-One Hundred Points!-

A/N: Ah, hello. I haven't written Durarara stuff in a while, and I tried to get back to my other multichaptered story... but I feel like I've kind of lost my touch for capturing the characters. Since summer break is just around the corner (for some people, at least), I thought I'd write something lighthearted and seasonal, to get back into the swing of things. Spoilers, this fic makes no sense and I'm sorry about everything except the metaphor. Also, I don't own anything, etc.


The low buzzing of cicadas could be heard through the open windows of the classroom. Shizuo's gaze slid from the chalkboard to the field outside, and without thinking, he let out a small sigh. Though the summer heat had arrived weeks ago, and many students were already excitedly discussing their plans for the break, Shizuo did not spend his days anticipating the end of the school semester. For with the end of the term came a most dreaded enemy, and the danger of the situation was escalated at least threefold, since, as a senior, the exams that awaited him would likely be his last.

Unless he failed them, that is.

Another listless sigh escaped his lips, and he propped an elbow up on the desk, leaning his cheek into his palm as he wondered how he could possibly pull his grades up from the miserable state they were currently in. Academics had never been his forte, but at least he'd managed to get as far as he did even if he did just barely pass chemistry the year before, and only because Shinra had helped him earn extra credit with a less-than-safe-but-somehow-still-valid 'experiment'.

"Therefore, the dominant term being this exponential, as x approaches positive infinity, so does the limit of the equation..." The teacher droned on for what seemed like an eternity, and his dull, methodical tone was slowly fading into the background with the cicadas.

Shizuo had fallen asleep at some unknown point during the lecture, and awoke to the scraping of chairs and the chattering of his peers. Class was over! He cheered mentally, but his good mood was diminished as he looked down at his notebook. The entirety of his notes for the class that day consisted of a half-written equation and a bunch of badly drawn dinosaurs. Hm. That wasn't good.

"Yo, Shizuo-kun! Guess what?!" Shinra came over to his desk, planting both hands on the surface and smiling widely at the blond. Shizuo leaned back in his chair a little, stretching his arms, one of which had gone numb from his weight.

"Yes. What." Shizuo finally said, after he realized Shinra was staring at him and eagerly waiting for a reply.

"I have... a date!" Shinra cooed dreamily, gently pressing the back of his hand to his forehead in a mock swoon. "It's with"

"That's great." Shizuo replied automatically, not actually listening at all. "Hey, uh, did you take any notes during today's class? ... Or yesterday, for that matter?"

"Yes, I always take notes! Why? Do you need to copy them?" Shinra glanced down at Shizuo's own notebook. "Hey! These dogs are really cute! You should become an artist!"

"Yes, and, uh... thanks." Shizuo frowned. Those were dinosaurs.

"Have you started studying for the final exam, Shizuo-kun? It's kind of unfortunate that we'd have our math exam first, but I guess it can't be helped..." Shinra rambled as he dug through his bag for his notes.

"Actually, I was hoping you could help me with that. Um. I kind of suck at math." Shizuo admitted. It was a little embarrassing, but honestly, why did anyone need to learn pre-calculus if they weren't planning on learning actual calculus? The curriculum was flawed, that was why his grades were awful, yes, that must be it...

"But I have a date!" Shinra exclaimed, his eyes glossing over a bit as his mind drifted off to imagine an overly-romantic scene with his beloved dullahan.

"... What about tomorrow, then?" Shizuo suggested hopefully.

"Oh, sure! Let's talk tomorrow after class, then!" Shinra nodded, and Shizuo offered him a small smile in return. The kid was crazy, but at least he was a good friend.

- THE NEXT DAY AFTER CLASS -

"So, Shinra" Shizuo began, yawning a bit, as he had dozed off yet again. Why did they even bother to teach in the hazy summer afternoons? It was borderline impossible to stay awake.

"Oh, Shizuo-kun, I'm so sorry," Shinra wailed, looking truly apologetic. "Celty was busy and couldn't make it yesterday, so I agreed to postpone the date to this afternoon..."

"... I see." Shizuo said, clearly irritated. His fingers twitched a little, and Shinra gulped audibly.

"B-but I'll help you tomorrow, for sure! Um, why don't you borrow my notes again, and look over them first?" Shinra suggested feebly, pushing his notebook into Shizuo's hands.

Truthfully, Shizuo hadn't even opened the book the previous day, despite having said that he would copy Shinra's notes. The blond sighed, and nodded once, grabbing the book and heading for the classroom door.

- BUT THEN -

"Please don't hurt me but Celty said she had some errands to run and so we didn't"

"God damn it, Kishitani! Celty doesn't even like you! Why would she go on a date with you?!" Shizuo shouted, his voice much too loud for the small classroom that they were in. The entire room suddenly quieted down as the other students stopped their conversations in favour of watching the scene unfolding before them.

"I-I... B-but..." Shinra stammered, looking a bit as if he was about to cry.

"Oh, for fuck's sake," Shizuo groaned. He was exasperated and tired and growing more and more worried about the upcoming exam, which was in only three days. Quickly grabbing his bag, he stormed out of the room, determinedly keeping his gaze fixed on the ground in order to avoid eye contact with the students in the hallway who no doubt had heard him.

The way things tended to happen in Heiwajima Shizuo's life was as such: there would be a problem, and an apparently straightforward solution to that problem... which would ultimately fail and only result in far more difficult problems than the initial one. He desperately wished that just for once, things would work themselves out, without requiring some tremendous amount of effort on his part.

Muttering to himself and still glaring at the floor, Shizuo rounded the corner of the hall, and immediately bumped into another student, who fell over from the force of the collision. Shizuo winced but didn't lose his balance, and extended a hand automatically, mumbling, "Ah, sorry"

"Apology not accepted, Shizu-chan! Watch where you're going, you stupid brute," Izaya huffed indignantly, brushing the dust off his pants as he stood up.

"You...!" Shizuo snarled, narrowing his eyes at the only person who could make his life worse than it already was.

"Yes, me," Izaya smirked, swiftly backstepping as Shizuo swung a fist at him, just barely missing his face. Already, he was dashing down the hallway towards the school's front doors, and only turned his head briefly to whine in a deliberately sweet tone, "Shizu-chan... mou, stop that, I'm not here to play with you today~"

"Neither... am I... Iiiiizaaayaaaaaa-kuuun...!" Shizuo roared, as he ran after him, shoving startled students out of the way in his haste. He had dropped his bag somewhere along the way, so that he could run unhindered as he tailed Izaya out of the building and through the soccer field, not slowing down for even a second.

With all the pent up stress from the upcoming exams, Shizuo was really not in a good mood to begin with, and after literally running into the flea, he was absolutely furious. But perhaps that extra bit of frustration was what he needed, for just as Izaya reached the chainlink fence around the school's perimeter which he surely would have climbed faster Shizuo leapt forward with amazing speed, tackling Izaya and sending them both sprawling to the damp, grassy field.

Triumphantly, he grabbed Izaya's wrists and roughly pinned them to the ground, while keeping his weight on one knee against Izaya's back to prevent him from getting up. It was a surprise, even to himself, that he had managed to catch the bastard, and he chuckled lightly, pleased that his day had not turned out to be so awful after all.

"Guess you lose," Shizuo was panting hard, but was unable to stop a grin from forming.

"Wait, wait let's not be too hasty here," Izaya coughed, sounding out of breath as well, and a bit more nervous than he would have liked to. He wriggled his arms around a bit, which only caused Shizuo to tighten his grip on them. This was definitely not part of his plan, but he supposed it might still work out...

"Who's being hasty?" Shizuo murmured, and leaned in a bit closer. "I think I'd prefer to draw this out as long as possible."

"Well then, I have just the thing for you!" Izaya said merrily, his attitude flipping a full hundred and eighty degrees. "If you would just reach into the back pocket of my pants"

"Nevermind, I decided I'd rather just get this over with and go home." Shizuo deadpanned, squeezing just a little harder.

Izaya winced, fearing that his wrists might break at any moment. "Just hold on! Are you stupid or something?" Another squeeze. "Itatatatai...! Okay, let me explain it to you, since you clearly can't think for yourself, Shizu-chan. You're on school property, and it's the middle of the afternoon. What exactly do you think you're going to do, and get away with?"

"Do you think I care?" Shizuo growled lowly. "You're a fucking pain in the ass; you deserve this more than anyone else in the world."

"... Why do I even bother with you, Shizu-chan?" Izaya suddenly sighed melodramatically, closing his eyes as he continued quietly. "I really was going to help you, you know."

"I don't recall asking for help," Shizuo snapped irritably.

"Ah, but you do need help, don't you? And I'm offering! Now, seriously, if you would just look at the sheet of paper in my pocket"

"God, stop talking already, your voice is annoying." Shizuo interrupted him, shifting his grip to hold both of Izaya's thin wrists with one hand. He huffed, seeing the crisp corner of the paper sticking out of Izaya's pocket. "Fine, I'll look at your stupid note but consider it your dying request."

Pulling the neatly folded sheet out, he shook it open, and squinted at the writing. It was clearly a test or quiz paper, and a closer look revealed that it had not been written in yet. Shizuo blinked several times when he spotted the header at the top of the page.

"... This is the final exam for this year. Senior level math... How the fuck did you get this?" Shizuo demanded, but was unable to mask his surprise.

"Aha, I knew you'd be interested, Shizu-chan~" Izaya practically purred, and Shizuo glared at him. "Now, that's only the first page, but I do have the rest as well!"

"Yeah, right. This is obviously a fake." Shizuo snorted.

"I'm afraid you're wrong, as usual~! The official seal is on it and everything. Surely even you aren't so unobservant as to miss it?" Izaya countered, his tone light yet still carrying a note of derision.

It was the unfortunate truth that Shizuo actually had missed the seal, and only upon closer scrutiny did he notice that there was an inky mark stamped in the corner of the page. For all appearances, the paper Shizuo had in his hand really was the first page of the final exam the very same exam that he would have to write, in three days. He swallowed, his mouth suddenly dry.

"... I'll take that silence to mean you finally believe me?" Izaya asked innocently.

Shizuo was at a loss for what to do. There was a dreadful, looming feeling that if he said anything now, he would be making an unbreakable deal with the devil. Yet, this was such an easy, simple solution. By no means was it a solution he would have even considered in the past, but now that it was presented to him, it was nearly impossible to resist.

"... What's the catch?" Shizuo muttered slowly.

"Oho! So, you aren't as dumb as you look, Shizu-chan~!" Izaya grinned smugly. "First, how about you don't break my bones?"

After a moment of hesitation, Shizuo reluctantly relinquished his hold. What the hell was he doing? This was bad. This was really bad. Almost immediately regretting his decision, he took a step backwards as he got up, wanting to put some distance between him and Izaya, in case the flea had any intention of launching an underhanded attack. Izaya, standing up as well, only rubbed at his wrists gingerly, not looking the least bit interested in starting a fight.

"Now then, straight to business. As big of an advantage as it is to have a copy of the exam beforehand, I'm pretty sure it'll be worthless if you don't know how to do the questions anyway." Izaya drawled slowly, earning a sharp look from the blond. "What? Come on, Shizu-chan, everyone knows you're bad at math. And science, and English, and history... but that's not relevant. Oh, and home economics, too."

"Would you get to the point?" Shizuo spat, gritting his teeth.

"The point is, fortunately for you, I, Orihara Izaya, excel at all of those subjects, and more!" Izaya beamed proudly. "Therefore, I could easily guide you through the exam questions, if you were so inclined to request my tutoring services."

"... You want to teach me math." Shizuo said in disbelief.

"Correct! It nearly brings me to tears, knowing that you do not understand the basic concepts of trigonometry." Izaya continued, making theatric sweeping gestures as he spoke.

Shizuo squeezed his eyes shut, rubbing his temples as he felt a headache set in. It was such a blatant lie that it almost hurt to listen to it. However, it was true that Izaya was decent at math; Shizuo had seen his name amongst the top ten of their grade when their midterm marks were posted. And, as much as Shizuo would have preferred to ask Shinra, or even Kyohei (who was not fantastic at math either, but was surely better than Shizuo), for help, he wasn't entirely certain they would approve of him... well, cheating. That was what it was, plainly, and it would definitely weigh heavily on his conscience if he went through with this.

Plus, how could he even consider relying on Izaya to help him with his studies? It was absurd; there were too many things that could go wrong, and even if nothing went wrong, it was still Izaya that he would have to spend time with. The only consolation was the possibility that maybe, just maybe, once they were finished and Izaya was packing his books or something, Shizuo could sneak up behind him and bash him over the head a couple times. Perhaps even enough times that he would stop moving...

"... When do we start?"

- AND SO -

It was a strange sight indeed, to see Heiwajima Shizuo and Orihara Izaya walking home from school together. Shizuo could practically feel the shocked stares from the students behind him, and at the next intersection, he whirled around to glare at them murderously. The pair of sophomores jumped at having been caught spying on them, and immediately decided to cross the street while he and Izaya waited for the light to change colour.

"Ahh, it's so nice not to have to worry about being killed by Shizu-chan!" Izaya sang happily, latching on to Shizuo's arm as if they were good friends, much to Shizuo's horror.

"I'd still be worried, if I were you, flea." Shizuo muttered, attempting to pull his arm away without much success. Earlier on, Shizuo had nearly punched him in the gut for some equally vexing behaviour, but Izaya had threatened to destroy the remaining pages of the illegitimately acquired exam, and so, with much difficulty, Shizuo was forced to rein in his anger.

"Ne, ne, can we get ice cream on the way? It's so hot today! Please, Shizu-chan~?" Izaya asked childishly, and Shizuo wanted to curl up into a ball and die. Was this what Izaya wanted? To humiliate him, and utterly destroy his dignity as a human being? Because if so, it was certainly working.

"Whatever..." Shizuo mumbled, allowing himself to be pulled in the direction of a nearby convenience store.

Izaya then spent nearly upwards of twenty minutes browsing the selection of snacks, finally settling on a simple fruit-flavoured ice cream bar. Shizuo, having no appetite (and in fact feeling a little nauseated by merely being around the flea), bought nothing for himself, and stared straight at the cashier as he paid for the ice cream, as if daring him to comment. The cashier smiled nervously and gave him his change.

As they continued walking, Izaya nibbled at his ice cream, and Shizuo thought hard about his life choices. What if he was caught? How did Izaya even obtain the exam to begin with? Did he steal it? Did any of the teachers know the exam was missing? And, most importantly, when would Shizuo get a chance to kill the annoying prick?

He was startled out of his thoughts when a warm hand slipped into his own, smoothly interlocking their fingers.

"... What are you doing." Shizuo asked flatly.

"Shizu-chan just looked so lonely! I thought he might want me to hold his hand~" Izaya replied in a sugary tone, smirking as Shizuo bristled visibly.

"I'm not lonely, I'm pissed, and you're pissing me off." Shizuo growled, standing still. "Let go or I'll kill you."

"What's that? You want to try some of my ice cream? Hmm, well, I suppose if Shizu-chan really wants to, then I don't mind sharing~" Izaya lifted the ice cream bar to Shizuo's lips, pressing the freezing tip against them forcefully. Shizuo spluttered, grabbing the dessert with his free hand and tossing it onto the pavement. Izaya gasped. "Ah! My ice cream!"

"I'm fucking warning you," Shizuo hissed, backing Izaya into the concrete wall surrounding the building behind him. He brought Izaya's hand up above his head, slamming it against the wall as he stared hatefully down at the other man. Izaya stared back, defiantly at first, but after a moment his gaze drifted away, sliding from one direction to another, as if he was bored and looking for something else to do.

"Look, aren't we at your apartment?" Izaya suddenly said, glancing around for the number on the building. Shizuo blinked, briefly looking upwards. Indeed they were.

"Why do you know where I live"

"... 'Nii-san, what are you doing?" Kasuka asked blandly, walking towards them from across the street. Shizuo glared sharply at Izaya, who looked far too self-satisfied about his own clever deduction, then turned his head to face his brother. He cleared his throat awkwardly.

"Ah. Hi, Kasuka. I thought you had drama club meetings on Fridays?" Shizuo dropped Izaya's hand, and fortunately, Izaya let go as well.

"Cancelled." Came the straightforward reply.

"I see. Um, well, this is"

"I'm Shizuo's best friend! You must be his little brother, how nice to meet you in person!" Izaya smiled, bowing ever so slightly. Kasuka nodded. "I'm just here to help Shizu-chan with his homework. Why don't we all go inside now?"

"... Okay." Kasuka went ahead, unlocking the door for them, while Shizuo silently brooded and Izaya whistled a cheerful melody.

- INSIDE THE HEIWAJIMA RESIDENCE -

"Don't touch my stuff." Shizuo snapped as he flung his schoolbag onto the floor of his bedroom, his uniform blazer and tie following shortly afterwards.

Izaya pouted, leaning against the doorframe as he examined Shizuo's room. It was surprisingly tidy, if only because there was hardly anything in it. A bed, a desk, a chair, a laptop, a bookshelf (with hardly any books), and a small closet off in the corner. It was really as basic as you could get.

"Shizu-chan, your room is boring." Izaya yawned, sitting down on the bed while Shizuo looked through his bag for his notebook and pencil.

He glanced up, frowning when he saw Izaya sitting on his bed. His bed. "Don't sit on my bed."

"Okay," Izaya answered, flopping onto his back and stretching his arms out.

"Don't lie on my bed either. Fuck, just come over here, I'll get another chair." Shizuo grumbled, tossing the notebook onto the desk and stomping out of the room. Izaya was still lying there when he returned with the promised chair, and Shizuo gripped it tightly, resisting the urge to throw it at him. "Move. Now."

"I think this is the first time I've ever seen Shizu-chan so eager to study anything," Izaya mused aloud, shifting so that he was lying down on the bed lengthwise, and not with his legs dangling off the side. "And people say I'm a bad influence..."

Two seconds later, the chair was sent flying across the small room; it splintered into several pieces as it hit the wall behind Izaya, leaving a large scratch in the paint as well. Izaya had jumped up and off the bed in the nick of time, and clicked his tongue disapprovingly.

"Temper, temper, Shizu-chan~" Izaya waggled a finger at him, and Shizuo curled his hands into fists, his fingernails digging red crescents into his palms.

In that painfully tense moment, the door creaked open. "'Nii-san, don't throw things. It makes the landlady mad." Kasuka chided him monotonously.

"A-ah. My bad." Shizuo stiffened, and ducked his head sheepishly. With a soft click, the door was shut again.

"How sweet. You must really care for your brother, hm?" Izaya cooed, clasping his hands together in false delight.

Shizuo said nothing, gathering the pieces of broken plastic off the bed and kicking the remnants of the chair into a corner. He then more or less shoved Izaya into the remaining chair, before sitting down on the edge of the bed himself.

"You have no idea how much I hate you." Shizuo whispered, looking drained, though still meeting Izaya's eyes with a steely gaze. "So either do what you said you would, or leave."

"I am a man of my word, Shizu-chan," Izaya grinned toothily, and his voice was so even that it was a bit unsettling. "And as entertaining as this is, I can't have you tarnishing my sterling reputation, so show me your notes, and we can start."

Shizuo stared at him for a long moment, not having expected the flea to cooperate so easily.

"Well?" Izaya said impatiently.

"Oh. Uh..." Shizuo glanced at his notebook, knowing that the pages contained nothing of any academic value. "... I don't take notes."

"Well, no wonder you're failing." Izaya rolled his eyes.

"Look, just run me through some of the questions on the exam. I don't need to do all of them, just enough to pass." Shizuo grumbled.

"Fine, fine. Maybe you'll win the award for underachiever of the year, and get some kind of pity scholarship." Izaya reached for his own schoolbag, taking out a crisp manilla folder stamped with the Raijin Academy insignia. Held by a single paperclip within were the remaining pages of the final exam. Izaya plucked the first page out, glancing over the questions. "Do you know how to solve linear systems of equations?"

"Maybe?" Shizuo peeked at the paper. "... Nevermind."

Izaya sighed. It was going to be a long night.

- AND IT WAS INDEED A LONG NIGHT -

They were hardly through a quarter of the questions when Shizuo suddenly sighed in frustration, rubbing his face tiredly. "I'm done. I can't do this anymore." He peered groggily at his phone. "It's nearly 2am."

"Suit yourself, Shizu-chan~! But, if you want to pass the exam, you'll have to know how to do at least twice the number of problems, possibly more, since you'll probably mess some of them up anyway." Izaya paused, before winking obnoxiously. "Which means, I will be back tomorrow~!"

"Fuck." Why did life have to be so hard? Why did math have to be so hard?

"And by the way, since I am doing such a generous favour for you, I expect you to do the same for me," Izaya said offhandedly, as he packed his things.

"What do you want." Shizuo groaned, too tired to argue at this point. Izaya was suddenly leaning over him, and a lot closer than he had been a moment ago, causing Shizuo to jump a little at having his personal space somewhat invaded.

"Shizu-chan... the truth is..." Izaya murmured, sliding one knee between Shizuo's legs and the other onto the edge of the bed. He gently circled his arms around Shizuo's neck, remaining still just long enough for Shizuo to begin to realize what was happening before he simply said, "I need you to deliver something for me."

"What the fuck," Shizuo pushed Izaya away, and the informant giggled madly. "No, really, what the fuck. What is wrong with you?!"

"Nothing, my dearest Shizu-chan, nothing at all~!" Izaya grinned gleefully. "Anyway, it's not really a big deal, just that I'm supposed to give some documents to a client, but I actually have an exam the day after, so I don't have time to be running around making deliveries! Priorities, you know?"

"Don't change the subject!" Shizuo growled, but was immediately suspicious of Izaya's motives. "And, I don't want to get involved in whatever illegal bullshit you're caught up in. For all I know, it's some kind of stupid trap."

"You wound me, Shizu-chan...! Do you not trust me at all? Well, I suppose we can just go to plan B then," Izaya shrugged, smirking as he sidled up to Shizuo once again. Shizuo watched him warily, not knowing and not wanting to find out what plan B was. Izaya's smirk only widened. "Oh, Shizu-chan... You don't know how vulnerable you look right now."

"Wha"

Izaya, deliberately waiting until Shizuo spoke so that he could cut him off, pressed his lips softly to Shizuo's, his eyes fluttering shut only after taking in the appalled confusion in those coffee-coloured irises. With an unexpected gentleness, he swiped his tongue playfully across Shizuo's bottom lip, before languidly pulling back, a little farther than was necessary. He was fully prepared to dodge anything that Shizuo might have thrown at him afterwards, but Shizuo merely sat there, stunned.

"Shizu-chan," Izaya breathed, carefully brushing a stray strand of bleached-blond hair away.

"... You need to leave. Now." Shizuo managed to choke out, and without waiting for a reply, he hoisted Izaya up and onto his shoulder, and headed for the door.

"O-oi! Put me down, I was only messing with you...!" Izaya huffed, batting at Shizuo's back with a fist in protest. Shizuo ignored this, and carried him all the way down to the lobby of the apartment, dumping him onto the carpeted floor there.

"Don't come back." Shizuo said frostily, and left without another word.

- BUT HE CAME BACK -

"Shizu-chan! Shiiii-zuuuu-chaaaaaaan," Izaya's voice was slightly fuzzy through the intercom. "I want my stuff back!"

"'Nii-san said to tell you, you weren't supposed to come back." Kasuka replied, sounding unmoved by the whole situation. "Did you do something to 'nii-san?"

"Oh, we just had a bit of a disagreement is all~" Izaya replied, sounding perfectly innocent.

"... 'Nii-san said you're a liar and a bad person." Kasuka said.

"No, not at all! I'm just misunderstood," Izaya sighed sadly.

"Well, I don't really believe you." Kasuka said. "But, I'll bring your stuff down for you."

"Oh, why, thank you, Kasuka-kun~!" Izaya grinned. "It's just my schoolbag it's the same one Shizu-chan has, but mine is a little scruffier."

A brief pause. "I found it." The intercom cut out after that, and Izaya hummed quietly as he waited for the younger Heiwajima to arrive downstairs.

Kasuka handed the bag to Izaya without any comment, and was about to leave, when Izaya said with a warm smile, "By the way, tell Shizu-chan I'm sorry, okay? It was my fault. In fact, it's pretty much always my fault."

Kasuka merely nodded.

- HOWEVER -

"Kasuka, that was my bag." Shizuo was standing in the doorway when Kasuka came upstairs.

"Oh." said Kasuka. "I'll go get it back."

"No, it's okay, I can get it myself..." Shizuo trailed off, seemingly distracted. The truth was, he had relocated the exam papers from Izaya's schoolbag to his own, wanting to keep them out of Kasuka's sight, but obviously not wanting to hide them in the flea's stupidly pristine bag. Now, by some unwarranted twist of fate, they were gone, and he would probably never see them again. He was doomed.

Kasuka watched him for a few seconds before heading inside. "He said he was sorry."

"What?" Shizuo shook his head, snapping out of his reverie.

"Your friend." Kasuka explained.

"No, I know, but oh, nevermind." Shizuo sighed in frustration, running a hand through his hair. "God damn it. I'm going to go find him, he can't have gone too far."

Kasuka merely nodded.

- LATER THAT EVENING -

Exhausted and becoming increasingly annoyed, Shizuo walked aimlessly through the streets. He had been all over Ikebukuro, but there was still no sign of the flea. The sun had just set, and the fading light in the sky gave way to a cloudless, starless cobalt blue. He was about ready to give up, when by pure luck (or so he thought), he finally spotted Izaya, just sitting in the park by himself. It was odd, but then again, everything about the flea had become... odd.

"Oi." Shizuo greeted, as he walked towards the bench Izaya was perched on. He suddenly felt apprehensive, his steps slowing until he came to a stop, still several feet away from Izaya.

"Ah, Shizu-chan! I've been expecting you!" Izaya's eyes lit up, and he hopped off the bench.

"My brother gave you the wrong bag. Here's yours," Shizuo held up the bag in his hand, looking anywhere but at Izaya. As a result, Izaya closed the distance pretty quickly, and without warning, gave him a soft peck on the cheek. Shizuo jumped backwards, lifting a hand to his face reflexively, though his expression made it look as though he were just slapped, rather than kissed.

"Thanks, Shizu-chan! You shouldn't have~" Izaya grinned lopsidedly as he took the schoolbag from Shizuo, whose hand had gone a bit slack.

Shizuo opened his mouth to say something, but no words came to mind. Instead, his gaze fell to the paved ground, and as the lights in the park flickered to life, Shizuo felt a warmth spreading across his cheeks. He splayed his fingers across his flushed skin in a poor attempt to hide his embarrassment, blushing even more as he realized how futile the action was.

"Uwaaaaa! Too cute~!" Izaya squealed, wrapping his arms around Shizuo in a tight embrace. Taken aback, but not altogether repulsed, Shizuo stood very still for a moment, before patting Izaya awkwardly on the head.

"But, Shizu-chan, I really meant it, when I said you shouldn't have."

Shizuo blinked twice, looking down at Izaya in confusion. Izaya took a small step back, and that was when Shizuo realized that his own bag was still missing. With a smirk on his face and a glimmer of something undecipherable in his dark crimson eyes, Izaya turned and promptly sprinted down the park path, reaching the end of the block in no time at all, and disappearing around the corner after that.

The faint sound of sirens could be heard in the distance.

- INEVITABLY -

After a long night at the police station explaining just exactly who he fucking was and why he was the wrong fucking guy to what seemed like every god damn officer in the building, Shizuo made it back to his apartment, and immediately collapsed on the sofa, falling into a deep sleep within minutes.

He dreamt of sweet vengeance: of never having taken Izaya up on his offer at all, of pushing him into incoming traffic as they walked back, of chairs that didn't miss and certain other things that didn't happen. And at the end of it all, he found himself standing there in the park, wondering what he was doing, and why the sun was setting so quickly. There was no logical reason for it, but he strongly felt as though he has been betrayed by that darkening vermillion sky, and that the dusk should never have arrived, even though he knew it was simply the natural progression of things.

He awoke to the scent of fried eggs, and found a thin blanket tucked around him. Disoriented and still half-asleep, Shizuo closed his eyes for a moment, and the image of the fiery sun falling treacherously below the horizon burned brightly in his mind, fading only as he recalled the events of the previous night. He had never meant to place his trust in Izaya, and yet... Shizuo knitted his eyebrows together, pushing those thoughts away and suddenly noticing all the small physical discomforts that brought him back to reality. He hadn't even taken his shoes off the night before, and kicked them off before rubbing his eyes blearily and stumbling towards the kitchen.

"... Kasuka?" Shizuo yawned lazily, and indeed, it was his brother preparing breakfast.

"Your friend left you something." Kasuka pointed a spatula towards the table, where a manilla folder lay flat on the surface.

"He's not my friend, and I don't want to see it." Shizuo grumbled bitterly, preparing to tear the folder and anything inside it into shreds.

"He said you'd probably say something like that, and then wished you good luck." Kasuka replied, flipping the omelet over skillfully before transferring it to a plate.

Shizuo let his head fall to the table, and he lay there motionless for a few seconds, feeling frustrated and more or less backed into a corner of his own creation. The exam was in less than a day, and Shizuo knew that he was not even close to being prepared. Life was not fair. He was harassed by the police when he could have (but probably would not have) spent the evening studying! He finally decided to shake the papers out of the folder, and as he had suspected, they were the remaining pages of the exam. There was, however, something noticeably different about them. In his spidery handwriting, Izaya had answered each and every one of the questions, showing all of his work and adding helpful comments here and there. Shizuo frowned deeply. Why? Why would he do this? Was this an apology, or was it done out of pity? Or perhaps, it was to mock him?

Skimming through the rest of the pages, he noticed that on the back of the last one, Izaya had penned in a bonus question:

For 100 points, what is Heiwajima Shizuo's greatest weakness?
a) Math
b) Ice cream
c) Kisses
d) Kisses from yours truly

Shizuo promptly tore the paper in half.

But, after a hearty breakfast and a long, hot shower, he quietly retreated into his bedroom to memorize the rest of the exam. Academic regulations and strange tingly feelings be damned; if he had sold his soul to the devil, he would at least get what he paid for.

- END -