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“...Care to fucking explain this?”

If there was one thing that Yata was sorely lacking in, it was tact. Not only was he bad with women, he was just bad with people in general. His temper was such a short wick that often every second word would be a vulgar swear.

It was something you'd found quite cute about him in the old days. But three months into dating him, you'd started to realize how damning his attitude could be. Especially the paranoid part of it.

He was sitting at the bar, clutching your phone, which he had of course taken without asking permission. Displayed on the screen were a series of messages, sent between you and a male friend from high school. Purely innocent, but that didn't matter to Yata. You were chatting with another man, and even if all you were talking about was the latest development in your mutually favorite TV show, he didn't like it.

“Yata, I was only chatting with him!” you insisted, before breaking off into a yawn that you were unable to hold back. “It's late...I think we should both go to sleep like the others...”

“Oh, I'm sorry-” Yata suddenly stood up from Izumo's precious bar and took a threatening step towards you. His head tilted while he spoke in a mocking tone, “-Am I boring you? Am I making you sleepy?”

“Y-Yata...don't get mad okay...” you quickly cowered back, but he was in your face in seconds. This had been happening more and more frequently lately. It was like he couldn't control himself.

“You really expect me not to get mad at you!? You're off texting yet another asshole I don't know, and shrugging it off like you always do! Don't you give a shit about how I feel!?”

You couldn't do this. A line had to be drawn somewhere, and frankly, you just couldn't handle it anymore.

“...I...I'm going to bed...”

Turning, you intended to do just that. Instantly, you heard a crack that made you stop right in your tracks. Daring to look back, your heart dropped ten feet as you saw your phone being compressed like a coke can in his grip.

He stared at you eerily, eyes like the last glowing embers on a blackened piece of wood.

“...If there was nothing for me to worry about...why would you be avoiding all my questions? I think I should just pay this friend of yours a nice little visit, hm? Would you like that, [Y/N]? How would you like him cooked, [Y/N]? Charred or grilled?”

Instantly, your eyes welled with tears. You didn't care about the phone, you only cared that Yata didn't do anything to hurt the other people you cared for in your life. Rushing forth towards him you reached up and clutched his white shirt desperately, gazing up at the messy haired boy who was pretty much always wearing that beanie he liked. His appearance was how you'd always known it to be, but this monster he had become...

“N-no Yata wait! L-let's just slow down, alright!? I-I made a mistake, talking with him, and I'm sorry! But really, I...I swear there's nothing going on between us! P...please, have to believe me!”

You were tugging on his shirt, begging him with all those tears in your eyes.

And he loved it.

Yata dropped the phone that was now broken beyond repair, and suddenly grappled you with both hands, swinging you over on top of the beloved bar and thrusting you down against it.

“Ah-! Y-Yata wait!” you quickly squeaked, but one hand clamped down against your mouth, and he leaned over you closely, climbing on top of you in the process while he spoke ominously:

“Prove your love to me then, and maybe I'll think twice about what I was planning. But if you can't do that then I guess I'll just have to kill all your little boy toys...and maybe, for good measure-”

To your fright, Yata suddenly summoned a flame in his hand, holding it dangerously close to the wooden surface of the bar top.

“That's right. Funny that they let a firestarter like me live in a building with such expensive furniture, but fuck it. If I burn this whole place to the ground too then I won't have to worry at all.”

Instantly you were shaking your head, breathing shakily as his fingers slid away.

“ can't...why would you!? M-Mikoto...Izumo...none of the others would ever try to-”

“Can you guarantee it?”

His question threw you for a loop, and Yata took advantage of your stunned silence, lowering himself right over you. His chest pressed firmly to yours, one hand holding the flame threateningly close to your cheek, his head on the other side, whispering in your ear:

“You can't get inside any of their heads, [Y/N]. You don't know what they're thinking...but based on my own thoughts...I can guess...”

The other hand started to stroke down your side and you gasped desperately, shaking all the more as he deftly caressed your curves. The look in his eyes was almost dirty.

“They'll imagine you in all sorts of ways...” he murmured, “Is that really what you want? Guys biting their lips around you all the time, barely holding themselves back? I know I don't want that...”

Yata suddenly pulled up, looking down into your desperately glistening eyes and cracking a smirk. He made sure you were still very much caged between his legs as he pretty much stayed sitting on top of you. At the very least he let the flame dissipate just so he could take your cheeks in both hands and squeeze them slightly.

“Other men will want you just as badly as I do, that's how it is. But you only belong to if you don't want me to fry them all to a crisp then you need to find some way of keeping yourself away from them all...”

You knew where this was going. You knew what he wanted to hear. If only you had known so many months earlier though, that things would pan out this way. You would have never even let HOMRA take you under their wing in the first place.

At first you had truly loved Yata, and in many ways you still did. He was often sweet and almost shy, blushing and a little stiff with romance. He was capable of love even if in a slightly awkward manner, and that was all very endearing. Certainly, he'd fiercely protect you too, especially from those who tried to hurt you (namely Scepter 4 members).

Yet he also had this awful side to him too. At times it would suddenly flicker to life, triggered by the smallest thing, and you'd have to deal with a monster. Someone who was actually more of a threat to you than anyone else.

There was a burn mark on your arm from the first time you'd crossed him, back when you'd still foolishly thought it was okay to openly meet up with a male friend for coffee. Needless to say, instead of a bitter drink you'd only suffered a bitter scar. It was no one-off either. You knew that if you pushed him he'd happily do it again.

It was all for the sake of a twisted love he held.

This love had caught onto you, and you had no way of putting it out now. You just had to suffer. But you weren't going to drag anyone else into it if you could help it.

Even if it still caused some pain, especially for you, you were willing.

“...I...I won't talk to anyone else at school, from now on. I-I promise, I'll never do this again...”

Your words were like a cooling medicine. Yata instantly seemed to calm a little, and his creepy expression softened into something that was simply delirious and needy.

“See? How simple was that, [Y/N]?”

He sealed that tragic promise of yours with a kiss right there on the counter top. His hands still gripped you closely, but you knew you weren't going anywhere. He bit your tongue like some sort of miniature punishment, but you took it.

You accepted it.

Because the alternative...was so much worse.

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