A/N: Whoop, another chapter |D No matter how many times I read it over, it feels so terribly rushed OTL I'm so sorry, I FAIL! ;A; Plus, I wonder if it's even possible for the things happening to Shizu-chan in this chapter to happen. Not always easy to make things 100% believable when used with Durarara! I'm afraid OTL

I used the song "Silver Bells" for this chapter. Not sure why :3 Perhaps it's just a nice contrast to all the bad stuff happening in this chapter.

What a terrible morning.

At the sound of my alarm clock, I flipped onto my back and reached out for it on my nightstand. My attempt, however, was unsuccessful as a big bunch of fur decided to lie down and rest right on my face. Growling, I picked it up by the neck as I sat up.

The stupid cat just meowed at me and playfully lashed out with a paw. As I put it down on the bed again, it started rubbing itself against me lovingly, probably believing that it would make me forgive it for lying down on my face. It had to admit it worked.

It was not even my cat. Yuigadokusonmaru, as the cat had been named, belonged to my brother, who had always been fond of these animals. Usually I would take care of it when Kasuka was too busy, but when I had left for vacation, I had asked Tom to look after it. Yesterday I had picked it back up.

"Yeah, it's probably best to get up," I mumbled while rubbing the cat behind its ear. It purred back at me. "Let me get you some food, alright?"

In a matter of minutes I had served a large portion of perfectly ordinary cat food and Kasuka's cat meowed in joy as it started eating. I found a slice of dry bread to be fine. I did not feel very hungry. Rather, I just felt pathetic.

While I felt that the way I had treated Izaya the day before had been completely fair, considering his behavior, I still felt awful about it. To be honest, I wanted to call him up and talk to him like we had done throughout December, but I could not bring myself to do so.

Perhaps I was afraid he would make fun at me again. I was not sure when his mockery had begun to actually get to me, but fact was that they did. Despite all the shit he had been putting me through, experiencing a different side of him had convinced me that there was a slight chance that I could learn to control my rage.

Perhaps I had been wrong. My head hurt just thinking about it. After all, it was possible that Izaya did not feel the same and that he preferred seeing me burning with anger. Actually that would make far more sense than us ever becoming friendly with one another.

Though that might have been pretty nice, I thought as I got dressed, ready to go out and roam the streets of Ikebukuro again. While I had been suspicious of Izaya since the day we met, my dislike and later hate for him only turned up when he began getting me into trouble.

I had never quite understood why he had gone through such lengths just to piss me off. It was possibly for the same reason that he would randomly show up in Ikebukuro to irritate me. That, too, I did not understand. Frankly, I had to admit that I could never begin to understand the workings of his mind.

Though the air outside was freezing, I did not bother putting on a jacket as I stepped outside. I could not help but to wonder whether I would bump into Izaya again. Yesterday he had worn an expression I had never seen on his face before when I left him.

Not that I dared to hope I could avoid him forever. He would surely involve me in some of his own shady business again sooner or later.

But, as trouble always tended to do, it happened to be sooner.

Minding my own business and caught up in my own thoughts, a grown man stopped me on the street. He was clad in a business suit and appeared to recognize me easily though I thought I had never seen him before. Then again, I was terrible at remembering the faces of people I had met.

"You're Shizuo Heiwajima, right?" he asked with a warm smile on his lips. Somehow I felt it was a bit eerie as his eyes was not smiling at all. "I don't believe we have met. I'm an acquaintance of Tom Tanaka. I was hoping to get to meet you."

Hearing him say Tom's name made me relax a bit. He did have connections with some strange people, especially people who owed him money. It was possible that this guy wanted to discuss something regarding that. That would not be the first time, though I had never been called out alone before.

However, my suspicions began to rise as he led me into a smaller alley with no other people around. I took a look over my shoulder just to make sure no one was following: No one there except for a homeless guy sleeping.

"Was there something you wanted from me?" I asked as I turned back around to face Tom's acquaintance. His smile had gone into a creepy grin. I was not very comfortable with the current situation, though if it came to a fight it would probably turn to my advantage.

"Yeah," he replied, slowly pulling up his sleeve. I could feel my muscles tense, expecting him to pull out a weapon or the like. Instead he simply showed me his naked arm. On it, there was a red tattoo of a dragon. "We want revenge, Heiwajima, for beating the living shit out of our guys."

Without warning, something hot and painful was pressed against my neck from behind for several seconds. My body went into a short spasm before I collapsed on the ground, unable to move. A figure went past me and over to Tom's acquaintance, whom I now was sure had lied about his identity. The homeless man had been in disguise?

"Alright, better act fast. I hear ordinary weapons don't really work on this guy," the suited man said. It seemed he was well aware what I was capable of. Most likely they were not going to let me get the time I needed to recover from whatever had hit me. A stun gun, perhaps?

"Got it."

The homeless man went closer to me again, something looking like a heavy pipe in his hand. I was not able to turn my head as my body was still quite paralyzed. Nothing I did would make it respond. Then came a hard whack across my neck…

and everything before my eyes went black.

It was quite late as a short, blond man made his way through the industrial district, heading for a particular meeting place. His plan had been a success so far. All he needed now was for the rat to be cornered by the owl.

Flipping open his phone he found a number he had recently been able to get hold off thanks to a comrade of his. It had not been the simplest task. The guy he was after was not exactly easy to get close to.

Which was why his call would probably come as a surprise. Calling up the number, he waited until a voice on the other end replied.

"Izaya Orihara here. Who am I speaking to?"

"Maybe you can guess." He could almost sense how the information broker froze in shock at the sound of his voice. "I'm sure we both remember our last meeting. But let's not talk about me."

"What do you mean?"

The information broker's voice was cold and questioning. Oh, was he going to enjoy seeing him squirm soon enough. Soon enough.

"Yes, what do I mean? Say, have you tried call up your debt collector pal? What was his name again… Shizuo Heiwajima? Let's talk about him, shall we?"

Silver bells, silver bells,

It's Christmas time in the city.

Ring-a-ling, hear them ring,

Soon it will be Christmas day.