“Are ya sure about this, Homare?” Sagawa says, trying not to sound like a pussy as he voices his concerns.
Nishitani tightens his grip on his hand—a vice-like grasp, nothing like the way he sees couples at school holding hands—tugging so hard he almost dislocates Sagawa’s shoulder. “C’mon, chill out, Tsu-chan. It’ll be fine. Told Uncle B all ‘bout ya, and he’s home early today, so it’s perfect.” He stops walking and faces Sagawa, baring his teeth in a wolfish smile and his new earring sparkling in the afternoon sunlight. “What, ya worried he’ll hate ya?”
“Of course not,” Sagawa says, huffing. “It just seems… weird. Meeting yer guardian and shit… makes us seem serious.”
“Thought we already were serious,” Nishitani says. He takes off his torn, tatty school bag, swinging it around by the straps—and smirks when it smacks Sagawa in the arm.
“Fuckface,” he snarls, driving his elbow hard into Nishitani’s chest.
Nishitani gasps, winded, but grins and lunges at him, pulling Sagawa into a suffocating hug. “Yeah, we’re totally serious. And ain’t this what serious couples do? Meet the parents and shit?”
Sagawa sighs, adjusting the collar of his shirt. “Guess yer right. And yer guardian… he’s okay ‘bout us?”
“Sure he is,” Nishitani says, grabbing Sagawa’s hand again and practically dragging him along the sidewalk again. “Uncle B’s totally chill ‘bout everythin’. Me datin’ a guy’s nothing compared to lookin’ after a fuckup like me.”
“Ya got a point,” Sagawa says, smirking. “So… Billiken-san’s a cop, right?”
“Does he… know ‘bout the shit you’ve done?” he asks, not sure how else to put it.
Not that long after they started dating (or whatever you call this), Sagawa got drunk and ended up spilling the story of how his parents fed his sparrow to their cat, and he killed their cat as revenge. And Nishitani laughed and said he had nothing on him—and proceeded to talk about how, a few months ago, he actually fucking murdered someone. Of course, Sagawa understands exactly why he did it (in his own, fucked up way, murdering the bastard who murdered Billiken’s daughter is actually rather sweet), but is it safe to kill people when you live with a cop?
“He worked it out,” Nishitani says, grinning. “He’s a smart guy. And… he thanked me. So don’t ya worry ‘bout me bein’ a criminal.”
“That’s… good,” Sagawa says, still a bit amazed he is even dating this lunatic. Although he is rather… problematic himself, so he supposes they fit together better than most other teens.
“I’ve told Uncle B all about ya, Tsu-chan,” Nishitani says, squeezing his hand tightly, sharp fingernails digging into Sagawa’s skin.
Sagawa rolls his eyes. Sometimes, he forgets Nishitani is only a year younger than him, his ridiculous, hyperactive immaturity a constant, stark contrast to his darker side. “Seriously? What are ya, a twelve year old girl?”
Nishitani howls with laughter, leading Sagawa down a side street and towards a quieter part of the city. “Oh shut the fuck up, Tsu-chan! Just wanted t’ tell Uncle B all ‘bout my boyfriend.”
“Not exactly encouraging me to retract my statement, ya know,” Sagawa says, and Nishitani jerks his hand to the side, making Sagawa’s wrist click. “Fuck!”
“Stop bein’ a cock, Tsu-chan.”
Sagawa sighs. “I wasn’t bein’ serious, ya stupid fuck. In yer own fucked up way, it’s kinda cute.”
To his amusement, Nishitani’s face goes red, and Sagawa snorts and gives him a hard jab with his elbow.
“Aww, Tsu-chan thinks ‘m cute!” Nishitani cries, and Sagawa cringes, incredibly glad there is no one nearby to witness this ridiculous display.
“Just keep walkin’, ya idiot,” Sagawa mutters, but he can’t stop a smirk playing on his lips.
Still cackling like a madman (which, Sagawa thinks, he probably is), Nishitani picks up the pace, leading Sagawa towards his house.
When they arrive, Nishitani fumbles with the key in the lock, kicks the door so hard it rebounds off of the wall, and bellows, “Uncle B! I’m home!”
“I did notice!” A voice calls, gruff but fond. Seconds later, a man wanders out of the kitchen; his hair recedes and greys, his clothes respectful yet scruffy, and a cigarette sticks out of his mouth. This must be Billiken. “You’re gonna break that door one day, Homare.”
“I know,” Nishitani says, beaming like he was paid a compliment, and Billiken rolls his eyes.
“You must be Sagawa-kun,” Billiken says, turning to Sagawa and twitching his lips into a smile.
Sagawa offers a bow, even though traditions don’t seem to be big in this house (Billiken still has his shoes on, after all). “Yeah, I’m Sagawa Tsukasa. Nice to meet ya, Billiken-san.”
“So, you’re the kid able to cope with this little shit?” he says, gesturing towards Nishitani with his cigarette.
“Hey, no fair, Uncle B!” Nishitani says, making his tone so whiny it actually hurts Sagawa’s ears.
“I guess I am,” Sagawa says, smirking when Nishitani pouts at him.
Billiken shakes his head, and Sagawa wonders how many grey hairs he had before he met Nishitani. “Well then, welcome to the mad house,” he says, and Nishitani snorts with laughter.