Okay guys, here we go, I know it has been ages since my last update, but hey, I'm only human, and vacations are meant to be slept through. God I slept so much recently…

Anyways, this chapter was really not easy to write, it took me about 3 days, and I actually had to write a chapter layout first (I never do that! But I consider doing that again, it really helped me stay on the original track and not get distracted while writing)

A few facts about this chapter: sentences might be awkward, style simple, characters OOC and dialogues confusing

There is no smut (yet), this is mostly talk and not all fluffy, mostly no comedy.

If you still feel up to reading this chapter, because you want to know how things progress with our sweethearts, go ahead, you have been warned.

Part 23 – Of Sex Advice, Decisions and Train Stations

Mikado blinked up in confusion to the crimson orbs above him that gleamed with mirth.

"H-honeymoon..? W-wha..what do you mean by that..?", he stuttered out flustered; the position he was currently held in by the raven didn't help his embarrassment either, because once again the man's handsome face was dangerously close to his own, oh how easy it would be to just close the gap and kiss him…

"Exactly what I said~ We are married after all, it's only natural for newlyweds to go on a honeymoon!", the elder declared cheerful, before straightening himself and the teen up again and continuing his bizarre waltz through the kitchen to a melody that only the informant seemed to hear.

If we were normal newlyweds, that is…, the teen thought to himself, resisting the urge to voice this out loud though. The circumstances under which they got married might not have been anything close to normal…but it wasn't as though the marriage meant nothing to Mikado. In fact, it meant more to him than he allowed himself to acknowledge.

"Where will we be going, Izaya-san?", the small brunette asked, relieved the elder finally stopped spinning him around and instead pulled Mikado close to himself, even though the way the taller male's arms encircled his waist and rested on the small of his back felt a little bit too comfortable then it should…

"Hi-mi-tsu…~!", Izaya chirped, giving the small teen a bright smile when latter rolled his eyes at the raven's answer. "What are we going to do there then..?", the boy queried further, leaning back to both bring some space in between their torsos as well as to be able to look the informant in the eye.

"That's also a secret!", the man declared with a laugh, tugging Mikado closer again, allowing the brunette no escape from the proximity that made the young gang leader's heart pace increase and his face heat up.

J-Just how am I supposed to keep a clear head when that guy keeps messing with my body..?

"Why are we even going in the first place?", he murmured against the elder's chest, pushing any thoughts of this feels kind of good and he really smells nice back in his head. "What's the purpose of this..?"

Mikado could feel the other's body shake slightly as Izaya chuckled softly, before leaning down to whisper in his ear:

"To make you fall in love with me, silly."

-xxx-

It seemed to have become a normal thing for the informant to sneak up on Mikado and hug the teen, who was almost always startled by the action, from behind, nuzzling his face into the neck of the flustered brunette while he was preparing food, cooking, and now cleaning the dishes after dinner. Mikado would get annoyed by the elder's clinginess if the raven's breath ghosting over his skin wouldn't send those delicious shivers down his spine…

All of a sudden, the informant seemed to stiffen, before nuzzling his nose closer to the boy's neck and taking a deep whiff.

"Ne Mikado…I know I promised to keep my jealousy in check...", the raven started slowly, causing the teen to halt in his motion and instead try to turn to look at the elder.

"..but what exactly do you expect me to do when there's another man's scent on my wife?"

"E-eh..?", was all the puzzled student managed to get as he finally managed to turn around in the informants embrace, blue eyes blinking in confusion up to crimson ones that were narrowed in anger.

"You smell of Shizu-chan.", Izaya stated simply, voice layered with disgust as spoke the blonde bartender's name.

Mikado started getting nervous under the gaze the elder was giving him, but still succeeded in fighting down a blush and instead just raised an eyebrow at the raven.

"What are you, a dog..?", he asked, half-jokingly, but winced startled when Izaya suddenly slammed his hands on the counter on each side of his body, successfully trapping him with no chance to back down.

"I'd recognize that brute's stench from miles away. The question now is…just how close did he get to you for this thing's scent to rub off on you?"

Mikado gulped. If looks could kill, then this would be the best chance to beg for his life.

"W-we just h-hugged…", he stuttered out nervously, not entirely sure why he was even defending himself to the elder.

I mean…it's not like we're..d-dating, or anything…

Apparently, the thought must have shown on his face, because now the scowl on Izaya's face intensified, but the anger seemed to be more directed at raven himself than on the teen.

Mikado searched his mind desperately for things he could say to the informant to put him at ease, because for some reason he didn't like the look on the other's face at all, even though the elder's irritation wasn't directed at him. The teen was just about to open his mouth to finally break the silence, when Izaya spoke up.

"Mikado…do you hate me?"

"W-what..? Of course not! What makes you think that?!"

Crimson orbs searched for azure ones, locking, holding his gaze captive.

"What exactly do you feel for me, then?"

Mikado had to remind himself to breathe again, because his whole body seemed to freeze at the question. The one question which answering he feared the most.

"I-I…", he forced out, words stuck in his throat. "I..I don't know…"

He couldn't answer this question. Not now, not yet. Probably never.

"I see.", the informant replied simply, neither voice or face revealing any emotion as he stepped away from the counter against which he had been caging the brunette.

Izaya just turned to leave, when he suddenly felt the teen grasp his sleeve, preventing him from going away. The informant looked back at the young dollars leader who had his head cast down, eyes averting the elder's gaze, but Izaya could still see an adorably flustered expression on the boy's features when he spoke up. The teen's words came out as quiet whisper, barely audible, but Izaya still understood every single syllable.

"…Y-You are really important to me. S-So..please.."

Mikado didn't finish the sentence, but judging by the soft smile he received from the informant and the warm hand enclosing his, he knew his message had reached the elder.

You're really important to me. So please…have just a little more patience with me.

-xxx-

"Oi, Mikado! Are you even listening..?", Kida Masaomi asked his best friend, successfully ripping the brunette out of his thoughts, as the boy had spaced out for the umpteenth time that afternoon.

"G-gomen..", Mikado replied sheepishly, giving his friends an apologetic smile which earned him a quiet chuckle from the bespectacled girl that was with them. Kida on the other hand didn't seem to be appeased so easily, crossing his arms and faking a pout.

"We finally get to hang out after we barely saw you for the whole week and now you space out all the time…That wounds us greatly!", the faux-blonde declared in an overly dramatic fashion, putting the back of his hand against his forehead and pretended to faint, before suddenly straightening up again and pointing an accusing finger at his startled friend.

"Aha! You must be thinking about your husband, don't you?!", the wanna-be detective deduced, a winning smirk spreading on his features at the guilty flush tinting the brunette's cheeks at his words.

Kida nodded a few times in understanding, before throwing an arm over the smaller teen's shoulders, pulling the boy closer.

"I understand it all, young boy! You are in the spring of your youth and want to explore the road to adulthood, but are stuck as an old geezer's Mife; moe-erotic beauties like Anri-chan forever out of your reach!", the blonde exclaimed in a pitying tone, ignoring the embarrassed cries of 'K-Kida-kun..!' and 'Masaomi..!'

"But fear not, my dear Mikado, for I, the great Kida Masaomi shall share all my experience and wisdom with you concerning great mystery which is the female anatomy!"

"M-Masaomi..!"

All Kida wanted to do was help a friend in need, who seemed to be on a way that would probably never involve him seeing boobs. Really, all he wanted to do was help. The elbow in his stomach was completely unjustified.

-xxx-

To Mikado, it felt like an eternity since he last hung out with his friends like that, just the three of them sitting in the park, eating ice cream and talking about trivial things. With his life being so crazy lately, the brunette really appreciated the change of pace. But even so, he couldn't take his mind off a certain crimson eyed informant…

"Mikado! You're spacing out again!", Kida complained with a pout, retracting the hand he had been waving in front of the other teen's face to get his attention.

"Since you can't stop thinking about him, you might as well tell us a little about him!", the blonde suggested, turning to Anri to see if she was okay in this change of topic. The quiet girl gave an encouraging nod to Mikado, voicing her interest in this matter too.

Sighing in defeat, Mikado then asked his friends what they would like to know, even though his question was more directed at Sonohara-san, because she was less likely to ask anything embarrassing or inappropriate than Masaomi.

"Well…how is living together with Orihara-san? Do you two get along?"

"Y-Yeah, I guess…Izaya-san isn't particularly untidy, so I don't really need to clean up much. I sort of took it upon myself to cook and do the chores; after all I don't pay any rent. Izaya-san is being really nice to me."

"And yet you broke his nose.", Kida interjected with a grin.

"W-Well..t-that was..y'know…he is kind of..'clingy' sometimes..", Mikado tried to explain the situation, without revealing to much of how exactly he had already been touched by the elder in this particular situation…

"…but most of the times he is out to work, so I don't have to deal with him all the time. Oh, and he let me adopt a cat!", Mikado exclaimed with a smile.

"You have a cat now, Ryuugamine-kun? I'd really like to see it once! I-I mean..if that's okay.."

"Sure! I'll bring him along one day! His name is Shizu-ko, by the way and he's got white and black spotted fur and-"

"Mi-ka-do…", Kida called on him in a disapproving tone. "Don't get off topic here!"

"Sorry, sorry!", the smaller teen apologized, much to the disappointment of Sonohara-san, who looked like she would have liked to continue talking about cats instead of Orihara Izaya, who was a person she really couldn't stand (and that had to mean something, because Sonohara Anri doesn't easily dislike anyone).

"What else do you want to know?"

"Hmm…well, for example, how do you manage to listen to that guy's hyperactive fake-cheery jabber all the time without going crazy?"

"I'm already used to it, after all I have to listen to you almost every day.", Mikado countered with a small smirk.

"Miiikaaadoo..! Don't be so mean!", the faux-blonde whined, clasping his hand over his heart as if it was struck by the sly brunette's insult.

"No but seriously..I don't really understand how you can get along with that guy!", Kida continued. "I mean he is a cold, manipulative bastard, never talk seriously and is, to be honest, kind of a nutcase, don't you think?"

"That's not really fair, Masaomi..", the smaller teen countered, biting his bottom lip. He didn't really know why, but hearing Kida bad-mouth Izaya-san made him really irritated somehow. Even if it was all true what he said, but still..!

"You might be right about some things..b-but that's not all there is to Izaya-san! He can be really nice and gentle…and he is being very patient and looks out for me all the time! He might be manipulative, weird, perverted and over-possessive…but I can tell he really cares for me!"

"Mikado…", the usually hyperactive blonde voiced out, surprised by his outburst. Why was he defending that guy?

"You know Ryuugamine-kun..what you said sounds a little bit like you are in love with Orihara-san."

"W-wha..n-no..! I-I.."

"Yeah! ..wait,what..?"

-xxx-

About an hour later, Anri excused herself from the two boys, saying she still had some homework to do; once the bespectacled girl was out of sight Mikado and Kida exchanged glances, unsure what to talk about now.

"So..already got plans for the weekend? We could hang out…", the faux-blonde suggested.

Mikado fidgeted embarrassedly, when he thought about where he was going to be this weekend.

"Sorry, I can't; I'm kind of…g-going somewhere.."

Kida curiously raised an eyebrow at his friend, who seemed to be flustered again all of a sudden.

"Where? Or should I rather ask…with who?", the sly teen asked with a knowing smirk, laughing when a guilty blush bloomed on the brunette's face.

"I-Izaya-san wanted to go on a trip with me..", he admitted embarrassedly.

"And you agreed..?", the hyperactive blonde exclaimed in disbelief. "It's obviously a trap! If you just let your guard down for a second, he will rape you!"

"M-Masaomi!"

"What, it's the truth!", Kida grinned, ruffling his innocent, naïve best friend's hair. That's right, best friend. Nothing else. He was 100% straight and totally not into this gullible brunette.

And if his heart skipped at a little at the sight of a blushing Mikado who blinked up to him with wide azure puppy eyes while biting his bottom lip, that wasn't anything out of the ordinary. His childhood friend was to be blamed to be the embodiment of adorable.

Though what caught him most off guard was the shy question the smaller teen uttered next:

"Ne..Masaomi..What do you know about..s-sex..?"

-xxx-

Okay, if there was one thing that Mikado ever really regretted in his life, then it was having asked Kida Masaomi about sex advice. The following talk consisting mostly of vulgarities, dirty jokes and innuendos by his best friend was one of the most embarrassing conversations the young dollars leader ever had in his life. By the time he finally managed to get the perverted faux-blonde to be a little more serious, his face was redder than a tomato and he knew more about porn movies, bust sizes and horrible pick-up lines (most of them would easily classify as Sexual Harassment) then he ever wanted to.

"W-Well..truth is..I only had sex once. With Saki-chan.", Kida admitted, trying to overplay his awkwardness by pretending to have something really important to do with his cell phone. Who would have known that even the great Kida Masaomi could get embarrassed? "It was…awkward, to say the least. I was really nervous, because I had no clue whatsoever how to..y'know..please a girl. And Saki wasn't a virgin anymore, so she had more experience than I did. I guess I was scared the most that she might just laugh at me or something. She didn't, but still…now if I think about it, it was probably horrible!", the blonde teen said with a small embarrassed laugh, scratching the back of his head.

All the time, Mikado had been listening to his friend's story quietly. If even Masaomi, who seemed to have a seemingly endless supply of self-confidence, got nervous and embarrassed in a situation like that, just what had an introverted shut-in like himself to expect?

And now that he thought about it…not only was Izaya-san older, but also much more charismatic and, even if he hated to admit that, very very good-looking. Of course a person like that must have had several relationships already, and therefore lots of experience!

Oh god..he will definitely laugh at me! He will laugh at how bad and clueless I am…, the teen thought, panicking.

But wait..he already knows that I am a virgin, right..? So..he should expect that I don't really know..d-don't really know how..

The thought reassured him a little. At least he didn't have to worry about having to explain to the raven why he was so inexperienced...

Wait a second.

Why exactly was he worrying about being a virgin? It wasn't like he was planning to lose his virginity to Izaya, right? Planning to have sex..with Izaya…

Strangely enough, the thought of having sex with anyone but the raven-haired maniac really put him off. It didn't feel right. With the informant on the other hand…

He couldn't really deny the way his body reacted whenever the elder got close to him. And even if he was naïve and inexperienced, he was still a healthy teenage boy. Even he thought about things like sex; and all the times he had the man's hands all over his body, touching him in all those places; Izaya's hot tongue on his skin, while his fingers were..-

A shiver ran up the brunette's spine at the sole thought of the informant touching him like that. He might be a hormonal teenager, but it wasn't like he was a sex-addicted best who couldn't control his urges. And if someone could elicit reactions like from him, that person had to mean something to him. A lot, in fact. But it wasn't like Mikado was going to admit that. Never ever ever. But even so…

there's no denying..that I might want him.

"Mikado…there's one thing I have been kind of wondering…", Kida started slowly, being fully aware of what his best friend had been thinking just now. Or rather, of whom. "..what kind of relationship do you and Izaya have?"

If Kida thought Mikado's face was red before, that was nothing compared to the flaring crimson his friend turned at his sudden question, flailing his arms in front of him, trying to deny the blonde's suspicion.

"W-w-what are you talking about? T-The circumstances just forced me to marry him, there is nothing else-"

"You know very well what I'm talking about. You constantly think about him, you get all flustered whenever you're asked about him and you don't really seem to mind the fact that he is constantly kissing you…whole Ikebukuro saw that."

Knowing that he couldn't really deny what Kida said, Mikado bit his lip in defeat, looking down on his lap, fidgeting his fingers nervously.

"Well..there's a slight possibility…I-I mean, a really really slim chance…that I maybe..could be feeling something for him. Probably."

"Wow. Those were a lot of 'maybe's."

The young dollars leader sighed heavily, gripping the fabric of his uniform trousers.

"I-I know…it's just that I don't know if I can even trust those feelings. W-What if I just feel that way, because Izaya-san is the first person..to ever..do such things to me.."

"What do you even know about this guy?", Kida interjected. "I mean you know him like..for 3 months, at the most? And you never really interacted much with him, so-"

"About that…", Mikado started slowly, not sure how he could explain to his best friend that his interaction with the underground informant had been more frequent than the blonde knew. How could the other teen possibly know that as the leader of Ikebukuro's biggest and most powerful gang it was only natural that he had to turn to the raven for Information often…

But that wasn't the only thing. Thinking back on it, he already knew Izaya-san many years before he even came to Tokyo. Of course he had only recently found out that the raven haired maniac was the person behind the internet persona 'KANRA'; but that didn't change the fact that in the last few years he had had uncounted conversations with Kanra-san, where he had told the man about his problems, fears, thoughts, asked for advice…heck, he even considered them being friends. Online friends, though, but to a shut-in computer-freak like Mikado, there hadn't been much of a difference.

"…that's not entirely true."

"Hm? What do you mean?", Kida asked puzzled, but just received an apologetic smile from the brunette as response.

"I-It's kinda complicated…", Mikado blocked the question quickly.

"Well, even when putting that aside…", the other teen continued their conversation. "…you said yourself that you might only be feeling that way, because that guy is the first person to ever treat you like that. And he kind of forced it on you too! How do you know that this isn't the only cause for your feelings? Maybe if that whole marriage mess hadn't happened you would have fallen for someone else?"

"I-I..", Mikado started, unsure what to answer his friend. Especially when Kida seemed to have a point there.

"I'm not sure…", he admits. "I-I mean…there is another person..which I kind of like…somehow.."

A picture of a certain strong, bartender clothes wearing blonde flashed before his mind.

"..even if it's not the same kind of feeling that I have towards Izaya-san…b-but liking that person is so much easier! It doesn't hurt so much. And it feels natural to me, I feel safe with that person and I can let my guard down around them. I can trust them."

something that is really hard to do with Izaya-san. He isn't exactly a trust-worthy person…

"I don't know, man. Isn't maybe that other person the one you're really in love with?"

Mikado froze for a second. Could it be..? Could he be in love with Shizuo-san?

"I-I..don't know.."

Kida gave him a disapproving look, shaking his head. "That won't do, dude. You have to find an answer to that question. Or else you'll wind up not only hurting yourself, but also others."

Mikado's thoughts briefly flashed to the events of last night; the strange way Izaya-san had reacted when he found out he had been hugging Shizuo-san again and the indecipherable look in the raven's eyes when he had been unable to answer the man's question…

"How do I do that? Finding the answer, I mean."

His hyperactive childhood friend just grinned at his question, waving a finger in front of the brunette's face. "It's simple. You just have to go to that other person.."

"Yes..?"

"..and kiss them."

"WHAT?"

-xxx-

"W-What are you saying..?! I-I can't just…k-kiss someone for a stupid reason like that!"

Kida just cocked his head at him. "Why not? By the way, I don't really think it's a stupid reason. If you are really in love with either that person or Izaya, I think they both deserve to know."

"I-I know! I-I know you're right..but still…!"

"Listen Mikado…", the blond started, raising his index finger in a manner of I'm-going-to-explain-it-all-to-you-now as he spoke. "Basically, there are two possibilities. Number one would be: you are actually in love with Izaya and just project your feelings upon this other person, because that person is someone you can trust, something that you are lacking when you are with Izaya. Simply speaking, you just do with that person what you want to do with Izaya, but don't do because you are afraid Izaya might hurt you."

Mikado nodded in understanding; what Kida said all seemed to make sense.

"Or, Possibility number two: You are actually in love with this other person. Whatever you might be feeling for Izaya is just because that guy forced himself on you and you are too kind and naïve to reject him, and without being given a chance to rationalize the situation you are basically being swept off your feet by that guy. The other person though, which you encountered under normal circumstances brings out your real feelings. Thus kissing that person would give you a feeling of being right and would feel better to you than kissing Izaya."

The brunette just stared at his blonde friend aghast as said one finished his conduction. Just when had Kida become an expert in the field of relationships and the human psyche?

"What you say might make sense, but..I-I really wouldn't want to risk my friendship with that person over a stupid thing like that..a-and..I don't really want to 'cheat' on Izaya-san either, even if we're only married on the paper.."

"You don't have to worry about that, Mikado-chan~..", a familiar voice chirped behind them.

"I-Izaya-san..!", the brunette turned around with a startled sound, guilt written all over his face. "H-How..how long have you been standing there..?", he asked hesitantly.

Izaya just gave them his usual faked cheery smile, but something seemed off.

"Long enough."

-xxx-

"Kida-kun~", the raven chimed, turning to the faux-blonde teen with a smile. "Would you mind leaving my wife and me alone for a bit~?"

Kida gave the informant a skeptic glare, but even so turned to leave after saying 'good-bye' to his best friend. Once the hyperactive teen was out of sight, Izaya turned back to the brunette, fake smile slowly dropping off his face.

"H-How much have you heard..?", Mikado whispered quietly, looking at his hands in his lap rather than at the informant.

"Everything."

"I-I see…", the brunette replied with a crooked smile, trembling fingers gripping and ungripping the fabric of his trousers, scared of the raven's reaction. Instead, he was forced to look up when Izaya finally spoke up, saying something rather unexpected.

"I hate to admit it…but that imbecile, Kida-kun..is right."

"W-what..?!", Mikado stuttered out, unable to process what Izaya was just suggesting him to do. "What are you sayin-", the teen protested, but was cut off by the elder.

"As much as I despise the method…", Izaya interrupted the brunette's protests. "…I also want you to figure out your feelings. No matter how you decide, even if you choose that idiot Shizu-chan over me, I won't hate you for it."

"I-Izaya-san..", Mikado started softly.

"Though I can't guarantee I won't try to kill Shizu-chan in this situation.", the raven joked with a smile, that the teen couldn't quite decipher. He didn't like that look on the raven's face.

"S-Still..I can't do it..", the brunette argued. "I don't want to lose Shizuo-san as friend."

"Then I'll personally go to that brute and talk to him. Plus, I already know that that idiot Shizu-chan will cooperate. I have such a feeling."

Big, uncertain azure eyes flew up to meet the Informant's stern auburn gaze.

"Why are you willing to go that far, just for me?"

Izaya simply smiled, this time his expression was not faked, but full of honest, unfeigned emotions.

"The answer is easy…because I love you."

-xxx-

The sun above Ikebukuro was already starting to set and stained the whole playground a reddish orange, where Mikado was still sitting, staring at the cell phone in his lap, waiting for mail from Izaya, who had told him to stay here while he went to talk to Shizuo.

When the message tone on his cell phone finally went off, the teen jumped in shock, almost dropping the device on the concrete.

1 New Message (Orihara Izaya)

Go now. Before I change my mind.

Gripping his cell phone tighter and swallowing hard, Mikado took a last glance at the message on the display, before putting the device away and hurrying off, to the destination Izaya told him to meet Shizuo at.

While he was getting closer to the meeting point, the teen could already see first trails of destruction, ripped out sign posts, a demolished bench, the floor full of rubble, a crushed vending machine…but no sight of a person. It was easy to see what had been going on here not too long ago. But the person probably responsible for all this demolition was nowhere to be seen.

Just as Mikado questioned if Shizuo was even going to show up, he heard footsteps behind him.

Gulping, Mikado clenched his hands into fists, turning around slowly. In front of him stood no other than Ikebukuro's fortissimo, looking like he just came from a fight, clothes partly torn and some fresh cuts could be seen on his skin, but luckily, nothing grave.

A shy, crooked smile tugging at the corner of his lips, Shizuo slowly stepped closer to the teen, who blushed slightly in embarrassment and looked down quickly. Once he stood directly in front of the kid, the blond ex-bartender stopped and cleared his throat nervously, finally speaking up.

"H-Hey..I'm sorry you got dragged into this mess..", the strong man said with an awkward chuckle, scratching the back of his head. "I guess it's kinda my fault that you're in this situation; I mean, it's already bad enough to behave the way I did with someone who is married…even worse if it's that over-possessive flea's wife, haha.."

"N-no..! It's all my fault!", the brunette protested strongly. "Because my emotions are so messed up and I don't know what I feel-"

"It's not just you…", the blonde interrupted him, shifting on his feet uncomfortably. "Me too..I also have been wondering..wondering if what I feel for you might be…y-y'know.." The man's words ended in a quiet mumbling.

"I guess it's our both fault..", Mikado said quietly with a small, crooked smile, looking up to the ex-bartender for the first time that day. "A-Acting like that..the things we did, the touching, the hugging..Even though I knew that those are things that..c-couples usually do..it just didn't feel wrong to me-"

"To me neither!", Shizuo replied quickly, mocha orbs finally meeting the teen's blue ones. "I really like you, kid. But I just have to know..if I like you..y'know..like that."

"Y-Yeah…"

"S-So..", the blonde man started slowly, cursing the nervous stutter in his voice. "..shall we do this..?"

Mikado managed to give a shaky nod, nervousness and embarrassment tinting his cheeks a bright red. "You just have to promise me..whatever we may find out from this – that we won't let this affect our friendship. I don't want to lose you, Shizuo-san."

"I don't want to lose you either,kid..", Shizuo replied with a small smile. "You are really important to me."

Mikado beamed happily at the ex-bartender at those words.

"Now..close your eyes.", Shizuo muttered embarrassedly, a slight blush dusting his cheeks.

Nervously, the teen shut his eyes slowly, his heart pace increasing rapidly. Slowly, ever so slowly Shizuo leaned in, feeling the boy's breath hitch against his lips before he finally closed the gap…and kissed him.

-xxx-

Mikado thought his heart was going to stop when he had felt the other male's breath against his lips, but when the blonde finally kissed him, all that went through the brunette's mind was:

That feels..good..

It felt good, it felt nice, it made the teen feel warm in his chest, but…it didn't feel completely right.

Something was lacking.

There was no spark, no butterflies in his stomach, not the burning desire to deepen the kiss, to bury his hands in the other male's hair; he didn't feel like he was melting inside, no feeling of his heart skipping a beat, this tingling in his veins, getting completely intoxicated from the other's scent and taste, his mind going blank; his chest didn't feel like it was about to burst with happiness while his insides burned with longing…

All in all: it wasn't like with Izaya.

Slowly, Mikado pulled away, eyes fluttering open to meet mocha eyes; a small shy smile spread on the teen's features when he found the same feelings as his own reflected in those warm brown orbs.

Shizuo too could see the young brunette's decision in his eyes; even if it had felt good kissing the boy, he was now certain that he doesn't see Mikado as lover, but more as very dear friend. Someone who he can trust and whom he wants to protect.

If Shizuo would have to find a word for it, he would probably say he saw Mikado as some sort of younger brother; even if his feelings towards the brunette were completely different compared to how he felt for Kasuka, it was also kind of similar.

The smile on the small teen's face widened and he took a small step forward, hugging the ex-bartender's strong frame spontaneously. Closing his eyes with a content sigh when he felt the other's arms embrace him too, he rested his head against the blonde's broad chest one last time, before stepping away again, looking at Shizuo with a shy smile.

The elder returned the smile equally, a big hand ruffling his spiky locks tenderly, before the man bent down to whisper in his ear:

"Don't you have someone to go to right now…?"

Blushing a bright red when he realized who Shizuo's words were hinting at, he stepped back from the man and told him with a smile: "Let's hang around again, after I come back.", before turning away quickly and hurrying off.

The ex-bartender just smiled quietly, watching the small teen leave, muttering quietly to himself:

"Yes..let's do that.."

-xxx-

Mikado's heart was thrumming fast in his chest as he ran through the crowded streets of Ikebukuro, which were already dark and only illuminated by the cold, artificial glow of the street lights, dodging passengers on his way, not even bothering to excuse himself as repeatedly bumped into people, because his mind was somewhere else entirely.

The teen could barely suppress his smile, an excited flutter in his stomach as he grasped tighter onto the train ticket in his hand.

"If you decide to give me a chance, instead of Shizu-chan…

Come and meet me at the train station.

I will be waiting for you."

I will be waiting for you… Just how could six simple words like that make him so happy?

This is not love…this isn't love..this can't be love..right?

By the time he arrived at the train station, he was panting heavily, sweat was running down his temples, he was gasping for air and his sides stung painfully, but it was nothing compared to how his heart was racing, while his eyes scanned the crowd at the platform, searched for this one person.

He was certain his heart stopped beating for a few seconds when he finally spotted a figure in a familiar fur-trimmed parka, waiting on a bench.

If it isn't love…what is it then?

Hehe..i'm sorry guys. I had to. I just had to. Things couldn't stay like that between Shizuo and Mikado, or the relationship between Izaya and mika-chan wouldn't be able able to progress! So don't hate me ;)

To everyone who had been hoping for this chapter to be the honeymoon already, filled with delicious lemony smex..i sincerely apologize and promise to put something nice in the next chapter, to make up for it, okay? :3

By the way…can you guys believe this story is already running on 200+ reviews? I don't even deserve wonderful readers like you! T^T you guys are the best! Special thanks to RinNeko6369 for the wonderful 200th and 201st reviews! Also many thanks again to Day-Day-Ryoshka who was the first one who got a small insight to my malicious plans (I hope I didn't spoiler anything?) and to all my other reviewers! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and ideas with me, I am really glad we are all on the same wavelength and that you guys enjoy reading what I produce!

Ugh, enough of this ridiculously long author's note, I wrote through the night 'til 6 AM in the morning..and now I feel like eating breakfast and then going to sleep (all hail holidays!)

SunshineSparks and FluffyClouds,

KnuxadowManiac~