When Chuuya arrives at school, he’s stunned to see a large group of girls huddling together crying in the hallway.
A memory replays in his head.
The fortune-telling he got from Ranpo-san on the first day of school.
"It looks to me like comforting crying girls is your fate!"
Ranpo-san had then proceeded to laugh in Chuuya's face, at his shock, or at his misfortune, he didn't know. It was probably both.
"Oh, but don't worry. The day you see a whole group of girls crying would be the day you're free from it!"
It sounded like bullshit. Chuuya remembers forcefully laughing into Ranpo's smiling face (just to show he definitely doesn't believe it) and just getting up and leaving as the latter waved goodbye cheerfully.
But Ranpo had been completely right.
Day after day, Dazai's exes and one-night-stands and almost-girlfriends always went to him for validation, for comfort, for God knows what after they got dumped.
Honestly, he doesn't mind it that much because he gets to rant about Dazai, that shitty mackerel.
Still, isn’t it too soon to be rejected? The day has barely started. Has everyone somehow decided to confess at the same time and gotten rejected? There's no way, right?
Wait… shit unless—
He moves in closer to confirm his suspicions.
“ —can't believe Dazai…”
And the girls explode into sniffles and sobs.
Okay, case closed.
He quickly walks past them, tilting his hat downwards to block his face so that he doesn't get jumped and swarmed by those who've cried to him before.
Though a part of him is curious about what exactly happened to warrant a whole group of girls crying, the other part of him that’s sick of comforting Dazai's spurned lovers wants to forget about it.
When he's almost at the other end of the hallway, a light cough brings his attention away from Dazai—to the pale, sickly man in front of him.
He’s dressed in all black. Chuuya realises he must have been staring at his black coat for too long because Akutagawa stiffens and painfully forces a cough.
Chuuya feels stupid for half-expecting him to wear one of the three colours. Well, two, because Akutagawa is single. But then again, this is Akutagawa we're talking about.
Chuuya suddenly notices a certain white-haired boy hovering a distance away from them, blush tinting his cheeks as he glances over at Akutagawa. When his eyes meet Chuuya’s, he visibly panics, drops his chocolates, quickly snatches it up, and flees the hallway.
“Chuuya-san, don’t you feel uncomfortable wearing that?” Completely unaware, Akutagawa points at Chuuya's leather jacket, completely zipped up, and the matching skin-tight leather pants with a black belt looped through it.
Chuuya adjusts his hat, careful not to let it fall. He's not going to admit the reason he’s wearing this is because this is the only matching outfit he’s got after he had carelessly thrown his black shirts into the laundry the other day. So he simply shrugs and hopes no one else asks him, though as he looks around the hallway, he can already see a few people eyeing him. He glares at them, and they go back to talking amongst themselves.
Eyes sweeping through the hallway, Chuuya sees couples in red, linking arms or holding hands as they pass by. Leaning against the lockers are some people wearing white shirts. There are also people in pink, just fewer. All in all, it’s pretty much what he expected.
Suddenly, the group of girls looks in Chuuya's direction and starts crying again, louder this time.
Chuuya looks at Akutagawa, eyes wide, when he sees that Akutagawa's gaze is trained on something behind him. There's a look in his eyes—surprise, amusement, confusion? Chuuya furrows his brows and is about to turn around—
—when a hand brushes his shoulder and gives it a painfully long and hard squeeze.
Oh God, he's here.
No one else in the whole school greets Chuuya this way except for one person.
Chuuya whirls around, playful insults on the brink of his tongue. But they die on his lips when he finally turns around.
Around Dazai’s neck. On both his arms, extending till his wrists.
Chuuya makes a strangled sound, like a man choking to death.
Dazai... likes someone?
“Chuuya~ what do you think of my bandages? They’re pretty, right?” He smiles.
Chuuya only stares mutely at him, like he’s forgotten how to speak. All that keeps repeating in his head is—
Dazai likes someone.
He blinks, once, twice, and steadies himself.
The words are stuck in his throat. He can't breathe. He can't speak. Not when things have turned out like this.
And he felt like such a fucking idiot.
Tears prick at his eyes but he holds it in. He's not going to cry. He's not going to cry over Dazai Osamu, the man who's made his life hell.
He knows he's staring at the floor, eyes brimming with tears. He knows he's trembling all over, his fists are clenched. But he can't stop.
"Chuuya, look at me." Dazai's scent is upon him as he steps closer, his voice uncharacteristically pleading. "Please."
Slowly and shakily, Chuuya tilts his head up to look at Dazai. He half-expects Dazai to be smiling, but there's only distress in his eyes. Chuuya almost feels happy.
Then he sees a bunch of people standing behind Dazai staring at them. And then he realises the entire hallway is teeming with people watching them.
Chuuya turns to his side and realises Akutagawa is no longer there. His attention-loathing friend must have slipped away when things got uncomfortable.
"Chuuya, I'll make this quick."
Dazai reaches into his trench coat, pulling out a small red heart-shaped box. A red ribbon is tied around it.
“Happy Valentine's Day, idiot.”
Dazai smiles sheepishly, face undeniably flushed, as he holds out the box of chocolates to Chuuya.
Chuuya’s mind blanks.
Dazai... likes him?
He shakily takes the box.
And then he smiles and rips his hat away, letting it fall to the floor.
He reaches for the box balanced on his head and hands it to Dazai.
"Happy Valentine's, stupid."
Dazai takes it, laughing as he closes the distance between them.
“I know that’s not the only thing you’re hiding, Chuuya.”
With a smooth motion, Dazai unzips Chuuya’s jacket, revealing a pink tank top—the crowd gasping in the background as he bends down to kiss Chuuya.