“He’s such a sore loser,” Dazai snickered, flicking the rim of the Old Fashioned glass in front of him. The ball of ice floating in his whiskey clinked in suit, its gleaming surface gently reflecting the amber lamps hanging over the bar. “Worse than Chuuya sometimes, and that’s an accomplishment! I don’t know how his babysitter keeps up with him.”
To his right, Oda Sakunosuke took a sip from his own drink. For as long as he’d known Dazai, the brunet had a knack for finding distinct people (though Oda excluded himself from that count), and this Shigaraki kid was no exception. “You went to the arcade at Kamino again?”
“Mm-hmm! Broke all his high scores in the Initial D games this time, and got a looooot of tickets from it, too!” Dazai gleefully spun around on his stool, the empty sleeves of his coat swaying with him. In this bar, where the three friends left the protocols of organization hierarchy and rank outside the door, the teen could afford to show a little more of his boyish side. “Ne, Odasaku, what prize do you think I should get?”
Oda shrugged. “The battery-powered mini fans.”
The teen complained about the humidity on occasion. Must be extra difficult to handle thanks to the layers of gauze wrapped all over his body.
“But aren’t those a bit noisy?” Dazai wrinkled his nose, arms crossed in thought, “A blender?”
“That’s even louder,” Oda said, and avoided thinking about just how Dazai would go about washing the rotating blades. It wasn’t that the teen was careless - his capacity to survive was far from a fluke - though Oda had seen the brunet lost in thought before, his lone visible eye drawn to the bartender slicing lime wedges for the occasional cocktail.
The bandages wrapped around his torso and arms peeking out from his collar barely hindered his range of movement, and the cuffs of his sleeves, and the cotton patch over his right eye had only served to train the brunet’s spatial awareness instead of handicapping him. Oda could think of several reasons why Dazai maintained the appearance of injury long after his recovery from mission-related wounds, and, to Oda, all of them had the same underlying commonality: the youngest Executive’s terrifying ability to adapt during conflict.
As Dazai rattled off several other items (What was that, Odasaku ? A fuel lantern I can use for carbon monoxide poisoning?), Ango, seated on Dazai’s left, pinched the bridge of his nose to ward off an oncoming headache.
“And you wonder why the Boss doesn’t let you drive,” he muttered. Having Dazai in the driver’s seat was not something he wanted to experience again, ever. The memory still gave him stomach cramps. "Back to Shigaraki. What did he try to do this time?”
Dazai’s lips curved in a sly smile as he spun again on the stool to face Ango. “Well,” he said, “It was a nicely wrapped box sent through the mail, about this big -” he held his hands in parallel in front of his chest, leaving around two feet of air in between “- with a springy ribbon and all. But you know what it turned out to be?”
He gestured for Ango to lend him an ear, eyes sparkling in mischief, daring the other man to lean closer.
Ango looked at him in askance, brow raised and chin propped on the back of his hand, already sensing the set-up for a joke. A stare-off between the two held, until Dazai started snickering. The spectacled man shook his head and huffed, pointedly taking a sip of his Bloody Mary in dismissal. To his surprise, Dazai chose that exact moment to lean forward, the teen’s mouth too close to his ear for his liking, and -
“A bomb,” he cried with dramatic flourish, pulling away to grin widely as he was treated to the sight of a startled Ango covering his mouth in a valiant attempt to breathe, a quarter of his drink spilled down his shirt.
“What?” Ango choked out, though it was difficult to tell if it was in reaction to the news or Dazai’s delivery, and irritably accepted a clean handkerchief from a resigned Oda with a nod of thanks.
“I know,” Dazai said sagely, crossing his arms and nodding as he ignored Ango patting down his mouth and the collar of his shirt. “He didn’t even bother sending it to a better address, either - could’ve been my apartment, you know? Besides, who knew he could get ahold of one those in the first place, but mmm, maybe his babysitter ordered it for him? Ah, but don’t worry, headquarters is still standing… oh.” Dazai tipped his head sideways innocently, finally looking at the shaking Ango.
“Third shirt this month,” Ango glared at Dazai, pushing up his glasses and waving Oda’s handkerchief threateningly. The tips of his hair near his cheeks were clumped together, still wet with alcohol.
Dazai laughed in delight and clapped. “Of course our Information Officer keeps count!” Then as a concession, “You should frown less, you know, or your forehead’ll wrinkle faster.”
Oda exhaled softly, anticipating a long lecture from their bespectacled friend, and sent an apologetic look to the amused barkeep before sliding over a pile of tissues between the two, movement smooth on the counter's polished wooden surface.
“Now, now, it’s still a bit early, nothing a little water can’t clean up. Let’s enjoy the rest of the evening, yes?”