Title: The Truths of Being Alive
Chapter Title: 1. Sorrows of a Life
Author: Primal Red
Character(s)/Pairing: Kamichika Rio. Orihara Izaya. Yagiri Namie. Eventual Izaya/Rio (IzaRio)
Rating: R for psychological and philosophical themes and sexuality.
Warnings: Dark themes and disturbing perspectives on humanity in general.
Summary: For most people, life had a way of turning out fine eventually. For Rio, life was full of her own mistakes. Or so she thought. [Eventual and gradual Izaya/Rio]
A/N: I recently got into the Durarara! fandom, and somehow along the way I fell for this pairing due to the complexity and darkness in terms of potential. Despite what a lot of people say, the interactions between these two characters just strikes me to the heart and makes me wonder what it would be like to see them interact more. Dedicated to hiitsu/Renn-kun, who is my greatest inspiration for this, and eclats-de-voix. :D You two are awesome. 3
"Say, say my name…
I need a little love to ease the pain.
I need a little love to ease the pain."
—Massive Attack in "Dissolved Girl"
Chapter 1: The Sorrow of Living
When she walked straight into the sunlight of the afternoon through the crossroads of Ikebukuro, Rio thought of only one thing: the path she strode on was nothing like the path she had chosen in living.
The chance of all that happened in a lifetime was hardly what she would consider predetermined and easy to predict. Secrets, as she had found, were things she had not anticipated to be seen on a normal basis, and yet one man had looked right through her and tore her world apart.
Funny how she didn't even know his real name, mirthless and bleak as it was that she didn't know. Nakura-san. Only an alias, and yet she trusted him with her safety, her heart and all her secrets.
"Look. No matter what they thought, no matter what they wanted, all of them returned as equals to their divine creator. That spot is all that remains of them."
And he destroyed it all, with a smirk and a knowing glance.
"Want me to let go?"
And one word that never ceased to ring in her mind when she didn't respond and was pulled back from the threshold.
She never thought that there would be such individuals in this world, people who would laugh and toy with others in their most tragic of moments, and at the same time love how humanity writhes in its deep darkness and horrifying nature.
Detestable man he was, and yet she found herself wanting to see him again for some particular reason. A reason she couldn't understand.
Was it to explain herself to him? To show him that she was in the right?
Or was it for something else? To find out whether the Nakura-san she had felt so close with was real?
Or was it because she felt betrayed by the man who destroyed her hope of finding someone who understood and cared about her?
What did she really want from him?
Rio shook her head. She was thinking too much. That and…considering that it was unlikely that she would find him, she might as well take into account of what she had learned of her meeting with him and say goodbye to that hope.
And yet there was a slight pang in her heart when she looked into the night sky, something that reminded her of the realization that she probably was less willing to go about her way with her life on her own without seeing that man again. It was strange, really, how a stranger could affect her so deeply and shatter all her pretenses and politeness.
It was difficult, at first, living without that shelter of pretense and falseness in her daily life anymore. Building a new world out of the shattered pieces in her life and hope and happiness was a task that she had not anticipated as difficult as it turned out. Making friends, as she found, had been a difficult trial for her, mostly because she was awkward with going up to people and talking to them casually. She was an introverted girl, and one that thought a bit too much for her own good at times.
It was funny how much she had changed over the course of the year. She had, as usual, grown out of her shell of keeping to herself all the time in regards to speaking with others, and she had managed to learn how to speak in front of a crowd about many sorts of impersonal matters in case she needed to. She had even learned to speak out to her parents about what was going on between them and their world.
And yet, there was a part of her that was difficult to turn away completely from. She still didn't know many people, and she had few individuals—though, thankfully, a handful—who she could consider close friends. Her parents, as much as they apologized to her, were still about the same, and she had gone on with her life in many ways as though there was no disturbance at all that had happened.
Except for that one part of her that wondered whether she should have changed more.
She was at the age where she would begin studying for college—fifteen going onto sixteen, to be exact—and yet she still didn't completely know what she wanted.
What did she want, really?
Kamichika Rio stopped at the edge of the crosswalk and looked up. The moon was so beautifully full today, and though she didn't quite recall looking into the calendar for very much, she felt a certain pain in her heart that reminded her.
It was only a year ago when she met him face-to-face at the top of a building.
Ever since she met him, she wanted to change into a better person. Someone who had more friends in her life who cared about her, someone who could understand herself more and someone who wasn't so easily tricked.
She wanted to prove to herself—and to him—that he was wrong.
That she was not a predictable person.
That she was never predictable.
Rio stepped through the door, and glanced around. So far, no one was earlier than her. Her mother, as it seemed from the note on the refrigerator, had gone out to buy things, and her father was not home yet from work. Might as well rest a little from the day for a while. Then, she will get her homework done and find a few things to do—including going online to chat with her friends for a bit.
She just hoped that she didn't send HIM anything by mistake. She was not about to make the same mistake as she used to, and chances were that he would take another identity online.
Rio pulled out her towel and outfit, then walked into the bathroom and turned on the hot water and then the cold water together. She watched nonchalantly as the steam began to rise, and hung her towel and outfits on the side handles. Then, closing the door and turning around, she stripped off her school outfit and inner garments and placed it all carefully on the shelf.
"You have your share of secrets too, don't you?"
"Even going as far as thinking why your parents are so good-for-nothing compared to you?"
Rio slashed her hand through the water viciously, spilling a handful of it onto the wall of the bathtub. Why did he say that?
What was it that made him so right and yet so hateful?
Why was it that she was so determined to prove him wrong?
He was right, after all, about her being another wrathful human who deserved no better.
A human being who had no right to criticize her parents for what they did, because she wasn't any better.
Rio took a shuddering breath, then stepped determinedly into the full-mixed water. She will prove him wrong. She will prove him wrong and to his face eventually.
If she were ever to see him again, she will prove him wrong even if it takes her life.
Humanity was a cesspool of living entities that were meant for a chessboard of massive, wonderful complexity. As far as things went, the city was his laboratory. Every single subject in the underground was in his hands, and he could twist and work in every single psyche with his power and will.
Orihara Izaya smiled calmly, then moved the king half a square to the left of the queen piece and the shogun piece.
"What are you so amused about?"
"Ah, Namie! You're here just in time to see some changes."
A silence fell between the two as the woman narrowed her eyes slightly and tried not to wince. Izaya kept his smile on his face, and knew that his currently appointed secretary was now turning the cogs in her head, if only to at least guess at his new manipulation.
"And what would that be?"
Namie glared at him from her vantage point, and Izaya laughed at her sour expression. "Now, now, Namie, it's not like I am going to plot against you in that sense. So far, you're one of the few people I can allow to the truth to an extent, if only for the fact that you can't do anything about what I have in store."
"Which is why you are having me guess at something that I don't have a part in?"
"Ah, but that's the fun of it, see? You are privy to things that will never leave this building floor. The fact remains that you are being sought after all that has happened, and your telling of anyone about what goes on will be in vain. What's worse…" he stopped with a smile, then continued, "…is that you have no future here and that you are pretty much stuck in Ikebukuro due to the machinations of a teenager. It's such a shame, really…Yagiri Namie, the great forerunning leader of the Yagiri pharmacy, is now a mere secretary. You should be thankful that I am letting you in on so much."
Namie narrowed her eyes even more, and Izaya laughed as he turned his chair around to the window. She was definitely fun to manipulate, and it was amusing to see her be crushed day by day with the realization that her company was now in shambles, and that everything she worked for was in vain.
Some people were just too fun to mess with. Especially when their dreams and hopes were as twisted as his. The fact that Namie fell in love with her own brother made it all the more amusing.
Izaya glanced out of the corner of his eye at the picture on his hands, and smiled. The new year students at Raira Academy were coming of age into graduation again, it seemed, and he was likely to run into someone else that he didn't think would be of interest.
The girl in the corner of the picture with the other students, despite her quiet exterior, seemed almost determined to look into the camera.
Kamichika Rio. Magenta-san.
How cute. If he wasn't wrong, Rio-chan was probably now thinking of going to college and finding a way to live on despite what he told her.
And likely, if he guessed right, to prove him wrong.
Izaya chuckled. Her grades, as it seemed, had risen quite a bit in the last few years. From what he had found out from some other students, it seemed that Rio was now making friends with people and having a better time with her world than he had previously guessed. What's more, she seemed to have more than her fair share of idolization from most boys, considering that her quiet appearance and cool-headed personality made her seem inaccessible, along with her sky-high academic record.
And it didn't help that she was quite good-looking.
The informant thought for a moment. From what it seemed, that Celty seemed to have given her some words that might have made her think differently, and it was likely that such advice made the girl look away from the detestable world into a new one that she had wanted. Said girl, as it seemed, was quite determined to prove him wrong.
Well, then, maybe he could give her a chance. The fact that she wanted to prove him wrong made it funny in so many ways, and he wondered for a moment if it was because she was simply angry with him for what he had told her.
Or maybe not. Rio was, after all, a girl who didn't simply follow her emotions all the time. He recalled how the girl internalized her anger towards him even when he left her and how she didn't seek him out ever since.
She was smart, for sure. The fact that she could tell he was not a person to be messed with easily showed that she often thought ahead of her, especially in the recent years. From what he heard, she had not spoken of him or anything in relation to what had happened, which signified that she knew that the experience was not something she could share with others easily. What's more, the fact that she refused to let anyone know of her goals and dreams at this point in time showed that she was shrewd enough to keep her most precious hopes to herself. Fragile things were dangerous weapons, after all.
For a girl at the age of fifteen, she was quite an interesting experiment.
It was time for a visit to the past, perhaps. He wanted to find out what had changed, after all.
Some people were too fun to mess with.
"Passion choked the flower
Till she cried no more."
—Sarah McLachlan in Delerium's "Silence"
To be continued...