaya doubtlessly got due to blackmailing was decently sized. There were ten tables around the room, a bar against the wall with six high stools, and two doors. One door led to the kitchen, where Namie would be working in, and the other door led to the storage room. In another words, it wasn't that bad at all.
It was the people who would be working there that worried Namie. First of all, there was the crazy owner, who probably wouldn't do any work but watch the customers, possibly causing the bar to lose business. Then there was the antisocial cook. Thankfully, she wouldn't have to do much, just cook. She didn't have to deal with annoying customers. That was the bartender's job. Speaking of the bartender…
Namie glanced over at Shizuo, who was wiping a wine cup. For now, the man looked peaceful. But the minute Izaya spoke, Shizuo would doubtlessly throw the wine cup at the owner. Then the owner would dodge the blow, sniggering as he chided his worker. "Shizuo! That cup was $87! That's coming out of your paycheck!" Then the bartender would grab the bar, shaking it with frustrated anger. This, of course, would cause the owner to laugh and sing, "Shizuo! That bar cost $3980!"
You would think that the bartender would have learned by now.
And as Namie stared at the peaceful scene in front of her now, she couldn't help but to worry about the bar's business. They would be able to attract many women due to the two great-looking guys. But because Namie would be in the kitchen all the time, there wouldn't be enough allure to get guys, who usually spent the most money at bars. Of course, this was assuming that Shizuo and Izaya didn't go breaking the bar, which would most likely lose what little customers they attracted. In another words, they needed someone normal to work at this bar.
When she brought this problem up to Izaya, the idiot just grinned.
"Ah, I got that covered, too."
Izaya had to think about this very carefully.
Who would be able to attract men to his bar? (This point wasn't exactly the only one that Namie brought up, but it was the most important one.) Well… there was Selty, but he doubted she could go around without her helmet. I mean, wearing a bike helmet while working at a bar? That was just rude. Not to mention the chaos it would cause if she took off the helmet. Of course, there was also the jealous boyfriend that Izaya would have to bribe off. Selty just was too much trouble for her own good.
Then there was that Karisawa girl…. Izaya shook his head. No. Just no.
Then there really was only one person left, wasn't there? I mean… sure, she was a little young for the job, but she had the perfect figure. Let's see, glasses, cute, and, best of all, huge knockers.
Izaya grinned. Perfect!
There were two flies that buzzed around one Sonohara Anri. And if Izaya wanted to hire her, he would have to get creative. Kida was easy enough to get rid of. All he had to do was give Saki a pair of tickets for a plane ride to Okinawa and the two lovebirds would be off. But the problem here was Ryugamine Mikado. That boy was just impossible to predict.
Which, he supposed, was the reason why Mikado was standing in front of Izaya's table, left fist on hips and his right hand on the table. Pinned under the hand was an ad to work at Izaya's bar. The same ad that Izaya had handed over to Anri that morning.
"Izaya-san," the usual calm boy gritted between his teeth. "Please tell me why you handed this to Sonohara-san, who, by the way, is underage for a bar."
The informant smiled, trying not to show his annoyance. "Is she? My, my, she looks old for her age."
Mikado was not convinced that Izaya didn't know about Anri's age. And his face reflected his disbelief. Instead of pointing a finger at Izaya and causing a scene, he sighed heavily. "Izaya-san, you can get arrested for things like this."
"I'm touched. You're worried for me," Izaya cooed, turning Mikado's words around. He understood that the teen was trying to threaten him. But you did not threaten Izaya and get away with it in one piece. Not even the Dollar Leader had that privilege.
Mikado rubbed his temples. "Why Sonohara-san, anyways? Don't you have a whole bunch of followers?"
"Ah, but Anri-chan's the only one with the perfect figure," Izaya pointed out proudly.
Mikado groaned in reply. "Izaya-san! Not you too!" The boy threw his arms in the air. "Is that all anyone care about anymore?"
And as Mikado began to pace around the room, Izaya noticed something strange. The boy walked in a straight line. Now, do understand that Izaya wasn't trying to be funny here. But this discovery meant everything. Because it caused Izaya to observe the boy more closely than usual. The boy was slim. He was also rather pale as well. But that couldn't be helped. He was a student with no athletic bone in his body. The way the boy moved his hands was rather graceful. Almost as if he was dancing. His fingers were long and elegant. And Izaya wouldn't be surprised if he drank tea with his pinky up. And then, of course, there was the best part about the boy…
The boy had the most innocent-shaped eyes Izaya had seen on a teenage boy.
Izaya grinned, a new plan forming in his mind. He waved to capture the boy's attention.
"What about this? I'll leave Anri-chan out of my bar if you do me one little favor."
Mikado was suspicious, but he was also curious. Just what could the best informant in all of Japan, if not the world, want from him? Well, there was one way to find out…
"What kind of favor?"
"Work for me in her place."
"I'm back!" Izaya sang as he kicked the bar door open.
Shizuo twitched but did not grab the nearest thing to throw at Izaya. Instead, he glared at the said man, as if killing him with his eyes. It appeared that the bartender had finally learned a lesson about throwing bar equipment around. Namie looked up calmly from a book she was reading. She did not put the book down or away, in fear that Izaya might do something that required a quick escape. Then the two workers waited patiently for Izaya to announce whatever crap he had to announce so they could go back to whatever they were doing.
"And I brought with me our new waitress!"
Both Shizuo and Namie stopped dead. Izaya wasn't serious, was he? They both stared next to Izaya in pure shock and horror.
"Wait! What do you mean 'waitress'?" Mikado, the shocked boy, exclaimed.
"I told you, didn't I? You're replacing Anri-chan!"
"B-b-but! I'm a GUY!"
"That can be easily fixed!"
Mikado really didn't like the way Izaya was grinning at him. Nor did he like the way Izaya had his knife out. The poor teen paled at the thought of what the informant might do. He's not going to use that knife on me… is he?
Izaya, grinning as always, hopped over to the storage room, putting his knife away with ease. With a dramatic spin, he reappeared, a box in his hands. He held the box out to Mikado. The teen reluctantly took the box and slowly opened it. He frowned, not understanding what was in the box. Reaching into the box, he pulled out… black stockings? He put them to the side. Izaya leaned in, excited like a small child on a Christmas day. Then Mikado pulled out…
A maid outfit.
"What the-?" two voices shouted at the same time. Namie just shook her head and went back to her book.
"The size might not fit you perfectly," Izaya admitted. "I got it to fit Anri-chan, you see."
Mikado was about to ask Izaya how he knew her sizes. But then stopped himself just in time. He didn't want to know. He didn't want to know at all. Instead, he turned to Izaya with pathetic look in his eyes.
"You're seriously not going to make me wear this, are you?"
Izaya just grinned and pointed at the storage room.
Cursing his existence and his crush on Anri, Mikado went into the storage room with the maid outfit.
Five minutes after Mikado went into the storage room, a loud shattering sound came from the room. Soon after, a sound of a heavy thud came from the room. After that, it sounded as if someone was running into a wall… repeatedly.
Namie scowled. That stupid kid was disturbing her reading time. And only two people were allowed to do that. One was her beloved brother and the other was that stupid guy who paid her big money. A random kid who dared to screw over her plans was not going to disturb her reading time as well. She glanced over at the storage room, sighed, and went back to her book. She had to tolerate it. Izaya was paying her big money for this… big money…
Shizuo was also beginning to get annoyed. Just how hard was it to wear a maid outfit? The violent sounds coming from the storage room were completely unnecessary. No wonder that little runt hung around that Kida kid. They were both obnoxious. Stupid kids…
The storage room door creaked open. The three peered at the door, but there was no one standing there. In fact, the whole place had gone creepily silent. The three stared at each other before looking carefully at the storage room again. Now that they looked at it more closely, they could see faint traces of broken glasses and…
Was that a hand peeking out from the storage room…?
Shizuo paled and changed his mind about maid outfits. They were dangerous. Scratch that. They were even deadlier than him on a bad day.
"Mi… Mikado-kun?" Izaya asked, also looking mildly shocked. The kid wasn't dead, was he? Could one kill oneself by trying to wear a maid outfit…? Izaya tapped his chin thoughtfully. Huh… maybe I should get Shizuo to wear one…
Namie glared holes at the hands. Damn kid, always disturbing my work and making me worried!
The hand slowly moved away from the door. A soft whimper could be heard. Then slowly the hand returned to grab hold onto the doorway. And just as slowly, Mikado appeared. To say that Mikado was wearing the maid outfit wouldn't be a lie. However, to say that he was wearing it correctly would be a lie. Part of the strap of the sleeve was tangled with Mikado's head, causing the rest of the outfit to tilt accordingly. One of his shoulders was completely bare and… the mini skirt did not cover his brilliant blue boxers. Somehow, parts of the outfit's laces were tangled up in Mikado's legs, forcing the kid to sit like a mermaid.
The teen looked at the three of them with teary eyes. "Please," he pleaded. "Can I just not wear this?"
It took exactly three seconds for the sight to register in the three's brains. Then they all reacted accordingly. Izaya pointed at the kid and laughed hysterically. Shizuo blushed heavily and looked away. And if Mikado didn't know any better, he would have said that Shizuo was holding his nose for whatever reason. And Namie…?
"Men!" she exclaimed, glaring daggers at both Izaya and Shizuo. She then turned to Mikado with venom in her eyes. "And you!"
Why am I in a separate category?
But Mikado had no chance to voice out any complaints. Namie had him by his neck and she didn't look like she'll let go any time soon. Mikado gulped. I know I wanted an adventure, but this isn't what I meant!
Much to Mikado's embarrassment, Namie threw him easily to the ground. Then she stood over him, glaring down at him as if he was an insignificant insect. Mikado paled. What does she want from me…?
"Take off your clothes."
Mikado paused. Did he hear that right? "Er… excuse me?"
"I said take it off."
From outside of the storage room, Shizuo and Izaya could hear Mikado's screams. Izaya chuckled. "Man, I wish I took some pictures!" All Shizuo could do, however, was to shudder mentally as he took care of a little bleeding problem with his nose. What a scary woman.
The next time Mikado came out from the storage room, he was correctly dressed in the maid outfit. There were only two problems about his image, but otherwise, even Shizuo couldn't help but to raise an eyebrow in appreciation. Namie stood next to the blushing maid, looking more self-satisfied than she had ever looked when she worked with Izaya. Izaya tapped his chin. Interesting… so that's her hobby…
Mikado sniffed. "Why… do I have to wear this…?"
"Don't worry, Mikado-kun!" Izaya sang. "That outfit isn't finished yet!"
The poor Dollar's Leader stared at Izaya as if the informant had just declared that he was actually Santa Claus. At this point, he was so pale that even Shizuo was beginning to worry for the little one. But then he realized that it was better the kid than him. Besides, the kid didn't look that bad… if you just ignored how empty the chest part of the maid outfit looked.
"Of course it's not finished," Namie said. She held out her hand. "Give it here. I'll put it on him."
Izaya pouted. "But I wanted to do it!"
Namie shook her head. "That's a sacred job of women. Men have no right to hook on bras for someone else."
"Oh, that! You can do that. But there's one other thing that's missing…"
Here, the grinning idiot grinned evilly. Mikado gulped. I'm dead, aren't I? Then Izaya reached into his pockets and pulled out…
Mikado's eyes widened. Hell no!
Shizuo stared at it for a second before looking away, blushing furiously.
Namie smacked her forehead. "I should have known…" she muttered darkly.
Izaya held out the item to Mikado. "I'll put it on for you!" he sang as he tied the cat ears around Mikado's head.
"Just as I thought! It's perfect."
After a short argument with Namie, which she won without much effort, she dragged Mikado back into the storage room, armed with another box. Shizuo had just looked the other way, completely ignoring the looks of plea that Mikado sent his way. Izaya, meanwhile, got a camera and began to take pictures. All Mikado could think of was that he hoped he never pissed off Izaya, causing the informant to use the pictures as blackmail.
Once the storage room was locked behind her, she turned to Mikado, an eerie smile on her face. "Since I'm not too sure about your size, let's just try them on... one at a time…"
Mikado could only stare as Namie began to take… different sized bras out from the box. The young teen mentally cried waterfalls. But his fate had been sealed the minute he realized that he had a crush on Anri.
"What do you want to stuff it with? Cotton or Tissue?"
Mikado cursed whoever being it was that was responsible for him falling in love.
"We're finished," Namie announced in her usual bored tone of voice as she reentered the bar. She dragged someone behind her almost as casually as a woman carried a purse in the street.
Shizuo, seeing this, made another mental note not to piss off this woman. Izaya, however, grinned his usual grins and took out his camera. "I'm ready!" he sang.
And a beautiful girl stepped out of the storage room. Her breasts weren't as big as Anri's, much to Izaya's disappointment, but they were pretty big, which he supposed was enough. Her hair had an odd orange hue to it, but that just made it more delicious. Her hair curled slightly, framing her cute face, and fell down to her knees. And the face! The two men in the room had been wondering what had taken so long. But now it made sense. Namie had also taken make-up with her to the storage room. The kid's blue eyes were accented by the light blue eye shadow. Her mouth was shinny and glossed over. Adding the cat ears from before as well as the maid outfit, the girl was like a maid from a neko-café!
If there was any problem, it was the fact that the girl kept tugging at the miniskirt of the outfit, as if willing it to grow longer. Izaya giggled at the thought. "Leave it like that, Mikado-chan," he said. "It'll attract more people."
The young girl, whose identity has now been revealed as Mikado, looked horrified at Izaya. But the man was too busy in his own world, taking pictures, to care. Instead, the young boy turned to face Namie for help. However, she had already returned to her book, looking very much satisfied. So, with no one else to turn to, Mikado looked up at Shizuo. "Shizuo-san," he began. The bartender looked back at Mikado, frozen and uncertain if he should help or not.
"Wait!" Namie exclaimed, slamming her book down. "You can't speak in your normal voice! You're a girl now. Your voice is too deep. Talk softer. It's easier to conceal it."
Izaya raised a brow. "You seem to know quite a lot about this topic," he said with a grin. "Ah, it must be that book you're reading. Is it a good book?"
Namie looked at Izaya coldly. "What I read has nothing to do with you."
The man just shrugged. He then turned back to Mikado. "Ah, that's right. We can't call you Mikado, now can we? Hm… we need a name for you… What about Mika-chan?"
If Namie had a better aim, she would have attempted to throw her book at the idiot's head. But Namie was a dignified woman. She did no such thing. Instead, she intensified her glare at Izaya. "Name her that and I'll poison all of the customers," she hissed.
Izaya shrugged. "I guess old wounds take time to heal…. then what about Ryu-chan?"
"That's a boy's name," Namie grumbled, trying to read her book again.
Then Heiwajima Shizuo did something unbelievable. He moved from his frozen spot, where he had stared at Mikado, and suggested, "What about Rumi?"
"Not a bad name," Izaya said.
Namie gave a curt nod. "Better than Izaya's."
Then the three turned to Mikado. "Well?"
And how could the young boy refuse?
As the opening time for the bar slowly descended upon them, the three workers of the bar found themselves becoming nervous. Izaya had disappeared a while ago, claiming to gather some customers. And so the bar became as silent as a corpse. This silence did not help the agitated workers. Namie was reading her book again, but she looked up often. And despite her aloof expression, she tapped her feet impatiently. Shizuo was sitting on one of the high stools. He had his cigarette lit and was puffing on it angrily. One could see veins pop up from his temples. The most nervous one of them all was Mikado, who was called Rumi when he was wearing the maid outfit. He paced around the bar, fidgeting and pulling on the miniskirt.
Then finally, the door to the bar opened and the first customer walked in. Namie quickly stood up and put her book to the side. She turned to the customer, her face as neutral as always. Shizuo jumped off of the high stool and straightened himself out. He then turned to the customer, annoyance written all over his face. Now, if it was just those two who worked at the bar, just as Namie had predicted, all the customers would have ran away. In fact, the first customer was ready to bolt the other way when his eyes landed on the third worker of the bar.
An adorable maid, who looked slightly underage for the bar, stood there wearing cat ears.
The first customer froze, staring at the girl. Mikado, now dubbed 'the girl,' forced himself to smile. "He… Hello," he said in a voice so soft that it was barely above a whisper. "Where would you like to sit?"
The frozen customer nodded slowly, confusing the poor boy-dressed-as-girl. He then sat himself down on a random table. Not quite understanding what's going on, Mikado came up to the man to take his order. "Uh… what would you like today?"
"You." The first customer said with a lecherous grin. Poor Mikado now stood, frozen on the spot.
The customer never saw the wine bottle that came flying towards his head. Nor did he see the expensive china that followed. And as the customer fell over in his seat, bleeding profoundly from his head, all Mikado could think about was the creepy way the customer had looked at him. And for the first time in the poor boy's life, he had just been shamelessly confessed to by a random guy he never met before.
Unfortunately for the young maid, it wouldn't be the last.
The business at the bar flourished, much to Namie's surprise. It just made no sense to her. Why would any sane person want to spend their money at this bar? First of all, there was the antisocial cook who rarely showed herself to anyone. And anyone who wanted to compliment the chef was promptly ignored.
Then there was the crazy owner, Izaya. Well… enough said.
Then there was Shizuo, who lost his temper whenever anyone tried to pinch Rumi's butt. To say that the bar became often soaked with blood and split wine wouldn't be a lie. To say that Shizuo now had a giant debt to pay to Izaya also wouldn't be a lie. Now, even if he wanted to, he couldn't quit the job. Not that he wanted to. He didn't have to buy anything at the bar to see Rumi every day.
Speaking of Rumi, Namie really didn't understand what all the hoopla was about the 'girl.' I mean, all Rumi ever did was fake a smile, greet the customers, and get the customers thrown in the hospital, after they paid for a meal or few drinks. Of course, Rumi didn't actually get the customer thrown in the hospital 'herself.' That was Shizuo's extended job. But 'she' was always the cause of Shizuo losing his temper at a customer.
Like right now. Namie had opened the door leading from the kitchen to the bar. She normally kept the door closed (who wanted to hear all that noise over Rumi anyways?) but Rumi was taking longer than it should to collect the meal. Lightly put, Namie was slightly peeved when she opened the door. Then she saw the chaotic scene before her.
Innocent customers cowered behind turned tables as Shizuo and some stupid punks went head to head. Rumi was trying to calm them down, but all of 'her' efforts were for naught. After all, 'she' was forbidden to talk any louder than a whisper. Besides, what could a scrawny kid do against bunch of gangster-wannabes and Shizuo?
Namie stared at this scene for exactly one minute and twenty-seven seconds. She then proceeded to shut the door. Ahhh, she thought as the noise from the other room became muffled. Peace at last.
But seriously, Izaya had better do something about Rumi. From the way the customers flock to 'her,' it wouldn't be long before Mikado was discovered. Namie paused for a second. Wasn't that a good thing? If he was revealed, everyone will ridicule him. It'd cause him extreme embarrassment, forcing the boy to leave Ikebukuro… She shook her head. No, it's fine…
Something crashed harshly into the kitchen door. Thankfully, the door didn't open nor did it give out. Namie stared at the door before turning back to her pots and pans.
Little did she know, Izaya didn't need to lift a finger to solve the Rumi problem.
"Ryugamine-kun!" Sonohara Anri greeted her good friend at the end of the school day.
The said boy smiled nervously and greeted Anri. "Sonohara-chan."
Anri smiled. "I'm glad you decided to join us today," she said. "You must be working hard at your new job. You're usually too busy to hang out."
Mikado laughed nervously at that. It's not that I'm too busy to hang out. It's just…
"Oi, Mikado! Anri-chan!"
The two turned to face the third member of the trio. Kida Masaomi. By his side, Saki stood, holding his hand proudly. Masaomi grinned at his best friend. "Let's go on a double date today!"
Ever since Masaomi publicly announced that he was dating Saki, he had been surprisingly dedicated. Of course, he still hasn't given up trying to pair Mikado with Anri. Thus, their situation today.
"Eh?" Mikado exclaimed. He still hadn't confessed to Anri, which meant that this conversation would most likely get awkward.
"Yeah! I've heard about this amazing bar that just opened!"
Mikado froze. A… bar?
"Aren't we under-aged?" Anri asked concerned.
Saki smiled brightly at that. "No need to worry. Izaya-sama owns the place. He said he'll let us in."
Anri's face darkened at the mention of Izaya and a bar. And Mikado didn't blame her. The usual shy boy chuckled nervously and slowly backed away. "Would you look at the time? I have to get to work!"
And before anyone could voice any objections, Mikado bolted the other way. The remaining three stared at each other uncertainly. Masaomi frowned. Mikado, whatever it is you're hiding, I'll drag it out to the light!
"You look nervous," Shizuo noted when Rumi came out of the storage room. He had his usual sunglasses on, which made it hard to look him in the eye. And he was, as usual, puffing on a cigarette.
"Do I?" Mikado asked in his Rumi-voice. He tugged at the miniskirt. "It's just… I think my friends will show up today."
The bartender frowned. "Your friends? Aren't they under-aged?"
You have no problems with me being here! Despite that thought, Mikado forced himself to smile. "Izaya-san is letting them in."
Shizuo twitched at the name. But he did not go crazy, much to Mikado's relief. Instead, the man grumbled something darkly under his breath. Then he focused back on Mikado. "What's so bad about them being here?"
Well for one thing, I'm wearing a maid outfit. Mikado decided it would be unwise to voice that out loud. Instead, he sighed. He then looked at Shizuo. The man took a drag from his cigarette. Then he said something that Mikado will never forget for as long as he lived.
"Want to go out with me?"
Mikado froze. "Er… excuse me?"
Shizuo repeated slowly, leaning in towards Mikado. The said boy in maid outfit looked up at his fearful reflection on Shizuo's sunglasses. Then Mikado realized what had happened. Shizuo was attracted to Rumi. Well, he couldn't exactly say that he blamed the bartender. Way too many men have been hitting on him for Mikado to be stoned shocked. However, for Shizuo to ask… well… that certainly was surprising.
I always thought he was asexual… With that thought in mind, Mikado's mind churned to create a list of rejections that he could use on Shizuo. The top one on the list was, "Shizuo-san, I'm a guy. And… I'm straight."
Shizuo continued to stare at Mikado, as if to say, "So?" Mikado said the second one on the list.
"I'm in love with someone else."
Shizuo blew the cigarette smoke towards Mikado. "Get rid of her," was his calm answer.
Eh? Doesn't my opinion count?
Mikado backed away from the bartender. His mind felt too jumbled to recite any other rejections. In fact, he was still staring at his own reflection on Shizuo's sunglasses. Tearful blue eyes stared back at him. And the orange wig… The boy quickly ripped the wig off along with the cat ears. He then faced Shizuo, looking triumphant.
Ha! Now you're completely turned off, right?
Shizuo continued to lean in closer to Mikado. The boy figured that the bartender didn't get the hint. Either that or the man was seriously in love with him. Mikado stopped backing away. What if Shizuo actually did like him? What if it wasn't because Shizuo was lusting after Rumi? The boy looked at his reflection in Shizuo's sunglasses again.
Without really thinking about it, he reached up and took off the sunglasses. Shizuo's sincere eyes bore holes in Mikado's heart. The young boy stared into those eyes, no longer feeling so afraid. Shizuo took his cigarette and crushed it in his hands before letting it drop to the ground. All the while, his eyes never left Mikado's. And the bartender gladly closed the gap between them.
"This is the place!" Walker shouted loudly as he and Erika dragged an unwilling Togusa towards the bar. Kadota slowly followed them at his own pace.
"Oh! It's Karisawa-san and Yumasaki-san!" Masaomi exclaimed as he and his date, Saki, walked towards the bar. Anri walked a few feet behind the two. "Look, Togusa-san and Kadota-san are also here, too!"
Saki smiled at them. "How do you do?" she asked. Her answers were the usual cliched "Fine"s.
Anri gave them a polite bow. "Thank you again for the last time."
Erika and Walker paused in their actions to acknowledge the girl. "No problem!" Erika said brightly. "As the protectors of Ikebukuro, it was our pleasure to help out!"
Togusa rolled his eyes. "If you guys were the protectors, then I shudder to meet the wrong-doers." His bitter words went ignored as the two otakus continued their haul towards the bar. The two began to chat about the bar, but there were so much anime-related junk in it that Togusa just couldn't understand it at all.
"Ah," Masaomi said suddenly. "I did hear that Rumi-chan here is hotter than Hijiribe Ruri-san!"
Togusa snapped. "What?" he demanded as he forced the two otakus to stop. "You're lying!"
"Yeah, I heard that too," Walker said, completely ignoring his companion. "She's supposed to look like a fairy princess! Maybe she'll whisk me away to another dimension!"
"Or maybe she'll grant us super powers!" Erika added in excitedly.
The two stared at each other with sparkles in their eyes. "Or maybe she'll show us her true form!"
Kadota sighed. "Ok, I get it. Save the dramatics. Let's go in."
The group of seven boldly walked into the bar, never expecting the scene that'll greet them. The six of them froze once the scene registered into their minds. Masaomi's mouth dropped. Kadota shielded his eyes. Anri blinked. Togusa groaned before looking away. Saki tilted her head in confusion. Walker let out a delirious shout. And Erika…? She squealed in happiness.
"Hah! What did I tell you? BL does exist in the real world!"
At the shouting, the two culprits stopped and stared at the group that had just walked in. Shizuo straightened himself and positioned himself in front of a blushing Mikado, who seemed to have somehow lost some part of the maid uniform he was certain that he was wearing before.
"Ah… that is… this…" Mikado fumbled with words as he tried to pick up the dropped clothing items. "I can explain!"
The rest of the group (minus Erika, who was shouting her success, and Walker, who was debating against her) stared speechlessly at the two. Then Anri recovered. She smiled calmly in a way that Mikado was certain didn't mean she was pleased. "So Ryugamine-kun has this kind of a hobby."
"N-no!" Mikado exclaimed, waving the clothing in his hands. "That's not it at all!"
Masaomi grinned darkly at his best friend. "Mikado," he sang in a voice that wasn't sweet at all. "You have a lot of explaining to do!"