Loud, obnoxious laughter split the air then a loud boom followed. Orihara Izaya dodged to the side as a trashcan was thrown at him. With a grin plastered to his face, he threw a knife at his bartender-dressed assailant.

Heiwajima Shizuo caught the blade with his hand, then crushed it.

Izaya looked at him with a look of distaste at how easy the blond broke his knife. Then he grinned.

"Neh, Shizu-chan, is this all you ever want to do when we meet?" Izaya asked. "Just fight?"

"Yep." Shizuo gripped a stop sign and crushed the base with his fingers before tearing it out of the ground.

Screaming out his name in rage, Shizuo threw the sign at Izaya. Izaya's grin stayed on his face as he dodged. Then the raven turned, laughing maniacally, and ran.

"Get back here!" Shizuo gave chase.

The people of Ikebukuro cleared the way as the two strongest men fought.

Izaya began to huff as his lungs constricted for air, his legs slightly straining. Shizuo grinned maliciously when he saw the flea was slowing down. He reached forward to grab him.

The raven suddenly pulled forward out of the bartender's reach.

Izaya ran into a street, cars zooming by left and right. Shizuo's eyes widened.

Izaya stopped to let a car pass then continued, spinning out of the way of another car.

Making it across, Izaya landed lightly on a guardrail then hopped down on the sidewalk.

Izaya turned and looked at Shizuo with a smug smile, who stood on the other side of the busy traffic wide-eyed.

Izaya chuckled then turned and ran down an alleyway. Half way down the alleyway, he stopped to walk then laughed happily. He tucked his hands in his pocket and started to skip down the alleyway till he made it back to the sidewalk.

Once there, he walked with the rest of the crowd.

Back on the other side of traffic, Shizuo grit his teeth as he waited for the crosswalk to flash. When it finally did, he ran across. He spotted the raven's signature black, fur trimmed coat in a crowd of people up ahead almost instantly.

"IZAYA!" Shizuo yelled.

Izaya stopped and turned. He looked at Shizuo with a smile.

"You damn—" Shizuo started then he exclaimed when he saw a shadow come up from behind the raven.

Izaya looked at the blond in confusion when he saw the angry expression turn into one of shock. Then his eyes went wide as a two-by-four piece of wood slammed into the back of his head. Passerby's screamed as they looked at the assailant while Izaya fell to the ground, the wood splitting in two on impact.

A man with a blue hoodie and blood-shot, baggy eyes stared down at Izaya with a crazed expression, breathing heavily. The man stood over the raven then raised the broken wood like a sword, preparing to stab Izaya with the splintered ends.

Shizuo reacted before thinking. He grabbed the closest thing—a street sign—and threw it. The sign hit the man straight in the face, making the man fall backwards. He fell on his rump, rubbing his nose, then saw the strongest man in Ikebukuro heading towards him. He screamed, turned and ran. Shizuo was tempted to chase after the assailant but as soon as he saw Izaya, all those notions vanished. He stooped by Izaya and shook him.

"Hey, Izaya." Shizuo snarled. "Izaya!"

He didn't stir.

Shizuo snarled then turned the raven over. One of the by standers was already calling the police.

Izaya was unconscious. Blood was dripping from the back off his scalp onto the concrete, where a small puddle was already forming.

An ambulance and a few police cars came down the street in the next five minutes. The police talked to the bystanders that hadn't left while paramedics were working Izaya onto a stretcher and a respiratory mask.

Once of the paramedic's turned to Shizuo. "Are you a friend of this man?"

"Ah, yes." Shizuo answered before thinking.

Shizuo's eyes widened. 'Yes? Friend? I hate Izaya! Why…?'

Izaya was being strolled into the ambulance.

"Are you riding with him?" the paramedic asked.

"Ah, oh yes."

'Yes? Again I…why?'

Shizuo followed the paramedic's into the ambulance. They shut the door and sped off. Shizuo sat in the ambulance, his hands fiddling while the paramedics connected Izaya to a heart monitor and IV drip. The heart monitor beeped slowly but there was a pulse.

Once they made it to the emergency room, Izaya was wheeled out into the building. Shizuo attempted to follow but a nurse stopped him. When he attempted to push by, another nurse came and told him the doctors didn't need a distraction. Finally, they got him to sit in the waiting room.

Hours passed. Shizuo didn't move the whole time, thinking over the event of the day. 'Why didn't I let that bastard kill Izaya? He deserved it, I'm sure. That man looked like he was at his breaking point and Izaya is most-definitely the cause of it. And yet I…'

During the time span of the day—the day turning to night—he called Tom and told him he was in the hospital (that someone he knew had gotten hurt is what he stated). Tom understood and told him not to worry.

Finally, a nurse came in, followed by a doctor.

"Are you Shizuo?" the doctor asked.

"Yes, I am." Shizuo stood. "Is he…?"

"He's stable now, but still unconscious."

Shizuo's shoulders relaxed in relief.

"We got the police report a moment ago. We know the cause of his injuries. And it's become pretty late. Why don't you go home and come back tomorrow? He'll most-likely be conscious by then."

Shizuo wasn't certain about leaving. He doubted leaving Izaya alone.

But then he realized this wasn't what he should by thinking.

'It's the flea! Why should I care?'

"Alright." Shizuo agreed, then turned and went to the door.

The ebony-haired man woke to the sun on his face. He opened his eyes and glared at the brightness then turned his head and looked around. He recognized the room he was in as a hospital room. Of course, the beeping heart monitor and the dripping IV drip by his sides was a dead giveaway.

'Why am I…?'

The raven sat up and looked over his body for a wound, raising his arms and lifting the blanket to look at his legs and arms. When he didn't find one on his torso and appendages he touched his cheeks, thinking maybe he was beaten up. But his cheeks were smooth and he could see out of both eyes and he could hear out of both ears. Then he reached up and touched his forehead. He felt the bandages.

'So I hit my head?'

The raven rubbed the bandage for a moment then stretched his back—he would have stretched his arms over his head if not for the needles in the back of his hands and in his antecubical.

A water and tray of food sat on a movable table that was attached to his bed. He moved the table to him, realizing how hungry he was, and took a drink of water. Then he began to eat.

Half-way through his lunch, a doctor and nurse entered.

"Hello, sir." The doctor said, smiling. "How are you?"

"Oh, hevo. I'v goof." The raven said around a roll he held in his mouth.

The nurse giggled at his childlike manor.

He swallowed then took another drink of water to help it along.

The doctor sat down in a chair by the raven with a smile.

"So, sir, how do you feel?"

"Pretty good, all things considering." He touched the bandage around his head.

The man chuckled. "Do you remember how you got it?"

The raven opened his eyes. "Oh, yeah, I was…I…I…hit my head."

"…Sir, how old are you?"

"I'm…I…" The raven's smile began to falter and he looked down at the blankets. "…I don't know…"

"…What's your birthday?"


The doctor was silent. Then he leaned forward. "What do you remember?"

"I…I remember…" the raven closed his eyes. "…A voice…But I can't hear what he's saying…"

"You know it's a he?"

"…Yeah. It's a he…and he sounds…angry…"

Shizuo didn't return to the hospital. He had gone to the hospital telling himself he should see the flea, but only made it onto the curb before remembering that Izaya was his enemy. But even when he told himself that, he ended up staring up at the window where he could see the flea sitting in bed on the second floor.

Shizuo was relieved that Izaya never noticed.

The raven sighed as he stared out the window, leaning back on his bed so all he could see was the tops of the buildings and the sky.

'My name is…my name is…'

"My name is…"

The raven's teeth clenched.