A/N: I have never written Shizaya before. Scary. As such, this is less of a story and more of a...thing. Like an extended drabble, I guess. Depending on how this goes down, I might write more. I blame my love for Daisuke Ono and Hiroshi Kamiya entirely for my love for this pairing. Once you find the BLCDs, there's no going back...
The first time it happened, they were on a rooftop.
It hadn't made any sense. Later, Shizuo blamed it all on exhaustion from running all over Ikebukuro with a heavy metal sign slung over one shoulder. Later still, this excuse stopped making sense but he used it anyway. It was either that or ask someone else for an opinion and he'd rather die than let anyone know what he'd done.
Night time. The sky above the city could never be truly dark, the stars choking in the thick and dirty orange of light pollution. This meant it was easy for Shizuo to see the figure huddled at the edge of the building, the way the fur-lined edge of his jacket hung over the precipice and blew back and forth in a light breeze.
He didn't realise what he was seeing, not at first. He stepped forward with a manic grin splitting his face from ear to ear and a triumphant laugh tearing itself from deep in his chest. The usual rooftop hush rang with a metallic scraping, the jagged end of the sign he had been carrying for hours dragging along the floor. He wasn't sure how he had manoeuvred it up the stairs but there it was, heavy and reassuring in his hand.
And there was Izaya. Shizuo's steps dragged him onwards as always, pulled towards the cause of all his misery as if they'd split a magnet between them. But something felt wrong. Other than the usual sick taste in his mouth that would arise whenever the flea was around, that is. Something about the way Izaya was sitting, maybe. Something about the way he hadn't moved even when Shizuo was making this much noise.
Even as he spoke, he realised something else was wrong. When Izaya ran, he ran. When he didn't want to be found, he'd vanish. And, after a few hours chase, Shizuo would give up and go back to work, take out his frustration on some deadbeats instead. But here the bastard was, as if he was waiting for something, planning something, as if he knew this was going to throw Shizuo off.
It was working. Shizuo was just starting to work himself up into another fit of rage over this new strategy when he realised what else was wrong. Izaya finally raised his head and stared at his pursuer with eyes empty of anything other than apathy. His cheeks were wet.
"Because I want to beat the shit out of you."
There it was again, the words and the reaction before his brain had a chance to catch up. As he shifted the sign from his left hand to his right, his grin faded just a little. His cheeks were wet. That meant something, didn't it? It was hard to remember through the red haze of anger that was wrapping his mind in loving arms.
"I want you to leave me alone."
"When I came all this way?"
...that he had been crying. What? Izaya didn't cry. Nor did he let himself be found. Nor did he seriously ask to be left alone. It was all a game to him and he always had to win. Shizuo knew that much at least. So what was going on?
The information broker had never looked this small, no matter how stupidly skinny he was. He was sitting with his knees pulled up near his chest, one hand splayed on the ground beside him and the other wrapped around his legs. His switchblade lay nearby, discarded. Following the line of his coat to where it draped over the edge, Shizuo realised Izaya was close enough to the edge that if he just lay back he would overbalance and fall. He'd been told about the idiot's climbing antics, from all those suicides.
But this felt different. He hadn't known Shizuo would find him, had he? So who was he trying to impress?
Clearly, it wasn't Shizuo. He remained sitting on the floor, staring upwards as if he had never seen anything less interesting. His eyes shone in the dirty moonlight. Shizuo felt the last of his anger draining away as if he was bleeding from a fresh and unexpected wound.
"Get up," he repeated. Quietly, this time. Too quietly. "You're pissing me off."
Nothing. The emptiness in Izaya's expression would have been frightening if his own reaction to it hadn't been scaring Shizuo already. He succumbed to the familiar magnetic pull and walked forward, stopping only when he was standing right beside the man on the floor and feeling a rush of vertigo. He extended one arm downwards, palm flat. A flicker of something in Izaya's expression as he stared at the offending limb as if considering biting it off.
"Oh?" he murmured, a trace of his usual tone creeping into his voice. "What is this?"
"Just get up. Now."
A siren started up far below, the wailing distorted as it bounced off of the buildings around them. Neither of them moved until the echoes had died away.
Izaya shuffled forwards away from the edge as he stood so that he was able to get up without having to take the hand offered to him. He swayed in the breeze, tilting a little too close to the edge before snapping back and levelling an inscrutable stare at Shizuo.
"Now what was it you wanted?" he asked. "Make it quick. I'm busy."
Eyes narrowing, Shizuo willed the anger to return but it wouldn't listen to him. He felt a creeping coldness in his chest and knew it had something to do with the way Izaya was looking at him. Hatred he could deal with. Scorn was no problem. Mockery was just fine. Indifference stung.
It would be so easy to make it go away. To make him go away. All he had to do was swing the sign out to the right and bring it crashing back around and into the lithe frame. From where they were standing, it would send him tumbling over the edge. Not even Izaya could recover from something like that, surely. It'd all be over. The long awaited triumph. He'd be able to go home and sleep without worrying about whatever the flea might be getting up to. He was sure the bastard didn't sleep. He was sure the guy was on earth for no other reason than to bring him misery.
But he had also been sure that it was impossible for Izaya to cry.
The sign clanged into the concrete floor, hollow tube ringing with the sound. For a moment, it threatened to roll over the edge but stopped just in time, rocking from side to side nervously.
He should have been fighting. He should have been yelling. Instead, he found himself taking another step forward and wondering just what the hell he thought he was doing this time. Was he going to pick Izaya up and throw him? It would work. In all the times they'd fought, they had never touched in that way. Objects were thrown with precision and blades were tenderly pressed into skin. They'd shout and run with everything they had, always together but always just apart as if there was a physical barrier keeping them from actually finishing the job and bringing an end to it.
In fact, this was the closest he had ever been to Izaya. He looked different, this close. Like a different person. Like a real person.
Real people could cry. Real people needed other people to comfort them. He'd never understood how Tom and Shinra could call him 'kind' with a straight face. Not until he took a final, tiny step forwards and raised his hands to Izaya's shoulders.
"What's wrong, Shizu-chan? Scared of heights?"
Of course. Of course he wouldn't do something dramatic and expected. Izaya could never settle for something like that. He was smiling again, his usual wide grin that meant he was planning trouble for someone. And it was just as real as the rest of it.
"Or maybe you missed me? It really did take you a long time to find me today, didn't it?"
And it had. He'd forgotten. Doubt lanced across Shizuo's mind. Was he overreacting? What was he doing?
"It's getting late. You should be in bed, right? So let me go."
"Shut up, I said."
"We can play tomorrow, Shizu-chan. Don't be so demanding."
"Stay still." Shizuo's grip tightened, fingers digging into bony shoulderblades.
"And let you throw me? That's not a very funny joke"
"Shut the hell up."
"Tantrums don't work on-"
A soft, indrawn breath and Izaya jerked backwards and would have fallen if Shizuo's grip hadn't been so strong, if he hadn't been expecting the reaction. He pulled the smaller man against him with a low mutter of irritation. As Izaya stilled in his grasp, too surprised to do anything it seemed, he slid his hands down the man's arms until they reached his waist. Instinct kicked in and he wrapped his arms around the small body, forcing Izaya to raise his arms a little and hold them awkwardly to the side as he decided what to do.
As he waited, staring forwards over the top of Izaya's head, Shizuo wondered how he had never realised how small this man was, how fragile he would feel if they touched. True, he'd seen him stand up after being knocked flying and yes, the bastard had the reflexes and speed of a cat. And yeah, okay, Shizuo thought about crushing this tiny body into a wall or something similar at least four times a day.
But he still felt tiny. Breakable. Vulnerable. A heartbeat fluttered against his own chest and he could feel every nimble muscle trembling with nervous energy.
And it made no sense. Any of it.
"You're a terrible strategist, Shizu-chan. Thinking this would make me let down my guard."
Izaya's voice was strained, the damn nickname sounding too natural. Shizuo tightened his hold until he could feel clearly defined ribs. Izaya exhaled under the pressure, breath warm against the skin at the base of Shizuo's neck. Despite the words, he felt thin arms wrap hesitantly around his own waist, fingers slip through belt loops and pull just a little.
"You started it," he said, voice low and anything but calm.
"Do you want to push me? Is that it? I'd like to see you try."
The way Izaya now turned his head so that he could press his cheek flat against Shizuo's chest said otherwise. Or maybe it didn't. Maybe the freak wanted it to be like this, wanted to break Shizuo in any way possible, to confuse and frighten him as well as make him angry. It was working, if that was the case.
"Yeah. I want to push you."
"I want to kill you."
"I know. So?"
Izaya's skin was warm through his shirt. Shizuo couldn't remember putting his arms inside the jacket but that was apparently the case. He didn't realise until the man shifted a little, raised himself up onto his toes and locked his dark gaze with the blonde's. He was smiling. His eyes weren't empty anymore. Shizuo didn't like whatever it was he could see now.
It was hard to speak, as if this was some terrible, shameful dream that he couldn't control. That insinuating wrongness still pervaded the air and he wanted to move more than anything, to erase the last few minutes, to go back to the street below and pretend he had never found Izaya up here. Even the sky looked wrong, far too dark, and far too soft. He could no longer hear the traffic below. At last, the words made it into the air.
"So do it."
It was Shizuo's turn to take a step backwards as Izaya rocked forward on his toes and pressed his weight fully against the blonde's chest. His smile faltered just a little as he leant closer, expression for just a moment matching Shizuo's own, one of disbelief and, worse of all, understanding.
"Push me," he whispered.
And Shizuo did. The push took the form of a tentative brush of lips that lasted only a fraction of a second before he tore himself away. He tripped on the discarded sign and almost fell, managing to angle himself back towards the building rather than over the edge. With the sudden burst of something in his brain, he wasn't sure he had fallen the right way.
He ran for the door and the stairs without looking back, not having the voice to scream all the insults pulsing through his veins along with his racing heartbeat. He didn't want to see the way Izaya was sure to be watching him.
The bastard, manipulative, confusing flea had won. Again. And he hated it
Just tonight, he promised himself. Never again. Next time, I'll kill him.
The second time it happened, they were in an alleyway.
A week had passed. Shizuo had spent each day making excuses for himself. Exhaustion. Confusion. Manipulation. By the time the week was up, he had almost convinced himself the whole thing had been a ploy and, in fact, hadn't happened at all. He forgot all about the tears and the initial strangeness and focussed only on what had made him angry.
Idiots with money problems paid for this all week. Tom would have been happy if it hadn't been for the constant fear that he'd be the next to go through a wall.
Izaya had showed up during a lunch break, waltzed right up the street with a smug smile and a spring in his step. The world narrowed, as it always did when he was around, to nothing but the two of them, whatever Shizuo could get his hands on and the rage searing through his nerves. As they tore through the streets, dodging traffic and tourists, the world had made sense again. It was a stupid world that pissed him off but that was better than what had happened last time.
It had made sense right up until Izaya stopped running and leant back casually against the wall of a nondescript alleyway, a narrow space between tall buildings that should have been just a shortcut on the way to the next big sprint. Shizuo had actually run past before he realised and while he stood and gathered his thoughts, Izaya had sidled up to him and pressed himself back against the wall.
"Are you having fun yet?" he asked with a smirk. Shizuo managed to slam his fist into the wall just beside Izaya's head before he was rendered useless this time. A slim hand wrapped around his exposed wrist and the world went all wrong again. It was as if whatever it was that caused them to seek one another out in the name of destruction malfunctioned when they got too close, inverted, skewed.
"I thought so."
"You're an arrogant bastard."
"I know. Or I wouldn't be stupid enough to do this."
It was broad daylight and the sun beat down on the back of his neck. Which meant, as it slowly dawned in Shizuo's mind, that they were kissing in broad daylight under the same sun that was lighting the streets for tourists and kids, for the people that knew their names and thought they knew exactly how this rivalry and hatred stood.
It was a violent kiss, one designed to bruise lips and bite tongues, one intended to cause chaos and fear. He pushed Izaya back into the wall by his shoulders, fingers digging back into the soft flesh and promising marks. There was a clatter as a switchblade fell to the floor but a sharp pain anyway, nails digging into the skin of his wrist followed by a long scratch up one side, under his tight waistcoat. Seconds turned to breaths turned to whispers and time was burnt away entirely.
"I want you to give me something."
Izaya's words cut through whatever it was that had replaced time and Shizuo grunted a nothing-response, face buried between the man's neck and the rough wall. Teeth sinking into the fingers that had been tracing Izaya's swollen lips told him this wasn't enough. Closing his eyes so he wouldn't have to see just what the fuck it was he was playing at here, Shizuo murmured under his breath.
"Then push me, bastard."
And Izaya did. This push took the form of hands on his shoulders and grazed knees as they hit the concrete. By the time he had left the alley and immersed himself in the crowd, clothes dirty and hair tousled, he had managed to forget almost everything. Everything but the taste and the sharp sting of hands pulling at his hair.
Just tonight, he promised himself again. Next time I see him, I'll beat the ideas out of his head.
The third time it happened, they were in a stranger's bed.
The stranger wasn't there, of course. Shizuo knew they wouldn't be because he and Tom had been in there earlier, trying to track the bastard down. It was a run-down place, cheap. The mattress screamed as they crashed onto it but not as loudly as Shizuo's conscience.
There were so many questions held in that one noise. Why him. Since when. Why now. What the. Why here. Why why why, for fuck's sake why this?
He couldn't even remember how they had got here. In the few moments where his mind had been clear, moments between the red hot haze of anger and the oily mist of whatever the fuck this was, he had realised they were in a lobby, somewhere. He had thrown something, Izaya had dodged, the chase had begun.
At some point, they'd got too close to one another. Again. It was as if the air around them was charged and ready to mutate the second the atmospheres collided. How far away was he meant to stay to stop this from happening? How were you meant to kill someone when every time you touched them you ended up...
Here. With his nails digging into your hips, your shirt torn and on the floor and his breath hot in your ear, urging, promising, demanding, wanting.
But he wasn't the only one, was he? Although he was the only one in any control of themselves. Distantly, as if his teeth weren't pressing into soft skin, Shizuo wondered if this was all part of a plan, a grand design, one of humiliation and manipulation.
Because this could destroy him. He wasn't under any illusion about that.
"I want you to give me something else," Izaya asked this time, as if he had needed to.
"Yeah, yeah. A push. Right?"
A grin and a deep laugh. "Something like that."
And they did. They pushed until the mattress collapsed in on itself and neither of them could even think of speaking. And it hurt as much as it healed some dark chasm in the back of their minds. Neither wanted to broach the subject as, afterwards, they lay still and each pretended he was alone. And then they were alone, different rooms, different streets, different lives.
Shizuo stood under the scalding spray of the shower until it felt as if his skin was melting away. The pain was good for him. Clean. Simple. Just like the violence had always been. Maybe pain was an important part of that, some sort of therapy. Pleasure had certainly never come into it before.
Pain...was that it? Was that what Izaya wanted? Not to inflict but to receive. Too vain to be self-destructive and too proud to admit to his needs, he could use Shizuo as a tool, an obedient servant.
Just tonight, Shizuo promised. Next time I see him, I'll...
Give him whatever he asks for. Because that was how this worked, wasn't it? If he had never reached out on the rooftop, if he had never let them get close enough to twist the simple hatred that had existed between them...
Somewhere across the city, Izaya was no doubt laughing, moving pieces around a board, making calls. Shizuo sat alone, silent, skin red and burning.
Just tonight. Just for tonight, he would pretend he wasn't already near the edge.
Ifs were useless. Ifs suggested he could go back. And he couldn't. All he could do was push. Push the boundaries, push his morals, push his hatred, push his fear. Push the bastard over the edge of that building again and again and again.
And try not to fall.
Reviews/comments/smiley faces/vending machines to the face all appreciated.