kei_mai: (Shizu-chan - IT'S A FREAKIN' ELEPHANT :D)
[personal profile] kei_mai
Title: Classroom Rendezvous [part I]
Characters/Pairing: Shizuo/Izaya
Genre/Rating: PG15
Word Count: 12, 966
Warnings: foreplay, truckloads of UST
Notes: AU - alternate age, student/teacher; Shizuo is a high school student and Izaya is a teacher. Prompt from the kinkmeme.
Summary: High school was supposed to be the place where lasting relationships were forged.



From the moment the door to the classroom slid open and Shizuo laid eyes on the new teacher, he knew that there was something off about the man. The whole class had fallen silent before the brunet had even picked up a piece of chalk to write his name on the board. With a smirk that made Shizuo instantly wary, the man turned around to face them.

“My name is Orihara Izaya,” the words just rolled off the burnet’s tongue in a pleasant cadence that didn’t match the look in his eyes, “and I will be your English teacher for the year. My goal is simple: I want to help each and every one of you to become fluent in the language.”

Circling around to the front of the table, Orihara sat down on the edge of it, one hand bracing his weight while the other gestured animatedly – did the guy ever stay still? “With that in mind, let’s start with some ground rules, ne? Attendance is mandatory; it’s rather difficult to learn if you’re not here, right?” A few nervous chuckles sounded at that, and the man smiled good-naturedly. “I’ll also recommend punctuality, since I’ll be creatively and publically humiliating those who are late~.”

There was a snort from the back. “How are you going to do that?”

“Oh, I’m sure you’ll find out soon, Takahashi Yuudai-kun,” the teacher said sweetly, his red eyes cutting. Even from three seats over, Shizuo could hear the class clown’s anxious swallow. “Let’s move onto the grading, shall we? I’ve been told that my methods are unorthodox, but I don’t give out tests.”

At that, Shizuo – and practically every fucking other person in the room – sat up in his chair, actually paying attention to the brunet for the first time. Orihara’s smile widened, like he had expected that reaction.

“Instead,” he said slowly, pulling out a stack of papers from behind him, “we’ll have pop quizzes~! These, along with your oral test, will make up your final mark, so work hard, my dear students!”

It was then that Shizuo decided that he hated Orihara Izaya.

+++

“Aah, Orihara-sensei’s class is going to be so hard! I couldn’t answer half of those questions!” The girl sitting beside him had a gaggle of her friends around her, and even with her face planted on her desk her voice was annoyingly loud. She wasn’t the only one complaining either – it was all they could talk about, from the moment Orihara had left the room with an armful of papers and a carefree spring in his step.

“But it’d be worth it; he’s so hot!”

Or how attractive the skinny bastard was.

“Oh, I know what you mean! His eyes are so pretty, and when he looks at you, it’s like he sees right through you to your soul!”

“And his hair, it looks so silky. I wonder how he got it that way? Guys usually don’t care about things like that; he must pay attention to the little things.”

Shizuo could feel his left brow tick in irritation.

It didn’t help that the teacher had slipped him a note with a quiet, almost playful, “Don’t make me wait, Shizuo-kun~!” when the man had walked around and collected the quizzes.

The message was nothing special, just telling him to go to the faculty office right after school, with a free pass to skip out of cleaning the classroom, but something about it irked him. He glared at the girly, curvy flourish of the handwriting for a few moments more before shoving it angrily into his pocket. The annoying bastard probably just wanted to taunt him for his poor grade last year or something.

Either his teachers were better than he had first thought or the world had decided to work against him, but all too quickly Shizuo found himself standing and bowing at the end of his last class. The paper in his pocket crinkled in reminder, and he gritted his teeth against his ire. Carelessly throwing everything into his bag, he started the trek down to the office, trying to mentally prepare himself. Maybe if he was ready for it, he wouldn’t break anything – or anyone – and they would all go away happy.

Or maybe the sun will rise in the west tomorrow.

“Excuse me,” he muttered as he slid open the door, and the first thing he saw was that Orihara had draped himself over another teacher, one hand grabbing for something the other man was trying keep out of his reach.

“Dotachin~, if you just wanted me against you, you just had to ask; there’s no need to tease me like this,” the brunet was whining, but Shizuo must have made a shocked noise, because Orihara looked up at him with a smile. “Shizuo-kun! Come in; you’re early.”

Dumbly, he nodded and closed the door behind him. Orihara didn’t seem to think anything about him having seen that little episode, breezing back to his desk and settling into his chair. “Sit,” the man said absently, reaching for a pair of glasses while opening a folder. Shizuo could see the quizzes from that morning off in a corner, already graded.

“I’m sure you have an idea as to why I called you here?”

Shizuo shrugged. “It’s about my mark.”

“That’s correct,” Orihara was wearing that smile again, the condescending one that made Shizuo want to grab something and shove it into that smug face, “It’s abysmal, Shizuo-kun! You’ve done quite well in your other subjects; it hurts me to think that mine doesn’t hold your interest.”

You don’t look fucking hurt. He almost scoffed, but he only shrugged again.

“Now, now, Shizuo-kun,” the tone was playfully scolding, the curve of the teacher’s smile almost sharp, “English will be very beneficial to you. What if your future employer wants someone who knows the language? What if a tourist asks you for directions? You wouldn’t want people to think you’re an uncultured beast, right?”

The comment hit a little too close to home – Shizuo’s hands tightened on his knees. He didn’t trust himself to speak, because he knew the moment he opened his mouth, it’d be for an inarticulate yell and something would go flying. It’d be just as the bastard said: he’d be an uncultured beast.

“Your previous teachers weren’t very stringent with you; they were afraid, weren’t they?” Silence, and then Orihara sighed. “Look at me when I’m talking to you, Shizuo-kun.”

It took a moment, but after a deep breath Shizuo managed to drag his eyes up to the teacher’s face. He forced himself to think about the man’s features, focusing on the red colour of his eyes and the stylish frame of the glasses so that he didn’t have to think about how this was the person who was throwing insult after insult at him. It was working so well he almost didn’t notice the serious expression on Orihara’s face.

“They may have been content to let you be, Shizuo-kun, but I won’t let you fall through the cracks.”

Shizuo stared blankly at the man, waiting for the smirk, the punchline, or the I-didn’t-mean-that laugh that he knew had to be coming, but the brunet just held his gaze. At length, Shizuo looked away with a gruff, “How can you promise that? You hardly know me.”

“On the contrary, I know a lot about you,” Orihara gestured towards the stack of papers on his desk, “I’ve read your file and your past exams, and I’ve talked with your previous teachers. However, I do admit that I don’t know you personally.” The brunet smiled, and it almost looked… friendly. In a this-will-be-fun-for-me way. “I don’t think you’d say no to free private tutoring, ne? An hour every day after school – which frees you from cleaning duties! – and if there’s no improvement within two weeks, you can do whatever you want, Shizuo-kun.”

It sounded like hell, having to deal with this teacher for an extra hour, but when he looked at Orihara now, it was almost like the man actually cared.

“Fine,” Shizuo growled, and instantly he regretted it. The brunet’s expression changed, taking on that smirk again.

“Wonderful! We’ll start tomorrow; meet me at the lounge upstairs, and don’t be late!”

Standing up and bowing stiffly, Shizuo turned on his heel and stalked towards the door. “Take care on your way home, Shizuo-kun.”

He couldn’t tell if it was a threat or just a customary line from a teacher to student, so he pretended he hadn’t heard and ducked out without saying anything at all.

+++

The first lesson Shizuo learned was that the goddamn bastard was a fucking sadist. The brunet picked on every possible part of his English, from vocabulary to pronunciation to intonation, and the man never relented until Shizuo got it right. Orihara would just sit there with a cheerful smile, waiting with the patience of a saint until Shizuo tripped up, and then he pounced on it like a goddamn vulture.

Nobody had breathed a word about extra homework either. Shizuo could still remember the shit-eating grin on the flea’s face when he dropped the stack of papers in front of him. “If you need help with this, you can stay here and do it!” Orihara had gone back to doing whatever shit teachers did, and it took everything Shizuo had not to flip the table.

If he didn’t know better, it was almost like Orihara was coercing him to keep the man company.

With a growl he slammed his shoe locker close, scowling at the dent he had made. The school probably wouldn’t make him pay for it until the end of the year –

“Hey, Orihara’s pretty cute, huh?” The name made Shizuo turn his frown to the two guys loitering at the announcement board.

“Yeah,” the other laughed, “Pretty cute – his ass, that is!”

“I heard he’s easy and flirts with everyone. The twins in 1-B say they know his address, and he’s only been here for a week!”

“Just admit it, you’ll bang anything that moves.”

Their laughing stuttered to a stop when they noticed Shizuo glaring at them, and nervously they scuttled away. Now in a horrible mood, Shizuo started for his classroom.

What the fuck was wrong with these people? It was like everyone and their mothers were trying to get into the skinny bastard’s pants.

Speaking of those pants, they were really tight, like those things that girls wore –

“Shizuo-kun, could you answer the question?”

It wasn’t until Shizuo found that he had to look up to the teacher’s face that he realized he had been staring at Orihara’s pants, of all things, and he fought to keep his face from flushing. He cleared his throat nervously, scanning the board. He was lucky this time; the brunet had written the question down.

“The train station is on the left of the bank down this street,” he answered in English after a quick glance at the picture in the textbook, and he tensed up, waiting for the man to tear his reply apart.

“Very good! If only I could still give out gold stars in high school,” Orihara laughed, and there were answering chuckles and giggles from the students, “Now, let’s move onto page 20; this is partner work, so go make a friend~!”

As everyone began moving around him, Shizuo stayed rooted to where he was, stunned. Just yesterday, the man was complaining about the sound of his r’s and l’s; surely he couldn’t have improved that much.

“Um, Heiwajima-kun?” He nearly jolted in his chair when a girl came up to his desk timidly, “You seem to be really good at English, um, do you mind helping me?”

Shizuo nodded mechanically, watching her take a seat beside him. He glanced at the teacher, meeting the red eyes, and the brunet gave him a teasing smile. Without breaking eye contact, Orihara started towards him, a deliberate sway in his walk, and light fingers swiped coyly against the back of his neck as the teacher passed by his desk.

It was then that Shizuo realized this man would never let him forget that he’d been caught staring.

+++

Each time he went to the lounge, Shizuo would wait for the bait. Orihara wasn’t the type to drop things, but now it was like everything was coated with slime – something would unfailingly take a suicide dive to the floor, and the brunet would bend over to pick it up. The tight, girly dress shirt would never fail to ride up every time that happened, showing a strip of his milky skin and the waistband of his underwear.

Thanks to that, Shizuo now knew that the man preferred expensive brands, and only in colours of red and black.

“Hmm, Shizuo-kun, you seem tense today. Do you want me to give you a massage?”

He had gotten so used to ignoring the flirting and teasing which was second-nature for the brunet that Shizuo started when he felt hands on his shoulders, fingers digging into the knotted muscle. There was no way the gentle touch was platonic.

In the next moment, the table had been flipped, and he was standing as far away from the teacher as he possibly could in the small room. Paper was fluttering down artistically around them as Shizuo stared wide-eyed at the laughing man.

“So clumsy, like a child,” Orihara chided jokingly, crouching down to gather the sheets scattered all over the ground. “Maybe I should call you Shizu-chan instead, ne?”

Guilty Shizuo peeled himself off from the wall, dropping down on one knee to help. “Don’t call me that,” he mumbled half-heartedly as he eyed the overturned table. It looked like it was fine; all the legs were still there, and if the tabletop had a crack, it just gave the thing more character, right?

“You can go,” the teacher gave him a smile as he took the papers out of his hands, “I don’t think your classmates would be very happy if they found out you looked at their quizzes.”

Frowning, he got up and gathered his stuff, shouldering his bag with a growl. Almost as an afterthought he righted the table. “Sorry,” he forced the word out just as he slid open the door, half hoping that the sound of the thing on its rails would cover his voice.

“I’ll see you tomorrow, Shizu-chan!” If Orihara was angry at him for messing the room up, it was hidden behind the guy’s chronic cheer.

No sooner than he had closed the door to the lounge did a whole different voice draw his attention.

“You must be Heiwajima Shizuo!”

He didn’t recognize the two girls making their way towards him, but from their identical faces it was obvious they were twins. Taking a deep breath to calm his nerves, he prepared himself for sitting through yet another tearful spiel about why he should teach them how to get private lessons with Orihara.

Shizuo was ninety-nine point nine percent sure that the flea was telling everyone about their deal just so that Shizuo’d be harassed by people who wanted to talk to him, not fight him.

Out loud, he just gave a non-committal grunt, starting down the hall in hopes that they’d take the hint and leave him alone. The eager footsteps following him told him they hadn’t.

“We heard that you know Hanejama Yuuhei personally, Shizuo-kun!” Shizuo froze at his older brother’s stage name, turning to eye the girls with wary glare. “Oh, we’re not stalkers or anything; we talked with his agent. He was very cooperative!”

If he was remembering correctly, Kasuka’s agent was a sour-faced man with an attitude problem; the only reason the guy was nice to Shizuo’s family was because Shizuo had bodily thrown the man out of the house, chair and all, when he had insulted Shizuo’s mom. It made him wonder what these two had done to make the guy open up.

The girls were just smiling, and after a while he growled, “What do you want?”

“We would love to meet Yuuhei-san!” the long haired one said enthusiastically, “But we’re curious about you, too, so it’d be killing two birds with one stone if we became friends, right? Iza-nii doesn’t talk much about work, and no one’s ever really caught his intere –“

“Oya, I take my eyes off of you two for a moment, and you’re off to spill my secrets?” Orihara had an eyebrow raised – Shizuo didn’t know when the teacher had joined them, “If you two are done bothering Shizu-chan, we can go home.”

“When are you going to move out, Iza-nii?” she pouted, looking at her shorter haired twin, “Isn’t it kind of pathetic that you live with your sisters when you’re twenty-three?”

“Embarrassing,” the other girl finally spoke for the first time since Shizuo had met her, her tone soft and barely there.

“If anyone is moving out, shouldn’t it be you two? It’s my house,” the man shrugged, shepherding the two girls into a classroom and leaving Shizuo to trail behind them, “Besides, if I’m not there, who would make sure the neighbours are safe?”

“They’re at least safer than Shizuo-kun is,” the long haired girl swung the bag she had hastily grabbed from the room at Orihara as she walked past him on the way out, and the teacher absently blocked it with the folder in his hands. She stopped in front of Shizuo with a smirk, “Ne, Shizuo-kun, if he starts touching you, Kuru-nee and I have blackmail material–”

“Mairu, Kururi,” Orihara pulled both girls away with a firm hand on their shoulder, “Forgive my insane sisters, Shizu-chan. I’ll see you tomorrow in class, hmm?”

Feeling a bit overwhelmed, Shizuo just nodded. As the three siblings made their way down the stairs, he could hear Mairu’s voice drifting up the stairwell, “But if he doesn’t want it, he should have some way of countering your authority, Iza-nii!”

… Just what the hell did other people think was going on between he and Orihara?!

+++

There was something very refreshing about the twins from 1-B. Mairu’s straightforwardness was definitely a welcome thing, and he was more than used to tuning out pointless babbling from being around Shinra. Kururi’s silence kind of reminded him of Celty, even if there wasn’t that same understanding between them.

Shizuo was sitting with the twins as they waited for Orihara, smoking downwind of them, when he noticed a gang outside the school gates. Stubbing out the cigarette, he glanced around, settling for the bike rack by the entrance. He pulled it out, swinging it once to test the balance and finding it every bit as awkward as he thought it would be.

Fuck it; it can’t be any worse than using a trashcan.

“You guys going to stand there all day or what?” he called out, feeling his left brow tick as they filed into the school grounds with pipes and shit.

“Go, Shizuo-kun!” Mairu yelled in encouragement, and she had grabbed her twin’s hands and were waving them around in an enthusiastic display.

One of the punks stepped forward – the leader, maybe – and with a smirk started tauntingly, “I heard you were getting private lessons from one of the teachers in the school. What, are you too dumb to get through class without help?” The guy glanced at his friends with a snicker. “Or is he giving your ass the full treatment?”

Their laughter stopped with yelps and surprised shouts when the bike rack landed right in the middle of the crowd. “The fuck is wrong with you people?!” Shizuo growled, stalking forward, “Why the hell does everyone think there’s something between me and the goddamn flea?”

One of the thugs lunged at him with some metal stick in hand, and he responded instantly, fist pulling back to ram into the guy’s chest and send him flying. Another came at his side with a crow bar – some mechanic must have lost his toolbox – and Shizuo had to block it with his arm. He caught the tire iron that had finally come tumbling back down to earth from the thug he had sent flying, and irritably met someone’s pipe with it, the impact making the punk drop his weapon with a howl of pain.

“Oooh, good one, Shizuo-kun!” vaguely he heard Mairu’s voice still cheering him on as he planted his foot in another one’s face, sending that one sprawling on his ass.

He had been about to pull out the bike rack from where it was embedded in the ground when a voice irritatingly called, “Shizu-chan~!” His head whipped around to face the teacher, and the next thing he knew, the bike rack was where Orihara was standing a second ago, and the brunet wasn’t there anymore.

“Now, Shizu-chan,” the man was smiling as he walked towards Shizuo, “Violence won’t solve this problem; these imbeciles would just come back once they’re out of the hospital, ne?” Stopping right beside him, Orihara’s smile swapped itself for a blade like smirk. “Will you all kindly leave the school property?”

“Who the hell are you?” one of the few still standing spat out the question, and Shizuo felt his hand twitch just at the tone. Before he could react, fingers threading through his hair gently caught him completely off guard. He stilled, glancing at the brunet, who wasn’t paying attention to him.

“I’m just a teacher at this school,” Orihara answered pleasantly, “And I know that the longer you lot are here, the more property Shizu-chan will be damaging. So why don’t you all do us a favour and slink back to whatever hole you’ve crawled out of, hmm?”

“Stay out of this, old man! You can’t even do anything to us.”

“Ara, how scary!” the brunet didn’t sound scared at all, and Shizuo gave him a glare, wondering if the skinny bastard even knew what he was doing. Shizuo wasn’t going to get him out of the mess, if that was what Orihara was banking on.

A brief movement out of the corner of his eye told Shizuo a second too late that one of the punks had charged, and without thinking he moved to push the flea back. “Oriha–”

His hand met nothing, though, and he blinked in surprise, wondering when the brunet had moved. “Oh, I give up!” the teacher laughed as he spun away from the thug, hands held up in the air.

The guy was now missing a large spot of his hair, the strands fluttering to the ground, and there was a big X cut into the back of his shirt.

“This guy, he’s insane!” The thug sounded like he was going to pee his pants, and he began to run. That sparked a chain reaction, and soon the field was empty except for the groaning bodies on the ground.

“What the hell did you do?” Shizuo asked warily, eying the teacher as the man just smiled.

“What did you see me do?” Orihara answered his question with a question, tone too chipper. With a light hand on his shoulder, the brunet steered Shizuo back to the entrance of the building, sitting him down on the steps beside the twins. “As a teacher, this is my job, so bare with me while I lecture you all on fighting and encouraging people to fight, ne?”

Shizuo hunched his shoulders, too used to this sort of thing by now to be bothered by it. “Mairu, Kururi, it’s against school policies to encourage fights. Not that it would stop you, but do refrain from being a cheerleader for brawls, ne? It reflects badly on how I’ve raised you two.”

“It’s only right the world knows that you failed at being a parent for Kuru-nee and I,” Mairu stuck out her tongue, and Orihara rolled his eyes.

“Sometimes, I feel like I have to sign up as a guest to a seminar for teenage pregnancy; they need to hear about the horrors of raising children while going through high school from someone who’s done it.” The teacher turned an unamused look on him when Shizuo snorted at that. “Shizu-chan, you may laugh now, but if you knock up some girl–”

“The fuck?” Shizuo looked away, feeling heat crawling up his neck, “I don’t even have a girlfriend!”

“Aw, Shizu-chan is so sweet,” the flea was cooing at him, “Are you the type to save yourself for your wedding night?”

“That’s none of your fucking business!” Shizuo spluttered, staring at the man incredulously, and it only made the bastard laugh.

“Alright, then, I’ll talk about something that is my business, ne?” Orihara seemed to sober up, crouching down to his eye level, “I’m sure you already know that fighting is against school policy.” Grudgingly, Shizuo nodded, glancing away again. “Good.”

He wasn’t expecting the finger that lightly tapped him on his nose, and he pulled back in surprise, taking in the teasing smile on his teacher’s face. “At least try not to get hurt while fighting, hmm? We should go get that arm looked at.”

“It’ll be fine,” he started, and he probably would have pulled his arm away if he wasn’t suddenly fascinated by how those pale, slender fingers looked against the slightly tanned skin of his wrist.

“No, Shizu-chan,” Orihara forced Shizuo to his feet, “Mairu, Kururi, you two stay here while I go to the infirmary.”

“Eeh, you’re driving us out of your way?” the long haired girl called after them, “At least remember to use protection, Iza-nii!”

“I…that… you’d… ” Shizuo couldn’t find words that fit the thoughts racing through his head.

“Don’t worry about it, Shizu-chan~; I’ll teach you.” He glanced over at Orihara, and seeing the smirk, he wrenched his arm out of the man’s grip with a growl. In his head, he vowed that if the goddamn flea starts getting any ideas, he was going to rip the bastard a new one.

+++

“Orihara-sensei is absent today.”

Shizuo turned his head to face the front of the class, the view outside forgotten as he sat straighter in his seat. The female class representative looked disappointed, and there were groans and sighs from the rest of the class. “We have his lesson plan for today. Nakamura-kun, if you could start the class for us?”

At that point, Shizuo stopped listening. He hadn’t noticed anything out of the ordinary with the teacher last week, so maybe the man caught a bug over the weekend?

“Heiwajima?” the male class representative was standing by Shizuo’s desk, a queasy smile on his face, “Could you take this down to the office? I don’t think you’d learn anything this class anyway…”

With a shrug Shizuo took the folder and left the room, feeling for the pack of cigarettes in his pocket. If they were letting him skip, then he might as well go get a nicotine fix.

As he rounded the corner into the wing of the faculty office, he stopped; Orihara was down the hall, talking with another teacher. She handed him a large envelope, speaking too quietly for Shizuo to hear. The brunet nodded and then leaned forward, whispering something into her ear that made her pull away, blushing and retreating into her classroom. The bastard even had the audacity to laugh and wave goodbye after that, and Shizuo was glad that Orihara turned his way just so that he could spear the man with a glare.

“Ah, Shizu-chan!” Orihara cheerfully walked towards him, “Just the person I wanted to see.”

“You done flirting with everything that moves?” he growled, irritated for a reason he didn’t understand. He spun on his heel and started down the hall, and the brunet jogged a few steps to catch up.

“A woman her age needs some flattery every now and then, or she’ll begin to lose her confidence, you know?” the teacher laughed breezily, “I needed to talk to you, Shizu-chan; I’ll have to cancel today’s tutoring.”

That nearly made Shizuo freeze – Orihara had never cancelled before, not even during the crunch during finals. “What?” he said flatly.

“You know the saying, ‘blood is thicker than water,’” a dramatic put upon sigh, “both my sisters are running a fever at hundred and two degrees, and it’s the duty of the longsuffering big brother to look after them. I could swear they’re doing this to spite me.” Orihara tipped him a teasing smile. “Since you’re so close to Kururi, would you like to come over?”

“To your house?” he asked cautiously.

Orihara only laughed. “You thinking that I’m lying about my sisters, and that I just want Shizu-chan all alone, ne?” The man gestured with the envelope in his hands. “This is their homework for the day; I wouldn’t put my colleagues through the trouble if they weren’t genuinely absent from school. As to whether or not they’re sick at home, I will leave that up to you to decide~.”

For a long moment, Shizuo said nothing as he frowned at the floor. “I’ll drop by later – there’s something I have to do afterschool.”

“I’ll be holding you to your word then, Shizu-chan!” the brunet lilted brightly, hand ruffling Shizuo’s hair as he walked past, “I’m going to tell Kururi you’ll be coming, so don’t break her heart, ne?”

“Shut up,” Shizuo growled – where the hell did the guy get those ideas, anyway? “Hurry up and go back to them.”

When school ended, he darted out the classroom, kicking off his indoor shoes and shoving them into his locker without really caring how they’d end up. If he went around and left out back, he probably won’t run into any punks along the way…

In the end he had to cut through the neighbours’ gardens to avoid a shady group of guys, vaulting over the walls until he was in his own backyard. Shizuo pulled open the front door, kicking off his shoes. “I’m home,” he called as he made a beeline for the kitchen, almost running into his mom in the hall.

“My, why are you in such a hurry?” she laughed, “Did you not eat your lunch?”

“Huh? Oh, no, it was really good.” Shizuo tossed his bag onto the floor, shifting through the cabinets for the things he needed as he ran through a checklist in his head. “Where did you put the spices, mom?”

“To your right. It’s where you left it, silly.”

If she said anything else, Shizuo hadn’t heard. Rolling up his sleeves, he glanced at the clock; there was still time, if he hurried.

It was roughly an hour and a half later, but Shizuo was on the doorstep of a sizable Western style home, shifting uncomfortably from foot to foot. The door opened just as he was about to turn and leave, and he fixed the man a glare.

“You took your sweet time,” Shizuo growled as he stepped into the entryway, and then added under his breath, “Sorry for the intrusion.”

“Ah, someone taught you good manners!” Orihara was wearing that condescending smile again. “You can hang your coat in here, Shizu-chan. Would you like some tea?” The man led him inside to a posh living room, waving absently to one of the couches. “There’s also some sugary stuff in the fridge; I suppose Kururi wouldn’t mind sharing with such an intimate friend, ne?”

“I don’t think I want to drink anything you messed with,” he deadpanned, and taking a deep breath to steel himself, Shizuo walked up to the brunet. Awkwardly, he held out the bag he had been holding onto the entire time, looking at something over Orihara’s head so that he wouldn’t have to look into the red eyes. “These, uh, are for them.”

The teacher made a questioning hum, and Shizuo felt slender fingers brush briefly against his hand as Orihara took the burden off of him. The plastic bag crinkled, and for a brief moment he had an urge to just dart out of the house. Not that it’d save him from the teasing that the man would unleash on him at school, but at least he wouldn’t be standing there, hoping the floor would open up and swallow him.

There was the snap of the lid of the container opening, and Orihara made a noise like he was pleasantly surprised. “Gingersnaps? This is a… fascinating choice, Shizu-chan.” The look on the man’s face gave Shizuo the impression that there would be sparkles involved, if people could actually do that in real life.

…Actually, knowing the bastard, he’d somehow find a way to make it work, just to watch Shizuo shudder.

“I heard that the stomach flu was going around,” he said gruffly.

“And ginger helps settle the stomach, yes.” The brunet smiled and reached out to ruffle his hair. “Such a thoughtful gift! Kururi will be delighted, ne? I’ll make sure Mai-”

For some reason, the teasing was beginning to irk him in a way that was more than just getting annoyed at being poked at. “Will you just quit it?”

The teacher laughed. “Come now, Shizu-chan! You’re willing to go as far as bake for her; it’s obvious you two are close. And you follow us home most days; it can’t be because of our stunning game collection, or Mairu’s sparkling conversational skills.”

“That doesn’t have to mean she’s the reason.” His growled response made Orihara tilt his head.

“Hmm,” there was a contemplative look on the brunet’s face, “are you implying that there’s another reason then?”

“Not implying, I’m telling you.”

“Then, is it Mairu? Or,” Orihara took a step forward, and Shizuo realized that the man was actually just a smidgen taller – he had never been this close, “is it me?”

Before Shizuo could react, however, he saw the red eyes shift over to the door, and the man clicked his tongue. “I thought I told you two that you can’t leave the bed – your fevers broke just half an hour ago.”

“Ooh, you were just about to kiss him, Iza-nii! Why did you stop?” Mairu’s voice sounded weaker than it normally was and she was braced against her twin, who was clutching onto the wooden frame. “We’re fine, right, Kuru-nee?”

The other girl nodded weakly. “Completely (fine).”

“Shizu-chan, if you could keep an eye on the stove – it’s electric, so just move the pot off of it if you see it starting to boil over – and I’ll put these two back where they belong.” Orihara dragged the twins up the stairs by their wrists with surprising patience, unmoving when they fought against him.

Shizuo peered into the spacious kitchen, noting how tidy everything was, even though the man was in the middle of cooking. There was congee slowly cooking in the pot, and under the covered wok were carefully sliced pieces of cooked fish.

It seemed a bit plain for the man’s taste…

Hearing footsteps behind him, Shizuo turned. “Is that what you’re going to eat?”

“When they suffer, so do I.” The brunet chuckled as he began filling two bowls; now that Shizuo looked, Orihara seemed exhausted.

“What do you have in the fridge?” he asked causally, looking at the man’s hands so that he wouldn’t have to look at his face.

“Are you offering to cook for me, Shizu-chan?”

“Yeah,” Shizuo rumbled, “you got a problem with that, Orihara?”

It didn’t surprise him when Orihara leaned in, soft lips brushing against his cheek in a brief peck. “Not at all! I’m absolutely delighted.” Taking the two bowls, the brunet left him by the stove. “I’ll bring this up to them, and then I’ll help you, ne?”

Somehow, the rest of the evening passed uneventfully; Orihara kept his hands to himself, Shizuo managed to focus enough not to burn anything, and the food turned out surprisingly good. When they had cleared the plates, Orihara childishly took a stand. The teacher waved him away from the sink when he tried to help, flicking soap suds at him whenever he tried to go closer.

“What are you, ten?” Shizuo growled, flinching automatically from the water flying into his face.

“I’m twenty one,” the flea corrected him, “and I’m doing this because you don’t understand that I can’t let a guest do the dishes, ne?”

“Bullshit,” he breathed, and holding up a hand to shield his face, he got close enough to grab a hold of the man’s wrist, “Go check on your sisters, and then get some sleep.”

“Ara, do you want to sleep with me?”

Shizuo felt his face turn red at the words. “Hell no! I just don’t want you catching the fucking bug too because you’re too goddamn stubborn to sleep.”

“You’re too sweet, Shizu-chan,” Orihara laughed, but he washed the soap off his hands. “It’s getting late, though. You should probably get home, or your parents will worry.”

At the mention of the time, he glanced at the microwave clock, cursing when he read the glowing numbers on its face.

“I’ll leave the dishes for tomorrow, and I’ll go to sleep after I’m sure my sisters are perfectly comfortable. If I make a pinkie promise, will you be satisfied?”

He looked at the little finger being offered to him, and he scoffed, turning away. “And you’re a high school teacher?”

“Whatever method works,” the brunet shrugged with another one of his smiles, “Don’t forget your coat, ne? I don’t want to have to explain why I have one of my student’s blazers in my possession.”

Shizuo shrugged as he slipped on his shoes, but he made sure to grab the stupid coat anyway. “Who cares; you won’t be going to school tomorrow anyway, right?”

“Hmm,” there was that thoughtful hum again, “Could it be that you are planning to come over again tomorrow?”

“Maybe,” he said quietly. Shizuo stepped out of the house without another word, wondering what he was going to do about the pages of unfinished homework in his bag at home. There was no way he could get it done unless he pulled an all-nighter –

“Shizu-chan.” He turned around to find that Orihara was, unsurprisingly, smirking. “Call me Izaya when we’re alone, ne? ‘Orihara’ sounds so impersonal when I hear it from you.”

Deciding that it would be best if he didn’t voice his thoughts, Shizuo turned to go with a noncommittal grunt. He waited until he heard the soft click of the door behind him, until he had nearly walked a whole block before he dared to test the name on his tongue.

“Izaya-san.”

The honorific sounded as wrong to him as the way he was stumbling over the name, but his face was getting uncomfortably hot from just the thought of not using any honorific at all. It was one thing to call someone he’s known practically all his life – like Shinra – by their first name, and the twins were almost like his own sisters, but the implied closeness of being that carelessly causal with his teacher made him almost… embarrassed.

With a growl, Shizuo stubbornly pushed that thought aside, running a hand over his face. Damn it, he wasn’t one of those girls sighing and blushing over the flea, or one of those shitty bastards who kept snickering whenever the teacher turned around. He wasn’t even interested in the first place!

“Goddamn flea,” he cursed under his breath, just knowing that the man was laughing at him right now.

part II

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