Knowledge

Chapter 19

"I want to show you something."

Izaya lifted an eyebrow. He had been mildly surprised at Shizuo's lack of initiative the previous night. After a carefree meal they had simply fallen asleep side by side.

"Alright."

They took a bus that was not bound for the shore.

"Where are we going?"

"You'll see. Check out the scenery."

The heavy rain had sprinkled millions of drops over the stooping trees, morning light set them ashine in an almost dizzying spectacle. Even Izaya found it beautiful. It reminded him of a cleaner version of the city when the kaleidoscope of neons burst into being. Shizuo stopped the bus in a non-description station that was a mere booth in the middle of the forest. Izaya followed him but stopped at a tiny path that Shizuo appeared to be bent on taking.

"What's this all about, Shizuo?"

"Just a bit longer. Trust me a bit."

"The ground doesn't look too steady…there's mud everywhere."

"'kay."

Shizuo picked him easily.

"So much better."

"I'm a human litter now?"

"Yes. Yes, you are."

Splashes of sun danced in front of Izaya as he opened and closed his eyes for maximum effect. He felt safe in Shizuo's arms.

"You're really lazy."

"Heh, indeed."

All too soon Shizuo was carefully placing him on the ground. In front of them a stream ran. Silvery and almost quiet if not for a bubbling voice of water skipping over smooth pebbles.

"Is this it?"

"Yeah, this is the place."

Shizuo sat on a large stone and stared steady at the flow of water, a smile on his lips. Izaya frowned slightly and looked around.

"What's here?"

"The river, of course."

"I mean apart from that?"

"Nothing."

"I don't get it."

"You will. Sit, it's better that way."

Shizuo scooted over and Izaya sat next to him. The brook's sounds and birdsong filled the air.

"I don't see the point, what are we doing here?"

"Watching the water. Together."

"What for?"

"It's nice."

"Ah…is this one those 'being one with nature' kind of thing?"

"I guess? Maybe not, it's not complicated."

Izaya joined him in silent contemplation for a few more moments. He was rather restless and puzzled.

"I'm just wasting my time here."

"Our contract has expired. This morning."

"It has?"

"I thought you knew since you keep tabs on this kind of thing."

"True. But our agreement doesn't matter anymore."

Shizuo took a deep breath.

"I was hoping you'd feel that way as well. So I brought you here."

"'Here' being the middle of nowhere?"

"I always liked to do this, watch streams. It clears my mind. It's something I really like doing. I figured that we needed some calm, I guess. After everything."

Izaya focused on the streamlets of living silver. Letting the mood it invoked wash over him as if he was flowing along with the water.

"Is that why you didn't touch me last night?"

"Yes. I was a bit nervous since it'd be our first time together."

Izaya blinked.

"Can't you count? First time…?"

Shizuo turned from the river to Izaya.

"First time as an actual couple. I wanted to make it very clear that if we do it I'll consider you my boyfriend. Last night you were all hyper, even if I explained you'd go along with it even if you didn't agree because you'd get horny."

There was also the fact that Shiki was more present in Izaya's mind than ever before. Shizuo said nothing of this because it would undermine his efforts but he knew that upon renunciation Izaya was greatly involved in processing his feelings for Shiki.

"I'm not too sure I like the way you put it."

"Are you saying it isn't true?"

Izaya shrugged.

"So you have a point. But you have yourself to blame for that, you are good in bed."

"I don't want you to do it with me just because of that. You're not too good admitting things like 'love', that much is obvious. So this is what we'll do, I won't pressure you or take the first step. But if you want to be together with me then all you have to do is have sex."

"What, here?"

"No one will come 'round. I investigated this place."

Izaya was silent for a while.

"What a strange man you are. So, what can I expect from being your boyfriend as you put it?"

Izaya moved to Shizuo's lap where he settled quite comfortably. He was at ease because he had already made his decision. Which did not mean he did not enjoy toying with Shizuo.

"We spend time together no matter how busy schedules get, have meals together- that's important- go to sleep together after sex and talk a lot without money being involved. I protect you no matter what. And you don't get to hide it from the people you know and you don't get to sleep with anyone else."

Izaya lifted an eyebrow.

"Oh? And that is fair how? I see nothing in this about you not sleeping with others. So I gather that you get to be promiscuous?"

"It's obvious that I won't do that."

"Hmm…obvious, you say. It's implied, perhaps, but it's not self-evident. Why don't you reassure me?"

"I won't cheat on you. I'm a faithful person."

Izaya laughed but without malice.

"Can't I add something to these terms?"

"Like what?"

"Like, I get to teach you how to appreciate and eat refined cuisine, we search for the mysterious Long Cat every now and then, you listen to me when I'm on a ranting mood and I want…a brand new state of the art cell phone."

"Another one?"

Izaya tsked and placed a finger over Shizuo's lips.

"Aren't you missing the most important part about this?"

Shizuo started, nearly causing Izaya to fall.

"You mean you're saying yes?"

"Indeed. But hear me out first. If we're in that kind of relationship then your alliance is with me. And with me alone. Do you understand? It's as important as being faithful. Rather, it is another aspect of it. In the near future I may very well have to go against Celty. You're friends with her, I know as much. So know this, Shizuo. As my boyfriend you'll stand by me even that means making her your enemy."

Shizuo smiled as if in relief.

"Was that it? I've told you already, I'll protect you no matter what."

"Are you sure?"

"I am sure."

"How about attacking her if need be?"

"There's more to protecting than just wait for things to go wrong and try to correct them. So yes. But this works both ways."

"Oh? How so?"

"If you're with me than your alliance is with me and me alone. I'm willing to let go of Celty if I have to. So you'll have to be willing to discard Shiki."

Izaya offered his hand to be shaken.

"Done. Shake it and it's official. On second thought, maybe this is better."

Izaya kissed him slowly, relishing in the sensation and unbuttoning Shizuo's shirt. Tracing his fingers down his chest.

"Yeah, it is much better."

As much as Shizuo wanted to take the reins the rules were set so as to hand over power to Izaya. And Izaya made full use of it, chuckling after unzipping Shizuo's pants with his teeth. Just when Shizuo was getting into it Izaya stopped and looked up.

"Do you want me to say it? 'I love you'."

"If you mean it."

"Interesting."

Izaya got up and slowly undressed, taking a few steps back.

"Shizuo, you are sure that no one will just happen to drop by?"

"I don't think."

"If someone does I am holding you completely responsible."

"I doubt you'd care."

"More importantly…strip, Shizuo."

For the first time Izaya could fully appreciate Shizuo's physique. Izaya took his own time watching with newly honed attention. It occurred to him that Shizuo seemed a bit vulnerable without the almost perpetual shades. Izaya quite liked it.

"I suppose striptease isn't your thing?"

Shizuo laughed at the thought.

"I leave that to you. And pole dancing."

Izaya approached. The grass felt fresh against his feet. He clambered unto Shizuo's lap.

"Pole dancing? Can't say I've ever tried that."

"But I bet you'd be good at it."

Izaya giggled and kissed him. Casting butterfly touches. Shizuo let Izaya set the pace entirely. Somehow it was important that it should be so. And Shizuo relished. Not so much because Izaya's technique was flawless – after all it tended to become irrelevant after a while – but because there was something rather kinky about having Izaya be so completely in charge.

Izaya rode him slowly, his trademark smile on.

"You better last, Shizu-chan."

"That's kinda up to you, isn't it?"

Izaya laughed heartily. It caused his body to tremble, sending shockwaves through Shizuo. Izaya nipped at Shizuo's ear. Half playfully.

"I guess it is."

As if this was the cue Izaya picked up speed, propelled by sheer momentum. As Izaya climaxed he dug nails into Shizuo's broad shoulders. Shizuo saw white as orgasm tided him over. Izaya slid off but Shizuo gathered him in an embrace. For a while Izaya was content resting comfortably, his breathing slowly becoming even. He ran his fingers on hot semen coating Shizuo's abs. Shizuo parted sweat damped hair from Izaya's forehead and gently kissed it.

"So, was that good?"

"Tch on you, you're not supposed to ask that. And you do have some fanciful romantic notions. If I may say so. And I may indeed say so."

"Because you're my lover?"

"So I am. But don't go getting all mushy on me."

"That reminds me, how about you wear this?"

Izaya was vaguely annoyed that he lost the feel good warmth of Shizuo's body as Shizuo scampered off to hand him something.

"Cat ears? Only on Saturdays or as they should be called, 'Caturday'. 'Nekoyoubi'!"

"We better get dressed before someone drops by."

Izaya adjusted the cat ears on his head.

"I thought no one ever came ever? And just where did you get this?"

"Can't tell for sure no one will. Got it at Akihabara."

Izaya had to laugh.

"Oh dearie. And I was under the impression you did not have this kind of thing."

"Guess I lied."

"Wonderful way of starting our relationship, isn't it?"

But Izaya was amused.

"I also got a tiny silver bell…but I figured you wouldn't wear that."

"And right you are!"

Izaya yawned and rubbed his eyes. It reminded Shizuo of a sleepy kitty. He handed Izaya's his clothes.

"You just went back to '-chan'ing' me."

"What can I say, there's something to 'Shizu-chan' that fits. Do you dislike it?"

"I'm fine with it now."

"Let us rejoice, then."

Izaya yawned again and stretched.

"You can't be sleepy."

"I can and I am. I'll have you know that sex burns a lot of energy. Besides, it's a bottom's privilege."

Shizuo got dressed and Izaya followed his example at his own sweet pace.

"Then it's a good thing that you can sleep next to me after we do it."

"You may very well be right about that. By the way, have you heard of Ceiling Cat?"

"Friend of Long Cat's?"

"Maybe. But more importantly, Ceiling Cat watches you fap."

Shizuo was in the process of smoking but he dropped the cigarette as he burst out laughing. After all Izaya spoke in the most matter of fact way, cat ears still fastened and looking like he was personally acquainted with feline online celebrities.

"Who comes up with these things?"

"People with too much time on their hands. It is said that when Ceiling Cat meets Basement Cat it will bring forth Catnarok. People say that it's Long Cat versus Tacgnol but everyone knows that it's just a legend."

"You know this stuff. Just like a kitty."

Shizuo patted his head.

"Nya? And the very best one: Every time you fap God kills a kitty. Think of the kitties!"

"Then how about that cat on the ceiling?"

"I suppose he'd see all that, wouldn't he."

"There wouldn't be any cats around if God did that."

Izaya rolled around on the grass as he laughed.

"Don't make me laugh, I hurt in places unknown to men."

Shizuo was amused, he could see that Izaya was so much more at ease. There was something liberating and almost innocent about it.

"Good thing there's no ceiling above us here."

"Aye but Sky Cat might be watching."

Izaya sauntered to the stream and dipped his feet in the cold water. It sent a jot of joy through him. He stared at the water sliding past rapidly. Shizuo sat next to him.

"It's nice, isn't it? Watching the river."

"We never bathe in the same water twice as they say. It may sound a cliché but there is some truth to it. Each moment is unrepeatable. I think that this simple fact has been lost to most people. When you look at life nowadays, how do most people pursue it? Through routine. Wake up at X hours, take the train at X plus Y minutes, arrive at work at X plus one hour, repeat the same tasks for a period of grey hours, eventually arrive back home and wind up your mind for the next day that will be exactly as the previous one. As a result these people fail to see that life is passing them by. They may say, 'one day I will do this and that' but 'one day' is purely fictional. Have you ever wondered why so many jump off buildings?"

"Because they're unhappy?"

"Because they are bored. Really. Most of them are simply bored."

"At least you never seem to get bored. Just real paranoid."

"It is not paranoia. It is reasonable suspicion."

"Nah, at times it's just paranoia. Maybe tiny crab is in on some plot. You never know."

Izaya blinked.

"Heiwajima Shizuo, are you trying to be funny? Will the wonders ever cease."

"So, what will you do when you return to Tokyo?"

"Start apartment hunting since I am currently homeless."

"Want to stay at my place until you get your own?"

"And where would I sleep? In a closet?"

"With me. Plenty of space and you've been doing that already as it is."

Izaya tossed a pebble into the river. The splash was very loud but the surface ran smoothly shortly after.

"I'll consider it."

"I never saw any cat in the ceiling either."

"Ah but Ceiling Cat never lets people see him. So if you cannot see him it does not mean that he is not there."

"I guess. But how do people know he exists, then?"

"It is a mystery."

Izaya sneezed.

"You'll get sick again."

"Do you really have a tiny bell?"

"Sure do."

"Kinky. Or crazy. Or both, actually."


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