A/N: Hello, and welcome to Everything Different, Everything the Same! This fic is in response to a request on the kink meme for Kida as a trans man, and I'm finally getting around to posting it here. It was originally posted on the kink meme and because of that the parts are quite short, but I like the way they're separated and I don't want to combine them. So instead I'm just going to post two at a time after the prologue so the chapters aren't TOO short. Thank you for reading, and I hope you all find that the fic is handled with appropriate sensitivity and respect for the issues at hand. :)

Disclaimer: Durarara! is copyright Ryohgo Narita.

Prologue

Because they are in elementary school and uniforms are required, Masami-chan comes to school the same way every day: in the girls' sailor uniform with her dark hair in pigtails and a bright grin when she greets him on the front steps of the school. So Mikado is surprised when she arrives today in a boys' uniform with her hair all cut off, scowling.

"…Masami-chan?"

"Morning, Mikado-kun," Masami-chan grumbles, pulling him into the school building by the hand.

"Why are you wearing a boys uniform?"

"Because, Mikado, I don't like being a girl! And when I told my mom that and said I just wanted to wear the boys' uniform for one day, she just got SO MAD and said I had to wear the 'proper' uniform—" Masami-chan walks faster, stomping her feet with every step, and Mikado almost has to jog to keep up. "So I got the scissors when she wasn't paying attention and cut my stupid long hair off like I've wanted to do for years, because I just didn't care anymore, you know? And then she threw a fit and said if I wanted to go to school looking like a freak I could." Momentarily distracted from her anger, Masami-chan grins triumphantly.

There are many confused questions swirling around in Mikado's brain, like where Masami-chan even got a boys' uniform in the first place, but he finally settles on what seems like the most important thing to ask. "Do you… like it better?"

"Yeah! It's way better than wearing stupid skirts." Masami-chan scowls. "So, from this day on, I've decided that I'm now a boy."

"But… no you're not, Masami-chan. You can't just become a boy, you're a girl. Right?"

"Not right!" Masami-chan turns so she is standing in front of him, glaring. "I don't want to be a girl anymore. I don't feel like a girl. I don't think I ever was a girl. I think my parents must have lied to me or something. So I'm a boy. Get it straight!"

"O-okay." Mikado blinks at his best friend, who, with short hair and mischief in her eyes and a hard set to her jaw, looks for all the world like this is how she was always meant to be. "Then… let's go to class, Kida-kun."

She—he, Mikado corrects himself—blinks, then smiles wide. "Yeah!"

A month later, Kida-kun is gone, moved by his parents to Tokyo—Ikebukuro, specifically—and Mikado locks himself in his bedroom for days, leaving only for bathroom breaks. His parents let him miss a week of school and surprise him on Friday with the thing that would, for the next three years, consume him: a computer.

High schoooool! Can you believe it, Mi~ka~do~! How we've matured~ We're men now!

Mikado chuckles, shaking his head at the email. Maybe you've matured, living in the big city, he types back, then hits send.

Kida replies moments later. Well, if you're worried about your growth as a man, you should come to the big city too!

Mikado stares at the screen for a full minute before he decides that Kida must be joking. Very funny, Kida-kun.

I'm serious! comes the reply. You should come to Raira with me! You'd get in easy, you're so smart, and you could tell your parents you want a better chance of getting into a good university or something.

I'll talk to them, Mikado promises, and he does.

The train ride to Ikebukuro is nothing if not surreal. Mikado feels as if he is coming for a daytrip—not that he knows what it feels like to go on a daytrip—but coming here to live? To go to school? To start his own life, live on his own when he's only a freshman in high school?

It's crazy. It's completely illogical. How did he let Kida-kun talk him into this?

The train pulls in, and when Mikado runs into a stranger approximately ten seconds after stepping onto the platform, all he can think is that he wants to go home.

Then he finds Kida-kun—or, rather, Kida-kun finds him—and things fall into place, the world rights itself from where it's been off-kilter since Mikado was left alone in Saitama.

Still, he can't really believe his eyes. This person has dyed blonde hair and a flat chest that Mikado assumes must be bound down. This person's voice is deeper than Mikado's own as he draws Mikado's name in a way that is both familiar and different.

"Kida-kun?" Mikado says uncertainly.

"Aha~ You doubt me? Then I'll give you three possible answers! One: Kida Masaomi. Two: Kida Masaomi. Or three: Kida Masaomi!"

Masaomi? Mikado thinks. But then he understands.