A/N: Condensing the chapters so they match with the rest of them... because I'm a weirdo like that. :D
AU Shizaya based off of the movie Repo Men; to clarify for anyone that hasn't seen it before, it's about a man who's job is repossession. He's part of the Union, which is a company that gives artificial organs/some body parts to people who need them. When they fail to pay, he goes in and reclaims the products.
Then his last job goes haywire, and later he meets (in this story) Izaya, who has a large amount of past-due organs/yadda yadda in his body... Ya dig :D?
I don't own Durarara or Repo Men.
When he was younger, he once read about a scientist. More specifically, a scientist that had a fascination with cats and boxes. What the man did was take the feline and lock it in a box; and to spice things up a bit, he also placed a machine that released poisonous gas inside with it.
The scientist did not really know when the machine would release the poison. The only way to know would be to look inside the box. It would be the only way to be absolutely sure.
But until he opened it up, he figured the cat had to be both alive and dead. If either one was possible - life or death - then both had to possible, too. Ever since he has read about it, he hasn't been able to get it out of his head.
It's not that Shizuo particularly cares for animals; he just never understood one thing.
How can anything be both alive and dead at the same time?
Shizuo stares out into the bright lights of Ikebukuro from within the penthouse suite he's in. He has enough time to take one last drag of his cigarette and crush it underneath his sole, into the pristine white carpets, before he hears the sound of a door opening and inebriated laughter.
He turns around slowly, hand on the holster of his tranquilizer gun. The couple that enters doesn't even notice his presence, they're that trashed - Shizuo finds himself gritting his teeth at the fact he has yet to be discovered, even when he's standing less than ten feet away.
The woman pushes the man up against the wall, whispering things into his ear before trailing her hands down to the buckle on his pants. She deftly undoes his pants, and they fall to the man's ankles as she gets on her knees. She smirks up at him, and the man closes his eyes and rests the side of his head on the wall he's leaning on, clearly anticipating what's about to come.
It's only when the man hazily opens his eyes that he realizes there's a six foot tall blond man standing right next to his window.
"What the fuck!" Abruptly, he pushes the woman off of him and scrambles to pull up his pants. Shizuo's brow twitches.
"Who the hell are you?" The man splutters indignantly, still fastening his pants, and there's another twitch coming from Shizuo - he doesn't like being cut off.
"I'm from the Union." Shizuo calmly tells him. Those four words are enough to tell the man who Shizuo is and what he's doing there, and a look of alarm plasters itself to his face.
"Wait! Wait. Just w-wait, okay?" The man tries to pacify the situation. It's sort of too bad that it won't work. "Why don't we just talk about this? We're both grown men..."
Shizuo continues to stare at the man. Beads of sweat begin to roll down his face as he tries to talk his way out. "Let's just sit down, alright? I can pay you-" He stumbles forward, hand out in the universal sign for hold on.
"You're too late." Shizuo's fingers twitch on the gun, and he whips it out faster than the man's drunken eyes can follow. Really, he gets tired faster and faster every time that people try to halt what's going to come anyway. What they knowis going to happen.
"Besides, that's not my department." With that said, his finger tightens on the trigger.
The man's eyes widen a fraction before the tranquilizer lands right into his chest. The man falls straight onto his back, and Shizuo, without pause, grabs the sleek silver case he has brought with him and kneels next to him.
Suddenly, something is smacked against his head. He turns his head, ever so slowly, at the woman who has just tried to smash his head in with her handbag without success.
"... There's no need for violence, lady."
She stares at him incredulously, and before she can try whacking him with her bag again, he shoots a tranquilizer into her, too. The woman lands to the ground with a thud. She's not past-due on anything - at least, as far as he knows. But either way, she's annoying and in the way of his job.
"Takahara-san." Now that there are no disruptions, Shizuo clears his throat and continues to speak. "I'm legally bound to ask you if you want an ambulance on stand-by to take you to the hospital."
Of course, the man is out cold and does not answer him. Shizuo shrugs.
"No? Okay, then."
In the penthouse that is once more quiet, he sets to work.
His job is easy enough to understand.
You can't pay for your car? The bank takes it back. You can't pay for your house? The bank takes it back.
You can't pay for your liver? Your heart, your pancreas?
That is where Shizuo comes in.
No matter who the client is, the job always ends one of the same ways.
Some cry, beg - some even laugh. However, in the end...
In the end, they will all do the same horizontal mambo, swaying and shaking their way into the afterlife.
"Hey, watch it!"
Shizuo shoots a glare at whoever just yelled at him, dressed inside a huge liver costume, and a stutter comes from inside. "Ah, H-Heiwajima-san, I d-didn't know it was you..." Of course he didn't; if he did, he would've never dared raise his voice to him.
Everyone who works for the Union knows who he is; even some people who don't are aware of him, or at least of the fact that he's one of the best they have.
The blond just keeps on walking, silver case in his grip as he makes his way to the elevator. Once he's on his floor, he sees too many people inside offices, basically being told that they will die - unless, of course, they decide to get an artiforg.
"We used to have to wait until other people died, so that others could live," comes the automated female voice that echoes around the whole entire building. "And now, thanks to the Union, no one ever has to die because of lack of organ donors. Our doctors cleanly insert..."
While he pours his coffee, he can hear one of the conversations from inside one of the offices.
"... the price would come to 50,865,785 yen." Shizuo glances inside and sees a man with a hand on his face, surrounded by his wife and two young daughters. They all look troubled, and the wife lays a hand on his shoulder. "We can offer monthly payments, and with an APR of 19.6%, standard for a generic pancreatic unit..."
The consultant continues the speech he always gives, clearly seeing the man's reluctance to pay such a huge amount of money - and then a brown haired man with glasses sweeps into the room out of seemingly nowhere, perching on the desk.
"Kishitani Shinra, head of this division." Shizuo pours too much sugar into his coffee, listening to the words that he has heard fool people too many times to count.
"I understand you have concerns. It's only normal. But please, let me reassure you that we'll find a plan that suits you. That's what the credit department is there for!" Shinra chirps, and Shizuo thinks he sounds far too happy about a deal like that. "There's also a three month grace period, if you fall behind. If that happens, we'll retrieve the property - at our own expense, naturally - using our skilled and licensed technicians..."
Shizuo is one of those skilled and licensed technicians; he restrains himself from rolling his eyes, and continues to stir his coffee, blocking out the rest of the conversation until it reaches the finale.
Shinra keeps talking, that reassuring smile on his face. He leans close to the man as if he's sharing a personal word of advice, or a secret. "You owe it to your family." The bastard has the audacity to wink. "You owe it to yourself."
He can't help the disgust that rises in him. He's heard Shinra say those words so many times; the first time he heard it, had he been someone in need of an artiforg, he would've bought into it instantly. But the more he says it, the more it loses its magic. That is, of course, except for the people who he tells that to.
"Now, just sign here, here, and here..." The man hesitantly takes the pen in his hand, staring at the clipboard that will finalize his fate.
He'll sign. They always do.
No one wants to die, even if it means that they'll be in debt for the rest of their lives.
Shizuo doesn't really feel like watching the man sign away his life, especially when he knows there's a good chance he will be the one to come after him months from now. Once he has his coffee prepared, he heads into the break room. He sips his coffee, and then:
"You're killing me by coming in the front like that, Shizuo!" Shinra exclaims, frowning. Shizuo just takes another sip of his coffee and ignores him. "Come on, then. Let's see what you got." His boss sighs, then waves him over through another pair of doors, through a hallway and into another room.
"Really though, Shizuo, when people see you..." Shinra starts up the computer system and the scanner, his voice chiding.
Rather, what Shinra means, is when people see his tattoo, they get scared. The tattoo that is on the side of his neck, that even a collared shirt won't hide. The symbol, the brand of the Union.
"... they'll get scared! They won't want to take out a loan, and they'll start paying up front. And that means we'll lose money..."
Shizuo just grunts and unclips the briefcase he has carried in with him. He takes out a vacuum sealed bag with a delicate metal object inside and tosses it to Shinra, who fumbles a bit before catching it. "What's this one?"
"Liver." Shinra nods and scans it into the machine, and it lets out a low beep as it registers back into the system.
Shinra chuckles, "What, are you hanging around bars, or something? AA meetings, perhaps?" He keeps on scanning, then reaches out a hand for another one.
Shizuo throws the next one over. When Shinra goes to scan it, nothing comes up. The bespectacled man peers at it, frowning. "Shizuo, you really have to be more gentle with these things. The barcode won't even scan!"
"Client pissed me off," The blond mumbles irritably. Shinra just sighs and puts it aside to deal with it later.
"Hey, partner. Boss." Shizuo glances over his shoulder at the comrade he's had the entire time he's been with the Union.
They had known each other since elementary school. Tom had been way different back then, despite the fact he still wears glasses and still has his dreads; he had been quite the bully. Yes, back then, Tom was the school's biggest delinquent. He tried picking on Shizuo, once.
The blond thinks the only reason they became friends was because Shizuo was the only one who was able to dish out exactly what Tom served. From that point on, they were almost inseparable, and then the school had two troublemakers on its hands.
"Ready to go out?" Tom pats Shizuo's back. "We've got quite the list, today..."
Next week, Shizuo's hosting something of a party at his house. Well, his and Kasuka's house. Among the party guests are all of their fellow repo men - men that look less than saintly, all rough and tumble and muscle. Each one has the Union tattoo on the left side of their neck.
And looking completely out of place is his brother. His sleek and polished brother, who always has an aristocratic air about him, even if he doesn't mean to. Kasuka looks rather bored right now, sitting at at one of the patio tables in their backyard and sipping on tea.
Kasuka has never really agreed with Shizuo's occupation. However, with Shizuo's temper and strength, not many other jobs were available to him. So when he found a job at the Union, Kasuka had been happy for him. At first.
As his jobs went on and Shizuo told him about the what went on during the jobs, he started disapproving his choice of career. He just couldn't approve something that meant his brother was unwittingly taking lives, even if the paycheck was well worth it.
But Kasuka loves him just as much as Shizuo loves his little brother, so he puts up with it. Though there's a niggling feeling that eventually, he won't be able to put up with it anymore. If that happens, Shizuo doesn't know what he'll do - Kasuka's the only family he has, and other than Tom, the only other friend.
"You alright, Kasuka?" Shizuo takes a seat next to his brother, who just gives him a blank look. "I know..." Shizuo rubs the back of his head. "They'll be gone in an hour or two." His brother nods, then looks up as a hand taps the blond's shoulder.
"Do you mind if I steal you for a second?" It's Tom. He has a relaxed smile on his face, and Shizuo gets the idea that it is only there for Kasuka's sake.
"Sure." Shizuo stands up, giving his brother one more look, then follows Tom over to the side. "What's up?"
Tom's face suddenly turns serious. "Horoda told me he's got one for us. He's past due almost eight months." No one ever manages to evade the Union that long. It's almost ridiculous that someone's gone more than five.
"So he said he'll take him this way for us. He's only a few minutes away, Shizuo." And unfortunately, Shizuo knows where this is heading. "It's double commission, partner. That's a lot of money. Boss'll be happy with us, too."
Tom has a point. Shizuo glances over at Kasuka, who's still looking like he'd rather be anywhere else but here. "... Fine. You have to make it quick, though."
"Will do, partner."
Tom strides away, and Shizuo returns back to his brother. Kasuka fixes him with another look, one that's asking what that was all about. "...He's just going to get more meat," He tells his brother somewhat uncomfortably, though he hopes he doesn't notice. Kasuka just nods slowly and returns his half-lidded gaze to his tea.
A few minutes later, Tom has yet to return. Shizuo casts the door that leads inside his house continuous glances, and during one of them, Kasuka follows his gaze. He looks back at Shizuo, to how his eyes are steadily becoming glued to the door, then back to where he's staring again.
Suddenly, he pushes his chair back and stands up. "Kasuka? Where are you going?"
"Jacket." Kasuka mutters and starts marching into the house.
"Kasuka, I'll get you a jack- Kasuka-" But his brother either doesn't hear him or is ignoring him, so he swears under his breath and sprints to the door.
"Kasuka, wait a second!" His brother continues to walk through the house, and to Shizuo's horror, towards the front door.
If his brother finds out that he's brought the business he despises so much to his very doorstep, the consequences would not be pretty. Then, his worst fears come true. Kasuka has made it to the front door, and he gives one look out the window before he pulls open the door.
"Kasuka!" Shizuo follows him outside and sees Tom standing there, unaware that the siblings are standing on the steps. His partner is wrapping up the wires of some artiforg, a smile that comes from a job well done on his face.
Then his little brother is in action, walking right up to Tom. "What are you doing?" He asks him calmly. In that one respect, he and his brother are somewhat alike. They sound the calmest before the storm hits - except Kasuka is nowhere near as explosive as Shizuo.
Tom blinks, surprised. "I-"
"Kasuka, I can explain!" Shizuo finally reaches the two of them once his feet are done being rooted to the ground from his shock. His brother just turns to him, the blank look that's always there on his face.
Shizuo's mouth flounders open, searching for the right words to say - but there are none. He closes his mouth as Kasuka just walks right past Shizuo without sparing him a a passing glance, into the house. Almost immediately after, he comes right back out, car keys in hand.
"Kasuka? Where are you going?"
His brother ignores him and unlocks the car, opening the door and seating himself inside. "Kasuka, please-"
"Shizuo." His brother starts up the ignition, then finally looks up at him with those apathetic eyes. "... Make a choice." And then he quietly closes the car door and drives off.
That niggling feeling? It doesn't itch at him any longer, now that it's actually happened. Instead, Shizuo just stands there, heart lurching into his gut as he watches Kasuka drive away until he can no longer see him. He had always used the word eventually - but eventually had finally come.
"I went as fast as I could, Shizuo." Tom's voice is remorseful, and Shizuo knows it's real. Of all people, Tom knows just how much Kasuka means to him, and how much he absolutely loves his little brother. "I'm sorry."
"I know you did." Tom is also one of the best, right up there along with him. But sometimes, being the best isn't good enough.
Because right now, Shizuo would give up his high rank and hefty paycheck, kick out all the coworkers he's not really even remotely friendly with - he'd give it all up, just to have his brother drive back. In a heartbeat.
"Fuck..." He repeats, and buries a hand in his hair as Kasuka's words bounce around in his head like a song that gets stuck inside your brain.
Make a choice.
A/N: Next chapter will be up shortly. :)