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captains x gn!reader

warning: profanity, implied sexual content, heavy drug and cigarette use, blood mention, mild violence, religiously sensitive

mafia au

-/-

there is no orange.

there are no traitors in this operation.

-/-

part i: aurora

1. 

Bokuto likes fairy tales. 

Bokuto is also crazy, which makes the book of utmost importance.

Taking care of it, like many other things, falls to you. But you don't mind, because you are Leader. This is what Leader does.

This is what Leader has been doing for the past fifteen years.

You slide into the driver's seat of your car, tossing a rickety suitcase in the back and wait for Bokuto to fold his lanky limbs in as well, just a bit too long for your small instrument.

Your wolf-boy is a savant that was retarded at six and killed his first man at ten. Even in your world of lions and other worldly beasts, they still fear Bokuto the most. They tell you that you do a good job in managing him, sometimes even ask you how you do it. But Leader simply nods with a thin-lipped smile.

Because Leader does not manage anyone, only loves Bokuto fiercely enough to accept him no matter what, even when he's covered in someone's blood, dazed and giggling.

Bokuto chatters about two people he saw on the train today, twisting his fingers as he babbles something about flowers and paint, and you hum in agreement, only half listening.

Bokuto's large hand palms through the glove box and gently plucks out the book, thumbing through the small, yellowed pages packed with dense German.

You know Bokuto can't read German, but he still reads it, looking thoroughly fascinated every time his eyes meet the pastel and ink illustrations of the pages.

Your eyes flicker away from the road for one moment and over to Bokuto's childishly curious face, drinking in the sight of him as the hum of the ninety-mile-an-hour engine settles around your hips.

2.

Kuroo infuriates you.

He is a crime princeling born with hundreds of stolen silver spoons already shoved into his pretty little mouth. He is not hardscrabble like the rest of you, he is cosseted with cloaks of gold and enough money and pride to keep that wild head of hair up. He likes fast cars because they're pretty, you like fast cars because they're fast enough to get you away. He likes women because they're pretty, you don't like women, only respect the clever ones. 

Obviously, you don't get along at first. You're too different. You and Daichi worked to get where you were. In the city, there were swarms of half-naked, filthy children begging big-suited men to take them in, their dirt-caked feet pattering through the streets as they fought each other to carry someone's groceries or shine a single shoe or deliver a newspaper. In the city, you had to be smart. And you two were, you knew when to shut up and listen, when to bow your head as yessir, nosir fell from your lips like candied rain.

Today, both you and Kuroo wear Stuart Hughes and Armani, but only you scrubbed floors for them.

On the first day, you'd told him, "Let's work hard." Kuroo had scoffed.

You didn't hesitate to put him in his place.

You don't give two shits about Kuroo's family and his connections, though seeing the number of times your bosses have called you and, in one too many euphemisms, asked you to be gentler on the precious fucking prince maybe you should.

But no one's come to kill you just yet, so you continue to have your way with your resident royalty.

Some days, when Kuroo is late, you walk briskly into his golden hotel room high above the clouds and kick his door down with no hesitation, ignoring the naked and shrieking woman that leaps up from his side on the bed, only slapping him twice on each side of his skull and telling him to get his ass into the car. Kuroo looks at you with the utmost reverie, bewildered and naked, and the look in his eyes makes you feel just a little bit like God. 

You don't smile, you don't breathe, but you feel good.

3.

Daichi doesn't kill on Sundays. 

He strips off his gleaming suits and dress shoes and in their place he wears slacks and a tucked-in shirt. He goes to church and looks for God, praying for something.

Forgiveness, perhaps, but sometimes you think he's praying for you.

There have been times where you've wondered what would happen if you made Daichi angry on his sacred day.

But then you remember that it would never happen, because you'd rather face down the barrel of a rifle before you betrayed Daichi. He is family, he is your best friend, he is home.

4.

Oikawa comes from the hill folk.

In other words, he comes from nowhere.

He comes from the sky, the trees, the ocean, the sand, and the heart that you lost decades ago. He is free and wild and fierce and you wonder, sometimes, if Oikawa is God.

Bokuto shares the same sentiments, and one time he tried to convince you that Oikawa came from the forest.

It didn't take much convincing.

"The forest?" You ask. You are on the bathroom tiles, Bokuto bleeding his insides out onto the floor. Your heart is trying to force its way out of your chest and into your fingertips, and you're listening in forty-six directions for the sound of footsteps.

Your mind reaches out and finds the book through the desperation and the haziness. Your press your shirt further into Bokuto's side.

"From the mountains," Bokuto wheezes happily, despite the copious amounts of blood spilling out of him, his lips glinting with saliva under the cold neon light.

"From a town?"

"No," Bokuto whines weakly, "from the mountains."

"Really? Was he raised by wolves?"

"Remus and Romulus."

You manage a quiet chuckle, adding more pressure.

"Huh."

"He's a spirit."

"Like a fairy?"

"I dunno."

"D'you think Oikawa is god?"

"Ask Daichi."

You laugh.

Oikawa arrives seven minutes later and helps Bokuto hobble back into the car, and as you're speeding away into the dense darkness that is the night, you ask Oikawa if he is in fact God.

Oikawa laughs and laughs and laughs.

"No," he chuckles.

It still doesn't explain why you can hear holiness in his laughter.

5.

Just as Bokuto has his little book, you have yours.

It's not a journal, the Boss would never let you write anything incriminating, it's more like--

poetry.

You write at night, on the strength of two cigarettes, two grams of cocaine, and one bottle of chilled green tea. You let sounds drift through you and onto the page: the sounds of cars speeding by, the crackle of fire, the smooth feeling of playing cards sliding past each other, sex, sahara sands glinting in the midday sun, growling, high heels, barside chatter, clinking of liquid gold, crickets, gunshots and their mufflers, yowls of pain or victory. Your hands find themselves buried in your hair, raking through it so hard your scalp aches.

Daichi makes a noise of interest on the other side of the room, pointing towards the television.

"Look at him."

You spare a glance at what Daichi's watching, some teenage action anime you don't bother to recognize.

"Attack on Titan," he clarifies in amusement, watching your bored expression remain engraved on your face.

"Mhm," you grunt, turning back to your book.

But the spell is broken now, and Daichi pipes up, "Doesn't he remind you of you?"

The screen focuses on a man with an undercut and cold, dark eyes, empty and maybe a little bit desperate, gazing hotly through the cell bars at the broken boy in front of him.

You think maybe you look like that sometimes.

(though you're not sure who you look like more, the boy or the man.)

(maybe both, you muse quietly.)

part ii: first light

6. 

There are three kinds of drivers in your little entourage.

At the bottom of the pile is Bokuto, who only chooses to ride shotgun and stick his head out of the window as he lights up a blunt, more like a puppy than the wolf that he is. You don't mind, though, you're glad Bokuto is happy that way.

You, Oikawa, and Kuroo come in the middle. You're all decent at driving, like cars enough to deal with them and the feeling of speeding down the road without a care in the world.

But Daichi, Daichi remains in his spot at the top. To him, cars are animals. Living, breathing animals. He has a special way with them, he's most beautiful when laying on his back under the belly of the beast and hands plunged deep inside, oil and grease coating his hands like the spilled blood of all those that used to be on the other side of his gun.

Still, skill only gets you so far.

The car is wrecked beyond repair, and you're not even sure what's going on until you find Bokuto's concerned eyes roving over your face as he yells your name into your ear. When your eyes blink open blearily, he nods to himself in satisfaction, nuzzles your cheek roughly, and teeters to the other side, giving Kuroo the same treatment.

"You okay?"

You squint up at Daichi's shadow through the shattered window. "In a minute. Can't feel my legs."

Daichi nods and pries the door open, lifting you up and setting you gently on the concrete, kissing your forehead lightly.

"Better?"

You hum, pecking his lips quickly, before suddenly looking up at him. "The book?"

Daichi blinks, scratching the back of his head. "Ah, whoops, forgot about that."

"Tetsu's alive!" You hear Bokuto shout triumphantly.

You smile slightly. Strange as he may be, Bokuto can be irresistibly cute sometimes. Somewhere a little along the way, Oikawa joins in Bokuto's chants of victory with a hoarse voice.

You push yourself up with a groan and look in the car, "We need to get going soon. Dai, the glove box--"

And then you pause to really look at the wreck.

"I don't think Daichi can fix this one," Oikawa says with a sympathetic smile.

Daichi's eyes look his baby up and down one last time, book in one gloved hand.

He shrugs.

"'S okay, I can buy a new one."

7.

The pack of cards started off as a practical joke.

You'd always been a fidgeter, and Kuroo would occasionally say that it'd be better for you to fiddle with cards rather than the trigger of a gun. They bring a deck of cards for you the next day, the shiny, stiff surfaces of the cards begging to be broken by you.

So you flip through them, practicing all the trick shuffles you've seen at the blackjack table in all of the countless casinos you've raided. You practice and fidget, move the cards back and forth between your fingers until they're ruined, and you start all over again with a new deck.

Before a job, you'll count through the cards to steady yourself. Back and forth the cards fly, you shuffle through them and mutter quietly, in accented English, their order. Ace of spades, five of clubs, eight of hearts, six of hearts, jack of diamonds; you can usually get through half of the deck before you forget the order.

"What happens when you get through all fifty-two?" Oikawa asks from his place behind you, resting his chin on your shoulder and moving his lips slowly up your neck in wet, sloppy kisses.

You don't answer for a beat and let the cards fly from your hands the next.

"Ah," Bokuto cries, wrapping his arms around your waist and burying his face in your stomach, "you messed up."

You drop the last of the cards on the coffee table and pull two condoms from your back pocket.

The ace of hearts slips to the floor.

8.

"Did they make you shoot the dog?"

You blink a few times. You've never had a dog.

You shrug and snuggle further against Kuroo's lap. You're pretty damn high right now, you're in a good place.

"The fuck're you talkin' 'bout?"

Kuroo ignores your slurring and stares at you with sober eyes.

"They always make you shoot a dog."

You roll your eyes and reach for the cards in your pocket, only to have Kuroo's hand catch yours. He brushes his lips against your fingers and waits, his silence demanding an answer. You groan. He really wants to talk about this fucking dog, doesn't he?

"Fine. What about your dead dog?"

"How old were you when you first killed someone?"

The haziness of the blunt wears off just a little as you raise your eyebrows at him, giving him some time to process what he's just asked you.

And in typical Kuroo fashion, he doesn't apologize, just continues on with a glint in his eyes, "I shot the dog when I was ten."

"It was just a dog."

Kuroo snaps back, sharp as a whip, "Like that mattered. I loved it more than my siblings."

"Be grateful you didn't have to shoot them, then."

"I would've rather shot them."

Your eyes narrow. "Fuck you. Family's the only thing we got in this world."

"At least you're something without your family," Kuroo bites back, his tone bitter, "I'm just an heir."

You shrug, pulling your hand out of his and reaching up to stroke his cheek. "So? There've been lots of kings and royalty in the past, they were all a part of dynasties like yours. They were all heirs because that was their part to play in history."

"So you're saying I'm just a role to fill."

He turns his head and presses kisses down your arm, stopping at your elbow and looking at you, waiting for your response.

"Do what you want," you say, your gaze out of focus as you stare up at the ceiling, "but if I were you, I'd play it safe. Deserters usually get shot, if you haven't noticed."

Kuroo chuckles at this and lays down next you, moving your head from his lap to his arm. "I guess you're right."

He pulls you closer by your waist, leaning his forehead against yours as he admits, "It's just-- cool, I guess, that you chose your path for yourself."

You sigh again, marijuana-soaked breath billowing your bangs up for a moment. "Anyone can."

"Then why do most people live straight lives?"

"Because they don't have the talent," you pause, thinking, "but also because they're scared." 

Kuroo nods and closes his eyes, his breathing evening out.

You pick up the blunt again and take another puff, sitting up and walking to the window.

The first thing you shot wasn't a dog. You're not really sure what Kuroo is complaining about.

9.

You're back in LA again. 

The boys split up in pairs, probably wanting to give you some space. Kuroo and Oikawa head off to some hole-in-the-wall strip club and Daichi takes Bokuto off your hands for a little while, reading him actual Japanese fairytales off his cracked smartphone in a hotel room somewhere halfway across the city.

You stare up at the night sky, blowing cigarette smoke past your lips. You can't see the stars in LA. You chuckle. Tokyo and LA are similar in that way.

The streets smell like marijuana and sex, the glamor and sparkle somehow dimmed by the abundance of toxic pleasures, and as you sit on the ledge of the abandoned building you came across, you contemplate jumping off.

Not to kill yourself, but probably to hurt yourself.

After all, it's been a long time since you've felt pain. You're so cautious about guarding yourself and the others against pain that you've almost forgotten what you're protecting yourself from.

No, Leader must be strong, you remind yourself, Leader must not get hurt.

Leader must be a little less (name) and a little more Leader.

10.

"We're kind of in a situation," Daichi begins hesitantly, the receiver barely picking up his rough voice.

Your free hand clutches at your hair and you growl, trying to wake up enough to listen to what Daichi is saying. You got the go-ahead last night, you're supposed to up and out by dawn.

It's four in the morning, you're supposed to leave in two hours, and you're tired as hell. This is absolutely no time for "a situation."

"And?" You ask with a scowl marring your already ragged features.

"I think someone gave Ko some pretty bad acid."

Drowsiness loosens its grip on you almost immediately.

"Acid?"

"I don't know," Daichi mutters, "but he's tripping out right now."

A loud thud comes through to your ear, and you don't even need to rub your eyes to be awake now.

"Is he there with you?"

"Yeah, I locked him in the bathroom."

Another bang.

"Are you injured?"

"Not-- not really."

You're wide awake now, because not really is still part really.

Daichi starts to say something, but you cut him off as you throw on a jacket and begin to gather your things, "Text me your address. I'll be there in ten."

You drive quickly but everything is still in a restless blur; you hide your bloodshot eyes behind a pair of thick Dolce and Gabbana sunglasses, trying desperately not to hyperventilate.

You'd barely gotten an hour of sleep when Daichi called, and while normally you can run on just an hour of sleep, something is ticking inside of you. The hotel notepads can bear witness to your mind's restlessness, and the heavy bags under your eyes can bear witness to the restlessness of your boys. It's not really important, just that even Leader can feel tired sometimes, too.

You wince when Daichi opens the door, his cheek swelling and eye turning dark from blood as the bathroom door behind him continues to crash as Bokuto tries to batter his way out. The hinges creak, and with every slam you grow increasingly worried.

You touch his cheek with your cold fingers and nod at him. "Get that taken care of."

You slide up to the door, watching as it jumps beneath your palm.

"Ko?" You call out.

The beating stops for a few moments before starting all over again.

Daichi's stepped back from the minifridge and sitting on the couch as he nurses his eye and cheek with an ice pack.

"The book?"

Daichi points his chin at the ottoman, the book resting on top of it.

"I wouldn't go in there if I were you, though."

You frown.

"You get a pen?"

Daichi hands one to you silently. You sit with your back against the door, thankful for your habit of bringing an empty notepad with you everywhere. Behind you, you can hear Bokuto shriek and the sound of shattering glass. 

And you bow your head and begin to write. You write a fairytale that is nothing like those in his book; you don't know if it's real or not, just that you might've heard it once or twice when you were younger in another, softer life.

You don't know what you're writing, you just remember to begin it with once upon a time. The pounding doesn't stop when you slide pages one and two under the door and into the bathroom, but by page five, Bokuto has stopped busting his knuckles against the door and by page ten you feel safe enough to slip into the bathroom.

You stand, looking at Daichi who's joined you by the door. "What time is it?"

"Five sixteen."

You litter a few kisses against his jaw and bow slightly.

"I leave the rest to you, then."

You open the door a crack and slide in.

When Daichi opens the door at six ten, he finds Bokuto snoring gently in your arms, your head lolling against the bathtub, and a halo of mirror shards spread out around you.

Daichi thinks that you look fragile without your sunglasses to shield your face.

He picks up one of the notepages scattered carelessly across the floor, reading once upon a time written hastily in your looped handwriting. He gathers the rest of the pages and stack them neatly on the bathroom counter.

He lets you and Bokuto sleep another ten minutes, even though he knows Leader wouldn't do the same.

part iii: high(er than the expectations)

11.

There's a girl by the door.

Dressed in a tight baby blue dress, she steps in with a half smile on her painted face.

She's a gift you certainly didn't ask for, but you let her in and take her coat, handing her a glass of cold green tea. As she slides one strap of her dress down, you stop her, shaking your head.

"Tell your boss it was fine," you say as you hand her a few crisp hundred dollar bills, "You can stay for as long as you're supposed to."

She nods, setting the money down precariously on the table.

You scribble a bit, smoke a few cigarettes, and when you look over at her again, she's fast asleep on the couch. Undoubtably, she's a beautiful young woman, but in her sleep, her face can no longer support the cruel edges of her precise lipstick and thick mascara. She looks twice the child she used to be, and she reminds you so much of yourself you almost want to go ruffle her hair and tell her everything will be all right.

But you don't, you just lean back and close your eyes. You know that it won't be long until you'll really join the family. The phone will ring, and you will pick it up only to hear a gray voice telling you that you need to come back to Japan, a wealthy daughter's name offered to you as a sacrifice, and you will take her and the name and give up yet another part of yourself you call (name) to become Leader.

But for now, you think as you glance over at the sleeping girl, you will pay these women for quiet nights. A small part of you insists that if you're going to pay this much, you might as well get what you asked for, but the other part of you, the part that still knows how to rebel, shakes its ugly little head and says it would rather die of thirst than drink poison.

It's scary, and you want to feel scared, but you really just feel empty.

12.

Daichi slows the car down as you pull up near an empty park.

He steps out first, motioning for you to come out and join him. He walks over to the playground, pristine shoes crunching against the wood chips surrounding you.

You sit next to him at the top of the slide, enjoying the quiet way your shoulders brush against each other.

What you like most about Daichi is how well he can read you. You can't find it in you to talk this morning, you just want to be. You just want to be present in the present moment and just experience life one moment at a time.

You also like the way he kisses you. He kisses you soft and slow, the way his lips move against yours feels like home and there are times when you'd just like to sit and kiss Daichi for hours. Not sex. Nothing strenuous or fast or angry like when you're with Kuroo, but gentle. You feel undeserving of his soft kisses sometimes, but he fills you with something warm, something you think might be love, and he leaves you breathless from the emotions that well up in you.

Your hands move to his hair, playing with strands here and there, toying with the short bristles at the back of his neck. His hands find your hips, pressing slow circles into them, taking his time to taste you and take some of your burdens and put them on himself.

Maybe this is love, you think in this quiet moment as the sun begins to peek over the horizon and a sodium light flickers off, but you prefer to think of it as life, taking things one at a time with someone special by your side.

13.

Kuroo's complete lack of discretion never fails to piss you off.

He stumbles out of his room from the hallway, still part attached with a woman, both laughing in a way only possible after using a liberal amount of drugs.

You stare at them from your position at the doorway, having just come in from a job, and assess their tangles of hair and open zippers, the smell of sex and illegality reeking from both them and the room they spilled out of. They stare back, staring at your solemn cleanliness.

In that moment, you hate Kuroo more than anything. What you wouldn't give to get Bokuto's knives and just end him once and for all.

The woman staggers back down the hallway and Kuroo turns his attention to you, completely fucked-out and pupils blown wide from the lucid combination of sex and the thrill of drugs.

"Hey Leader."

He's standing so fucking close you can smell the woman's perfume all over him. You feel nauseous.

"You have a good time?" Your voice is stretched so tight you're surprised it doesn't break.

Kuroo makes you so, so angry. Everything does at this point. You're exhausted and sex-starved, so horny you could shoot yourself in the foot. And here you have this special little snowflake piece of shit who has the fucking audacity to stand in front of you, loose-limbed and sleepy and comfortably high when you can't remember the last time your muscles fucking relaxed.

"Yeah," he says with a smirk, swaying towards you with the utmost confidence.

There's a drawl in his voice that almost tips you over the edge. You know what he's doing, when he pretends to be higher and stupider and drunker than he actually is. A performance where maximum audience capacity is only one.

You almost grab him by the gold chain hanging around his neck and hiss in his pretty pierced ear, I'm not one of your fucking girlfriends and watch him go down like the dog he should be.

His cheek brushes your shoulder as he dips down. You're shaking.

His eyes are pools of gold, shining coldly as he grins.

"And you, (name)?"

In the next instant, you have him by the throat. You've lost all semblance of control and you ignore his gasps of protest when your teeth tear at his collarbone and his neck and perfect fucking shoulder, not caring that you're leaving marks and blood everywhere. You're gasping and panting but not quite breathing and you get so high off the way Kuroo falls apart beneath you, the way his mouth drops open and his eyes roll even as drool threatens to spill out of his mouth. You're fucking like animals but at this point you don't even care. You've got a hand wrapped around his throat as the pounding picks up speed and you don't known whether or not you're human anymore, you feel more like a machine, its piston snapping back and forth as it continues to move, you feel like Daichi's rifle, firing again and again in a violent attempt at satisfaction.

Then, suddenly, there are hands on your arms and a voice against your chest.

"(name), (name), look at me."

You still and open your eyes, finding the world completely upside-down and distorted, and at its molten gold core is Kuroo, staring up at you as reverently as ever.

"Come back," he whispers.

And you crash down, your body trembling from exertion and the sudden loss of energy. It is then that you feel the bedsheets beneath you, you feel your heart pounding, Kuroo's warm body next to yours as your skin makes contact with his. It is then that you remember you are not a machine or a weapon, indeed, you are human.

Kuroo holds you the whole way down as you land back on Earth.

He holds you and says nothing.

14.

"I don't like this."

You look at Bokuto sharply.

"How come?"

Bokuto shrugs, loping ahead of you on his strong legs and leans over the golden balcony to stare out at the casino floor that stretches below him. You're not really surprised at the answer, Bokuto isn't like you. He doesn't plan or listen or watch with sinking paranoia at every turn. No, he instead has an innate animalistic sense, one that doesn't belong in the modern day but back in the very beginnings of human evolution.

You don't like crowded places. There're always too many threats to track with everyone bustling around like bees in a beehive.

But still, you have a job to do, so you glide down the gilded staircase, Bokuto at your heels.

As the two of your weave past the poker table, the sound of die and chips and cards and too-loud gossip swirls around your head and wraps around your ears. Your fingers twitch, resisting the urge to reach for your cards or your notebook.

Bokuto's stopped just briefly to stare at a few people play baccarat, his warm eyes fading into something colder and more watchful. One would think he's watching the cards as they fall, but really he's watching the people around the table. The curvy blonde lady with her red lips in a seductive pout, the man with his arm around her waist, the couple watching with mild interest, picking at the cards in their hands.

Bokuto is not Rain Man. His strength has never been in numbers, instead it is people. He knows everything and anything about anyone in only an instant, sucked deep into the microphone that is Bokuto's mind as he remembers everything about you. That is his gift.

The first time you ever worked with Bokuto, you'd cornered a traitor the Boss had ordered you to kill, and as he fell to his knees, blubbering and pissing himself, you almost let (name) take over instead of Leader. You opened your mouth to call off your boys, but Bokuto simply danced forward and stabbed the man quickly in the back. He'd stood up, gave you a knowing look, and announced that the man still had a wife and two sons you needed to kill.

You never found the courage in yourself back then to ask how he knew.

Years later, you realize that Bokuto didn't know, only saw the wife and two boys echoing in the man's begging eyes as he grew bored of the man's pleas for mercy.

Bokuto knows everything about everyone and would not hesitate to kill you in the turn of a mood. That, you realize, is his danger.

But as dangerous as he might be, you still stay near him just as he stays near you. He stays close enough to you to hear all of the secrets you do not tell and he keeps silent, trusting you only as much as you trust him.

And this, you believe wholeheartedly, is love. Bokuto puts himself close enough to knife you in the ribs and then stops. And you do this day after day in a tired cycle of repetition.

Bokuto pulls you in front of him so that he is close enough to shoot or shield you, making himself your dutiful shadow as you walk across the crowded floor and to the bar. This makes you breathing quicken. This means that somewhere, deep inside the vague recesses of his heart, he knows that you'll need his back soon, you'll need him to protect you soon.

You buy Bokuto a drink, and as you slide it over to him, you pat his arm and joke, "You're making me nervous, Ko."

Bokuto swings his legs and grins. "Everyone's having fun."

"That they are."

"Tetsu looks like he's having fun."

You glance over at him, leaning casually against the roulette table in a crisp black tux with a red-haired beauty whispering in his ear, her lashes fluttering.

"He's having too much fun," you snort disdainfully.

"Hm," Bokuto croons as he picks up the glass with both hands.

You let him sip on the drink and sit next to him on a bar stool. Bokuto doesn't talk much, lets his eyes and hands do the talking when he takes one of your hands and starts playing with your fingers.

Bokuto may be unpredictable but he's loyal and fierce, always by your side.

You are eternally grateful for that when the bullets start flying.

15.

In your line of work, it's pretty obvious that you'll get hurt on occasion. Your line of work uses guns, knives, and fists, but mostly guns. Therefore, you should preface, you've gotten shot before.

Doesn't mean this time hurts any less.

When you come to, your clothes and hair soaked with blood and sweat, you try to sit up, only to crash back down to the floor when the pain in your abdomen spikes through you.

You grunt as someone presses a wad of cloth against your side, and you look up.

"Where's the case?" You demand.

The case you were supposed to deliver, the one you're afraid you lost.

"Tetsu has it."

"Where's Kuroo?"

Oikawa's pause scares you.

"Gone."

You sigh and look away.

"We should move soon, too, then."

"Can't."

Your eyes narrow. Where?

"We're in the safehouse."

Ah, you wish Oikawa weren't so good at lying to you.

You and Oikawa look at each other for a little while, letting the chaos outside stay outside and your temporary peace stay inside. You shiver and wonder if they hit an artery. Oikawa presses a gentle hand against your forehead.

"How are you feeling?" he asks quietly.

You cough. "Shit."

"Good," Oikawa murmurs as he lifts your head and dribbles water into your mouth, "It's when you stop feeling that I get concerned."

It tastes like metal.

You black out for a while, and when you come back again, Oikawa looks like he's going to cry.

"Tooru?"

"Hm?"

"Where's the book?"

And why? Why is he looking at you like you're about to break?

"Ko has it."

Liar, you want to shout.

Because no one knows where the book is, not even Bokuto.

Only you. Only Leader knows.

"Tooru," you call.

"Yeah."

"We should leave soon."

"Okay."

Your heart hurts.

part iv: eventide

16.

The phone call with Daichi is nothing spectacular, but you find yourself missing him.

"Are you getting married?"

"I-- what?"

You can imagine him, cheek twitching in exasperation.

"I had a dream last night that you got married."

"I wouldn't marry anyone else but you."

You can hear the eye roll in his answer, and you laugh.

"Talk to me," you say, setting the phone to speakerphone.

"About?"

"Anything, I just want to hear you."

And so he speaks, he speaks about what'd happened the night you were shot, how worried he was, and how he's wondering what to do next.

Daichi is like his voice. Solid, reliable, and honest. God, he's somehow always so honest.

And it's in calmer moments like these when you come to terms with the fact that you've always loved Daichi. You've always loved him more closely than you love yourself.

His voice rumbles onward, and somehow he always manages to calm you down.

"Where are you right now?"

You pause, shaking yourself out of your daze.

"In some mob doctor's house back in Japan."

"You're in Japan?"

"Yeah. But it's not like I want to be here. It's so boring, I can't even leave the room."

You can hear Daichi's grin through the crackling of the static. "You better not, from what I'm hearing you're not in any condition to move yet."

"Eh," you shrug, shifting on the bed, "Tooru'll help me when the time comes."

"Tooru's with you?"

"Yeah, he took me back."

Daichi makes a sound of acknowledgment, and in the slience, he knows you're hiding something.

"They know about the case," you say casually.

Daichi says nothing, waiting for your to say more.

But there is nothing more to say.

"And that's it?"

"That's it."

Another pregnant pause, and then he speaks.

"Boss hasn't said anything to us yet."

"If he's close enough to speak to you, you'd better be running," you say with a snicker.

Daichi doesn't think the situation is so funny.

"Is it really like that, though?"

"I don't really know for sure."

"But you have a feeling."

You take a shaky breath.

"Tell Ko I said bye, okay?"

"Wha--"

And you hang up.

Daichi needs to be Leader now.

17.

Conversations with Bokuto usually lead to you either laughing or wondering, sometimes both.

The things he say lead to a much more introspective side of you, a side that you hope to lose last.

"You work yourself too hard," he'd said to you, one night by the beach.

Rather, you were sitting on the beach in Cuba and he was back in Japan.

"I'm fine," you'd answered, trying not to let your bone-deep exhaustion shine through.

But, alas, one can never hide from Bokuto.

Never.

"We all think so," he insisted even more fiercely, "You need to protect yourself more."

I do, you thought, with dustings of cocaine and the thick lenses of designer sunglasses.

"I'll try," you said instead, fingers sifting through the sand.

Bokuto grunted, a harsh, grating noise that made you jerk the phone away from your ear for a moment, "No you won't."

You half smile.

"(name), can I be honest?"

"Sure."

"You're annoying when you keep secrets from us."

You laughed, and you're glad you're the only one on the beach right now.

"Ko," you said gently, "I want us all to live. That's why I try so hard."

Bokuto made a noise of genuine confusion. "Is someone trying to kill us?"

"Everything is trying to kill us."

Bokuto said nothing, and then in a meeker voice, "Come home soon."

"I will."

"Promise?"

"Yeah."

You could feel his hesitation like you could feel the warm breeze drifting past you.

"I, um," Bokuto muttered almost timidly, "I love you."

Even back then, you'd needed no hesitation to answer him, "I love you too."

You still do, and you always will.

A small part of you doesn't want to leave him, but you remind yourself that after today, you may not be Leader anymore, and if Daichi becomes Leader, he is more than capable of taking care of Bokuto.

You hope they'll miss you.

18.

The one time in your entire life you go to church, you wouldn't have imagined you'd go with Oikawa.

You sit next to him on a pew in the back, leaning back and looking around.

For the first time in a while, you take your sunglasses off and see the world without your plastic shield.

You listen to the sermon with one ear and, in a conscious effort to maintain a habit, listen for footsteps with the other. The stain-glass windows wink at you, Mary looks down at you with kind eyes and a sloped smile. You envy her serenity.

As you and Oikawa make your way out of the church, stepping over the white paint-flaked wooden entryway, Oikawa says suddenly, "I burned a church like this down, once."

You listen to Oikawa with both ears this time, because Oikawa is from the hill folk, and Oikawa never talks about himself.

You lean against the wall, staring at the glowing end of Oikawa's cigarette. "Why?"

"I didn't want to believe in God," Oikawa answers easily and takes a drag of his cancer stick, "because I didn't want to believe in all this salvation bullshit. Because I thought I was different from all the other kids they tried to make into believers. So I just grabbed some gasoline and--"

He drops his cigarette onto the grass and you both watch the smoldering.

"But you know," Oikawa brings his heel down on the butt, "When we were hiding out, and you just wouldn't stop bleeding, you know what I thought? I thought, 'Please God, please save us. Please don't take this one away.'"

He scoffs and crosses his arms. "Looks like the bastard got me anyway."

Your smile is cynical. "You think God saved me?"

Oikawa's mood lightens up a bit and he bumps his shoulder against yours. "The day God saves you is the day the world ends."

You laugh a little, and then a little more, and soon both of you are clutching your stomachs, tears gathering at the corners of your eyes. You're laughing, for what reason you don't know, but you laugh.

You wonder if God is laughing too.

19.

You can always smell the Boss before you see him.

After years of being in the business, his taste in cigars still hasn't changed. He has a presence that has never been matched by anyone you've ever met in your entire life, including yourself.

He fills up the room with himself, stealing all the air from your lungs and forces you to your knees in front of him.

You stand, wobbly, against the bedframe and manage a short bow.

"Sit down, sit down before you fall over," he says with a chuckle.

You nod, but sit lightly. He's in a mood today.

"While I don't want to talk business immediately with you, there's something I need your help with."

"Anything you need, sir."

The Boss's tattoos ripple as he leans forward.

"My problem," he motions for one of his bodyguards to light a cigar, "is that I can't get ahold of your boys for the life of me."

You hold in your coughing as he pushes the smoke out of his nostrils and into your face.

"I apologize," you pause, straining, "for their absence."

"Have you talked to any of them recently?"

"Only Oikawa."

"Ah. But he's disappeared as well."

"So it seems."

"And you don't know where the rest of them are."

"No, sir."

The lack of movement on his face still makes you quake in fear.

"I see, that's too bad. You know, it's just that it's a pity you lost the case, and at the last minute too! Now I understand, in that sort of situation it's better to ditch the case and get yourselves out, but what shocks me is that such a situation came up in the first place."

The Boss's eyes are sharp when he rumbles, "I thought your little pack of wolves was more professional than that."

"As their leader I take full responsibility."

"You're no leader if you couldn't lead them out of this mess. From what Oikawa told me you were busy getting shot."

"I-I'm sorry, sir."

"You should be. Oh, and you know what else? You should also thank Sawamura who saved your ass."

"I-- yes sir?"

"He was the one who went back for you, you don't remember?"

"I'm afraid not, sir."

"He drove back for you," the Boss sighs some more smoke, "Even though the case was already lost by then."

"Yes, sir. I'm very thankful to him."

"You should thank him properly, not me," the Boss pauses, and adds as a cruel afterthought, "If you see him again."

"I hope I will."

"Can't be too sure."

The Boss's Okinawa accent breaks through his artificial Tokyo one and lilts his voice a bit when he taunts you.

"No, sir."

There's a long, cold silence that follows.

"What's on your mind, (name)?"

"Sir, I don't want to be presumptuous."

"Just say it."

"If you're going to kill me, please be prepared. I won't go down without a fight."

If the Boss's face was blank before, then he must not be feeling anything right now. The blacks swirls near his eyes go flat, the tiger peeking out of his collar curls up and sleeps. As you stare into the Boss's almost-sleepy eyes, all you can hear is the sound of crashing waves and Bokuto gentle breaths, just as you did on the night of the call you don't talk about anymore.

Then, the Boss starts laughing like mad. He cackles and wheezes, his breath crackly as his shoulders shake. He wipes a few tears from his eyes and stands, giving your hair a rough tousle.

"If you and I both live another twenty years, (name), be sure to let me know how you feel when you listen to your kouhai give you lip."

"I apologize, sir--"

The Boss shakes his head in amusement. "Enjoy your break when it lasts, get some rest. You're flying back to America as soon as you can walk again.

"Your boys are waiting for you, wherever the hell they might be."

"I understand."

"And learn some respect while you're at it, won't you?"

"Yes sir."

You can hear his incredulous muttering as he steps out of the room and into the hall, "Good Lord, the mouth on that kid."

Leader bows.

(name) cries.

20.

You step off the plane and see four impassive figures, all in immaculate suits, standing in front of you.

The last bits of familiar Japanese fade away as you walk deeper into the wilderness of the city of angels, and you're greeted by the sight of something like family before you.

The whole plane ride you'd put your window blind up, trying to see the sun and understand what time is once more, but still, it's too early to be dreaming.

"Why are you all here?"

Daichi is the first to answer you, pulling you to his chest with unsteady arms and holds you.

The rest of your boys crowd around you, all trying to touch you and make sure that they aren't missing you.

You push them all away and try to keep down your smile.

"Couldn't get rid of me that easily."

Daichi smiles and cups your cheeks with a warm, solid palm.

"No, we couldn't."

You smile.

"I'm home."

A broken chorus of 'welcome back's filter through the dry LA air, and you kiss Bokuto's wet cheeks, pat Kuroo's stiff shoulder, ruffle Oikawa's hair, knock your forehead against Daichi's.

And Leader, you smile at Leader.

God smiles back.
my head hurts like hell, i literally haven't slept in three days, and i want to murder my ap bio teacher.

it's a wonderful day in the neighborhood.

this is for Mikittykun's contest (which you can find here -->mikittykun.deviantart.com/jour…), the theme is seeking solace

i don't own the characters or the cover image

you own you
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:iconkuragebot:
kuragebot Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2017  Student Writer
this is so good im tattooing this whole fic onto my ass
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:iconpvlimpsest:
pvlimpsest Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
i hope you have a big ass my friend because this shit is long as fuck and i congratulate you for getting through it
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:iconohsehvn:
ohsehvn Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
yu oh my god im -
i finally made time to sit down and properly digest this and i ?? fuck there's so much i have to say.
i'm incredibly overwhelmed, by the way you execute and structure this so well and the way you properly and subtly incorporate each character's personal section and their motivation and backgrounds and polar/affectionate relationships with the reader holy shit you did it so well
and i love how their dispositions are all so conflicting with each other, from a gentle kind of love to a rabid and animalistic one, yet they all work so well??
my personal favorites were the bit with daichi and oikawa in church:

"When we were hiding out, and you just wouldn't stop bleeding, you know what I thought? I thought, 'Please God, please save us. Please don't take this one away.'" He scoffs and crosses his arms. "Looks like the bastard got me anyway."

there's something about church that is so unique and ironic in ways that make criminals and arsonists like them human?? like as fucked up as they may be, they still have some desperation to pray for a god to keep them grounded or forgive some of their worst sins. adfhlfjfjsla and the sharp contrast you made of daichi and his feather light affections vs kuroo and his almost toxic kind of love IM FUCKIGN
YU FUCK YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND HOW GOOD THIS IS FROM YOUR PLOT STRUCTURE AND IMAGERY TO YOUR BEAUTIFUL BEAUTIFUL DICTION - I'M SO DAMN OVERWHELMED !! ! !!

good luck with ap bio!! study hard but remember to get some rest! sos help me with ap environmental science :+)
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:iconpvlimpsest:
pvlimpsest Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
//whE E Z ES

UM?????? ESSCUSE M E?!?!?!

how dare you??? come into my house???? and be so nice to me an D??? give me so many compliments!?!?!?!?

i'm sorry how dare you make me feel this way!?!?!?

how dare you give me warm fuzzies in my chest and a big smile??? ummMMM I FEEL Attacked??!

lmao, but in all seriousness, thank you so much. this is, like, a huge confidence booster bc i just didn't feel that satisfied with the way this one ended.

also lmao i feel!!! someone help us!!! why is school like this?!!?! :^))))))
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:icondeenotme:
DeeNotMe Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
THIS WAS SO SO SO BEAUTIFUL. Your writing is just so unique and it compliments this entire plots so well, and I can't word right now because this has just taken my breath away.

This was better than amazing. It was breathtaking... And everything.
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:iconpvlimpsest:
pvlimpsest Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
<3 thanks babe
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:iconmikittykun:
Mikittykun Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2017
I cannot properly form a sentence.
This was a gorgeous piece! Thank you so much for entering
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:iconpvlimpsest:
pvlimpsest Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
thank you so much for taking the time to read it! i know it was super long, so i appreciate it :^)
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:iconbookerror:
bookerror Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2017  Student Writer
I just couldn't stop reading! I was already super hyped when yous said you were writing a mafia au!! I LOVE FOR MAFIA AUS!! And I was so enthralled with the fairy tale elements you included for each character in the beginning of this piece, it really set the tone for the rest of the story.

Your ability to capture the mood and beautifully paint the setting in the reader's mind is absolutely magical! All the details you pit about the setting, the five senses, the gestures of the characters, it made all seem so real.

And speaking of characters, I love how you gave them their own little twist, again with the intros, and with their relatioships to the reader throughout! JUST GODKEFKDINFNRKTN IT WAS SO AMAZING TO READ!! I love you and your writing so much!!

I remember my AP Bio days, I remember taking it as Senior and feeling the same murderous intent towards my teacher (now that i'm a senior and no longer in her class, we're ironically really close lol). SURVIVE!! KICK AP BIO IN THE ASS!!
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:iconpvlimpsest:
pvlimpsest Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
<3333 AH SHAN THANK YOU 

mafia aus are always the most fun to write bc you can go anywhere with the plot and the characters and it'll be great

sigh, i'm trying to hang in there, but ap bio is seriously making me want to die
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:iconraivice:
raivice Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
This is everything. 
I can't put into words how deep this piece touched me, how much I love this.
The soberness fit perfectly into the setting and your style is just beautiful.
I think it was a good move to give the reader a second aspect of their personality 
and to name it, because I believe that that's what all people have and do.
That the persona they show to the world is different than what they are,
especially in a setting such as this where you have to take yourself back to survive.
I actually have no idea if anything of what I'm saying makes any sense whatsoever;
I am no writer, I am still high off that fic and what I'm writing is just what I feel in the spur of the moment.
Thank you so much for writing this!
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:iconpvlimpsest:
pvlimpsest Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
<33333 you're so kind, thank you!!!! i'm happy you felt something :^)
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:iconchronicallylunar:
chronicallylunar Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2017
Holy shit this isn't amazing. Everything is so well done and this is so beautiful. Thank you so much for writing this
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:iconpvlimpsest:
pvlimpsest Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
<3 thanks boi!
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:iconchronicallylunar:
chronicallylunar Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2017
Oh my gosh I'm so sorry! I realize that I said 'isn't' oh dear I mean to say is this is fabulous 
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:iconselvatic:
Selvatic Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2017
This is one of the best things I've ever read.
If not the best.
Honestly, thank you.
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:iconpvlimpsest:
pvlimpsest Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
<3 thank you for liking it, i'm so happy you enjoyed reading it
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:iconjustemmm:
JustEmmm Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
I wanted to cry throughout this entire thing, I dont know if it was because it was so good or what. Point being that this is a great fic to start off the new year with.

I love how every one of the boys loved the reader, and vice versa if all in a different way.

Amazing works.
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:iconpvlimpsest:
pvlimpsest Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
:^) thank you! i'm happy you enjoyed it 
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:iconjustemmm:
JustEmmm Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
I did, it was amazing. You're welcome!
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:iconmiintbun:
miintbun Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
AuGHHHH ur writing is sO GOOD i was hella stoked for this fic
i love how you wrote reader and Leader like they were two different people that was really interesting. and i love how much the boys all love and look out for reader in their own way??? i just this is 2much4me
i really love everything about this. your writing is so smooth and poetic and it makes everything come to life in a really unique way. this story is so raw and heartbreaking but you have those little happy moments and I JUST
i teared up a few times man
this is super good and i love it so much
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:iconpvlimpsest:
pvlimpsest Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
!!! THANKS MY DUDE!!! I'M GLAD YOU LIKED IT

lol you've been super patient with me, ever since i started it in october and only finished it now
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:iconobscurephoenix:
ObscurePhoenix Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
I did not know that I could love like this.

The duality the reader's experiencing--as (name) and as Leader--is truly (and I say this with absolute conviction) fascinating. They're mostly opposing forces, but they work together in an odd way to shape the reader overall. And the boys do too.

Along with the reader's duality are the boys that you've meticulously weaved into the plot; they're each vastly different from each other, but they all tie back into the same source that grounds them when needed: the reader. Your writing exemplifies their traits and characterizes them fittingly for this au. I also like how they're fiercely loyal to the reader in their own ways, furthering the bonds that they share with the reader.

Your writing is lovely, being some of the finest I've ever had the pleasure of reading.

I was connected with this piece. I could see it. I could hear the gray voices.
Pairing a color like gray with a voice and using it to describe the voice leaves a heavy impression in my mind. You didn't need to use fifty different words to describe a voice. You said it was gray. I heard the gray instantly. There are other examples of when you do this in your writing. It's breathtakingly beautiful, and I'm going to have to use this strategy, too, because it's one of the many components that fills each letter of text with a small puff of air.

The commentary on God is something I've yet to see done so mesmerizingly. There are a plethora of people that debate about the existence of God, and in this piece there were subtle snips of dialogue that play with that concept. It's not forced, nor is it completely removed. A perfect amount, if I do say so myself. This adds characterization to your work as well, because humans debate about God. So did these characters. You're bringing the characters off of the paper and letting them move.

Detail. Detail, detail, detail. How do you do it? There's enough to where I don't have to force myself to see it, and it's not overwhelming to the point where I have to take a moment and think. Fluidity is one of your many strong suits. When I read one of your works, I live in amazement.

I want to learn from you. Believe me when I say this: I love your work. I love its ability to teach me how far I can love your newest piece. I love how it can keep me on my toes the entire time. I love how I want to learn from you.

Thank you.

Get some sleep, because you deserve it. If you ever want to rant about ap bio or trade writing tips, know that I'm always here! ;D
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:iconpvlimpsest:
pvlimpsest Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
<3 thank you!

you're so very kind, i'm really glad that you can glean some sort of enjoyment and learn things from my writing, that's honestly the highest compliment i could ever ask for 

thank you for the offer! i'll take you up on that sometime :^)
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:iconlanikaia:
lanikaia Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
holy crap this was so good 
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:iconpvlimpsest:
pvlimpsest Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
;^)
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:iconinfinitelytangled:
infinitelytangled Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
This was breath takingly and beautifully written! La la la la 
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:iconpvlimpsest:
pvlimpsest Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
<3 thank you :^)
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