A Contented Man

April 19 [Sat], 2014, 14:39
Heiwajima Shizuo was a contented man.

By the time he was 28, the blond with the notorious reputation was living an independent llife as a debt collector's bodyguard. A not so respectable occupation some might say, but the money he earned from his job paid the bills. It was also the only job he hadn't gotten himself fired from, and it even went as far as allowing Shizuo to have a kouhai. He never had had the chance to have a taste of the pride of being anyone's senpai before; he had always been busy fighting off the bullies a twisted teenage named Orihara Izaya had hired to make sure his schooldays had been Hell for him.

The bodyguard in sleek bartender suit and violet-tinted shade could only afford a cramped apartment with a single bedroom in the cheapest area of the district and convenient store-bought meals, with nearly half of his income went to pay the public facilities he wrecked regularly as a direct result to a certain informant’s constant mischief that had not ended after high school graduation. Yet he was grateful to have his own place to come home to, where he could have peaceful times gazing up at the stars on the balcony, alone with his menthol cigarettes and a bottle of chilled milk.

He was grateful for the occasional hearty lunches or dinners his employer and former upperclassman in middle school Tanaka Tom bought him after a long day at work in Sunshine 60, and the sweet treats he and Vorona shared from time to time after discovering that the 19-year-old Russian assassin had a sweet tooth herself.

The fortissimo of Ikebukurou was cursed with a monstrous strength which evoked both amazement and terror. But there were times when Shizuo regarded his ability as a blessing; those times being a few special moments when he was actually able to make use of his special power, such as that night he had wiped off an entire Saika army by himself, saving the city from a group of blood-thirst crazed individuals.

He never complained, even when the very same people he had helped fled from him the second they had had the chance. Even when the society shunned him for his abnormality, sentencing him to a lifetime's loneliness. Because that way no one would get close enough to him to get harmed. Because Shizuo had always wanted to tell them "don't be afraid. I won't hurt you. Don't walk away from me", but he never could--it was a promise he knew could not keep. Therefore, a part of the former bartender was glad that he was alone.

Shizuo was not always a solitary man, though. Aside from his employer and kouhai, he also had his baby brother. The youngest Heiwajima was constantly caught in his routine as a rising stars worshipped by hundreds of admirers, but every once in a while he would contact his older sibling to check up on him. Every several months or so would find himself venturing down the heavily populated streets in a block between JR East Station exit at Shuto Expressway 5 in his purple sport car, to meet his equally famous brother in person and catch up with each other's life.

The woman who had given birth to the monster everyone in the 'Bukurou feared so much had cried when her eldest son had decided to leave their home by the time he turned 18, with her husband just as heartbroken. But both still exchanged rare phone calls and New Year cards with their missing son, praying for the child's well-being from their new house in the countryside where not a single soul could alienate them for bringing terror into this already wretched world. They were far, but safe.

Lastly, the equation would surely never be complete without adding Celty Sturluson into it.

How many hours had both creatures of legend shared, seated next to each other, the male with a cigarette stuck between his lips and the female soothingly typing away on her PDA?

How many times had he jumped onto the back seat of the Dullahan's cóiste bodhar, to chase away those who had dared to disrupt the city's relative peace as a deadly duo? --or simply to ride to someplace random and tranquil, to confide in each other and rest their weary minds? Because really, there were moments when the strongest were actually the weakest.

Celty was a buffer to Shizuo's unstable temper. And he was probably one of few who saw her as simply a person, instead of a Celtic horror story or a headless goddess or a freak of nature that needed to be scientifically observed. To the blond she was a friend. An ally to trust his back to. A presence never to be replaced by absolutely anything or anyone in the face of earth and off it.

All in all, he felt lucky because he got everything he might ever need. If he was asked to mention one wish he would like to be granted, he would be reluctant to answer. He was already satisfied with what he had in his hands.

Heiwajima Shizuo was contented man.

. . . . .

Except for one particular moment.

And that moment was always when a certain woman in black biker suit and bright yellow helmet--or sometimes without the helmet--encased his calloused fingers with her own gentle and understanding ones, either to calm his anger or to soothe his injured feeling or to merely act playful with him.

At that kind of moment Heiwajima Shizuo would turn into a completely selfish man, who was starving for a better life.

A whole lot better life, which could start by never having to let go of the gloved hand he was holding.
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