Knowledge

Chapter 12

For all his coarse ways Shizuo knew how to take care of sick people. He had plenty of experience being on the side of the injured party (enough to make him hate the way nurses always used 'we' as if they were breezy while he was stuck to a hospital bed) and on the side of the carer as well. Growing up he was the one that watched over Kasuka when he fell ill. And Kasuka had been a rather delicate child.

But apparently not half as much as Izaya to whom a boat ride seemed too much to take. It puzzled Shizuo considerably. He was so used to having Izaya always a few steps ahead, actually looking back with a smirk before launching into on some acrobatic parkour move, that he could not precisely understand why Izaya was so shaken now. But clearly Izaya was not having his best day.

Shizuo had no trouble getting him to lie down but Izaya needed help to swallow his medicine. His temperature spiked then dropped so that he was adrift in uneasy slumber most of the time, slipping awake for a few seconds only to close his eyes again before having a chance of saying anything.

"Oy, Izaya. Time to eat."

Hotels were marvelous, all it took was ringing a bell and almost immediately warm porridge materialized as if by magic. Shizuo fluffed some pillow to get him to sit and after some hesitation offered him a spoon. Izaya stared at it blankly but after a while he ate.

"I had a bad dream, that I was stuck in Okinawa with Heiwajima Shizuo and sick to boot. I wake up and what do you know, I'm stuck in Okinawa with Heiwajima Shizuo. And sick. Cosmic irony isn't funny."

"If you can make bad jokes then you'll live. Now eat."

Izaya smirked with an effort. His field of vision was a yellow blotch and cold sweat ran down his hot body giving him a horrible feeling of clamminess.

"Wouldn't you be happy if I died."

"Not really, can't talk to you if you're dead."

The food tasted like wet cardboard. Izaya forced it down and made sure he at least drank some water on his own.

"Get an Ouija board."

"Whatever happened to 'no life after death, I know everything'?"

Izaya's eyes shone dangerously.

"Rest assured that if I were to die here I would haunt you forever."

Shizuo could very well believe it.

"Well, you're creepy enough as it is."

Izaya tried to laugh but he nearly choked so he gave up on it altogether. Shizuo placed a pack of ice on Izaya's forehead and prepared to stay up the whole night. He knew that Izaya's condition was not hospital worthy but sick people should never be left without supervision. Not even Orihara Izaya. As dawn began to break the dark skyline and to silver the black sea, Izaya began to ramble in his sleep. Shizuo caught snippets of fever talk, most of which meant nothing to him. Others that made him wonder. He took note of these.

Izaya sank into peaceful oblivion as the sun burst through the dawn with the strength of Southern territories. Shizuo pulled down the shutters tightly. Izaya breathed evenly. Shizuo wiped sweat and water from Izaya's brow. Sleep was the best cure of such ailments. As Shizuo expected, Izaya only woke up around lunch time and lethargically enough.

"How you doing?"

"I had a bad dream, that I was stuck in Okinawa with Heiwajima Shizuo and sick to boot. I woke up and I was stuck in Okinawa with Heiwajima Shizuo and sick, except that was a dream too. So I conclude that I am still dreaming, never mind that correlation does not equal causation…"

Shizuo poked him.

"What the, stop that!"

"See, you're awake."

Izaya rolled his eyes and propped himself on the pillows. He felt very weak but sharp enough.

"Yay…amazing."

Fortunately he could drag himself to the bathroom unassisted and then return to his cozy haven of pillow.

"What do you think dreams are? Since you know so much about brain stuff and all that."

Shizuo made him drink some juice.

"When a person is asleep the brain continues firing up and invoking images, emotions and the like that become what we know as dreams. So basically they're random synaptic events and tend to occur mostly during REM stages of sleep. REM standing of course for Rapid Eye Movement."

"Ah. That's kinda interesting. So of mind is what the brain makes then dreams is the mind running wild?"

"Something along those lines, yes."

"I was forgetting, food."

Izaya nearly bounced out of bed but Shizuo restrained him.

"Ootoro! Delicious tuna, this is what the sea is for! To provide me with ootoro."

Shizuo had to smile as Izaya busied himself gobbling up a few bits of sushi.

"Don't eat too much or you'll get sick again."

"Silly you, ootoro cures everything."

Shizuo nodded.

"Dunno about that but it's better to eat something you like when you're recovering."

Izaya chewed more slowly. He felt a bit at a loss.

"I guess there's no choice, you must try some. Tastes better if you use your hands."

Shizuo hesitated but in the end he took a nigiri from the tray.

"This is pretty good, actually."

"'Pretty good'? That's all you've got to say? Pearls to swine, honestly. You're not doing it right. Here."

Izaya picked a red slab of fatty tuna.

"I said I liked it, what-"

"Say 'ah'. It melts on your tongue. Like this."

Shizuo ended up sucking on the tips of Izaya's fingers.

"Tastes meaty."

"They call tuna the meat of the sea for a reason."

"Yeah."

It was the kind of flavor that needed some getting used to but Shizuo had to admit that it was good. Izaya tried to come up with some snappy remark to break the mood.

"Er, what are you doing?"

Shizuo was stripping, much to Izaya's confusion.

"Didn't catch a wink last night, had to watch over you. You seem fine now so I'm getting some sleep."

"What, you stayed up the whole night?"

Shizuo shrugged.

"Someone had to."

Izaya looked away suddenly. He could not exactly understand this uncomfortable feeling and decided that he must be annoyed at being too much at Shizuo's mercy.

"Ah, well, you can take the bed. I'll take the sofa."

"Just stay where you are. Sick people need to be comfy and there's plenty of room."

Izaya could not quite bring himself to complain. Not even as Shizuo made himself comfortable right next to him.

"Heiwajima-san, you could put on some PJs."

"What's it to you?"

"You'll end up hogging the sheets at this rate."

Shizuo snuggled against Izaya, holding him as if he were a plush toy.

"What the-"

"Nice and warm. No hogging now."

Izaya froze. At length he squirmed a bit. Shizuo's arms were loosely wrapped around him and he could feel contained strength in the solid body so closely glued to his.

"This is a bit…"

"Bit what?"

"Weird."

"Figured you'd be all boney but this is nice."

Izaya was glad that at least he did not have to face Shizuo.

"I didn't know you were such a good nurse."

"Picked up a thing or two taking care of Kasuka."

"Ah. I see. Anyway…thanks."

Barely whispering.

"No sweat."

Izaya managed to relax with an effort.

"So I'm a human hugging pillow now? You've been spending too much time with Dotachin's friends. Hello?"

He turned around carefully only to find that Shizuo was sleeping. Izaya slipped out of bed and tiptoed to the room's safe where he had concealed his beloved knife. Smuggling it into the airplane had been quite a challenge but he had managed. A risk he did not need take but that was the kind of risk he enjoyed the most. He flickered the blade open and crept on Shizuo's unmoving body. Izaya could end it right here. If he slashed the throat deeply he could sever the wind pipe and get rid of Heiwajima Shizuo forever. Izaya hesitated. At length he returned the switchblade to the safe.

"So you can't kill someone who's helped you, huh. You're not completely awful after all."

Izaya started at this but he had a sly smile ready by the time he faced Shizuo.

"Don't be ridiculous. I was just testing you to see if you were really sleeping or not. And it turns out you weren't. Besides, I'd be the prime suspect if you turned up dead here."

Shizuo lifted an eyebrow.

"You're lying. I'm getting something to drink."

Room service brought him a mug of hot milk. Izaya wrinkled his nose.

"You still drink that? What, trying to get even bigger? And please tell me you're not putting sugar in that."

"Milk's good for you. Healthy."

"I think that the milk you drank as a kid had steroids. And you got a mustache."

Izaya was tempted to wipe it himself. He could not comprehend how anyone could mix ootoro and milk.

"If you had more sweet things maybe you'd be less of a bitch."

"That hardly follows. You eat plenty of sweets and your personality is far from stellar."

"Yeah but it'd be worse without sweet stuff."

Izaya chuckled softly.

"Then do keep gorging on sweets! I do not want to see you on a bad day."

"Most my bad days are your fault."

"Hmm…I'm not responsible for your anger issues or for your violent tendencies. I just take advantage of it."

"Yeah. I know. It's my fault that I let you get under my skin."

"Indeed. Aren't you glad we've reached this conclusion."

"Not really."

Izaya sampled more of the sushi tray. Meditating.

"Since we're on a mood of being truthful I might as well tell you that I didn't know you had enough intelligence to actually see that sex is ultimately a mind game. And to turn it against me was a stroke of genius."

He realized that letting unsaid things creep in was more dangerous than bringing them out into the open where they were bound to lose some of their power.

"That's how you see it, huh. You haven't had any in a while. I can tell because your cum was real salty and thick."

Izaya managed to smile.

"Like I said, I don't sleep around half as much as it's believed."

"Yeah but you haven't been jerking off either."

Izaya shrugged.

"I fail to see how this is any of your business."

"It isn't but it means you've been stressed."

"Freud is in the building! But really, odds are you see more action in that quarter than I do."

"Dunno about that."

Izaya giggled and rolled his eyes.

"If not then you're just not trying."

"Girls are afraid of me."

"Let me let you in on a little secret: ninety percent of all hetero and bisexual girls that has seen you go on a rampage has wondered how much of a beast you are in bed. And quite a few lesbians too, I bet."

"If you say so."

"Haven't you heard plenty of girls going on about how much they love you? And a few guys, too."

Shizuo nodded.

"Yeah, I've heard a few times. Didn't matter much. That's just stuff people say."

"More like, the whole world wants to get in your pants."

Shizuo watched him for a while in silence.

"You're jealous."

"Ah, I suppose there's no point to my denying it."

"You're getting better at it."

"At what?"

"Talking to me."

"So you'll let me go now?"

"Nah. You're stuck with me. But I gotta sleep some, tired."

They resumed their former place in bed.

"Ah. You know…at this point it might be weirder that you're not jumping on me. Sex is about power and I think everything we've been doing has been a tug of war for power."

"You want me to? Jump on you."

"Er, no. I wouldn't survive it."

"You do it with guys, don't you?"

"Why yes but no one is quite like you."

Shizuo mused over things that he had just recently learned.

"But you bottom?"

"Why, to think that you'd know about such things. I usually bottom, yes."

"Why? I mean, you're skinny and I guess you could pass for a girl but you're a control freak so I don't get it."

Izaya smiled brilliantly and turned in bed to face Shizuo.

"Ah, there's the rub. The idea that being the party that bottoms makes one passive or disarmed is an oversimplification. It is responsible for those poor misguided otakus thinking that girls are by default the weaker partner in a sexual relationship and there is a reason that these people will die virgins. Reality does not work like that. The politics of desire are complicated. There is a lot of leeway for a bottom to be in charge, in fact, being a coveted object at all gives one power. I hear it a lot that flirty girls are dumb but many of them are intelligent, they know that being wanted is a source of power.

Before you ask rape does not count because it has nothing to do with wanting the person, it's about imposing yourself on someone else."

"You sure can spin a tale. But it makes sense. So you could still be in control if I did you."

Izaya stretched. Trying to be at ease.

"Not quite. All I was saying applies to people. Humans. You're something else entirely."

"That's just what you tell yourself. You like thinking that you can understand all humans, if you can't figure me out then you need to think of me as a monster. That way you didn't fail in getting a person."

"Are you saying that you're a normal person?"

"Who gets to decide what's 'normal' anyway."

"Society does. Collectively. Whatever strays from a pattern followed by the majority is deemed 'non-normal'."

"Who cares. So I'm not normal. I'm still as much a person as you are. All your talk about human this and human that, it sure sounds like you don't think yourself as a mere human yourself."

"Ah. Is that so."

"But you are very human. You have your freak out moments like everyone else. And you'll come if I jerk you off just right."

Izaya chuckled. Very aware of that there was hardly any space between them in bed.

"That's not really something to be proud of. It's called 'involuntary response to stimuli'. It's obvious that my body would react to stimulation of that sort."

"Yeah. Because you are a person."

Shizuo touched him very lightly, fingertips barely grazing.

"A horrible person?"

"Maybe. But a person for all that."

Shizuo kissed him lightly then with some insistence.

"Do you want to fuck me?"

"You don't seem to be against it."

"I didn't say so."

"You don't have to say it. I'm not blind."

Shizuo kissed him again and moved to nipping his neck. Izaya smiled.

"Ah. Indeed."

He divested Izaya of his remaining clothes without breaking a string of kisses.

"Condom?"

"I didn't bring any. Figured you'd be hovering about all the time so there was no point."

"We'll just use mine, then."

"Ah, I see. You thought that you might as well score some while you're on vacation in Okinawa."

Shizuo produced a condom from the back pocket of the pants he had discarded.

"Or I was planning on getting you. You figure it out, you're the smart one."

Izaya traced the faded scars on Shizuo's chest.

"Either way you're not supposed to keep condoms in back pockets. It says so in the instructions. It can damage them and thus render them less efficient."

"Never bothered reading those."

"I rest my case."

"But I brought this as well."

Shizuo got a tiny bottle from a shirt he had tossed over a chair.

"My, you got lube and all."

"Don't want to use it? I'm fine either way."

Izaya laughed.

"I bet. But I'm not into pain."

This time Izaya initiated the kissing and let large hands roam over his body. It surprised Izaya how natural it all felt. He clambered on Shizuo's lap and pressed against him. Casting aside fears as lust took over. Izaya ripped open the condom with his teeth.

"You're not supposed to do that either."

"Indeed. But I know what I'm doing."

And indeed Izaya handled the preparations in the most perfunctory of fashions. Shizuo did not care for this going through the motions, there was far too much rubbing of heated flesh and not enough payoff. And then Izaya expertly lowered himself until he was straddling Shizuo. Nails bit into strong shoulders. Shizuo ran his hands along Izaya's sides, skin heating up, each delicate rib drawn against it as Izaya heaved slightly. Through the growing muddled feeling in which Shizuo was cast he made a mental note to get Izaya to start eating properly.

"What are you doing?"

Shizuo had slipped him a condom.

"It's not fair that I get to wear one of these rubber thingies and you don't."

Izaya smirked.

"I really don't like you."

With that said Izaya had no problem picking up a steady rhythm, easily swinging his body up and down in tandem with Shizuo's occasional thrust. He remained silent apart from some panting but no moan escaped his lips, not even as they became swollen from kisses bordering on bites. Shizuo took in every detail as his clouded mind allowed him to, from minute reactions as Izaya gathered momentum to the sharpening glint to his blood red eyes that were so close. Izaya was on a pure control high. So much so that orgasm was an afterthought, blazing white pleasure or not. He slid off and flopped on his side, eyes already closing as he pulled off the condom and tossed it aside.

Shizuo watched him for a while before discarding his own condom and lighting a cigarette.

"You do that with girls and they'll get mad. Falling asleep right after you come."

"Oh…? Maybe. But I never stick around for the sleeping part."

"Thought so."

"And do you have to be a cliché? Smoking after fucking? Gee, how typical."

"My bad."

"By the way, your condoms are boring. Get some with grooves or something next time."

"So we'll be doing this again."

"You're not a bad fuck. And make sure you keep on smoking, each cancer stick brings you closer to death."

"No mellowing after sex? I suppose it'd be weird if you got all sentimental."

Izaya laughed.

"I don't get sentimental."

For all the talk of sleep they were both very much awake.

"And that's a good thing?"

"It would never do if I gushed 'emotion' just because of sex, now would it?"

"Guess not."

"I don't come rainbows either."

"Didn't think you did. Too salty."

Shizuo chuckled and rolled until he was lying on his back, eyes half closed.

"Do you have any more questions for me, Heiwajima-san?"

Shizuo had quite a few but overtiring Izaya might not be for the best.

"Nah, not right now. You should rest some more."

Izaya lifted an eyebrow questioningly and slipped into slumber despite having every intention of staying awake. Shizuo was not surprised. But he did not expect Izaya to cuddle with a pillow and smile contently in his sleep, speaking freely without the bypass of mental defenses.

"Ah, if Shizu-chan died I'd be so happy…happy Izaya…no one would stand in my way, I'd be unchallenged…then…everyone would go to my nabe party. Kobe beef…no, Mishima beef…for my sisters…only need Shizu-chan to die…keep on smoking…"

Shizuo shook his head. It was wise of Izaya not to actually sleep with his lovers otherwise he might end up fessing all of his ever so treasured secrets. But Shizuo suspected that this sleep talk was a byproduct of exhaustion not much different from his fever induced words. And every bit as insightful.

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