disclaimer: don't own.

title: a christmas revision

pairing: shizuo x izaya

genre: romance, humor

word count: 6,205

summary: 'Shizuo.' 'Yeah?' '…You have geese in front of your door.' Shizuo never even liked that damn carol.

a christmas revision


on the first day of Christmas, my true love sent to me…

a partridge in a pear tree…


"For me?"

Shizuo frowned as he stared at the package by Celty's feet, the horseless rider standing in front of the open door of his apartment. She pulled out her PDA and tapped a few words on it, black smoking rising from the device as she showed it to him.

Don't know whom it's from. It's safe though.

"Oh. Thanks."

It was at that point that Shizuo expected her to leave; while it was rare for her to be the one to deliver him a package, it was even rarer for her to want to stay. But she didn't have to say anything for Shizuo to recognize that; her lack of leaving him with a valediction clearly indicated she was curious about the package. Raising a hand to scratch his head, he stepped aside, watching as Celty's black shadows enveloped the rather tall box and brought it in with her.

The box was nearly as tall as she was but much wider; Shizuo had absolutely no idea what could be in it, having not ordered anything. As Celty sat down on the couch, Shizuo stared at the box with a frown. His eyes ran over the edge and the clear tape, wondering what could possibly be in here that it warranted Celty to be delivered. As far as he was concerned, Celty was only called upon when normal deliverers would refuse to send something like this.

"You didn't see who sent it?"

Left it in front of Shinra's door with a note telling me to deliver it to you.

"And you just did it?"

Envelope with money was on top and I saw no reason to not do it since it's not dangerous.

He didn't bother to ask how she realized that it was perfectly safe; the female had a multitude of inhumane senses that would hurt his head if he tried to comprehend it.

Reaching over and picking up a pair of scissors that was resting on the table, Shizuo began to cut away the edges of the box, sticking one blade in and dragging in clean, pristine lines. Celty was silent as she watched him do this, legs crossed as she waited patiently.

Shizuo wasn't one to receive packages normally, she knew. He lived rather simplistically, not wasting his money on extravagant things. While he wasn't rich, the fact that he was frugal by nature worked nicely with his paycheck; he bought only food and was self sufficient. He didn't waste water or electricity, had all the clothes he needed (from Kasuka, mainly) and a few shirts for lounging around. Looking around his apartment, Celty saw a few magazines or newspapers, but no fancy electronics.

Several cartons of discarded cigarettes were strewn about but she had expected that.

So to have to deliver such a huge box to Heiwajima Shizuo was surprising. While she was on her way to his apartment, she wondered what it could possibly be; something of that magnitude might be a robot or a sculpture. Was this a joke?

But the sender must be rather confident if he had the guts to ask the headless rider to deliver it.

"What the fuck?"

Shizuo's bewildered swear brought Celty out of her wondering and she looked to the box, the four sides cut and laying on the floor, revealing what was inside. Celty's fingers couldn't fathom a response on the PDA on her lap as she stared at it, the smoke beneath her helmet forming question marks.

Shizuo, what is that?

But he ignored the question of the surprised female and reached out instead, taking a piece of paper hanging from a branch with a piece of string. He scowled as he read it, blonde brow creased in a mixture of surprise and annoyance.

For Heiwajima Shizuo-san! Merry early Christmas!

For when the sides of the box fell, it was revealed that the mystery gift from the mystery giver was a partridge in a pear tree.


on the second day of Christmas, my true love sent to me…

two turtle doves…


A stupid partridge in a stupid pear tree.

Is this for that stupid Christmas carol?

Stupid.

Shizuo's favorite word to describe the tree and the bird (hanging from one of the branches in a cage) was 'stupid.' He spent all day staring at it with an irritated scowl. The bird, which had been asleep when he first opened the box, was now chirping brightly, trying to extend its wings fully. Shizuo would have set it free but such a bird wouldn't last long in Ikebukuro.

But now he was faced with the problem of taking care of it.

He wasn't sure what to do and placed a small container of water and food in the cage. The bird's sharp beak nipped at his fingers but he hardly noticed the pain, merely glared at it and growled, threatening to not feed it. Perhaps it was the tone or the bird really did manage to understand, but it instantly silenced itself and began to eat the bird food Shizuo purchased earlier that day.

Sighing, he relaxed on the couch with a book resting over his face. He found comfort in the smell of an old book, even if he didn't quite care for the content, and it blocked out the stray rays of sunshine that his yellowing blinds failed to block. Arms folded behind his head, he was about to drift off into a nap when a sudden knock at his door awoke him again and Shizuo was forced to throw the book carelessly onto the coffee table and walk over.

Frowning, he opened the door and was greeted with no one. Shizuo stared simply at the lack of a human presence for a bit and was about to return to his place on his couch, not bothering to peer around, when chirps caught his attention. And not the chirp of the stupid partridge in its stupid tree.

Looking down, he saw another cage. It was a pretty cage, a lovely stainless steel composed the bars and there were intricate designs formed with them along the edges. The door and handle both had curves and, if Shizuo remotely cared, he would have appreciated the technicality that had gone into creating this; it didn't seem like one of the ordinary cages one would find in any pet shop.

But it was the presence of two birds in that cage that pissed him off, along with the white note attached.

Day two, Heiwajima Shizuo-san! I hope you're enjoying my gifts!

Shizuo's neighbors poked their heads out of their door upon hearing the Heiwajima roar what the fuck am I supposed to do with turtle doves?!


on the third day of Christmas, my true love sent to me…

three French hens…


"My apartment's becoming a zoo."

"Shizuo, you'll need more than three birds to become a zoo."

"I don't fucking care!" Shizuo snapped into his cell phone, staring at the two birds that had now become friends with the partridge. They were chirping noisily and Shizuo didn't have the heart to move the cage of the doves to the floor, away from eye level with the partridge. He gave them wary looks and sighed, muttering a curse under his breath as he walked over to his kitchen and opened the cupboard, retrieving a glass.

"You don't know who sent you any of these?" Shinra's voice reminded him that he was holding a conversation and Shizuo waited until the glass was full and he took a sip before answering.

"No."

"Hmm… no poison gas of any kind has been emitted? Have you checked if the birds are real and not robots with cameras in their eyes to spy on you?"

"Shinra."

"Ah, sorry, sorry. Getting a bit too excited, I suppose. This is quite odd though, Shizuo, someone sending you the gifts of the Christmas carol… must take quite a bit of resource and effort to get them all."

"I don't give a fuck."

He heard Shinra laugh over the phone and Shizuo turned around, ready to spit another string of harsh words when he choked on his water, eyes wide as he stared at the coffee table.

"What the..?!"

"Huh? Shizuo, what's the matter? Oi! Shizuo!"

But the lips of the bodyguard were left gaping as his gaze was unable to be torn from the sight before him, glass slipping between his fingers and landing with a crash on the white tiles of his kitchen. Shinra continued to yell into the phone and he hung up, taking slow steps forward.

Surprise soon dissipated as his eyes confirmed and reconfirmed that what he was seeing wasn't a joke played by his mind. It was really there, the three hens in a huge cage that were already becoming acquainted with the partridge and doves. A gust of wind drew his attention to his balcony window, which he saw was left a crack open and Shizuo's fist clenched, realizing that someone had snuck in and out without his knowledge—and that pissed him off more than the hens.

He didn't even have to read the note to know that it would be some sly taunt, probably something like 'Ah, Heiwajima Shizuo-san, you should lock your doors…!'

"My apartment isn't a goddamn birdcage!"


on the fourth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me…

four Colly birds…


Shizuo somehow had an idea of what this package was that Celty delivered.

It was his fourth day off of work and an oddity; tomorrow he would be walking around the city with Tom again, but for now he would continue to relax. But this long awaited break was ruined by the birds that were noisily chirping and clacking in his apartment. He wanted to drape a table cloth over them in an effort to silence them, but couldn't find it in himself. As annoying as they were, as short tempered as he was, the idea of possibly depleting them of oxygen was too great a burden on him.

"Goddamnit."

Sorry. Just doing my job.

"Not your fault. Come in."

The shadows carried the box behind her and he motioned for her to set the box on top of the coffee table.

"Next to One."

One?

He motioned towards the partridge and Celty stared—he assumed that was what she was doing when her helmet remained motionless and was facing the pear tree—at the bird before raising her PDA, the last question still on the screen.

"Yeah," Shizuo answered gruffly and began to rip at the pieces of tape on the box, already knowing what to expect. While he was doing that, he glanced up and motioned to the other cages with his head. "Two and Three are the doves. Four, Five, and Six are the hens. And Seven through Ten are going to be…"

He sighed when the box was opened and he pulled the cage out with the four Colly birds in them, greeting them with a tired and annoyed glare.

"…These things."

You assign them numbers?

"Eh? Why not?"

What about names?

"Why would I name birds?"

Celty couldn't help but stare at Shizuo, fingers at a loss for words to type at his genuinely curious expression as he set the four new birds onto the coffee table. She shook her head to signify 'never mind' and picked up the white note that fluttered out of the box when Shizuo lifted the cage. Handing it to him, he gave a dry chuckle and showed it to her when she asked what was so funny.

Four Colly birds for you today, Heiwajima Shizuo-san! It's a fancy name for the common blackbird, a rather deceptive name. However, a bird with a deceptive name fits the man with one, no? For the very definition of violence, Heiwajima Shizuo is an oxymoronic name, hm?

Celty felt prickles run down her skin when she read that note, the image of a certain man popping into her head. As she looked at Shizuo and at his exasperated—but not angry—expression, she could only guess he didn't have the slightest idea who these were from.

Good luck, Shizuo.


on the fifth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me…

five golden rings…


"How were your days off, Shizuo?"

Ninety six hours of nonstop chirping and annoyance.

"Fine," Shizuo grumbled instead and walked alongside Tom, hands in his pockets and shoulders hunched over slightly. His red eyes, tired from nights of endless chirping, were hidden behind his blue tinted shades. Glancing at Tom warily, the thought of his boss sending him all those damn birds flickered through his mind but he dismissed it. Tom had better things to do than that, Shizuo thought, he wouldn't waste his money and time by messing with Shizuo.

Whenever he had a spare moment, Shizuo found himself trying to think of who would do this. Those he was closest to and considered friends were highly unlikely—Tom, Celty, Shinra—because it wasn't in their personalities. But that would leave either a stranger or an enemy and what enemy would waste so much time and effort on him?

If it really was an enemy, though, Shizuo was annoyed at that thought, having several (most were people he had taught a lesson to for one reason or another.) But no matter how hard he tried, he couldn't think of anyone—well, no one he wanted to think about—who had the resources and dedication.

What left him the most concerned was how someone snuck into his apartment through the balcony while he was in the kitchen. There was only one goddamn person that had that kind of agility and stealth but—

The thought of him sending me gifts is sickening.

Bringing his hand out of his pocket, Shizuo flipped open the carton of cigarettes that his fingers were curled around and expertly shook it, expecting a cigarette to dislodge itself. But as he leaned forward, he heard an unnatural sound of metal clinging together. Peering into the carton, his blood ran cold to see five rings—golden rings, to be precise—replace where his cigarettes would usually be.

Shizuo stopped in his tracks and ignored Tom's questioning call; fingers reaching into the carton, he retrieved the note and unfolded it, brown eyes scanning it quickly. His worst fear had come true and it pissed him off. A hand reached out and gripped a metal pole, bending it out of shape as he ripped it out of the ground, leaving Tom with a bewildered expression, the note fluttering calmly and innocently onto the ground.

You can wear them but don't put one on your ring finger, yeah? I'll get you a proper ring for that…

Shizu-chan.


on the sixth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me…

six geese-a-laying…


Ever since Shizuo found out that it was Izaya, he had been in a worse mood than normal.

The rest of the day yesterday, the clients that Tom and Shizuo visited were left with several broken bones and concussions, causing Tom to be irritated at having to wait a bit longer for the money that was owed. Shizuo mumbled a gruff apology but was still scowling, mind still occupied by the fact that Orihara Izaya, Orihara Izaya, was the one sending him all these birds and taunting him, making sure he was suffering.

Even worse, Izaya could apparently sneak into his apartment any time now.

After work yesterday, the blonde had gone to the nearby convenience store and purchased locks for the glass door. He was sure Izaya could find another way in but as long as he had the locks in place, it would buy him a bit more time. And just because it would piss him off.

But it was Izaya. it was Izaya and that made Shizuo want to snap that damn flea's neck. No wonder, Shizuo thought angrily all day, no wonder Izaya hadn't been loitering in Ikebukuro around lately. He was probably too busy laughing in his office in Shinjuku or spying on Shizuo, watching his reaction.

Goddamn flea…!

A fist shot out and the wall had another dent in it, Shizuo hardly noticing. The idea of Izaya gifting him all of these outrageous items made him feel nauseous. He nearly went to Shinjuku multiple times last night and this morning but he managed to restrain himself. When Izaya wasn't in his sight, it was easier to control his violent tendencies; without that black hair and red eyed smirk, Shizuo found it possible to not lose control. He wouldn't give Izaya that satisfaction.

A sudden vibration from his phone on the coffee table surprised him and caused all birds, One through Ten, to jump in surprise and start squawking as the phone vibrated again. Scowling, Shizuo winced at the high pitched screeches and sounds of flapping wings—really, he had to do something about them—as he walked over and picked up his phone, flipping it open and holding it to his face.

"Yo."

"Shizuo." Shinra, Shizuo thought, that's right, he said he needed to stop by today.

"Yeah?"

"…You have geese in front of your door."

Shizuo expelled a sigh; he had went online and looked up the lyrics of the stupid song so he could at least know what to expect—and some of them made him wince. So he knew that geese would be delivered to his door but he still found himself dreading it, for he would name them Eleven through Sixteen.

He hung up on Shinra and walked over, yanking the door open to see six geese linked together with a red row tied loosely around their necks. They were honking obnoxiously and Shinra was carefully stepping around them, avoiding hurting them and getting bitten as Shizuo's neighbors stared incredulously, whispers loud and harsh.

The bodyguard's eyes narrowed as he stared at them and he grit his teeth, fists clenching as Shinra tapped his shoulder and he looked up to see the note that Shinra was holding.

Ah, should be geese-a-laying… but that timing would have been oto difficult. Perhaps you should wait for the hens…? I hope you enjoy them, Shizu-chan!

"I—ZA—YA-!"

Shizuo never even liked that damn carol.


on the seventh day of Christmas, my true love sent to me…

seven swans-a-swimming…


Swans today.

And Shizuo was scared.

Of all the birds that the flea had sent him, these would be the most and the largest. Shizuo always found himself wary of swans and their black markings, orange beaks; with necks that long, they made him suspicious to see how languid they were.

Thus, he awoke at seven in the morning, setting an alarm and forcing himself up at an otherwise ungodly hour to try to prepare himself. Eyes still tired and crusted from sleep, Shizuo ran a hand through his messy hair, wondering if it was possible to ask Shinra for tranquilizer without sounding suspicious.

But then he stepped out of his room and he saw them.

The swans.

Unbound and free as they padded around his living room—his apartment consisted of a living room and an attached kitchen, the bathroom and bedroom the only other rooms—long necks extending and retracting as they discovered their new surroundings.

The blonde had frozen, hand still in his hair as he stared at the sight. Prickles were running down his spine and his breathing was growing erratic, flinching whenever one of them looked at him. Those necks were so long and thin and he knew it would be easy to break them but he couldn't kill a bunch of birds; that would be inhumane.

But one of them stopped from pecking at the couch and looked Shizuo right in the eye, the blonde flinching—why was he so scared of them anyway?—and gulped, fists clenching and fear subsiding just long enough to let out a growl that resounded in the entire apartment complex.

"I—ZA—YA-!"

The note that was left taped to Shizuo's door alerted everyone of the reason for the early morning wake up call.

Ah, Shizu-chan, I know you don't like swans! So instead of providing some kind of restraint, I figured just letting them free in your apartment would allow you to bond with them, hm?


on the eighth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me…

eight maids-a-milking…


Sunday used to be Shizuo's favorite day of the week because Izaya more or less spent it in his own apartment in Shinjuku, meaning Ikebukuro would be flea free, and he didn't have work on Sundays. But last Sunday, Celty had delivered him a partridge in a pear tree and started this nightmare.

Thus, when the doorbell rang, Shizuo opened it and expected to see Celty with another package or Shinra, bearing some kind of news. But Shizuo was greeted with eight women all dressed in a uniform that resembled a maid's with the black dress and white apron, smiling brightly at him. They filed into his apartment without another word and Shizuo could do nothing except stand back and watch his apartment be infiltrated by women, each holding a crate full of bottles of what he assumed to be fresh milk, and set them down and circle out of the apartment.

Soon he could hardly see the floor anymore as his apartment now became occupied with a total of twenty three birds and eight crates of milk. The last maid that left paused and handed him an envelope, her bright smile slipping to an apologetic one as she muttered "I'm so sorry but I do need the money and he pays well" before leaving with the rest, closing the door behind her.

It took a full minute for Shizuo to stop staring at the birds—the swans were becoming normal and tolerable after he had Shinra come over and tranquilize them long enough for Shizuo to build them a pen in the corner of his apartment and stick them in there—to look at the note in his hand. He could almost smell the flea's stench as he unfolded it, nose crinkling and brow creasing.

Shizu-chan! You like milk, don't you?


on the ninth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me…

nine ladies dancing…


So you know they're from Izaya?

"Hah? You knew?"

Celty gave a nod and held her PDA up to Shizuo. The notes sounded like him.

"You didn't tell me?"

I figured you would realize it sooner or later.

Shizuo gave a dry chuckle and shook his head, hands in his pockets as he leaned against the edge of the fountain in the park. He held a cigarette between his lips and occasionally a cloud of smoke would be emitted from the mouth that was set in what seemed to be a permanent scowl. Celty watched him patiently, taking note of his irritation, figuring it be best to not tell him that Izaya was demanding constant updates on "how annoyed Shizu-chan is getting" from her and Shinra.

Are you going to confront him? she asked.

"Ah… probably not," he muttered, the end of the cigarette burning a red orange for a moment as smoke continued to drift away from it. "Too much damn work to find him."

Celty's shoulders shook with what Shizuo presumed to be laughter and he scowled. "It's not funny. My apartment is full of milk and birds."

Sorry.

"Whatever. Not like you could do anything about it."

He pushed himself off the brink of the fountain and dropped his cigarette, using a foot to stomp it out. Celty straightened up as well and put a hand on her motorcycle, about to bade Shizuo a farewell when a sudden flurry of activity stopped her. Immediately, her shadows materialized a scythe and she was prepared to defend herself if necessary but stopped upon seeing Shizuo's still relaxed form, staring in bewilderment at the people in front of him.

Dressed in gaudy outfits and jingling accessories were nine women, long hair moving gracefully in the air as they all danced in unison, movements timed perfectly. It was attracting attention from the rest of the people in the park and, had Shizuo not been growing intensely irritated, he may have recognized the extreme talent that was in front of him.

"I—za—ya-!"

Celty found herself having to use her shadows to restrain the blonde from running to Shinjuku to murder the informant once and for all, allowing the dancers to conclude their dance with a lovely message that obviously none other than Izaya would have dictated.

"Shizu-chan…"

"…I hope…"

"…your two…"

"….left feet…"

"…don't…"

"…prevent you…"

"…from enjoying…"

"…this wonderful…"

"…performance!"

"I—ZA—YA-!"


on the tenth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me…

ten lords a leaping…


The dancers were the worst by far.

Shizuo could still remember how he felt his body had frozen and was out of his control, in a completely different way than normal. The whispers and fingers pointed at Celty and him would forever be embedded in his memory, haunting him for years to come. Of course Izaya had planned that; clearly, he wanted to make every moment of these twelve days as painful as possible for him.

Using two fingers, Shizuo held another cigarette to his lips—he was smoking more and more frequently these days, obviously because of the stress—and frowned, staying on his guard as he walked around Ikebukuro, waiting for Izaya's "present" to appear. He knew what it would be, yet he wouldn't know how it would be delivered. But all he knew was that if anything else was shoved into his apartment, the small place would undoubtedly be destroyed.

Sighing, he crossed the street when the light turned green, his tall frame towering over the throng of people he was in. He maintained a relatively emotionless expression as he kept his eye out for any odd occurrences.

"Ah, Shizuo-san!"

Upon hearing his name, Shizuo paused on the sidewalk he had arrived to and turned around to see a kid running towards him in the blue Raira uniform he recognized, two others behind him. Shizuo racked his brain for the name, knowing he remembered the faces from somewhere but never quite had the patience to remember their names as well; that was more Izaya's habit.

Fucking flea.

"What?" he grumbled as the kid came to a stop in front of him, pressing his hands to his knees for support as he breathed heavily, panting from the running.

"Ah… Izaya… Izaya-san told me to give you… this…"

And when Shizuo saw the piece of paper in out stretched fingers, Shizuo's brown eyes grew wide. Even if he knew to expect these daily life destroying moments, he couldn't help but feel a weight drop in his stomach, anticipation coupled with a racing heartbeat.

As he reached out, his fingertips only brushed the piece of paper when his "present" for that day arrived in the form of atrociously dressed men skipping in front of him, leaping over an imaginary hurdle that seemed to be set right in front of Shizuo. Their costumes resembled those of the medieval fair Shizuo had gone to once: bright and colorful, lots of cold and horribly cumbersome. But the men were smiling as they skipped past, jumping high and with extension before continuing to skip away, leaving Shizuo speechless and dumbstruck, not wanting to imagine the pain of the near-splits those men could do.

"Uh… Shizuo-san, what's happening…?"

":Mikado!" Masaomi came up and slung his arm around the boy's shoulders, giving him a grave shake of his head. "In this city some things are better left a mystery."

Shizuo's jaw was left hanging open, his cigarette long fallen out and rolling by his feet, still lit and smoking before he finally regained enough control and read the note, hoping that his anger at Izaya would erase some of the sights he was forced to watch.

Shizu-chan, I think you could make an excellent ballerina if you tried too, you know.


on the eleventh day of Christmas, my true love sent to me…

eleven pipers piping…


"Shizuo, you look terrible!"

Shinra, that's not nice!

"But it's the truth, Celty, my dear!"

Shizuo shot Shinra a glare as he rubbed his eyes tiredly. With all the noise in his apartment and the stress that Izaya's antics were putting on him, sleep was becoming something he desperately needed but was constantly unattainable. Reaching out, he picked up the mug of tea that Celty kindly made for him and took a sip, desperately wishing for coffee, knowing he would be able to stand the bitter taste as long as it woke him up.

"It's that damn flea's fault. Where even is he nowadays?"

"Either in Shinjuku or spying on y—mmph!"

Shadows came from Celty's outstretched hand and silenced the doctor, who began to pull at the black substance around his mouth desperately, legs kicking. Shizuo paid no heed to what he said; even if he wasn't supposed to know, it was only obvious that Izaya was watching Shizuo's reaction from some high rise tower with a pair of binoculars. What he found surprising was how the flea was able to withstand provoking a fight.

Two more days… he thought and leaned back against the couch, eyes closing and sighing heavily. Two more days and this goddamn ordeal is over…

Obviously Izaya was growing bored with their normal cat and dog chases, deciding to create a game of his own, one where Shizuo's physical strength would have little effect against the psychological torment the Orihara was after. He bit into a pear he had picked from the tree earlier, branches shaking and slightly irritating One, who seemed to glare at him. But Shizuo didn't care; he was given a pear tree, after all, and so he would eat a pear if he wanted.

What are you expecting today? Celty asked with her PDA and Shizuo took a quick glance before closing his eyes.

"Pipers."

Pipers?

"They're going to be loud and obnoxious. But as long as I don't open the door I figure they'll go away."

As if on cue, Shizuo heard a rapping at his door and gave it a glance, not budging from his spot on the couch. Celty and Shinra turned to look as well, staring as it fell silent before another series of knocks, patient rapping of knuckles against the door at intervals of ten seconds each.

Shizuo…

He gave a smirk and a shrug, closing his eyes. "They'll go—"

And then they started playing.

Even through a closed door, the music was atrocious and Shizuo brought his hands up to his ears, trying to block out the music. But it was loud and pierced right through the paper thin walls and he could only gruffly apologize to his neighbors so many times for the ruckus and threateningly ask the landlord to not kick him out.

His body was shaking with repressed fury, creating a mental image of Izaya and stabbing him several times with every kind of a pointy object he could think of. And through the music and his deafening yell of 'I—za—ya-!' the slight rustling of a piece of paper being slid under the door was hardly noticed.

Everyone could use some music in his or her life, no?


on the twelfth day of Christmas my true love sent to me…

twelve drummers drumming…


Living in an apartment that resided in one of the more dangerous areas in Ikebukuro, being awoken by loud noises wasn't anything unusual for Shizuo. In fact, he had come to expect it; he used to use earplugs to block the sound out to have more hours of much needed sleep. But he hated the feeling of ear plugs as he slept as they made him feel caged in and suffocated, simply getting used to the noise. While something like an explosion would undoubtedly stir the bodyguard from his sleep, the regular gunshots and street fighting no longer bothered him.

It took a lot to wake Shizuo up from his deep slumber unless he had intended to. His sleeping habits were rather odd when thought about it; it was easy for him to sleep through the sound of construction but just a whiff of Izaya would have him up and violent in three seconds flat. The same also went for the alarm on his phone (but not texts or calls) and Tom's knocking on the door, while a gang fight downstairs was easily ignored.

Of course, all the stress that Izaya had introduced into his life was taking a toll on Shizuo's wellbeing and lately he would fall asleep easily but be awoken by something, whether it be paranoia or a loud noise. But after the pipers finally quieted, Shizuo felt he could sleep soundly for a good few solid hours, through anything, even the zoo of birds in his living room (at least the milk he could drink.)

He didn't plan on waking up until well past afternoon; he didn't need food, didn't have work, didn't have any obligations to meet with anyone for any kind of a reason. The idea of snapping Izaya in half didn't even entice him—he was far too tired from this little game Izaya had set up for them to even care. Once he got his energy back, he thought, then he would make sure Izaya paid dearly.

But just as the sun cracked over the horizon, the door of Shizuo's apartment opened quietly and twelve men outfitted in marching band uniforms, eleven having snare drums hanging from their shoulders, filed in quietly, the one in front holding a duplicated key victoriously and smirking. Bringing a finger to his lips, he motioned for them but to keep quiet.

Shizuo wasn't aware of this movement in his apartment; after all, he even instructed himself to sleep through everything, so he didn't notice his bedroom door being opened. Chest rising and falling steadily, the men watched the strongest man in Ikebukuro at his most vulnerable. But after a few moments, the one in front raised a hand and brought it down.

And Shizuo was forced awake by the sound of eleven snare drums coming to alive, drum sticks rolling, no further than three feet away from his ear drums.

He shot up in bed, messy hair even more disoriented and eyes wide, chest rising and falling erratically as his palms were pressed to his ears. It took him only a few moments to realize what was happening but he still didn't like the sight or sound of eleven drummers gathered around his bed.

He especially didn't like seeing Izaya in the center, smirking at him with—were those earplugs in his ears?

The "I—za—ya-!" that was emitted from Shizuo's throat was hardly heard over the drums and Izaya raised a hand. Almost immediately, the drumming ceased and they all silently filed out, not giving a second glance to the pair of enemies.

"Good morning, Shizu-chan!" Izaya chirped and walked over to the side of his bed, a mockingly sweet smile twisting his lips. "How was that wake up call?"

"Fuck you!" he growled and a hand reached out to grab the front of Izaya's uniform, pulling him close. "You've made my life miserable for the last twelve days…!"

"That's the point of al this, no?" Izaya asked and tilted his head, lips curled down in a concerned frown but the glint of amusement in his eyes couldn't be hidden. "Hey hey, Shizu-chan, I see that you've been taking good care of the birds! That's good because they were hard to find and deliver, yeah?"

"Flea…!"

"And the milk! You've been drinking that? Such a child, Shizu-chan!"

"You…!"

"Ah, did you like the performances of the dancing and leaping and pipes? I was quite amused by everyone that auditioned!"

"Get your ass out of Ikebukuro…!"

"What about the rings, Shizu-chan? They really are quite good quality, you know. So if you ever find yourself in desperate need of money, I wouldn't blame you if you sold them!"

"I don't need your fuckin' charity!"

"Ah, but the pear tree…"

Izaya mocked a frown and brought a finger up to tap his chin. "Mm… I didn't like that one."

"I don't fucking care! I'm going to kill you, Izaya, this time I'm really going…!"

"I think the gift on the first day should be different, really."

Any possible retort of a death threat from Shizuo was silenced when Izaya kissed him, closing the small gap between their faces. Although he couldn't see, Shizuo could feel Izaya's smirking lips against his, reaffirmed when he pulled back and the smirk merely widened. He seemed amused by Shizuo's reaction, too surprised to grab him by the throat and kill him once and for all.

"Hm? Was that Shizu-chan's first kiss?"

And then Shizuo ripped the headboard off of his bed.

"I—ZA—YA-!"

author's notes: so the request for this was different but I ended up altering it for my amusement and because I'm never good with mysteries… merry Christmas to you all and happy holidays! thank you for reading and comments would be very much appreciated!