Down the spider falls

Summary: A tiny being almost literally falls into Shizuo and Izaya’s laps. Now they seem forced to take care of it.
Pairings: sziz + srcr + mkao
Rating: T
Genre: Mystery / Drama
Story Type: Canon!AU
Setting: Baby!mk(?)(about a year old).
Warning: Long chapter because I work that way some times. Continues in Short 15.

It appeared very suddenly without warning. Slowly, it crept under the people. And no one had noticed it because they were too focused on their cell phones or that scene in front of them. That’s why no one had noticed it creep up under them.

Strangely enough, even its origin was a mystery. Since no one had noticed it at the beginning, no one knew where it came from. Perhaps it had been drawn to the noise. Or it was just curious. The point being that by the time everyone noticed it, it was too late.

Shizuo was known everywhere for his short temper. And especially known for his extreme dislike of the Shinjuku informer. So no one was surprised by the fact that they had gotten in another fight. And the thing was that people knew it was dangerous yet they still remained around, looking for the end of the fight.

As usual, Shizuo had grabbed a traffic sign and was in the middle of swinging it. The seconds passed by fast to the onlookers, but only Shizuo had noticed it. That’s why he had begun to slow down. Or at least he tried. And Izaya had noticed that small action.

‘Stop right there! Stop right there! Stop right there! Stop right there!’ Shizuo’s mind screamed as he had tried to stop his swing. “STOP RIGHT THERE!!!” He screamed at the top of his lungs, scaring all the onlookers. And for good reason.

Izaya had noticed it. That Shizuo had been trying to stop. And despite his hatred of the man, he knew that if the so-called strongest man in Ikebukuro was trying to stop his swing, there must be some innocent bystander involved. He just didn’t know what kind.

Until, that is, it fell right on his hands. Most likely, because of the sudden stop, the force of gravity shook it and caused it to fly forward. But as Izaya thought about how exactly it got in his hand (the calculations were a bit heavy, even for him), he realized that it was still in his hands.

He didn’t want anything to do with it. Unfortunately for him, fate wasn’t on his side today. Or as some random blogger would say, the city was most likely playing a trick on him today. Point being, he probably should’ve stayed home today.

The bystanders were all frozen in place. The first reason for that was the sudden scream Shizuo had just done. The second, and possibly the most important one, was because of what had just landed on Izaya’s arms, as if the precision was calculated by Shizuo.

The street fell into a deep silence until Shizuo dropped the sign to the floor with a frown on his face. Everyone watched him light up a smoke and turn around. Most likely, he didn’t want anything to do with it. Unfortunately for him, the moment he tried to leave, it broke into a loud cry. It completely took him by surprise and he looked back to see Izaya smirking.

Making a face that screamed ‘Hell no!’, he walked slowly back to Izaya but with a reluctant pace. It quieted down and Izaya took the chance to thrust it onto Shizuo, his smile never leaving him. Then, with that same smirk, Izaya tried to leave but felt something grabbing hold of him. Izaya turned around to look at it and saw Shizuo smirking as if saying ‘Karma’s a bitch, bitch.’ which, of course, only pissed off Izaya.

Both looked down on it and saw its happy face, as if glad to be between them both. And as they lowly growled in frustration, they seemed to have come up with something. Looking up at each other, their eyes projected a sort of silent agreement. They only spoke one word before walking away together, albeit reluctantly.

“Shinra.”

… … …

“Celty, my honey!” Shinra, who never really learned his lesson, tried to hug whom he believed to be Celty once she returned to their apartment, only to be greeted by a punch in the face. “Eh?” Feeling something off, he looked up from the floor to see the weirdest combination in the world. “Is the world ending? Shizuo and Izaya at the same time in my apartment? Without fighting? And what exactly do you have in your arms?”

“It is what it is, Shinra. Are you going blind?” Izaya mocked his long time friend, or rather associate since theirs could be the weirdest friendship, tied only with Shizuo and Shinra’s friendship.

“Would you cut it out you flea? Or do you really want to continue pissing me off?!” Shizuo yelled with an annoyed tone and felt a squirming in his arms. He looked down to see tears in its eyes and frowned. “Anyway, Shinra, we need to find this thing’s parents.”

“But it likes you two. Besides, that’s a rude thing to say about…” Shinra stopped again when the door opened behind the two. Once he saw the silhouette, Shinra got up from the floor to repeat his earlier mistake. “Celty, my honey!” And quickly received a blow to his ribs. “Ugh! This is definitely Celty…” He spoke happily to himself, standing beside his beloved.

[What’s going on here? Why are you two here together?] Celty asked curiously and eyed what Shizuo had in his arms. She was in shock, but it’s not like she could show it because of her lack of a head. Before she could say another word, someone burst in from behind her.

“Mikado~! I found you!” Masaomi’s sudden entrance surprised them all, even Celty, who had forgotten the fact that she had brought the teen with her. As Masaomi came towards Shizuo, the older male quickly stepped aside and let him fall in the hallway.

“I’m confused.” Izaya spoke up and everyone looked over at him. “Yes, I’m not the type to hide my confusion. But back to the matter, Kida-kun, did you just call that Mikado? As in Mikado-kun? That Mikado-kun?” He asked and watched Masaomi get up from the floor.

“Of course I meant Mikado. You’d think I wouldn’t recognize my best friend if I saw him.” Masaomi grinned, sounding very confident in himself, much like he would when going out to pick up girls.

“Great. Then you can take it.” Shizuo spoke without remorse and handed it to Masaomi with speed that rivaled his swings. Unfortunately, the moment it passed hands, it started bawling out in the loudest voice it could muster. Everyone, except Celty, covered their ears, though Masaomi was careful not to drop it.

Suddenly, as it continued to cried, Shizuo began to move to grab it once more but Masaomi froze him when he looked under the clothes. With a startled face, he shoved it back to Shizuo. “What did you do that for? Is this a new hobby Kida-kun?” Izaya joked with a grin, dropping his hands since it quieted down.

“That’s not Mikado.” Masaomi replied seriously and all looked at him confused. Then, he grinned aloofly and continued, “I mean, even I make mistakes as well. Sure, it looks like Mikado but…uh… That’s a girl.” The sudden confession surprised the rest and left both Izaya and Shizuo looking down on it. “Ah! I get it now!” Out of nowhere, Masaomi spoke again, his happier sounding words causing everyone to look at him again.

[What do you get?] Celty asked, moving a bit closer to Masaomi in order to ask the question.

“I know why Mikado disappeared now… Hehe…” His grin would have freaked out any normal person but the four in front of him weren’t exactly normal. With a dramatic movement, he pointed to it and cried out, “That’s Mikado’s love child!”

“What?” All three males asked at the same time.

“The mother must’ve run away and Mikado’s on the search for her. He probably left his love child with someone and it ran away looking for its mother and father. I understand everything now Mikado… I see… That means,” Looking at both Shizuo and Izaya, Masaomi’s grin widened. “You both are now its surrogate parents!”

“What the hell does that mean?” Shizuo took a step forward, towards Masaomi, with a menacing look.

“It means what it is!” Masaomi said slightly cryptically and moved away from all of them. “Then, since there’s nothing else I can do, see ya!” As if the problem at hand had nothing to do with him, Masaomi escaped.

“So, exactly what has been solved?” Shizuo asked with a glare and looked over to Shinra, who stood next to Celty with a complacent look on his face.

“Basically, you two have now entered parenthood! Is what I think that boy has just said.” Shinra tried to interpret Masaomi’s words in his own way while smiling at the two.

[What you mean is nothing, right?] If Celty could sigh, it was probable that she did at the moment, though if she thought about it, only Shinra would know. [I think you should do as that boy said. At the very least, she seems very comfortable in your arms, Shizuo.]

“Actually, the bigger problem is something completely different Celty.” Shinra began with a grin, turning all of his attention onto his beloved.

While Celty tilted her helmet to the side very cutely, Shizuo tried shoving it onto Izaya, who took a step back in retaliation. Then he got angry and tried to pin Izaya to the wall but the informer escaped behind Celty.

“Stop running around like children! You should listen too!” Shinra stopped them and sighed once they looked confused towards him. “Do you even have any idea what’s needed for raising a child? Diapers, toys, cradle? All those things?”

“I have money. I don’t think that’ll be a problem.” Izaya joked with a sly grin as if it were nothing but he had no plans of really doing anything.

“You may say that but Izaya-kun, are you sure about where to raise her?” The question was sudden that it surprised all three. “See, I knew you hadn’t thought about that. How do either of you expect to raise her right?” If you’re even capable of it, Shinra bit back those words for fear of his safety.

[Actually, I agree with you there Shinra.] Celty wrote to him and that made his day. As he screamed her name, he stupidly tried to hug her but fell to the floor after being hit once more. [I know you two don’t get along but this child right now trusts both of you. You really should decide your next course of action.] She warned them both but Izaya had started to escape.

At that moment, it started to cry once more and Celty had used her shadows to grab him by the legs. Then, very quickly, Shizuo placed it on top of Izaya, watching it play with Izaya’s hair very happily.

“Kids are cute, aren’t they?” Shizuo turned to Celty with a smile. “They can make even someone like this stupid flea more submissive!” Those sudden words surprised Celty and Shinra but probably Izaya even more.

“I’ll have you know that I’ve never given a second thought to this-! Ow! Owowowowow!” Izaya had sat up on the floor and quickly grabbed of it as it had held onto his hair very tightly. Shinra had to hide to hold in his laughter while Celty poked him to hide her own laughter. “Just take care of it yourself! You’re the one who would be a better parent!”

At that, Shinra burst out laughing. “What did I say that could be so funny?!” Izaya tried shoving it back to Shizuo but the bartender took a step back. Then, with all the cuteness in the world, it tried to go back to Izaya. “Fine then!” Izaya cried out and brought it closer to him. “But you’re coming too Shizu-chan!” He began to leave, noticing the tears that had begun to form in its eyes.

With a very serious second thought, Shizuo stayed seven steps behind Izaya, noting that just one more could cause it to cry. It really frustrated him. If he made it cry then he’d feel responsible, as if he had hit it hard. But this was something different and it frustrated him that now he was listening to Izaya’s commands. He just wanted to rip the broker in half, but he had been the one to place it on the broker’s hands in the first place. So basically, Izaya now held a hostage.

“We’re back, Namie-san!” Izaya declared with all the joy in the world as he stepped inside his apartment, leaving the door open for Shizuo.

“We?” Namie asked, turning around to see it and Shizuo. She had instantly frozen in place due to shock and was considering completely ignoring the whole situation. “So it happened…” She muttered to them, “You finally became the criminal in a very serious offense. But I never imagined that you’d partner up with Heiwajima Shizuo.”

“What the hell do you think you’re talking about?! I’m not here because I want to be!” Shizuo yelled in retaliation, nearly breaking the door.

“You shouldn’t show such violence in front of the baby Shizu-chan!” Izaya teased as he sat in his desk chair. “Right, Mikarin?” At his question, the baby burst into smiles.

“Mikarin?” Both Shizuo and Namie were confused.

“Well, we can’t just keep calling her an ‘it’ or ‘she’ or ‘the baby’, right?” Izaya laughed along with her.

“I think I just saw something I wasn’t supposed to…” Namie turned around and thought to herself, ‘They look alike there. Since when has that guy looked so childish? No, he’s always looked childish. It’s just the baby that makes him seem more so.’

“Don’t just decide a name on your own. You can’t take it back once you do!” Shizuo sounded like he was scolding Izaya but the other just took it as a compliment.

Then, all of a sudden, Mikarin started to cry, surprising them. “Eh? Why? I’m right here, right?” He looked towards Shizuo with a surprised look but Shizuo was taken aback by the burst of tears.

“For Christ’s sake…” Namie walked over to the pair and grabbed hold of Mikarin, who still cried loudly. “Yeah, I figured. You, the protozoatic brain, go buy some diapers and baby powder. And while you’re out, buy milk formula, a bottle, baby food…” Namie went on and on about what was needed, failing to ignore that Shizuo wasn’t listening to her at all.

“Why the hell do I have to look for it? She just cries when either of us steps too far from her.” Shizuo said with a glare and received a long stare from Namie.

“She won’t stop crying unless her diaper is changed. It makes no difference whether or not you’re here. Really now, you’re both useless, aren’t you?” Namie gave a sigh as she tried to calm Mikarin just a bit.

“Now, Namie-san, that’s a really bold thing of you to say.” Izaya grinned slyly as he watched her hold Mikarin. “Considering I write your paychecks, you know.”

“Orihara Izaya is a pedo.” Namie rebutted suddenly with confidence but both Izaya and Shizuo looked at her confused. “He’s kidnapped a child and can’t even take care of her right. He’s too ashamed to be seen buying this stuff. As if a guy like that could even buy this stuff on his own.” She continued without worry while staring at Mikarin. Then, with all the cool air she could muster, she turned to Shizuo with a grin. “If you’re looked at wrong, all you have to do is say those words.”

“Hold on, Namie-san…” Izaya stood up from his chair with a surprised look and then turned to see Shizuo’s grin.

“You’re right.” At those words, the two began a backwards mouse and cat game that left the onlookers completely in shock.

As she watched them leave, Namie brought out her cell phone and dialed a number. While, she waited for the other to pick up, she placed Mikarin on the desk and kept an eye on her. When it connected, she spoke up. “It’s me. They’re out right now.”

… …

“I have to hand it to Namie-san. She really got me there.” Izaya murmured to himself as he walked alongside Shizuo while they shopped for the baby essentials. He really didn’t want to do this shopping with Shizuo but if he didn’t have the oaf in his sights, he probably would’ve done what Namie had suggested. Even though it was something too underhanded and Shizuo would never do it, not even if it would cause Izaya pain.

“Stop muttering to yourself. How am I supposed to know what flavor of food to get?!” He screamed it so loud that everyone in the vicinity retreated. Izaya held in a chuckle and just picked whatever seemed yummy to him.

“What else are we missing?” Izaya asked, trying to be civilized for the moment. If Shizuo snapped and destroyed something he’d just blamed it on Izaya and Izaya would rather not have to pay property damages he could squirm his way out of. Outside was public property so it didn’t really matter to him but inside was a whole different matter. He’d rather not use all his resources thanks to Shizuo.

“Food, diapers…” Shizuo recounted the things in the shopping car with curiosity and gave Izaya an idea.

“Baby clothes!” Izaya declared and even more people started to leave the store.

“Huh?! We’re in a supermarket! How are we supposed to buy that here?!” Shizuo squeezed the cart’s handle a bit too tightly and ripped it off.

“You silly goose! They sell everything here!” Izaya teased much too stupidly and would soon regret it, but at the moment he simply thought, ‘Well if I don’t tease Shizu-chan every so often, I might get rusty.’

… …

“I heard the news.” Namie simply said with a cold stare as she placed Mikarin in Izaya’s hands. The moment Mikarin was passed over, she stopped crying.

“How-? Why…?” Izaya was confused as Shizuo nearly shoved him to the side to go inside the apartment and leave the boxes of things they bought.

“You really don’t know how to change a diaper, do you? I’ll have to teach you next time.” With those words, she left the apartment.

“Have I been tricked by Namie-san? How’d she get someone to bring this here so fast? Then again, we’ve been out for a while.” Izaya muttered to himself, going inside as well while failing to notice how Mikarin seemed to enjoy being in his hands.

“What the hell are you talking about, you flea?!” Shizuo nearly screamed at Izaya but lowered his voice when he saw Mikarin’s face. “Anyways, I’m done for today. I need to head home.”

“You don’t get it Shizu-chan? How many times does it have to happen before it sinks in?” Izaya teased with a grin, happy at Shizuo’s confused expression. “If you leave, Mikarin here will cry all night. And you already decided not to let her cry, right? Otherwise, you wouldn’t be here with me right now.”

“I need clothes.” Shizuo simply said with a glare.

“Alright, Shizu-chan. Let’s go get you some clothes!” Izaya declared with a smile and turned back to the door.

“Don’t get so cocky!” Shizuo yelled at him and smacked him over the head, slightly surprised that Izaya didn’t avoid it. ‘Still, felt a bit good.’ He thought to himself.

… …

“After that is this.” Namie calmly explained to both men as she cleaned Mikarin and used the baby powder. “If you don’t add this, she’ll have a rash and it’ll hurt her.”

“You’re so motherly, Namie-san. Sure you don’t want to raise her?” Izaya asked with a grin but was smacked in the face with baby powder.

“The only child I’m interested in raising is Seiji’s.” Namie clearly said and placed the diaper on. “Now, you’ll have to do this on your own. Don’t you dare say the poop smell makes you sick. She’s your kid so learn to love every inch of her.”

“I did tell you Mikarin isn’t ours right?” Izaya asked as he eyed Shizuo picking up Mikarin.

“You’re raising her, aren’t you? Makes no difference to me either way. She’s your responsibility.” Namie spoke coldly and walked away to do the rest of her work. When she had come in for work, she was surprised to see Shizuo still in the apartment. Though how they had slept the previous night was something she wasn’t interested in.

“You really shouldn’t anger me so much Namie-san.” Izaya tried to threaten her but paused the thought when he heard his cell phone ring at the same time as Shizuo’s. “Yes, yes?” He answered happily without much care. Maybe returning to work would help him get rid of Mikarin.

“Yes… Alright Tom-san.” Shizuo hung up the phone and looked over to Izaya. “I have to go to work.” He simply said and started to walk away when he noticed Mikarin squirming in his arms. Realizing he still had her there, he sighed.

“Aw, Mikarin, you don’t want to be away from Daddy or Mommy right?” Izaya teased the child but only caused Shizuo to get angry.

“And who the hell are you calling ‘Daddy’ or ‘Mommy’ anyways?!” He tried to throw something, but realized he only had Mikarin in his arms.

“But Shizu-chan, you make such an excellent Mommy.” Izaya grinned, loving the fact that Shizuo couldn’t attack him. Though before the situation got violent, Namie had shoved a baby bag in his arms.

“Here you go, ‘Mommy’. It’s got everything you need. You already know she gets hungry easily.” Namie told Izaya and quickly threw both out before she heard a word of complaint. “It’d be nice if they’d just realized they’ve got no way out of that child.”

… …

“Mikarin? Aw, that’s such an adorable name!” Masaomi grinned and tried to grab Mikarin but the other didn’t enjoy it. Celty on the other hand was allowed to carry her as Mikarin enjoyed being in her arms. “So how’s parenthood coming along? I bet she’s waking you up at odd hours in the night. Are you changing her diaper alright?”

“You want to be hit, don’t you? I haven’t let off this steam I got for a while now and it’s been building up a lot. So you don’t mind dying here and now for a while, right?” Shizuo seemed about ready kill Masaomi and the younger kid took the chance to run away quickly.

“That’s not nice Shizuo-kun. That kid is still worried about his friend, you know.” Shinra said as he came out of the building Shizuo and Celty were in front of. Currently, Shizuo and Mikarin were waiting for Izaya to come out as well. And it helped that Mikarin should be able to tell if Izaya got too far away by escaping. “Oh, Celty! You look so adorable! Want to try having-?” Without finishing his thoughts, Shinra found himself on the floor.

“You don’t want kids Celty?” Shizuo asked but failed to receive an answer when Mikarin suddenly started crying loudly. “This is…” Somehow, Shizuo learned to distinguish this cry from the times he had heard it before and how different it was to a normal one. “That flea!” He screamed out and took Mikarin in his hands.

“Huh? Shizuo-kun, what’s wrong?” Shinra asked as saw Shizuo make a mad dash into the building Shinra had come out of. “Oh, did Izaya escape? Wow, if not for the fact that it’s those two, people would think this is a case of spousal dispute.” He laughed to himself though Celty didn’t find it funny at all.

[Stop laughing Shinra!] Celty jabbed Shinra again angrily and thought to herself. ‘Ah, my chances of seeing a normal Ikebukuro are leaving me…’

“Don’t worry Celty. I’m sure they’ll learn eventually to rely on each other and to stop doing such silly things. A baby always changes a person’s perspective.” Shinra said with a smile and stood up.

[Like how a mother who originally wants to give away her baby changes her mind after giving birth to it?] Celty asked curiously and Shinra nodded happily.

“Yeah. Well, how do you say this? It’s like recognizing your responsibility or growing up. I guess that’s an accurate description of how things should end up.” Shinra explained and chuckled to himself. “Though the rate they’re going, it’ll be a while before they reach that level.”

[That still isn’t funny Shinra.] Celty bit back with slumped shoulders.

“In the meantime, would a child make you happy Celty?” Shinra asked and prepared himself for another smack but received nothing. Opening his eyes to look at Celty, he noticed her leaving. “Ah! Celty! Don’t run away! That shy side of you is cute but still! Don’t leave me behind!”

… …

“We have two options. Either buy a crib for Mikarin and bring a futon for you; or sleep all together in bed.” Izaya said calmly and received a deep glare from Shizuo. “Is the prospect of sleeping in the same bed as me disturbing Shizu-chan? I imagine you won’t be able to take sleeping on the floor for much longer. And Mikarin dropping in on you while you sleep is dangerous, you know.”

“Even if the world was covered in lava and your bed was the only salvation, I still wouldn’t get in it with you.” Shizuo seemed ready to snap but he still held the bottle just the right way. If he put too much pressure on it, it could break and hurt Mikarin after all.

“You’re so stingy Shizu-chan! No wonder you’re so grouchy if you can’t even get a decent night’s sleep.” Izaya teased with a grin and saw Shizuo come closer to him with the baby in tow.

Once he was in front of Izaya, he cornered him to the couch and was inches from his face. “How about I punch you to death so I can relieve my stress and the world of a piece of dirt like you?”

“Oh, my Shizu-chan. But if you did that Mikarin would be without a parent and would cry endlessly, wouldn’t you think so?” Izaya maintained his grin and felt something wet on his pants. With a confused and pale look on his face, Izaya looked down to see a puddle of drool mixed with milk that Mikarin had left.

“Just take a bath you flea!” Shizuo grabbed Izaya by the neck and threw him away from the couch before proceeding to clean Mikarin’s face. “You did a very good thing.” He told Mikarin with a grin, who responded happily, not knowing why Shizuo was happy.

“That’s why you’re a suitable Daddy, Shizu-chan.” Izaya commented to himself and continued on his way to the bathroom. Somehow, he was glad it was drool on him instead of puke.

… …

“What part of the baby is not supposed to be left alone do you not understand?” Namie glared at both of them, holding onto a happy Mikarin like a bag. “The baby can crawl. It’s big enough to crawl. You should have noticed it sooner!”

“See, Namie-san? I said you were very motherly. Would you like to take in Mikarin if it worries you so much?” Izaya grinned and received a smack on the head from Shizuo. “That hurts Shizu-chan! I proclaim it as DV! DV, I say!”

“How ‘bout I make it a homicide?” Shizuo asked by grabbing onto Izaya’s shirt neck. He was really pissed after all. All he did was take a small nap and end up woken up by Namie’s scream. It seemed Mikarin had somehow found a way up the stairs and was looming over the edge.

So now Namie held onto Mikarin while standing in front of the two men who were sitting on the floor supposedly reflecting on their actions.

“Damn it, he’s wrong. You two make the worst parents ever…” Namie muttered to herself in an angry tone but Izaya caught what she said.

“Oh, who are you talking about Namie-san? Is there something you know about Mikarin?” Izaya asked with a slight grin, thinking there was something his worker was hiding from him. The fact that someone had said the opposite of ‘they make the worst parents ever’ meant someone thought they did. Which meant that whoever thought of them as good parents think Mikarin is safe with them. “What would happen if I seriously hurt Mikarin? Would that person keep quiet?”

Of course, those were the wrong words to say at the moment as Izaya felt a tight grip on his arm. Looking to his left, he saw Shizuo’s angry look and realized his mistake.

“Right here, right now, DIE.” Shizuo was serious until Mikarin broke into a cry. She had probably sensed the mood in the room and was scared, rather than curious about her position. For a second, Shizuo was surprised but never let go of Izaya’s arm.

“Here.” Namie suddenly dropped Mikarin in Izaya’s arms and both males watched Mikarin fuss over Izaya with tears in her eyes. Then, while they tried to calm her down, Namie escaped the three without a single word, effectively escaping Izaya’s line of questioning.

“This is what happens when you say stupid things.” Shizuo spoke to Izaya with a glare and forced him to comfort Mikarin cautiously.

Namie stood by the windows and looked outside at the scenery. Then, she shook her head at something and looked back at the two idiots and Mikarin. ‘Maybe it’ll work out. As long as they don’t give up on her.’ Namie thought to herself, feeling only slightly worried about everything.

… …

Masaomi came into the apartment with an angry look and dropped down on Izaya’s sofa without a word. Both Izaya and Shizuo looked at him confused while Mikarin was excited to see another person in the apartment. Namie was out at the moment so she wouldn’t be able to comment on anything, which was probably a good thing.

“So, what is it now, Masaomi-kun?” Izaya asked with a smile, hoping the boy wouldn’t bring him more misfortune since the time he declared both him and Shizuo as surrogate parents.

“You haven’t heard anything about where Mikado has gone, right?” Masaomi asked, turning his gaze to the information broker. There was worry in his eyes, Izaya could tell.

“If you’re asking whether I know anything, then you’re sadly mistaken. Oh? Don’t tell me you saw Mikado-kun?” Izaya’s smile turned into a grin, though he was actually pissed. If Masaomi had seen Mikado then that meant the boy was not going on a nationwide search for Mikarin’s mother, which in turn could say that Mikarin was in no way related to Mikado and Izaya and Shizuo had really been partners in a kidnapping crime.

“No! It couldn’t have been him! I in no way acknowledge that was Mikado!” Masaomi screamed in a frustrated voice. Whatever plagued him was really bothering him.

“You saw Ryugamine? Where?” Shizuo, who had finally caught up to the conversation, asked menacingly to Masaomi.

“I’m telling you it wasn’t him! There’s no way Mikado would go into a love hotel with Kuronuma Aoba of all people!” Masaomi screamed at the top of his lungs and ran away from the apartment as fast as he could. He didn’t want to accept it. He wanted someone to tell him he was wrong. But he also wanted Izaya to find out the truth. But if it was, then he didn’t want to hear it. So Masaomi ran away.

“Interesting. I’ll have to look into that.” Izaya grinned and stood up. Almost immediately, Shizuo watched silently how Izaya began to make quite a few phone calls.

But it didn’t give him any results.

… …

“So, since the baby would’ve cried anyways if either of you were away, you left her behind in order to cover more ground?” Tom asked with a worried look on his face. “Isn’t that irresponsible?”

“That Namie woman is there taking care of her. She’ll be alright.” Shizuo explained and took out a smoke. “Ah, haven’t had this for a week now…”

“Seriously? You of all people?” Tom was surprised by the bit of news. He never figured Shizuo for the type to quit smoking in front of kids. ‘Who knew pigs could fly?’

“But maybe I should quit.” Shizuo suddenly stopped himself from lighting the cigarette. “I have a hunch that whatever that flea wants to do won’t work. No matter what, Mikarin will still be here with us.”

“If that’s how you feel, then quit. If you continue now, you’ll just lose your resolve.” Tom said with a wide grin. “But please don’t stop working. You’re our best collector, you know. No matter how mild you might seem, the name Heiwajima Shizuo still makes this business run well. I owe a lot to you.”

“I owe you more Tom-san so don’t worry. I’ll just force the flea to come with us on our runs.” Shizuo grinned and walked away. Tom couldn’t help but smile to himself. The change in Shizuo, although small, felt good. If things continued on this track, Ikebukuro might be more peaceful. Though then again…

‘Spoke too soon.’ Tom thought to himself as he heard Shizuo’s roar on how Izaya had been slacking.

… …

Shizuo woke up in the middle of the night when he felt something fall on his face. Looking to his right, he realized it was Izaya’s arm. Growling very lightly, he shook it away but the broker didn’t wake up at all. As he sat up, he realized Mikarin was right in the middle of the futon.

Because Shizuo had refused to sleep in Izaya’s bed, said flea went and brought him his futon to sleep in. “If Mikarin falls, at least it’ll be on something soft.” Was Izaya’s reasoning, but why the flea didn’t buy a crib was more of a mystery to Shizuo.

Ruffling his hair, Shizuo grabbed Izaya and placed him back on his own bed with a little force. “Shizu-chan, that hurts…” Izaya murmured in his sleep yet still he refused to wake up. This surprised Shizuo a lot but he shook away the thought and returned for Mikarin. Softly placing her next to Izaya, Shizuo finally decided to sleep next to the two.

Of course, Izaya would never let him live down this decision. Which he came to regret come next morning.

“Kya! Shizu-chan, you dog! And here you swore you’d never got into bed with me!” Izaya mocked Shizuo with more ill will than the embarrassed girl look he had on.

“Shut the hell up, you flea! I only did it so nothing happens to Mikarin! Why the hell didn’t you buy her a crib anyways?!” Shizuo bit back, following Izaya around the room.

Both knew the leaving the room was a big no. Mikarin would cry if they disappeared on her. And Izaya didn’t want Shizuo meddling too much into his things, lest he find the one thing that didn’t belong to him and was stashing away for “safekeeping”. So both ran around the room like idiots until Izaya slipped on Shizuo’s futon and was slightly beaten in front of a happy Mikarin by Shizuo.

… … …

“Oh, I was wondering how long it’d take for you to find me.” In front of the two stood the person they needed to speak with the most. Next to him was a year-younger male, happily grinning towards the two men. He found the whole situation hilarious and was trying hard to contain his laughter. “How are you Mikarin? You’ve been treated well, haven’t you?” He asked the baby girl in one of the two’s arms with a carefree smile.

“Stop kidding around Ryugamine! You’re acting just as worst as this flea!” The angry blond yelled in response, not noticing how the baby girl had been surprised by the roar.

“Oh, please don’t place me in the same category as Izaya-san. That’s very rude, you know.” The raven-haired boy replied with a small chuckle, though he had meant to pout in front of them.

This confrontation was put in motion by the boy’s best friend who, after finding out that the best friend that had been missing for almost two weeks was now in school, had run as soon as he could to the classroom next door to find him. Unfortunately for him, his best friend had managed to avoid him. So after searching the grounds of the school, he finally found his best friend. Oh, and the situation he found him in…

“Ah, Masaomi? I’ll talk to you later. I’m a little busy, see?” His best friend’s voice was calm and even his face didn’t seem worried in the slightest, considering that the young blond had just caught him in the middle of sex inside the school grounds. Even his partner, the year-younger male was too busy feeling immense pleasure from being taken to care about anything else.

“Sempai… Mikado-sempai!” He had called out his best friend’s name and seeing truth in front of him caused the young blond to retreat. And to feel incredibly depressed by everything. He didn’t want to accept that his best friend could be in a relationship with a kid he hated from the bottom of his heart.

So in the end, despite feeling horrible about it, he reported the situation to the two men who also needed to speak to the raven-haired boy. But since that moment, both boys played a small game of cat and mouse with the two men. Yet even now, that they had been cornered, both boys didn’t seem all that worried. In fact, inside their hearts, they were even pleased by the situation.

“Aah! Awa! Wahwah!” The baby girl tried to voice something out but she was still too young to be comprehended completely. At the very least, the words she had been trying to form were unnoticed by the two men.

“That’s right Mikarin. You’re getting better. Soon you’ll be able to talk, won’t you?” The raven-haired boy spoke with a happy tone, but the baby girl had been too far away at the moment for him to truly speak with her.

“Really now? What was your plan, Mikado-kun? This baby girl is yours, isn’t it? Just because you’re underage doesn’t mean you should throw away your parental rights.” The one holding onto the baby girl spoke with a grin, thinking up ways to make the boy confess.

“But Izaya-san, both you and Shizuo-san are Mikarin’s parents. She herself has accepted this. You really shouldn’t play with a young damsel’s heart. Why not go back home and continue your game of house? You’re enjoying yourself anyways, aren’t you?” The raven-haired boy spoke as if he knew everything and perhaps he did. At the very least, more than the two men knew.

“And don’t try to deny it, Orihara Izaya. Both me and Mikado-sempai have been watching you both all this time.” The year-younger boy said with a sly grin but his sempai turned to him with a frown.

“You shouldn’t say it like that Aoba-kun, you’re making us sound like stalkers.” He scolded him and the other understood he was in the wrong.

“Oh! I see. You’re right sempai.” Though he meant to apologize, the kouhai still sounded like he wasn’t sorry in the slightest. Of course, the fact that they had been completely ignoring the two men seriously pissed off the angry blond.

“Ryuuugaaamiiineee!!!” He took a step forward, his face only seeming angrier by the second. The man next to the blond frowned only slightly. That way of speaking was usually reserved for him. Of course, the man completely failed to understand that what he felt at the moment was something akin to jealousy.

“This would be a good chance to run, except…” The raven-haired boy began with a thoughtful look that turned into a full blown grin. “You haven’t learnt anything at all, have you Shizuo-san? You really should look to your left.” He pointed to the baby girl and both men finally noticed the tears in her eyes.

“You’re doing that on purpose. How?” The other man asked, trying to calm the baby girl down. Even the angry blond had calmed himself quickly and tried smiling at her.

“Oh, I’m not doing anything. Mikarin is completely autonomous. She doesn’t need me ordering her around like your puppets do, Izaya-san. After all, Mikarin wants the same thing I do.” He smiled and felt a tug on his arm. “Ah, it’s time? Well, then, please hurry up and realize it. Mikarin has always belonged to the two of you. She cares about you two as much as I do.” At those words, he left both men confused and the year-younger boy slightly jealous.

Unfortunately, before either could ask anything, the roar of a bike was heard and both boys were rescued by the infamous Black Rider. Without the speed that could catch up to her, they decided on the same thing.

“Shinra.”

… … …

“Celty isn’t here, you know.” Both Izaya and Shizuo were greeted in this way by their so-called friend. “I only heard about it today. It seems Mikado-kun contacted Celty and asked for her help with something. I would’ve told you two, but it looks like you already know.”

“We’ll wait here until she gets back. I want to know what she does.” Izaya said and walked inside the apartment as if it were his own. Shizuo soon followed quietly and Shinra did so last after closing the door.

“Well, anything you two want in the meantime?” Shinra offered some hospitality, though he just wanted the two out of his place as soon as possible.

“You checked out Mikarin’s health last time, right? It was all okay, right?” Izaya began his questioning with those two; however, Shinra just looked at him weirdly before answering.

“What are you talking about? Of course it was. Don’t tell me you did something? Did something happen to her?” Shinra looked a bit too worried about the line of questioning. “I mean, I told Celty it was only a matter of time before Mikarin-chan showed symptoms of Shaking Baby Syndrome!” His worry was short-lived when Shizuo smacked him against the floor with one punch, effectively knocking him out.

“No matter how stupid his thought was, you really shouldn’t have knocked him out, Shizu-chan. I was really worried about that ‘autonomous’ word Mikado-kun used just earlier. That meant he didn’t regard Mikarin as human and I’m pretty sure she’s not a robot.” Izaya said with a frown and looked down at the happy Mikarin who had somehow fallen asleep by now.

“I know.” Shizuo’s words surprised Izaya a lot. “But I didn’t like how he thinks we can’t raise one baby.” At that, Izaya gave a light laugh and agreed with Shizuo without making him angry. After that, an awkward silence befell them both and they simply decided to wait.

Luckily, it seemed Celty was not far as she had soon arrived to see all four in her living room. “Celty!” Shinra, who had recovered by now, quickly jumped towards his beloved and was greeted by a blow to the stomach. The usual treatment seemed welcomed and he simply stood next to her after recovering.

[I figured you might come here. Sorry about not saying that I found Mikado.] Celty wrote to them and waited for their response, which she assumed would only be negative.

“Well, I really was surprised you helped him out. But you got to know what’s really going on around here, didn’t you? I doubt even you would condone his actions if you thought he was in the wrong.” Izaya spoke calmly but with his usual grin. He was most likely trying to scoop out information but Celty shot him down fast.

[I won’t tell you what you want to know. All I can say is that I agree with Mikado. Everyone has your best interests at heart.] Celty wrote and left Shinra confused.

“Even me?” He had asked, wondering how he could be in agreement when he knew nothing at all. But Celty nodded to him and he decided to go with it. No matter what, Celty was the one he would always side with.

“How is leaving a baby in our care the best option for both her and us? Neither of us is capable of doing this! Didn’t he think we’d hurt her?” This time, it was Shizuo who spoke wrongly and Izaya gave him a small smack on the forehead.

“Have we changed?” Izaya decided to ask and the response was automatic.

“Yes.” Both Shinra and Celty replied with a nod.

“Then he just wanted to make us more soothing to everyone? That’s just downright like me. Is Mikado-kun trying to take my spot?” Izaya was only slightly worried about that part but more intrigued by the idea.

But Celty shook her head and wrote, [He was just worried. You both becoming soother was a plus to his plan it seems. He’ll tell you when the time comes, is what he told me.]

“Then we’re supposed to just keep on like this? Raising the kid he doesn’t want to raise himself?” Shizuo asked this time but Celty took a while before she nodded in response.

[You two were always meant to raise her. I think that’s an accurate response from what he had told me.] With that the conversation died and all three left the apartment. [Thank you for holding down the fort, Shinra.]

“Always! I do anything for you Celty.” Shinra looked happy with himself and continued. “Though I think I figured it out. What Mikado-kun’s plan is, that is. And if I have, then most likely, Izaya has as well.”

[I know.] Celty responded and slumped her shoulders. ‘I might’ve said too much. Though I’m not sure if this’ll help Mikado or not, I’m still worried. I hope it doesn’t blow up in his face in the end…’ If only Celty could sigh, she’d be doing so right now.

… …

“What do you have planned, flea?” Shizuo asked, eyeing the happy-looking Izaya with a frown.

“Oh, don’t worry. You’ll see. I’ve more or less figured things out. I really won’t go along with Mikado-kun’s plan. Though it has been fun taking care of Mikarin.” Izaya explained with a grin and turned to Shizuo. “So Shizu-chan, how much do you hate me?”

“A hell of a lot. What’s the point in asking? That won’t ever change.” Shizuo was curious about Izaya’s line of questioning and took a step away from Izaya. Something told him that whatever Izaya was thinking of wasn’t going to be any good.

“Yeah, I figured.” With those words, Shizuo dropped his guard a bit. “I mean, I hate you too so I figure Mikado’s plan will never work. But, if we do what I’m thinking of, he might show up of his own accord.” Izaya’s grin widened and Shizuo lifted his guard again by taking another step away from Izaya.

Seeing his movements, Izaya couldn’t help but chuckle to himself. The way Shizuo was acting around him was actually funny. Once they were back at the apartment, they greeted Namie and Izaya got ready to tell Shizuo his plan. It would make the pretty angry so he had to be ready to use Mikarin if necessary.

“Here Namie-san, could you hold Mikarin for a little bit?” Izaya started by placing Mikarin in Namie’s hands. Immediately, the baby girl looked distressed but since both males were still in front of her, she had yet to cry out. It seemed she was getting better at understanding situations.

“What are you planning, flea?” Shizuo repeated with a doubtful look. He really didn’t trust Izaya, no matter the situation.

“Oh, don’t worry, Shizu-chan. It’s quite easy, you know.” Izaya smiled wickedly and pulled down hard on Shizuo’s shirt neck before planting a kiss on his lips. Namie froze on the spot while Mikarin looked in awe at the scene. She had never seen something like this so when Shizuo pushed Izaya away with force, she looked slightly disappointed and her tears swelled around her eyes. “Now look what you did, Shizu-chan. Mikarin is sad.” Izaya coughed a bit and rubbed his back. The attack was stronger than he anticipated.

“What the hell’s up with you anyways?! Doing something like that all of the sudden?!” Shizuo asked, rubbing his lips to get rid of the feel and taste of Izaya’s kiss.

“The kiss? It’s part of the plan, Shizu-chan. Just go with it for now. Come on, we have a show to put on.” Izaya said as he grabbed Shizuo’s hand as if it were nothing. The other tried to pull away but stopped when he saw Mikarin’s happy face and felt slightly curious about this ‘show’ Izaya was talking about.

“A show? That won’t work. Not if you’re planning on doing the whole thing.” Namie murmured and watched them enter the bedroom. Looking down at Mikarin, she noticed that the baby girl was now crying silently. Muttering a curse to herself she went and looked for her cell phone. “Be grateful brat. At least I’m keeping you happy.”

… …

“I told they’d do it eventually, Mikado-sempai.” The clingy kouhai, Kuronuma Aoba, spoke with a grin as he looked over to the two slightly shocked males.

Izaya’s plan had been simple. Get Shizuo in the same room as him and make fake sex. Somewhere in the middle they began to fight for the top position and Izaya succumbed to Shizuo’s advances. So while Namie had invited Mikado and Aoba in for the unth time, she put up with their moans of pleasure and tried to prevent Mikarin from hearing too much.

Mikado had been thankful for Namie’s call and played with the now calm Mikarin. The fact that she was always happy around him was something obvious to the three. Both of them were on the same wavelength after all.

“And it only took them about…three weeks?” Ryugamine Mikado, the mastermind behind everything this time around, asked Namie with a smile. He seemed much too happy-go-lucky at the moment.

“Something like that. Just go with it.” Namie simply said and waved off the whole conversation. She wanted this to be over but knew it never would. Especially not know.

“Mikado-kun, Aoba-kun. Why are you here?” Izaya was the first to ask, noticing how Mikarin seemed at ease with Mikado. There was something fishy that he didn’t understand yet. But at the very least, it seemed like part of his hunch was correct.

“To congratulate you, Izaya-san. You’ve figured it out, haven’t you?” Mikado said with a smile and played a bit with Mikarin again.

“That you wanted me and Shizu-chan to hook up? Yeah, I know that much from what Celty told us. How about you explain the rest?” He asked with a grin and slowly sat down on the sofa, wincing a bit from the pain.

“That was the plan?! What the hell for?!” Shizuo screamed at Mikado and noticed how Mikarin was surprised by his loud voice. Feeling bad about that, he sat down next to Izaya quietly.

“I like Izaya-san and Shizuo-san.” Mikado started with a smile, looking down at Mikarin. Izaya quickly noticed how Aoba looked glum at that. “That’s why I thought, it’d be better if you two ‘hook up’ already and save us all the trouble of always looking after you two.”

“That sounds unnecessary.” Shizuo quickly spoke up and Mikado smiled sadly at him.

“Yeah. I know you two really hate each other. So getting you two in that position would take a miracle. Or maybe something that could put you two at ease and force you together.” He explained and looked up at Namie. “That’s why I asked Namie-san for her help. You see, Mikarin is my clone.”

“Huh?!” Both were taken by surprise at the sudden impossible revelation. They really didn’t believe it.

“Why else would she refuse you two to be separated? Why she only calmed down in your presences? Mikarin carries my will. My deep desire and worry. I told you, Mikarin wants the same thing I do and she cares about you two as much as I do.” Mikado explained and lifted Mikarin in the air. “We have the same face, you know.”

At that, Izaya and Shizuo couldn’t help but agree. Mikarin really did look exactly like Mikado.

“You two softening up was something extra. The city feels safer knowing you two are actually working together to raise a child. Why do you think you never found me? Or why I had no problem missing class so much or evading Masaomi in school? The teachers and everyone else knows. I’m the one who placed Mikarin in between you so they wanted to thank me somehow.” Mikado stood up and walked towards Izaya, quickly handing him the baby girl in his lap.

“So everyone else knew?” Izaya asked with a pissed smile. He really didn’t like that.

“No, not really. I made that up.” Mikado suddenly said with a smile. “Aoba-kun and his gang helped us out. They really enjoyed seeing a mellowed out Izaya-san and Shizuo-san.”

“Ryugamine!” Shizuo screamed, standing up to punch Mikado but Izaya stopped him by holding his hand.

“And Namie-san? How did you get her to agree?” He asked, looking over at the woman.

“Isn’t it obvious? Seeing you in an awkward position was fun.” Namie honestly replied with a grin. She had enjoyed the whole show from start to finish.

“From the very beginning, Mikarin was meant to be there. With you and Shizuo-san. And it’s not like you’ll get rid of her, right? Not after taking so much time out of your busy life to raise her. You both compromised a lot here, haven’t you?” Mikado was smiling at them and the two could not help but agree to that point. They had already given a lot of themselves to Mikarin. If they didn’t see this through, it would just nag them to no end.

“You really planned this all out? What if you had failed?” Izaya asked, looking at Mikado with a half-assed grin.

“I would take care of Mikarin. Simple as that. Of course, I’d teach her to completely mess up your lives in exchange but still…” His sly grin surprised both males but only Aoba seemed excited by it. “Now then, with that out of the way… Congratulations again Izaya-san, Shizuo-san. I expect you two to be happy and to take care of Mikarin as best as you can.”

“What if I teach her all sorts of things?” Izaya suddenly asked, trying to get at least one win out of this.

“Yeah, I really don’t think Shizuo-san would let you. Having two people with your personality would only piss him off.” Mikado pointed over to Shizuo and Izaya looked at him, only to be greeted by various flicks to the head. “Good bye then you two. Thank you again, Namie-san. I’ll see you some other time.”

With that Mikado and Aoba left the apartment. Namie quickly got up as well. “I’m going home now.” She simply said and walked out of the apartment, leaving all three alone.

“What now?” Shizuo asked with a sigh, taking all the information said and processing it as detailed as he could. Everything was just too sudden.

“Easy. You move in Shizu-chan. Officially.” Izaya said, rubbing his forehead. “Since we already decided to raise Mikarin ‘till the end, we might as well make it official.”

“You have those sorts of desires?” Shizuo eyed him doubtfully, slightly backing away from Izaya.

“Well, I can’t say it didn’t feel good. And I’m not planning on letting only you get away. So let’s just make the best of it.” Izaya grinned and rested his head against Shizuo’s arm. “Let’s give everyone a show to remember.”

With a silent look, Shizuo placed his hand on Izaya’s head. “Agreed.” He simply said.

But before the whole scene could go anywhere, they frowned at the smell that could only be identified as Mikarin. Looking down, they saw a bothered Mikarin and began a game of rock-paper-scissors to decide who would change Mikarin’s diaper.

Izaya lost.

End

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