We wound up with a snow day on this fine January 28th, so I found it to be a nice opportunity to write a short drabble-ish thing for Shizuo's birthday. (I found that on the Durarara! wiki - who knows if it's totally legit. But whatever!) The proverbs used here came from the website "linguanaut," so I can't claim any credit for them. (Come on, I don't really know Japanese. I just suddenly really wanted to include some in a fic.)

"Shizu-chan! Up for a little fun tonight?"

Shizuo blinked down at the black-clad informant in surprise. It was late, already after one in the morning, and a dry, powdery snow was just beginning to fall outside. A light breeze slanted the precipitation so that some of it had accumulated on the second-floor balcony of Shizuo's apartment building. The weather and time alone should have been enough to guarantee that no visitors would be coming by, but that wasn't all that gave Shizuo pause.

Because the flea simply didn't come looking for him. It was always the other way around, Izaya always smirking as if he'd known far in advance that Shizuo would be there to break the hinges of his door – again – always teasing Shizuo for being eager "almost to the point of desperation. Just how high is your sex drive, anyway, Shizu-chan?"

And Shizuo always responded with rough, unsentimental kisses and passion that had not even a hint of finesse. He never worried about breaking the flea, because the bastard couldn't be broken. He knew this instinctively, but that never stopped him from going on the attack whenever he and the informant crossed paths during the day.

"Shizuo," the blonde corrected at last. "I told you to stop using that stupid nickname, didn't I, Izaya-kun?" He glared at the flea even as he stepped aside to make a path for him to enter the warm apartment.

"You don't complain about it when we're having sex," Izaya teased, and he intentionally brushed up against the blonde as he made his way past him, the door swinging shut behind him with a loud click.

Shizuo let a more intense glare stand in the way of a verbal response. That was Izaya – always ready with exactly the right retort, always full of sass and flirtatious enough to make up for every bit of Shizuo's romantic ineptitude.

Not that said ineptitude really mattered – what they had wasn't romance, but a mutual hatred that had somehow turned to lust and then to rough, late-night sex that doubled as stress relief and a different kind of fighting from what they did when the sun was up.

Sex that was like a battle and lust without emotion. That was the normal that they had grown accustomed to.

Izaya clearly didn't need a response from the blonde; he was used to silence, to the purely physical nature of Shizuo's interactions with him. So, he continued after his own fashion, "You have a pretty nice place, after all, Shizu-chan. I expected something smaller."

The blonde ignored Izaya's provocations. They always worked better when the two found themselves in the midst of the city and its crowds, anyway. "What are you doing here, flea?" Don't act like you don't know this is wrong. Their usual pattern was a part of the norm; breaking it was an unspoken taboo, a dangerous misstep, and Shizuo demanded to know why Izaya was ignoring that.

The informant's grin took on a hint of exasperation. "You're always so blunt. It's no fun," and he ignored Shizuo's bewilderment as he made his way to the small kitchen and set about brewing a pot of coffee.

"Caffeine won't actually sober you up, you know," Shizuo muttered. He was leaning against the counter now, watching as Izaya found a small bin of pre-ground beans and dumped some of them into a filter.

"No, but it does tend to keep you awake," Izaya responded sarcastically. "Besides, I haven't been drinking."

Shizuo slammed his fist down on the counter, startling Izaya and causing him to drop the coffee pot into the sink. The sharp report of breaking glass mixed with the blonde's angry voice – "Then what the hell are you doing?!" – and a pained gasp from Izaya as one of the larger shards left a deep gash in his right hand.

The ensuing silence echoed with the noise of the past moment. "I'm sorry," Shizuo mumbled when he saw the blood as Izaya turned to face him.

The informant shook his head and smiled melancholically. "That's just how Shizu-chan is, ne?" A few drops escaped the grip of his uninjured hand and hit the floor with a muted tap. He sighed dramatically and looked around for a towel, which Shizuo grudgingly passed to him. "I lied, actually. I don't particularly feel like playing with Shizu-chan at the moment."

"Then what are you here for?" Shizuo could feel his adrenaline rush starting to wind down again, leaving him faintly tired and more than a little disoriented.

"Tade kuu mushi mo sukizuki," Izaya murmured under his breath. (There are even bugs that eat knotweed.)

"What?" Shizuo was obviously taken aback by the informant's non-sequitur comment, and his eyes widened a bit to show it.

Izaya smirked and moved toward the blonde, who backed away without entirely knowing why he was doing it. "Haven't you ever heard that old proverb?" Shizuo shook his head, his eyes travelling from the informant's bloodied hand to his face and back again with an expression that was bordering on panic.

"It means that there's no accounting for taste. It's comparable to the English phrase 'To each his own.' You know that one?"

"Izaya, what – ?" Shizuo stopped, his back to the wall, and the informant held him there with a gaze that was both determined and reassuring.

"You do know the date, right?" Izaya asked pointedly, his hand now bleeding against the wall beside the startled blonde.

Shizuo searched the informant's face for some sort of hint, then shook his head slowly. "The twenty-eighth, right? So, what?"

Izaya laughed in spite of himself, pulled his hand back and shook with mirth. "Come on, Shizu-chan! How dense can you get? It's your birthday, right? The twenty-eighth of January!" and Shizuo blinked perplexedly.

"…Yeah, I guess. But that doesn't have anything to do with you, does it?"

Izaya sighed and rubbed at some tears that had built up at the corners of his eyes. "Since Shizu-chan's so slow, I'll give you one more hint:Keizoku wa chikara nari. (Perserverance is also strength.) I gave this some thought, too, so I won't take no for an answer."

Shizuo stared wordlessly at the informant. He couldn't smell any alcohol on the shorter man's breath, but – he reached out a hand to feel his forehead – maybe he had a fever or something, something serious enough that it was muddling his usual rationality.

Izaya let the blonde touch him, even smiled a bit, and Shizuo pulled away quickly. No fever – just a lingering chill from the time spent outdoors. "If you have something to say, then say it," Shizuo snapped, fed up with the informant's excessive circumlocution. It was confusing, uncomfortable. The air was heavy with unvoiced intentions, emotions that didn't belong between them.

"Fine," Izaya said after a brief pause. He moved closer to Shizuo, pressing himself into the blonde's warmth as he wrapped his arms loosely around his neck. He closed his eyes, prompting Shizuo to do the same, and tilted his head back so that he could feel his companion's breath coming warm and wet against his face.

His lips met Shizuo's with a tenderness that was far removed from their usual violence, and he smiled into the soft skin of his lover. When Shizuo's lips parted slightly in surprise, Izaya took the opportunity to trace the contours of Shizuo's mouth with his tongue. It wasn't forceful or passionate; rather, it was an invitation, a gentle request for permission.

Shizuo accepted hesitantly, and the kiss deepened by degrees until – at last – the two finally broke away from each other, breathless and with cheeks burning faintly red.

"I get it. You're an idiot, Izaya."

"Probably. But I figure it can't be any less doable than what we already have going on," Izaya murmured. He took Shizuo's hand in his own, realized with a start that he was still bleeding pretty heavily, and ignored it. "What would it hurt, anyway? You must feel something a little similar, or you wouldn't have even let me in."

Not to be outdone, Shizuo remembered another saying and argued, "Minu ga hana. (Not seeing is a flower.)The reality is never as good as you think it'll be. Aren't things fine as they are? This might work for a few months at most, but it'll definitely fall apart before long."

"What are you afraid of losing, Shizu-chan? Don't want to make any emotional commitment to the man you claim to hate? Or do you just like having sex with me that much?" The informant smirked a little and added, "Although we can certainly still do that – I'm game any time."

The blonde shook his head disbelievingly, the ghost of a smile tugging at the corners of his mouth. "Alright. If that's it, then have it your way. Just hold still for a minute; I don't wanna deal with you passing out from blood loss."

Izaya looked relieved in spite of himself as the blonde left him to search around in a cupboard for a roll of bandages and some disinfectant. "Thanks, Shizu-chan."

"Just don't expect me to go easy on you the rest of the time, flea. This and that are still totally different things."

"I'll take what I can get," Izaya said easily as Shizuo pulled him toward the kitchen sink and started to clean the wound. He could feel the blonde's pulse briefly as his own hand brushed the man's wrist. It was fast, even for Shizuo. "Hmmm, so things like this actually make you pretty nervous, huh?" he teased, and the blonde had to turn away to hide the blush that immediately colored his entire face.

That was Izaya, alright. If he stayed that way, Shizuo thought vaguely, then this new pattern might just work out after all.

That was funny, though. Did that mean he liked those things in the informant that usually just pissed him off? Where did his hatred end and his infatuation begin?

"So?" he asked casually. Better to avoid overthinking things like this. That was how their relationship had survived for so long, how it had started in the first place.

"…What?" At last, there was a hint of confusion on Izaya's face. Shizuo felt a little victorious at that, so he didn't say anything else until the informant's hand was safely wrapped in bandages. He relished the shorter man's pout, couldn't help but ruffle his hair playfully. This gesture, like the words and thoughts and feelings between the two, was new. It was nice, warm like the kitchen and the informant's lips against his own.

"You didn't come just to talk about stuff like this, did you? I have another coffee pot…"

Izaya watched in surprise as the blonde pulled said pot from a cupboard near the floor and finished the work Izaya had started. As the sounds of coffee brewing filled the kitchen, Izaya smiled and again wrapped his arms around Shizuo, this time from behind. "Happy birthday, Shizu-chan," he whispered, his breath tickling the nape of the blonde's neck.

"Shizuo," the blonde corrected gently, glad that the informant couldn't see him smiling contentedly. It was dangerous, yes, but no more dangerous than anything else the two of them already did.

So, like Izaya, Shizuo would take what he could get, and if that was a cup of hot coffee and some late-night television, it would have to suffice. It was his birthday, after all – not really a huge deal, in his opinion, but a good time, maybe, to accept a change of pace, a few worn-out proverbs and the soothing warmth of Izaya's body pressed against his.