"That's nice of you," she said, almost dismissively as she tapped her fingers on her keyboard waiting impatiently for the reports to load.
"I didn't do it to be _nice_, I did it because it was needed."
"But it was still a favor to them, wasn't it?"(more)
"In a circuitous way, maybe? But I still don't see why it wasn't needed."
She looked up from her laptop. "Look," she said, "they've got their heads so far up their asses on what _we_ do they don't need you making their jobs any easier."
"But nothing. We're busting our asses for them and then you go around, behind our backs, and help _them_ out? No man, that's nice of you, sure, but you're just trying to kiss ass to keep climbing that ladder."
He shook his head, "Whatever, dude. It'll help us out in the long run with your support or no. It'll get done regardless.
She rolled her eyes and went back to her reports. He turned on his heel and walked away.
Her only regret was the open office. This would never get let go.(less)
"What are we?" Steve murmurs, one morning after waking up in between Nancy and Jonathan yet again.
Nancy is already wide awake, the early bird of the trio. She's scratching Steve's back with one hand, and when he turns his head to look at her he sees her(more) reading a book with her other. Her brows are furrowed in concentration, but as soon as she realizes Steve is waiting for an answer she gives one. "What do you mean?"
"I mean," Steve tries, rolling over to lay on his back and motion towards Jonathan's sleeping form next to him. "You two are an item. And I'm just here."
"You're looking comfortable," Nancy says, fingers drumming against his bare chest. "I like it."
Steve frowns and turns away from her to stare at Jonathan. Maybe it's the eye contact, or Steve's legs brushing against his, but Jonathan stirs after a few minutes with a loud groan. He turns his head to make eye contact with Steve first, then Nancy, and then sighs.
"Are you guys talking about something serious?"
"Maybe," Steve says. "Why?"
"I can see it on your face, you know." Jonathan's voice, slow and raspy, is tinged with concern. He reaches out, thumb stroking against Steve's forehead. "You look nervous."
Perceptive as ever, even in the mornings.
"What are we?" Steve asks him. "Nancy won't give me a straight answer."
"There's nothing straight about this, Stevie," Jonathan says, hand moving to Steve's hair. Stevie. The nickname is a little endearing, not that Steve would ever let him know. "I'm serious," Steve insists. "Please. I want to know."
"We're whatever you want," Jonathan says. "Isn't it obvious?"
Steve isn't sure about anything. But as Nancy puts her book away and wraps an arm around him, he's surprisingly okay with that.(less)
Why murder? This question will have as many answers as there are people murdered and those doing the murdering. In a sense, the question of why is beside the point. What’s important is that one has decided, for r(more)easons sufficiently compelling, to take the life of another.
Pick your target. Anyone will do. Circumstances will usually dictate the choice of victim. Better to not pick a child, though, as its killing will elicit universal outrage, and if you’re caught and sentenced for it, your time in lockup will be that much worse. Child killers do not fare well in prison.
Pick your method. Guns are traceable. Knives are bloody and too, too intimate. Poison is good, but requires an often elaborate amount of planning. Pushing someone off a height is perhaps the cleanest method, but hardest to set up. Do not research things on the internet, as this can be traced back to you. Play out different scenarios in your head until you arrive at a satisfactory plan. Consider the steps carefully, then try to imagine the different ways law enforcement will approach the crime based on the method you have employed.
Prepare, prepare, prepare! Do your homework. Study the habits of the victim. Know their comings and goings. When will they be alone? When do they go to sleep? How far do they drive to work? Commit all details to memory. Know the victim as well as they know themselves.
Keep your pants on! Cultivate a mental sense of cool to serve as an emotional bulwark behind which you can hide your feelings. Betray no thoughts that might give you away. After all, you re no killer! If you believe this fervently, and prepare throughly, you will not get(less)
People will do a lot of things for a promise alone. Or at least for the faint shimmer of hope a promise offers. The fall-through never seems as real as the prospect of success. Funny, that. Perhaps it has to do with the kinds of stories we tell.
(more) There was no peace. Peace is what was promised us. But we did not misunderstand the terms. We were lied to.
People forget that gods have the power to lie. We somehow feel as if they owe us something in their omnipotence. But they don't need to be loved, just believed in. Their power needs to feel manifest. And even when we never see it, we will believe a liar, again and again.
A wise and now deceased elder once said we get the gods we deserve. It's hard to argue.
We bring the tattered remains of our bargain back to those who gave it. The gods we find there are strange and diminished. There are people there as well. It is hard to discern which is which.
People forget that people have the power to lie, too. To justify the actions of others and the inaction we sometimes find in ourselves. Accusations are made. Stories run counter. Meanwhile the gift of our bargain languors.
If our gods are liars, it is what we deserve. If our gods are honest, then we have done this to ourselves. Either way, our proffered gift lays dying, and any mercy we are shown is too much.(less)
He doesn't know why. He doesn't really like being known-and honestly doesn't like most people knowing his name.
(more) But something about the way Nancy says it makes him feel warm. Something about the way she croons his name while stroking his hair, calming him down after he's had a nightmare, makes him feel warm and safe and important. A name is important, but his is important only to Nancy. He doesn't care about anyone else.
So it's interesting the first time he feels his attention bloom wide open when sitting with Steve and Nancy, watching some old-time horror show, and Steve, half asleep, just says his name.
His voice is low, soft. Nancy's already fallen asleep. It's been an interesting road, forgiving him and feeling comfortable enough with him to let him stay the night at Jonathan's with Nancy.
"Yeah?" he asks, ignoring the funny way his chest feels.
"What time's it?"
He glances at the wall. "Just past 1."
Steve, sitting on Jonathan's opposite side, sighs and leans his head against Jonathan's shoulder. His hair tickles Jonathan on the cheek, but he doesn't comment on it. "We sleep here?" Steve asks, voice still sleepy and low.
Jonathan wants him to say his name again. He bites his lip and doesn't respond.
"Yeah," he says. "We can, I guess. My mom won't care." He feels guilty. Jonathan always feels guilty, but for this especially. He reaches down, pulling up the blanket set under the table, and gently tosses it over Steve's form and his own. Nancy has her own blanket. "Thanks for lettin' me come," Steve says, and when Jonathan turns his head he sees his eyes are already closed.
"No problem, Steve."
The boy's mouth quirks upward in a smile. (less)
Before Atsushi even managed to open his mouth to warn him, the pink bubble burst in Akutagawa's face. It released a fine powder into the air and Akutagawa kitten-sneezed, which was weirdly adorable coming from him, before resuming his usual deadpan expression.
(more) Kunikida had given this mission to Dazai, who had handed it off to Atsushi without even looking at it and Atsushi, ever diligent, headed off to the docks to investigate the sudden influx of reports of 'impropriety.' Whatever that was supposed to indicate.
He hadn't expected to run into Akutagawa - though he wasn't entirely surprised, it felt almost a little like he was being stalked, at this point. But he WAS surprised that Akutagawa seemed to blindly walk right into the ability user's trap.
That wasn't like him, at all.
"Maybe he's immune to the ability?" Tanizaki suggested, his voice slightly tinny and far-off, after Akutagawa didn't move for a few moments.
"Akutagawa?" Atsushi called, a little more worried. Akutagawa's head snapped around and fixated on Atsushi, and even from this distance he could clearly tell that Akutagawa's eyes were dilated.
"Oh crap," Atsushi said, as Akutagawa pounced him.
"Nope," Dazai said cheerfully, leaning forward slightly so he could better watch the chaos unfold on his monitor. "Akutagawa is definitely not immune."
"My pants-!" Atsushi screeched over the intercom, and Dazai very kindly switched off the video feed.
Tanizaki said, "uh... shouldn't we send someone to help Atsushi?"
"Nah," Dazai said. "Atsush-kun is more than capable of handling Akutagawa himself." He was still smirking at Tanizaki when a very loud, very obviously and very obscene moan came through Dazai's earpiece, and Tanizaki turned a fetching shade of pink. Dazai tapped his earpiece once.
"I told you Atsushi-kun could handle him." Dazai repeated with a self-satisfied smirk.(less)
"You really shouldn't smoke in bed," Dazai's voice was muffled by the pillow still, and Chuuya wasn't entirely certain how he could smell the smoke considering he was clearly attempting to suffocate himself instead of waking up like a normal human being.
(more) "My bed, my rules," Chuuya said, cigarette between his fingers. Dazai rolled his head finally, watching Chuuya with disconcerting intensity for someone just roused from a post-orgasm coma. Wordlessly he held out the lit cigarette and Dazai sat up, taking it without complaint.
"You know these things will kill you," Dazai said casually, as Chuuya lit a second cigarette for himself.
"If I live long enough for cigarettes to fuckin' kill me I'll consider it a win." Chuuya leaned back against the headboard and exhaled smoke into the dim room, considering the cigarette between his fingers. "What are we even fucking doing?"
"Having fantastic sex and abysmal pillow talk." Dazai scratched his chest idly, the bandages hanging loose now, after Chuuya had pulled so desperately at them. "You know most cases of spontaneous human combustion are really just instances of smokers falling asleep with a lit cigarette in hand?"
Chuuya rolled his eyes. "That wouldn't even count as suicide, and I thought you were gung-ho on committing double suicide with a beautiful woman?"
"Mm, modifications are always taken into consideration," Dazai said idly. "Lover's suicide is equally as romantic."
Chuuya paused, before taking another drag to mask his reaction. "You've got a slug for a brain if you even think for one second I'd be willing to die with you."
Dazai reached over and stubbed the cigarette out in the ash tray on the bedside table. "Ah," he said, eyebrow arched. "But what about a little death?"
"Ah," Chuuya said as Dazai straddled him. "That's all right, then."
I have a dog, Franco. He’s a mutt, but definitely has some Rottweiler in him. He’s meaty, and his coat is black and tan . The rest of him is shepherd, or pit, I’m not sure, but at 90 pounds, you can bet none of his ancestors are Pomeranian. About Franco, he’s missin(more)g his top right canine, born “minus one” the old guy told me as he lifted the puppy out of the crate, musing “This one’s smile’s a little cockeyed.” That’s why I picked him, of course.
As if to make up for it, his other three fangs are huge, half again as long as they should be. Good thing we’re buds. Or have been for the three years I’ve had him. Until this morning.
Around 8 AM, I had an... odd... encounter with him in the kitchen. He was at his bowl eating in his normal way. I stepped past him to grab my coffee off the counter. He stopped and looked up at me, straight in eye, and growled. He never growls, ever, which was super weird. I chalked it up to his inner wolf surfacing maybe because I’d gotten too close to his food or something. “Alright, buddy,” I said, “keep your pants on.” I adjourned to my office and started work at my computer, promptly forgetting about it. But close to lunchtime, it became apparent something was wrong.
Franco was padding up and down the hall as usual, a behavior I always found neurotic. All at once, I turned from the computer to find him standing in the doorway, staring through me, an empty look in his eyes, lips curled over teeth. My stomach plunged. “You okay boy?” His expression didn’t change. He didn’t recognize me. I was an intruder.(less)
James returned from a provisioning trip with a collar and lead and a small, shallow plastic pool. "He's going to murder you when he finds out you put a leash on him," Shiro said, holding the squirming, bite-y black ball of fur as well he could as James attached(more) the lead.
"He'll deal. I don't want to chase down a wolf pup in these woods."
Lance was marginally easier to deal with, although the seal twisted and flopped about in Shiro's iron grip before he was safely deposited in the slightly-larger but shallow plastic pool. Shiro squatted by the pool as the hose slowly filled it, watching the seal roll around in the water and wondering what the fuck sort of madness they'd stumbled into this time.
"No stupid questions, right," James said as he sat down on the edge of the porch. Keith's lead didn't go quite as far as where he sat so he had to get up and move closer, because Keith had begun to whine at a pitch that would put everyone's teeth on edge.
"So, that's a bag of pirate gold in the bathroom, right?"
Shiro blinked and finally looked over at James, then remembered that he'd shoved the sack under the sink after they'd washed the bullion in the tub. "You don't think that has anything to do with this," he said. "Keith wasn't even here."
"Nah, I just was wondering if it was real or not."
Shiro laughed, and tilted his head forward. Lance rolled around in the water, scooting himself across the small pool and turning over on his back, barking slightly at Shiro. "Have you heard from the Blade yet?"
"Not yet," James said with a sigh. "What are we gonna do?"
"What the /fuck/," Chuuya said, arms crossed and a large bump on his noggin from hitting the floor head-first, "are you two doing in my apartment?"
"Your apartment?" Atsushi was seated on the couch. "What do you mean, your apartment, Chuuya-san?" Akutagawa predictably said nothing, sitting in contrite(more) silence beside Atsushi.
"I mean, my apartment," Chuuya looked around the apartment, hands on his hips. "I haven't been by in nearly a year, I thought I'd get some space from the office only to get interrupted by," he surveyed Akutagawa and Atsushi, "fraternization."
Atsushi thought about saying something about the very clear and obvious love bite on Chuuya's neck, but decided to stay silent on the matter.
"How did you even get a key to my apartment anyway?" Chuuya had moved into contemplative, arms folded. Atsushi, hands on his knees, waited patiently as Chuuya's face twisted in realization. "Dazai."
"He said it was neutral ground," Atsushi offered. "And that we could use it as often as we liked."
"I'm sure he did," Chuuya said darkly. "DAZAI." The way he raised his voice on the name made Atsushi startle, until there was shuffling heard from the hallway and Dazai meandered in, yawning.
"Thought I heard something tiny yelling," he said, wearing nothing but his bandages and a blanket over his shoulders.
Atsushi and Akutagawa stared at him for a good thirty seconds, before Atsushi's gaze redirected to the floor, face bright red. Akutagawa continued to stare. Chuuya seemed oblivious to Dazai's stages of undress, turning toward him and pointing. "You gave them a key to my apartment! MY! APARTMENT, DAZAI."
"You weren't using it," Dazai shrugged. "You have three-they needed a safe place to screw around, this is one." His head wobbled slightly as Chuuya shook him.
Atsushi was soaked to the bone by the time they made it back to the apartment - Akutagawa had smoothly used Rashomon as an umbrella and, when Atsushi had complained, angled the sluicing water to drench him just before they made it into the building's lobby.
(more) He was not pleased, although Akutagawa seemed amused at himself.
"Just for that you're getting in the bath with me," Atsushi said, already pulling his drenched shirt off over his head before Akutagawa had even closed the door behind them.
As the door clicked closed, a tremendous thunderclap echoed above the building, and all the lights flickered, went out for a few seconds, and then came back on, dim. Atsushi stood there with the wet shirt still on his arms and said, "mother /fucker./"
"Vulgarity is unnecessary, we didn't actually lose power," Akutagawa said, and the lights flickered warningly again.
"Stop talking about it," Atsushi hissed. He edged down the hallway like he expected something to spring out at him.
"I thought you weren't affected by horror movies," Akutagawa trailed him languidly, taking the opportunity to stare at Atsushi's back. When he stopped abruptly, Akutagawa looked up, to realize Atsushi was staring up at the dark, high ceiling in the main room. "What, were-tiger, scared of some shadows-?"
The flash of lightning that split the sky illuminated a vague, human-shaped mass on the ceiling; followed immediately by an ear-splitting crack of thunder that made them both jump. Akutagawa was already in motion but Atsushi flung himself backward, smack into Akutagawa and they both tumbled over backwards. He managed to catch Atsushi in his arms and cushioned him as they both hit the floor, but sent Rashomon in a defensive stab toward the ceiling.
Chuuya yelped as he hit the floor hard. "What the FUCK!?"(less)
They tried to wait out the rain, lingering under an awning and watching the precipitation through the streetlight but it was to no avail; the downpour increased in intensity after a spectacular thunderclap made Atsushi jump.
(more) Slightly rattled, he glanced to Akutagawa, who had his phone to his ear and head slightly tilted away. Atsushi looked away, folding his arms over his chest and bringing his shoulders in slightly with the motion, as if he were trying to keep himself warm.
(He was NOT spooked by thunder, he told himself confidently, and he absolutely was not staring at that streetlight down the avenue that was flickering because there wasn't a human-shaped shadow beneath it staring at him, no he was not.)
"The driver is unfortunately delayed," Akutagawa announced, unprompted, as he tucked his phone away. Atsushi tilted his head, puzzled by this pronouncement.
"The driver...?" There hadn't been discussion of a driver that he could recall, but occasionally Akutagawa picked up the thread of a conversation days old on him. "Higuchi-san?"
There was a slight tick to Akutagawa's mouth, it looked like he was going to smile but he quashed it. "Were Higuchi to join us I am certain she would put a bullet between your eyes, and then I would I have to eliminate her. As I have no desire to replace a subordinate, I had to contact a different driver."
There was a solid moment of silence while Atsushi processed this information. He leaned his head forward, staring at the rain as it hit the pavement in front of them. "You would kill your own friend for killing me?"
"I doubt a bullet between the eyes would kill you, were-tiger, or else I would have tried it myself."
"That's the nicest thing you've said to me all day." (less)
Gotou should have expected this from the moment he'd received the text message and yet still he was surprised when Masayoshi slammed him back against the wall in the entrance hall of his apartment. Gotou went with an oof, the plastic bag of shitty junk food he'd brought falling(more) forgotten to the ground, but it was the last item of concern as Masayoshi kept him there against the wall, breathing heavily and eyes wild.
"Let me /go/," Gotou snarled, pushing back against Masayoshi's grip. There was something else hiding in Masayoshi's expression that he instantly recognized; the flush across the bridge of his nose, the faint sheen of sweat in his hair - and he shoved at Masayoshi with both hands, disguising the heartbeat of panic with volume. "I'm serious, Masayoshi!"
The moment that they stared at each other felt like it spanned centuries; but then Masayoshi let out a soft sigh and moved in close. Gotou braced himself but instead of the kiss he expected Masayoshi laid his forehead against Gotou's shoulder and let out a small, choked laugh.
"I don't understand, Gotou-san," Masayoshi said, his voice muffled by Gotou's collared shirt. "Why do I feel like I'm going to lose control every time I look at you?"
Gotou swallowed hard, risked putting his arms over Masayoshi's shoulders. "I shouldn't have come," he said, thinking about his hesitation already when he saw the text; his heat was on the downswing and the suppressants were supposed to take care of the rest... and, yet. "I'm sorry," Gotou said, finally. "I'll go."
Masayoshi didn't lift his head, though he slid it somewhat so his breath ghosted hot over Gotou's exposed neck when he spoke. "I've already missed seeing you all week," there was a familiar whine to Masayoshi's voice. "Please, stay."(less)