A/N: This chapter is a bit longer, so there's that. I hope everyone is enjoying the general slice-of-life-ness (kind of.) I haven't decided how long this story will actually be, I'm kinda just writing and making it up as I go...
Also, I've noticed a few typos/tense errors in the earlier chapters, so I'll... try to uh, get right on that...
I don't own Durarara.
A month on from that day at the cafe, Rin realized that Ayame had been right.
Rin had that particular epiphany as she glanced at Shizuo shyly, seated next to him in a booth at Russia Sushi. She decided that she could stare at his profile all day and not tire of it, even as he gnawed the straw for his milk (Rin was sure that the sushi restaurant offered milk as a beverage solely for Shizuo) to near shreds as Shinra chattered on about something or other. His leg bumped into hers under the table and Rin thought she might just die from the contact.
She did have a crush on Heiwajima Shizuo.
Sure, she'd thought he was attractive, but she had chalked that up to teenage hormones. As she got to know him better, Rin had realized that she genuinely liked being around him. Sure, there was almost guaranteed to be an outburst at least once a day, but she wasn't any different – so who was she to judge? He took her bouts of crying in stride, just as she did for his fits of anger. There was no denying that they certainly made for an odd pair.
Even as she admitted to herself that she had feelings that ran a bit deeper than just friends, that was what they were: friends. And somehow I'm still supposed to ask him out!
She swore she saw that dark haired student, Orihara Izaya, around school more after the incident; she wondered if Shizuo's recently picked up smoking habit had something to do with it. He would often appear just to taunt Shizuo, who would then run off after him screaming death threats and the like. Izaya largely ignored her, Shizuo being his main target – though anytime he did look at her it made her uncomfortable.
After getting the rundown of their personal history from Shinra, as she figured it was too sore a subject to ask Shizuo about, she didn't take the occasional abandonment personally. Apparently the two just had a really intense dislike for each other – Rin could see why, as it seemed Izaya was the main instigator, constantly toying with Shizuo's delicate temper.
Between then and now, she and Shizuo were around each other a lot more frequently. She'd met two more of Shizuo's friends besides Shinra – a silent woman on a motorbike named Celty (the same Celty that Shinra was constantly swooning over) and a young man, Kadota. It was Kadota and Shinra that the pair sat with in the booth.
"Eh?" She looked up to realize everyone at the table was staring at her, waiting for a response to a question she hadn't heard. She flushed. "S-sorry... what were you asking?"
Shinra leaned forward, his chin resting on his hand. "What are you planning to do for winter break?"
"O-oh, um... Nothing too interesting, really. Probably just staying in the city. My parents can't get away from work and Ayame's going overseas for her vacation, so..."
"Going skiing," Kadota added before digging into his own plate. "It'll be nice to get away, though."
"Shizuo? How about you?" Shinra asked.
"Sticking around, too." Was all he said before he also started eating.
"It's gonna be just me and Celty, all alone!" Shinra sighed dreamily. "Then there's Christmas. Celty loves Christmas, so I have to make sure it's an amazing one! All I want to do is take her to see the lights on Christmas Eve..."
"That sounds great, Shinra-san." Rin's eyes started watering, touched by the look on Shinra's face. "How wonderful to spend the holiday with someone you like..." If only, she thought, wiping her eyes with one of the napkins at the table. Shinra-san! So lucky!
"It's so much more than that, Rin-chan! Like doesn't even begin to describe what I feel for Celty..."
Shinra's plate went mostly untouched as he preferred to keep talking about the lovey-dovey holiday he'd have with Celty, as did Rin's, though it was for a different reason.
I wonder if it would be weird to get Shizuo-san a present or something? Probably would be, unless I got something for everyone else, too... If not, it might be a little too obvious that I-
"Why aren't you eating?" Shizuo asked. His questioning gaze bore into her and she found she couldn't meet it.
"O-oh, sorry... I was just, um, thinking. That's all!"
She laughed nervously before popping a piece of sushi in her mouth. It seemed to satisfy Shizuo, who went back to eating as well. Eventually, they called it a night since they had school tomorrow.
"Shizuo! You are leaving?" Simon, as she'd learned tonight, was the man always giving out flyers to passerby on the street. "And you too...?"
"R-Rin," she squeaked out, slightly intimidated by his size and deep voice.
"So, Shizuo and Rin leave together. You finally have girlfriend, Shizuo?"
If the ground opened up and swallowed her whole, she thought she might not even cry about it. She tried to shrink into her scarf. That seems like an acceptable fate right now.
"N-no!" Rin hurriedly exclaimed, frantically waving her hands. She didn't notice the slight frown on Shizuo's face at her hasty reply. "We're, um, just... friends."
She figured it would be less painful for her if she were the one to deny that sort of relationship between Shizuo and herself; if she heard him say it, she would probably start crying, and that was something that Shizuo might pick up on.
"I make mistake, then," Simon eyed them. "You come back soon, yes?" And then he was bellowing out about the evening specials, handing out flyers to anyone who would take them.
That was so awkward! Rin thought, pulling her coat closer to herself as they started back to the quieter neighborhoods of Ikebukuro. Shizuo himself had forgone a coat or any other winter accessories, still in his powder blue blazer with his shirt untucked – as always.
"You're going to catch a cold, Shizuo-san," Rin chided.
"Whatever," He grumbled, lighting up a cigarette.
Rin looked at him curiously; Shizuo looked a tad grumpier than usual. He seemed fine just a minute ago...
"Is... is everything okay?"
Shizuo stared down at her, replaying the conversation with Simon in his head as he did so.
"You finally have girlfriend, Shizuo?"
It wasn't her fault, not really. Why should he feel some sort of way that she was so fast to reject Simon's question, anyways? They weren't dating.
Still, he thought – just a little miffed – Is the idea that unbearable?
He knew the answer, though. He'd accepted the fact that he wasn't going to have an ordinary life, or the things that came with it, a long time ago. At least he thought he had. He wasn't really sure of why it was bothering him so much now.
Shizuo had been surprised that she even was still sticking around, especially a girl of her nature. He didn't mind, although he would be loathe to admit that having a girl other than Celty hang around and be okay with his faults was... nice.
Rin somehow always managed to have a few kind words for him, even when he would ditch her in favor of chasing after the flea (which he always felt bad about afterwards). Rin wasn't obnoxious like Shinra (unless you counted her crying) but she was a little more talkative than Kyohei and himself, and Celty technically didn't 'talk' at all.
She fit, he thought.
He could count on one hand how many people had seen his fits of rage and still stuck around; she had somehow become one of them. He wondered why, like he did everytime she was around.
"Did … I do something?" She asked, her voice muffled by the scarf wrapped around the bottom half of her face. To Shizuo's dismay, her eyes were starting to grow wet as she looked up at him, her brows furrowed.
"...No." Shizuo finally replied. He exhaled a puff of smoke, blowing the cloud away from her. "Sorry. I'm fine. C'mon."
"Rin! It's seriously been a month and you still haven't asked out Heiwajima! What's up with that?"
"I-I've just been working myself up to it, that's all!"
Classes were done for the day, and students were starting to file out of the classroom. Rin gathered her own things before sighing.
"Also... you may have been right about me, um, you know-" She looked around the now empty classroom to make sure no one was around. "-liking Shizuo-san."
Ayame rolled her eyes. "Duh. I could've told you that. I did tell you that!"
"But what if I ask Shizuo-san and mess things up? We're friends now... at least, I'm pretty sure we are." Rin let out a tiny sob, grabbing an ever handy tissue from her bag as she waited for Ayame. "If I scare him off, I'll definitely cry a lot!"
"A bet's a bet, Rin. And besides, don't you want to know where things stand? You never know until you try!"
Outside the classroom door, one Orihara Izaya casually strolled away with a smile, stockpiling the new information for a later date.
And back on Rin's end, she had decided that today was the day (although it was only because of Ayame's pushiness) that she was going to ask out Heiwajima Shizuo.
She found him by the entryway, surrounded by Shinra and Kadota.
"But karaoke will be fun!" Shinra exclaimed, trying fruitlessly to get him to join them.
"Don't push your luck, Shinra." Kadota sighed.
"Ah!" Shinra spotted her, waving her over. "Rin-chan, do you want to go to karaoke? If you go, Shizuo will probably go-"
If looks could kill, the look Shizuo gave Shinra would've killed him ten times over. Oblivious as ever, the look shared between the two completely went over Rin's head.
"Karaoke? I don't think I'd be very good at that... getting up in front of people and singing sounds scary." She sniffed, already imagining the public humiliation.
"You don't have to sing if you don't want to," Kadota offered. "Besides, Shinra's buying all the food and everything."
Rin did perk up at that, her tears drying up suspiciously quick. "F-food?" She smiled. "Okay!"
"You're only going for the food, huh..." Shinra hung his head. "Well, no matter! Looks like it's just the three of us. We'll serenade your proverbial pants off, Rin-"
"What was that? No one is serenading anyone." Shizuo, previously quiet, was suddenly looming over all three of them. His eyebrow twitched. "Tch... I'll go."
"Hey! I was going to say it was just going to be practice when I do the real deal for Celty," Shinra pouted. "And besides, didn't you say you hate karaoke? Or even better, I was right about-"
It was Kadota who rapped him on the head before sighing. "Pushing it again, Shinra. Let's go, then."
The four set out, although Shizuo and Rin lagged behind a bit. Should I ask him now? What if I ask him now and he says no, then we're stuck in a little room together for the next few hours...!
An idea came to her. If he said no or thought she was a total weirdo, she would just say that she meant a... a friend date. Yes, that'll work... I think.
Taking the opportunity while Shinra and Kadota were up ahead, she straightened her posture as they walked. "S-Shizuo-san?"
"Yeah?" He already had a cigarette lit and hanging out the corner of his mouth.
"I was w-wondering, if, um..." She stopped, turning to Shizuo. He also stopped, now curious as to what she was about to say. This is it. Spit it out, Rin, jeez! Despite the inner pep talk, the words just wouldn't come out.
"I was hoping maybe... y-you and I... that is to say..." She felt her cheeks flush. "Would you want to go-"
The cigarette between Shizuo's mouth was almost bitten in half at the sound of that voice.
Oh for God's sake-! Of all the times for him to appear, now had to be it, didn't it?
Izaya was leaning up against the gate, flicking his blade in and out as he cocked his head at them. "Eh? There's a group hang out and I didn't get invited? I'm positively wounded, Shizu-chan."
Shinra and Kadota, at this point, had realized that Shizuo and Rin weren't following them and shared a collective sigh at the sight of Izaya once they turned back.
Izaya turned his eyes to Rin, who tried not to shrink back. "And I see you still haven't taken my advice!" He came forward with those light steps of his, flicking his blade out once more.
"That's the great thing about humans, though. Free will, etcetera, etcetera..." He pointed the blade at Shizuo. "Except for you, Shizu-chan. You just act on basic animalistic instincts, since that's what you are."
"Who do you think you are, flea?" Shizuo had long stomped the cigarette into the ground (which Rin was starting to realize was a sign to back away), now stalking forward to be head-to-head with Izaya.
"I told you if you bother me again, I'll kill you! If I tell you that and you still bother me, that means it's okay if you die, right?" He grabbed Izaya by the collar of his shirt, though all the other boy did was smile at his anger.
"And if you're okay with dying, that means you're okay with me becoming a murderer, huh, Izaya-"
Izaya, instead of deigning to grace Shizuo with a response, had simply swiped Shizuo across the chest, cutting open his shirt. There was a moment of stillness as Shizuo grit his teeth. "... You're dead!"
Cue the punches being thrown and Izaya somehow managing to avoid a walloping... again. Rin might have been in awe if she hadn't started to realize what an antagonist Orihara Izaya was.
Before she could think anymore on the situation, however, she was being dragged away by Shinra and Kadota.
"B-but, Shizuo-san-" She sniffed, crying a bit at the forced departure. "What if he needs us?"
"Trust me, he'll be fine," Shinra assured her cheerfully, as if two of his friends weren't spouting death threats at each other and ruining the surrounding public property.
"Unfortunately for Shizuo, Izaya probably will be too." Kadota added.
"Meet us there, Shizuo!" Shinra threw over his shoulder, but Rin thought it was doubtful he was paying attention.
Okay, so that attempt hadn't gone well – hadn't gone at all, really. Still, she couldn't help but wonder:
Maybe I should be thanking Orihara-san for preventing my certain embarassment...
A/N: I'm wondering if at some point later in the story I should go past the high school times and skip forward in time a bit or something. Let me know your thoughts on that!
As always, thanks for reading.