Notes: This story will be odd. By which I mean I hope it's enough like the series itself that you don't notice the oddity much by the end.

Summary: In which Celty gets her head back, Izaya loses his, and no one is the least bit happy about it.

Inhuman Monsters

A Durarara! Oneshot Fanfic by

Nate Grey (xman0123-at-aol-dot-com)

After years of searching for her head, it was simply given back in the end.

Celty Sturluson didn't understand it at all, at first. She had absolutely no reason to trust Namie Yagiri. But when the woman showed up on Shinra's doorstep with Celty's head in a glass jar, it was impossible to send her away without at least inviting her in first.

Namie got straight to the point. "I don't care what you do with it," she said. "I'll give it back to you, if you promise to never lose it to anyone else again." She even let Celty keep the jar, less as a sign of good faith and more because she didn't want to be reminded of what the jar had contained.

For the first few hours, Celty locked herself in her room and merely stared at her head in the jar. It gave every appearance of being asleep, and even when she worked up the nerve to poke it gently, nothing happened. It was only when she took her head out of the jar and held it up that it yawned loudly and opened its eyes.

"So there you are," her head said, seeming a bit put out. "Took you long enough."

Celty stared at it. "Sorry?" she offered uncertainly.

"Well, don't lose me again, and I guess I'll forgive you. No sense whining about it now, I suppose. Got anything to eat? It's been ages, you know."

Fortunately, her head was not picky about food. Not having eaten in so long would do that to anyone, Celty guessed. Her head ate until Celty felt full just from watching, at which point it let out a hearty belch and asked for the toilet. This briefly horrified Celty, until her head laughed and admitted it was only joking: heads didn't do that sort of thing, not even dullahan ones.

After a while, her head admitted that it only had a hazy recollection of what had happened to it while they were apart. Celty filled in what blanks she could, and her head contributed tidbits here and there.

Somehow, Celty was not at all surprised that her head had last been in Izaya Orihara's possession. In fact, she would have been shocked if it hadn't been. And at least this saved her the trouble of dusting her head for fingerprints, something she feared wouldn't go over well, or would at least be tricky to clean up.

Eventually, Celty hesitantly approached the subject of possibly trying to attach her head to her neck, just in case they ever needed to go somewhere where a motorcycle helmet would be too noticeable. Her head considered this briefly before speaking.

"You know, don't take this the wrong way, but I think we need to get used to each other again. I mean, this whole time, you've been a dullahan without a head, and I've been a head without a body. I imagine by now we've more or less gotten used to it. I'm sure you're great, being my body and all. But isn't it enough for now that we're together again?"

Celty had to admit that it was. She wouldn't have to wonder where her head was, and Shinra would continue to love her because her head wasn't on top of her neck.

The next time that Celty went out on a job, she took her head with her. Oddly enough, it demanded a hot pink riding helmet with "Head Games" printed in black on the sides, and that Shooter be given plenty of gasoline-soaked carrots, or whatever it was that motorcycles-who-were-actually-horses ate. Her head also solved the temporary issue of how to ride with it by attaching itself directly to the bike, between the handles, completely blocking the odometer and generally being a nuisance to safe and proper driving of any kind. When Celty brought this up, her head just looked at her and said, "What do you care? You can't die, you never crash, and if you even think of driving like an old lady, I'll bite you."

Anri Sonohara has tea parties twice a week. Just not with anyone she actually knows most of the time.

It's getting easier. Possibly because Saika's children respond to whatever she decides to call them, and wouldn't protest even if they didn't care for the names.

The goal of the tea parties is to eventually get Anri to the point where she won't be quite as awkward around people she knows.

Sometimes she invites Celty. Not as much now, though. Celty is nice and polite, but her head is sort of bossy and opinionated. Plus it insists on calling everyone else in the room "Saika-chan" and then laughing itself silly, which doesn't really help Anri to feel less awkward at all. Celty tries to punish her head by rapping it, gently but firmly, on the forehead with her knuckles, but that only makes it roll its eyes. Anri sometimes wants to help, but suspects driving Saika through the head's eyes wouldn't go over so well. Plus, she would NOT want the head to become one of her children. She has enough issues as it is.

Mikado Ryūgamine has resigned himself to the fact that he will never really ask Anri out. It's not that he doesn't want to: far from it, in fact. Often he has dreams about her that would even impress Masaomi Kida, if Mikado had the nerve to ever share them.

But Masaomi is the problem in the first place.

Mikado has told himself a thousand times that it wouldn't be a betrayal to date Anri. Masaomi had every chance that Mikado did to confess to Anri, and instead, he chose to move away. With his girlfriend, Saki Mikajima. Actually, with his fairly hot girlfriend, judging from the bikini-clad picture Masaomi had sent to Mikado's phone. Saki was no Anri, but she certainly wasn't a consolation prize, either.

And still every time that Mikado is alone with Anri, all he can think of is that Masaomi should be there with them, making inappropriate comments that would make Anri's cheeks flush the cutest shade of pink.

It isn't fair to any of them. Mikado is even certain that while Anri would never admit to returning his feelings, she would at least be willing to share them, intimately and physically, eventually. But they never will, and it should make Mikado loathe Masaomi with all that he is.

Only he doesn't.

They are best friends and brothers, now and forever. There is even a part of Mikado that he is ashamed to admit will always treasure Masaomi more than he ever could Anri. If it is the same for Masaomi, then he is either far better at hiding it, or has simply chosen not to let it interfere with his life.

But Mikado, loyal to an overwhelming fault, is not the same. He cannot move forward or even backward, and is doomed to remain at a standstill.

The day that Anri and Saika take the choice entirely out of his hands is less a curse and more a blessing.

"Let's get married," Seiji Yagiri said as they walked down the sidewalk.

They are the words Mika Harima had both dreamed of and dreaded hearing from her beloved Seiji, and it was either obvious on her face, or Seiji knew her entirely too well.

"You don't want to?" he asked after a long, tense silence.

"No, I do!" Mika shouted, latching onto his arm at once. "Of course I want to marry you, Seiji. But... I don't know if we can."

"Why not?"

She debated against telling him, but only for a moment. Nothing else mattered to Seiji but their happiness. Surely he would understand. "It's your sister. She told me that if I ever tried to marry you, she'd punish me."

Seiji considered all of that without even changing his expression (but then, he rarely ever did). "Don't worry. I'll convince her, and then we can get married." Without another word, he left her there on the sidewalk, marching off to meet with his sister.

Smiling faintly, Mika made her way home to their apartment, and decided to surprise Seiji by making a romantic dinner. She rarely ever cooked because Seiji took being a provider so seriously and insisted on buying all of their food himself.

Two hours later, Seiji returned home. He was covered in someone else's blood, but seemed rather pleased with himself despite that. "Great news," he said. "I talked to my sister. She won't get in our way again. Now we can get married."

Mika was very aware that that was the best, and possibly only time, to ask about the blood on his clothes and the dark clumps of hair twisted around his knuckles, and get an honest answer. But in all honestly, Namie had threatened to do worse to her if she ever discovered proof that Mika was going to marry Seiji. And knowing Seiji, she was pretty certain what he'd done. So instead of asking questions, she only smiled and said, "I was thinking we could get married next week."

"I was thinking tomorrow," Seiji replied, perfectly serious as always.

Izaya Orihara had long been cursed with an overly talented brain that never stopped working. This officially lost its entertainment value for everyone around him shortly before he was four years old.

He could not do simple, ordinary things like most people. Every action he took was a part of a larger, unseen plan. Not because Izaya was particularly good at planning (which he was), or even because it kept him busy (which it did). It was just that doing things the easy way was so... boring.

Perfect example: Izaya walks into a convenience store, and spots a certain brand of beef jerky that he enjoys, but has no real desire to pay for. Put in that same situation, most people in Ikebukuro would either leave the store disappointed, give in and buy the product, steal the product and leave the store, or steal the product and several other things while causing a major scene as they left the store.

But not Izaya.

First, he would introduce himself to the store manager, being sure to use a winning smile and his best business cards. Then he would leave the store, contact some local thugs, and calmly inform them that the store manager had strongly implied that none of their parents was ever married, and also that their mothers were quite promiscuous, which he claimed to know from firsthand experience.

In the following riot, the store would be trashed, and among the stolen items would be several boxes of a certain brand of beef jerky, for which the thugs would be paid handsomely. At least, until Izaya calmly let it slip to another group of thugs that the first group had a rather large stash just waiting to be taken. In the end, he would pay a visit to a local hospital, make a charitable donation, rack up yet another major tax break, and happily proceed on his way, enjoying his certain brand of beef jerky only slightly less than the mayhem he'd just orchestrated.

This was Izaya's way, and he was, of course, terribly good at it.

"This will probably hurt, you know. Really bad." It's the sort of thing Shinra Kishitani always tells the people he works on. Not to be considerate, but because his patients have a tendency to punch and/or shoot when startled, and he likes being in one moderately unbruised piece.

"Do it."

"I'm also not sure how safely the infection can be-"

"Do it."

"Have you made the proper arrangements for tonight? We really should-"

"Do it or I'll tear off your arm and beat you with it. Then I'll give it back to you, and not in any place that's convenient for you."

Shinra sighs. "Just so you know, the hazard pay is included in my bill." And then he picks up the enormous set of fangs, and drives them directly into his patient's ribs. Just as he's being paid to do.

Masaomi Kida returns to Ikebukuro after almost six years of being away. At his side is his girlfriend of even longer, Saki Mikajima.

Even though they arrive in the middle of the night, there is still a small crowd to greet them at the train station. They are easily spotted, clustered around Saburo's van, talking excitedly, and handing out fliers for Simon's sushi shop to the few people passing by at that hour.

Before Masaomi can say anything, they pull him into their midst. Several people slap him on the back, hug him, or tousle his hair. Someone even kisses his cheek, and he can only hope that it's Erika, though it could have just as easily been Walker.

After he's released, Masaomi finally spots Anri and Mikado. They've fallen asleep in the back of the van, Anri with her head on his shoulder, and their arms wrapped comfortably around each other. The sight makes him happy and not at all jealous, which inwardly surprises him. Even after Erika wakes them up, they do not remove their arms from each other, not even after spotting Masaomi and welcoming him home. That makes him happiest of all.

There is almost no space in the van once they squeeze in with two extra people, but no one seems to care. Masaomi is used to Saki's weight in his lap, and Mikado clearly feels the same about Anri's.

On the way to Simon's shop, there is a loud roar outside the van. At first Masaomi assumes it's Celty's motorcycle, but Anri assures him it isn't, since she will be meeting them at the shop, and is coming from a job in the other direction.

Walker is the first to spot the source. "It's just the headless jerk again," he sighs.

Before Masaomi can ask, a coal black horse catches up to the van. On its back is a rider that looks suspiciously like Izaya Orihara. That is, if he had perhaps gotten his head cut off by purposely losing a fight to a slasher, and now carried his head in a duffel bag slung across his shoulder. As Masaomi watches, the rider pulls his head out of the bag, and the head releases a bloodcurdling laugh before vomiting a torrent of blood, splashing it all over the side of the van. He hears Saburo curse and swerve the van in an attempt to run Izaya over, but the horse dodges aside.

And then it becomes clear, as a stop sign plunges into the road where the horse was previously, that it isn't the van he's concerned about dodging.

"IIII-ZAAA-YAAA!" a familiar voice roars, and then Masaomi has a minor heart attack as Shizuo Heiwajima, Ikebukuro's newest and only werewolf, runs past the van, chasing after the rider and horse at top speed. Masaomi looks to the others for an explanation. Anri looks away, thoroughly embarrassed, but Mikado just smiles and says all that needs to be said.

"Welcome home, Masaomi."

The End.


To be clear, Izaya is not a dullahan here. That would be silly. But it's also silly to think that a dullahan is the only creature out there that carries its head somewhere other than its neck.