Chuuya is not a human being, he is a weapon.
Chuuya knows he is a tool. He knows he is a weapon. Something to be manipulated and used and maintained until he is no longer useful or breaks in battle. It’s not something he rages against or even feels strongly about, it is a simple fact known among the upper echelon. He was created in a lab to be used by others and these have dozens of documents to prove it.
For as long as he could remember, that number has been branded on his neck as solid proof that he was not considered human. He hides it under his choker long enough so that no one alive has seen it or knew it was there, but he knows it’s there. The weight of it burns sometimes, heavy and hot like a noose around his neck that cuts off his breath with the panicked subconscious memory of chains and white walls and pain.
Most of the time, he can forget about it and push away the panic about those damning dark letters on his skin.
They mark him as a monster, a tool, a weapon.
He is a good weapon. Everyone in his entire life uses him, one way or another, from the Sheep he trusted as family but only saw him as a powerful shield to hide behind, to the Mafia who pull and yank on his chain as they please.
His fatal flaw is his loyalty and his trust. He wants to rely on others, he wants to believe what they say. But he knows from experience, that no one will give him what he wants. No one will return that loyalty. They will lie to him to keep him useful. If he is injured or down, they will leave him in the dirt unless it is beneficial to pick him up. He knows one day he’s just going to be left there in the dirt. Those qualities of his are nothing but weaknesses and flaws in the harsh life of the mafia. They make him an excellent weapon, easily manipulated and maneuvered by others in his futile hope of companionship.
If he was just a little bit more like Arahabaki inside him, maybe he wouldn’t yearn for human connections so much. Maybe he could be as cold and unfeeling as Dazai and ignore how they manipulate him by using his feelings and emotions against him.
Once, he had hoped to form some sort of bond with his partner, a strong reciprocal bond of loyalty and trust. They were supposed to fight together, look after each other’s backs, be the deadly weapon of the Port Mafia, Soukoku. It didn’t take him long to realize, with his empty eyes and scarred body, that Dazai Osamu would never give him what he wanted, would never return the loyalty he gave him. Dazai was too broken to care about himself, much less others.
Chuuya may trust the bastard, care for him, but he knew fully well that the sentiment was not returned. At best, Dazai may consider him a favoured weapon, well used and maintained until he broke and was thrown away. He was the best puppet for Dazai’s schemes, as he danced along with them so easily. Dazai easily manipulates Chuuya’s feelings, his care, his powers and above all, holds over his head the ability to shut down the mad raging god inside him.
When he wakes from his destructive dream, it is always to the firm grip of Dazai’s No Longer Human on his wrist or elbow. It is a bare scrap of that human contact he craves but as soon as Dazai is certain he is awake it is quickly retracted. He is usually left to crumple to the floor and slip into unconsciousness soon after as they wait for the extraction team. If they have to get out themselves, he gets picked up and carried, but he can never savour it for long before something rude slips out Dazai’s mouth and drives him into an incandescent rage or he drops into unconsciousness. More often than not, Dazai just leaves him as soon as the nullification is complete.
Afterwards, he wakes up in the cold and empty mafia room designated specifically for himself, where he remains for several days. His body aches but is nothing compared to his constant lonliness. It would almost be considered solitary confinement if not for the scheduled visits of Mori to check his medication. Dazai never shows his face even once in those times.
Corruption is not a double-edged sword. It is a single edged blade, sharp and deadly like the finest katana but always with the blade pointed towards himself and his enemies and the flat edge towards his partner. Their partnership is not one of equals since Dazai holds all the power. It is the partnership of a man and his collared wolf. Every time he goes under, he is at the whims of his partner’s decisions.
And he is not foolish enough to think that he means anything to Dazai.
Dazai does not care about him. If he cares, it is a distant, mild concern as to the state of a favoured knife and nothing more. Dazai can easily kill him and carry on. But it is not the same for Chuuya. If the suicidal maniac dies, either through succeeding in his lifelong goal or by enemy action, Chuuya will also die the next time he uses Corruption. It’s the perfect double suicide that Dazai prattles about but never considers.
He is fully aware, the moment he no longer becomes useful to Dazai, he will be manipulated into a circumstance to use Corruption and Dazai will look on with flat, empty eyes as he kills himself. There’s no way he can tell when that invisible threshold will be reached. So, he approaches each invocation like he will die, like he will never wake again. Each time he wakes again, he is pleasantly surprised.
He doesn’t mention it. He doesn’t fight it. He accepts it like his due. Like a good weapon.
When Dazai finally leaves him behind, he is not surprised. Their partnership would never have been enough to keep Dazai in the Mafia when he wanted to go. He views the entire thing with numb acceptance even as he lies in the hospital recuperating. The bastard had set off a bomb under his car to take him out of the immediate chase. His ability stopped it from killing him, but he was injured enough to take him out of the pursuit.
Dazai would’ve known it wouldn’t be able to kill him, so he must still have some use for him. He knows that, but he’s just numb with it all. A part of him wonders why Dazai didn’t kill him before he left (he continues to wonder about it for years to come with a puzzled sort of childish confusion). It would’ve been far more crippling to the Mafia for him to permanently take out the offense half of Soukoku. The loss of the entire Soukoku team would’ve been a massive set back to the Port Mafia’s firepower. Sometimes Chuuya is surprised he’s alive, surprised he survived the demon prodigy’s wrath.
With Dazai’s defection, he is just waiting for the axe to fall on him. As his partner, Chuuya is now held under suspicion of collaboration. Everyone knew about the legendary partnership of the Double Black after all. If one half of the pair was a traitor, then wasn’t the other half also a traitor by association? Wouldn’t he have known about the demon prodigy’s plans? Wouldn’t Dazai have told Chuuya something? The car bomb did assuage some of it, but they all know that Dazai is clever enough to play the long con. In an odd way, he slimly survives his own execution because of Mori’s awareness about the true nature of their partnership, or lack thereof.
Instead of Dazai, now he dances at the whims of Mori. There’s less aggravation overall, but more stress, more injuries. He waits with bated breath for Mori to give the order he knows is coming. To put him in the middle of an enemy operation and order him to use Corruption. Without his partner, his brakes, its nothing less than a death sentence. And Chuuya knows, Mori knows, that with his ever-loyal heart he will bow and use it without complaint. And die. Burned to nothing under the weight of his own power.
He thinks Dazai would like this kind of suicide. It is painless after all. When he uses Corruption, he blacks out, almost like falling asleep. It is a blank spot in his memory, a black spot where his consciousness sleeps.
Oh, Grantors of Dark Disgrace, do not wake me again.
He would recite the words and simply cease to exist. Maybe he would return to that empty space where Arahabaki had dwelt before he was stuffed into human form. Some days, when he is drowning in alcohol and silence, he thinks he would like that.
He thinks he likes that end far more, an impersonal affair for the good of the Mafia. A quick and sensible removal of a weapon that could no longer be controlled. He likes it far better than Dazai doing it to him. Though he knows that also would be just as impersonal and uncaring.
He’s not stupid enough to think that Dazai would either notice or care when the sentence is finally carried out. He may find out, if the incident reaches the news, but he doesn’t expect more than a brief ping of disappointment from the man at the loss of a weapon that still had a handful of uses left in it.
So, he waits for the order.
Before he knows it, almost four years have passed and he’s an executive. He’s competent and well loved among his subordinates and doing well for himself. He guessed that in the end, Mori thought that he was worth more alive and working at reasonable power, than dead after using maximum power. Or maybe there just hadn’t been a situation to use Soukoku’s final hurrah in those four years. Either way, he is surprised to be still alive, though he doesn’t dare to mention that to Kouyou-nee.
It’s not like he’s suicidal. He doesn’t want to die, not like Dazai does. He wants to live, he wants to enjoy blue skies and birds and trees and rain. He wants to dress in nice comfortable clothes and cook and drink fancy wines and alcohol. He wants to collect knickknacks and laugh with his subordinates.
(He wants Dazai to look at him and care)
But he also knows that he is not human. He is an experiment, a monster, a god compressed into human skin. He was made to be a tool, a powerful weapon. Something that was not meant to exist.
And yes, he’s also part of the mafia, an agency that deals in death and retribution in the cover of darkness to protect their city. He works alongside death; he deals it for a living. He doesn’t fear it, but he knows it comes to everyone, swift or slow and he doesn’t see the point over stressing over the inevitable.
And if he has no hopes or dreams for the future, well, that’s no one’s business but his own.
(Chuuya has always wanted to save Dazai from himself, give the man a reason to live. But every time he hauls him out of a canal, cuts down a noose and catches him from a long fall he realizes that he is not enough. That he will never be enough. That he can’t save Dazai because he is not human enough)
(Years later he sees Dazai laughing, a real laugh, and walking with the ADA. His bandages are layered thinner than before, more to stop his ability from unwanted activation then to stem actual bleeding. His eyes are not as tired and hollow as before. His cheeks are less gaunt, and he looks healthy. He’s happy for him, but deep in his gut a tiny voice whispers,
You could never have been enough
It takes a human to save someone
And you are just a monster)