Disclaimer: I don't own Durarara!
Last part guys.
Desperate Housewives opening, and lines from John Green and Makoto Shinkai here and there.
And… I just couldn't do Shiki… sorry.
Suggested Song: Inevitable by Anberlin or Byousoku 5 Centimeter's End Theme.
As much as death takes from us, it also gives. It teaches us what is truly important, like giving back after a lifetime of taking, going after something we should have never let go of, or looking on to what made us who we are.
It rained during Shizuo's funeral. He was buried in Hokkaido, under a cherry blossom tree, and despite the distance, every one of his acquaintances from Ikebukuro took the long train ride to attend and offer their condolences to the grieving family.
Heiwajima Hirai was an uncontrollable wreck as she sobbed into Kasuka's shoulder. The umbrella she had been carrying had fallen to the ground, forgotten, as she clung to her last remaining son as if the wind could just pick him up and steal him away from her. At a much lesser extent compared to his mother, Kasuka was also a wreck, shoulders shacking as he cried openly in front of everyone. He held his mother to him, assuring her that he was still here and he wouldn't be leaving anytime soon. To Izaya's surprise, it was Yukito who managed to keep his emotions in check and hold everything together as he held his umbrella over his broken family.
Yukito's eyes met Izaya's briefly and he had even kindly motioned for him to sit with his family, but Izaya found himself unable to do so and shied away, choosing to grieve alone. He clenched his teeth, balled his hands into fists, and stared up blankly at the sky, holding back his tears and his grief.
This would be the last time Izaya would ever see Shizuo. He knew it, and his eyes watered at the thought of never being able to see Shizuo smile again, or hear his laugh, or feel the warmth of his body next to his. He was truly alone now.
When the funeral had ended, Izaya had left and returned to mourn in the safety and solitude of his office where nobody could reach him. It was like the time when Kasuka had been so vague and led him on to believe that Shizuo had passed, only now, it was a million times worse because Shizuo was really gone in this reality and Izaya had actually dared to fall in love with him.
Izaya had felt so alone at the loss of Shizuo. Since falling for Shizuo, he knew that each day with Shizuo could have been his last, and as each day passed, he had tried to make his heart harder and colder to prepare himself for this dreaded day. Yet… he hadn't expected it to be this painful. All Izaya felt was an intense, heartfelt pain, and he knew this was nothing compared to Shizuo's last moments.
Living alone, the nights seemed to last forever. When Izaya found that he couldn't pass the time effectively, he would go to a nearby train station and pretended to wait for someone. As people passed him, he knew that the world had moved on, and once again, he was stuck in the past, unable to move forward. It was as if… he was the only one left in the world, thinking of those distant days where he and Shizuo made a promise they couldn't keep.
Izaya thought of his old self, and how he had been obsessed with leaving a mark on the world. Bequeathing a legacy. Outlasting death. He wanted to be remembered, and he had thought he would accomplish it with Shizuo of all people. But in the end, Shizuo had become another unremembered casualty in the eternal war against disease.
Time was passed much too slowly for Izaya's liking and it was then, when he was watching the clocks tick, that he realized that until he had met Shizuo, he never knew how precious each day could have been. His time with Shizuo, that one year, had just flown by, and he so desperately wished that he could have just one more day with him.
"But we did..."
Izaya could hear Shizuo's soft voice in his head reminding him that they did get one more day together because the Gods really were listening and felt pity for them.
It must have been a month by the time Namie decided that Izaya needed to suck it up and actually move on. She had let herself into his apartment one early morning and pulled open the all the blinds to let the bright sunshine into his dump of a home. Thankfully, Izaya wasn't a complete slob this time. A few things were out of place, but at least it was acceptable.
"Wake up," Namie said sternly. Izaya groaned in response, curling beneath the covers to block out the sunlight. She immediately tugged the covers off of him and froze when she saw that he was clinging to one of Shizuo's shirts.
"I don't want to," Izaya answered stubbornly as he blindly reached out to pull his covers back to him. "Why do you care anyways?"
"You're still my boss and this extended vacation of yours means no work, which means that I don't get paid," she answered harshly, refusing to show that she actually cared for her employer. "Heiwajima-san wouldn't want this..." she added quietly, hesitantly.
"Shizu-chan doesn't have the right to ask me to move on so quickly. I'm taking my time," Izaya persisted.
"Shiki-sama isn't happy about this," Namie commented, hoping the pending consequences would be enough to get Izaya to snap out of it.
"Shiki-sama has the resources to find another informant. He's already made it very clear that I'm expendable," he responded.
Defeated, Namie left Izaya alone for the day, deciding that she would need to rethink her tactics. She took it upon herself to tidy up his apartment and office—she was his secretary, after all—and continued to pester Izaya to get up from bed. He did finally get out of bed when he realized she was putting his things in place and he had shouted at her to leave them where she had found them. It was much later that Namie realized that Izaya had never put those things back because they were the last things Shizuo had touched.
After a week, Namie announced that Izaya had a client who wanted to meet with him and told him to make himself presentable. She urged him to cut his hair and shave, which Izaya did against his will, but on the day of the meeting, he had never shown up and she found him back at his apartment trying to figure out how to make his hot plate work for hotpot.
Namie was relentless however and continued trying to get Izaya to see this client—who he figured was Shiki—but he wasn't in the mood and denied her each time. Namie had practically begged him to meet her client, stressing just how important he was, but Izaya eloquently pointed out that her client couldn't have been thatimportant if he was still stubbornly trying to get a meeting in with him.
One evening, Izaya sat out on his balcony and watched the sun lazily take its time to set, and he thought of Shizuo's naïve wish to be able to take his time. Even now, after everything that had happened, Izaya still did not regret falling in love with Shizuo and forcing his way into his life. He knew he owed it to Shizuo to at least try and move on, but just like the sunset, he would take his time doing so.
There was a sharp knocking at the glass door and Izaya let out a frustrated sigh and glanced back to an equally irritated Namie. "Your client is here," she said coldly.
"What client?" he asked, feigning confusion.
She glared at him, irritated by the fact that he still hadn't gotten over Shizuo's death and had decided to make her life as difficult as possible. "The persistent one you keep declining. He's back again, so this time, I've brought him to you."
Izaya exhaled sharply and seriously considered jumping off his balcony just to avoid this stubborn client. "Alright, fine, but just this once," he said warningly as he headed back into his apartment. "How many times has it been now?"
"I think that's eight," Heiwajima Yukito answered, waving from behind Namie. "It's nice to see you again, Izaya-kun."
"Heiwajima-san?" Izaya blinked in surprise when he was face to face with Shizuo's father. "What are you doing so far away from Hokkaido?" he asked, waving Namie to leave them alone. "I would have seen you right away if I had known it was you." He shot a glare at Namie, wondering why on earth she left out the important detail of his client's name.
"It's fine; this is probably your only way of venting," Yukito replied with a small smile as he held out a box for Izaya to take. "I don't want to waste your time, so I'll be quick. Shizuo-kun left this for you with Kasuka-kun. He's working again so he asked me to deliver it in his place."
"You could have mailed it," Izaya pointed out, looking at the box hesitantly, unsure if he wanted to open it along with his bottled up emotions.
"I could have, but I think Shizuo-kun would have wanted me to deliver it in person," he replied nonchalantly. "You're a hard person to get a hold of."
"Sorry, I was avoiding somebody," Izaya apologized again, still looking at the box warily. "How is your wife?" he hesitantly added, knowing that the last time he had seen her was when she had seemingly lost her mind at her son's funeral.
"She's doing much better now," Yukito answered. "You know, Izaya-kun, if you ever need anybody to talk to, you're always free to call me or just stop by Hokkaido anytime you'd like. You're always welcome in our home."
"Thanks, but no thanks, I think I'll be able to manage from here," he replied, trying to keep a good swath of distance between himself and the family that he never knew he wanted. "Thanks for bringing this by personally," he added, trying to dismiss him as politely as he could. "Do you need anything to make your stay in Ikebukuro any better?"
"No, I'm good, thank you," he answered heartily. "To be honest, I came back with Kasuka last week. He's thrown himself into his work so he doesn't have to think about his brother... It's his only way of coping. If he stops, he'll fall apart again, and he doesn't want that which is why he asked me to give this to you in his place."
"No, it's fine," Izaya said. "Thank you very much and have a safe trip home."
"Thank you, for what you did for Shizuo-kun," Yukito added gratefully. "He... was so defeated when he came home to me. You made him want to live again, even if it was just for a little bit. Thank you."
"Please stay a little bit longer," Izaya sighed, just wanting to talk to somebody about Shizuo's death. Of course, the first person he'd want to talk to about Shizuo's death was Shizuo himself, but Yukito could be an okay replacement. With a kind smile, Yukito obliged, and helped Izaya make tea as they recalled their favorite memories of Shizuo.
The box remained untouched on Izaya's desk for the rest of the evening as Yukito knew that whatever was in there was meant for Izaya's eyes only. It remained unopened even after it grew late and Yukito left and Izaya glared it, willing for it to open itself. He didn't know if he had the emotional stability to see what was inside without breaking down. Shaking his head, he decided he would deal with it later and turned in for the night. After rolling around in bed for hours, unable to sleep, Izaya finally gave in and snatched the box up off his desk and sat down onto the floor as all the feelings in his legs went numb and he was unable to keep standing.
Fingers shaking, Izaya hesitantly lifted the lid, feeling oddly like Pandora as he hesitantly peered inside. His breath hitched in his throat and his eyes burned as he realized that the contents were all memories. Without another thought, Izaya dumped everything onto the carpet and began combing through the things Shizuo left him. The Himeji Castle magnet souvenir was among the trinkets as well as pressed cherry blossoms. Izaya's chest tightened when he realized that everything in the box was memories from their trip.
As Izaya took the pieces out one by one, post cards and special food wrappers, he felt so hollow inside, knowing that the pleasure of remembering had been taken from him. There was no longer anyone to remember with and thus, the memory itself would be lost, as if all the things he and Shizuo had done were less real and less important than they had been one year ago.
When there was only one item remaining in the box, Izaya had to take a deep breath before reaching for it. It was a stark white envelope, sealed with a heart sticker, as if it was a love letter. Fingers shaking, Izaya tore open the envelope and had to pause before reading it, knowing that this would become a brutal reminiscence of memories he wasn't sure if was prepared to face.
If you're reading this... then that means I'm already... dead. That's right... I'm not in this world anymore. Izaya, I wonder if you'll forget about me one day. We are so far apart, but maybe thoughts can overcome time and distance. Have you ever thought about something like that? If for even one instant, something like that could happen, what would you think? I'm okay. That's all I'm thinking, and it's all thanks to you. I love you, Izaya, and though I won't be able to live with you, as long as we share the same dream, the same hope, we'll be together forever.
You made me feel so many things I never thought a monster like me was capable of and for that, I'm eternally grateful. You will forever be my first and last love, and I wish I could have been the same for you, but please promise me that you will move on. I know you. You're probably hiding out in your stupid office, trying to close off your heart to the world, but I want you to move on. Don't make me your last your love. I want you to have so many more after me until you find your true last love.
"Even when you're dead, you're still asking impossible things of me," Izaya whispered, reading over the words over and over again until he couldn't tell whether the ink had been smudged because of Shizuo's tears or his own.
Izaya, who had such a vast life ahead of him, a boundless amount of time that lay unavoidably stretched out in front of him, knew that he had to live for Shizuo who had been robbed of his time. He had to live and experience all of the limitless possibilities in life for Shizuo and himself.
When the next morning came, Namie was surprised to see Izaya up and about. The misplaced items in his apartment were finally returned to their rightful place and he was cooking breakfast. For her. As he smiled and wordlessly handed her a plate of food, she caught sight of the sadness in his eyes and how forced his smile was. He hadn't really recovered, but at least he was trying.
With a smile, she accepted the plate and commented, "It's going to be a good day, isn't it?"
"Yeah, it is," Izaya answered and handed her a mug of coffee to go with along with her food.
By the time the next cherry blossom season came in, Izaya's smile was less fake and most of the sadness had faded from his eyes. As promised, he would attend, without Shizuo, and move on.
"Five centimeters per second, huh?" Izaya murmured sadly as he reached out and caught a pale petal in the palm of his hand. "I didn't realize you were such a know-it-all, Shizu-chan," he laughed bitterly as he let the petal fly away. "It's pretty here, isn't it? Way better than Sapporo." His fingers tightened around the white ribbon that kept a carmine balloon from flying away. "It took me forever to find this so you better appreciate it! It's the color of my eyes so you can't forget anymore." He had neatly writtenI LOVE YOU on the balloon with a black marker and began untwining the ribbon from his hand. "I hate that you left me behind. Don't you know that I'm needy and desperate for attention? And I hate that you even made me promise to let you go and move on. Lucky for you, I don't break my promises!"
Taking a deep breath, he let the ribbon slip through his fingers and watched as the balloon fly away and this time, for real, Shizuo was dead and he was letting him go.
"Good-bye, Shizu-chan. I love you."
Pocketing his hands, Izaya leaned back into the shade of the cherry trees and watched as the red balloon soared up into the sky until it was out of sight. He thought of the memories he and Shizuo had made, and that exactly one year ago, he had stood with Shizuo in a blizzard of white petals. It had really been a perfect day and he would forever treasure the memory that would never be tarnished.
Izaya turned away from the park, deciding it was finally time to go home and move on as he had promised Shizuo. He had chosen to take the long way home to pass the bakery and caught sight of Shinkei Kurumi cleaning the windows to her store with a sad look on her face. Izaya owed it to Shizuo to stop by and speak to her one day; after all, she had been the one to change Shizuo for the better.
The train crossing's warning sound and light began to go off, and Izaya hurried to cross it, not wanting to get caught and forced to wait. At the same time, a blond in an ornate blue kimono was coming from the opposite direction, hurrying to cross as well. When they brushed past each other, Izaya froze.
As he turned around to look back, he could see that the blond had stopped as well, and was slowly turning around, too. The passing train suddenly cut off their view before the two of them could make eye contact and Izaya stood there, feeling numb and anxious as a familiar feeling settled over him.
He could have sworn he had just seen a ghost, and he wondered just what he could possibly say to this man after the barrier between them was gone. He could have started off with a simple greeting, but somehow, it didn't seem right. He could have asked for his name, or come out point-blank and explain that he bore such a striking resemblance to the man he once loved. Izaya grew more anxious as he urged for the train to move faster and get out of the way so he could finally move on and blurt out the first things that came to mind.
In the end, Izaya didn't have to say anything for the mysterious blond was gone after the train had sped through the tracks completely. After a moment, he smiled to himself, turned, and continued walking.
Thank you so much, to ALL of my readers, subscribers and reviewers!
Thank you, Makoto Shinkai, for creating 5 Centimeters Per Second where I got most of my inspiration from. Thank you, Marc Cherry, for creating Desperate Housewives so I can mooch off all of Mary Alice Young's lines. I'll pledge my unwavering love to John Green and his writing as well.
Special thanks to:
The Leaf 180, for the lovely idea of burying Shizuo beneath a cherry blossom tree.
Ryodai89, for getting me to stop with the video games and actually update again. I'm sure this fic would still be stuck at Ch. 5 if it wasn't for you.
And just in case, yes, that was Tsugaru at the end.
See? That's a pretty happy-ish ending. Or at least, it's implied. :)