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The metal of the handcuffs is cool against his wrists. As he's done many times before he could easily pick the lock, snap his fingers, and shake them off but there would be no point in doing so when there's no way to escape afterwards. 

 

"Now, I'd appreciate it if you come along quietly. We really don't want to cause a scene." 

 

Causing a 'scene' would likely end up in unwanted, unnecessary pain for himself so Dazai does as told. Getting arrested wasn't something he had planned for today, of all days, and that must be exactly how Fyodor had wanted it. What Fyodor wont want, however, is what Dazai has planned in return. He had won this bet after all so it was a good enough sign as any. 

 

The Hunting Dogs had been on his trail shortly after he had left the criminal immunity of the Port Mafia but lacking any evidence, courtesy of playing on Ango's well earned guilt, they couldn't act. It was practically a blinking light pointing out something for Fyodor to exploit to get him out of the picture so, naturally, he already had planned  for such an eventuality. Of course, Fyodor must have already planned for him to have a plan so then Dazai would have to have a plan that takes that into account too. It's a very entertaining game of cat and rat.

 

He follows the lead of the Hunting Dog, or more accurately pawn as that's what the Hunting Dogs are being used as right now, out of the crowd. They pass by the booths where Dazai had placed his bets earlier. 

 

"What about my winnings?" Dazai asks, making sure to sound as whiny as possible. He had genuinely wanted the money. "If you let me collect it I'll buy you a snack before we leave, how about it?"

 

"Are you trying to bribe me?"  

 

"Is it working?"

 

"No."

 

That's fine. It's not like he didn't already have an offshore account with more blood money than he knows what to do with. None of the other patrons seem to notice that anything is amiss as they're engrossed in the races and trying not to lose their entire life savings or sanity to a gambling addiction. None of them had Dazai's level of skill with predictions. How pitiful; it's really quite a blessing that he had no sanity to lose in the first place, things like that were only reserved for those worthy of being considered human.

 

"So," Dazai starts, deciding that he does want to poke the hornet's nest just a little. "You're Jouno Saigiku, then." 

 

Dazai had made himself well informed of his trackers and their illustrious reputation. 

 

"Shouldn't you introdu-" 

 

"Do you not understand what 'quietly' means?" Jouno snaps, perfect composure dropping for just a split second. "Actually, I've changed my mind. Please do continue because then I will have justifiable cause to silence you."

 

Jouno grins in a way that suggests that he would very much enjoy silencing Dazai and he would rather not give Jouno that kind of satisfaction. Not today, anyway. If it was needed for future plans he might consider it. Now they've almost reached the exit. 

 

"Let me say one last thing," Dazai says but he doesn't really expect Jouno's permission. "Maybe, in another version of the world where things have happened differently our roles would be reversed. What do you think?" 

 

Jouno pauses, turning to Dazai as he considers those words. Dazai stops too, awaiting a response. For a brief moment they stay like that until Jouno turns away, seeming smug at whatever it is he's perceived. 

 

"I think that you'd like to hope that you are someone worthy of redemption but no matter what do you it will never be enough to erase your past. I personally believe that people can't change and you, Dazai Osamu, will always be Port Mafia black deep down. You might be able to fool the people around you and yourself but it won't change your soul." 

 

"My soul, huh?"

 

Many nights Dazai has been kept awake wondering when the exact moment it all went wrong was and the only answer he can find is that his life was doomed from the very beginning, from his very first breath. If his cursed nature extended as far to even his soul, as Jouno seems to think, then perhaps not even death could save him. 

 

So it's a good thing he doesn't believe in the concept of the soul. He doesn't need redemption either. Fulfilling the dying wishes of his true friend is more than enough purpose for his otherwise meaningless existence. 

 

Jouno hadn't exactly confirmed or denied his hypothetical scenario though and Dazai isn't sure what to think of it. He's convinced that had he taken a few different turns in his youth he could have ended up like Fyodor, choosing to destroy an irredeemably cruel world with little restraint. He thinks, perhaps, that Jouno feels somewhat the same way but has purposely chosen a life in which the darker side of himself has to be restrained to an extent. If it weren't for Odasaku what would his life have become? He might never know the answer.

 

Outside there's a truck specifically for criminals like himself with several armed police waiting around it. So much for not causing a scene. The police are wearing as much protection as the ones who had apprehended Fyodor were and it's flattering, almost. Dazai is grabbed roughly and shoved into the back. The part of himself steeped in self-hatred tells him that this was always where he belonged. Another part of himself tells him that this isn't his fault, not really, if the world had just been kinder then it never would have come to this. No, maybe it wasn't the world at fault but himself for being far too fragile in the first place. 

 

"Don't have too much fun in there." Jouno calls out right before the doors clank shut.