💕 Frenemies 💕
Tags: swearing, suggestive conversations, implications of sexual activity, threats of violence, arguing (but it’s funny)
Summary: Chisiya and Hatter drag each other straight to hell. (Based on some headcanons I made when I first joined the Tumblr AiB fandom because I think Chisiya and Hatter are the two biggest bitches at the damn Beach and I would absolutely LOVE to see them battle it out.)
Arisu is nervous.
…Okay, he’s nervous a lot these days, but that’s just a side effect of living in the Borderlands.
Today, though, he’s nervous for a new reason. A reason that involves being in a room with a group of (mostly) strangers and discussing the ins and outs of running a hotel at the end of the world.
Yep, that’s right. It’s his first Executive Meeting and it’s been going…
…Decently well, actually.
Mira had taken him under her wing, waving him over and inviting him to sit next to her as soon as he walked in the room. Although she probably has some kind of ulterior motive, he’s just happy to be included, and takes his place at the table feeling a little less like a fish out of water.
The meeting starts seven (and a half) minutes late when Hatter swans into the room with an iced coffee and a gruff looking Aguni in tow. There is obviously something between these two very unique men, but Arisu’s not sure what exactly it is…and, at this point, he’s too afraid to ask.
By all accounts, the meeting begins rather quickly—although Hatter is the captain of this metaphorical ship, it seems that Kuzuryuu is at the helm today, steering the conversation from card collection to game theories to transporting players from the Beach to the game arenas. Arisu mentions the bus from his recent Four of Diamonds game and suggests bussing as a potentially fuel-saving alternative.
“That’s not a bad idea,” Hatter says, mulling over the particulars—or maybe he’s just speaking slowly because he’s under the influence of some kind of substance, it’s difficult to tell with that guy, “Looks like our new friend is hiding a big brain under all that shaggy hair—I can relate.”
“Arisu’s brain is big because he’s smart,” Chisiya comments, “yours is big due to inter-cranial swelling brought on by diving head-first into whatever bad idea happens to take your fancy.”
Arisu’s heart skips a beat—not in the nice ‘I just made accidental eye contact with my crush’ kind of way, but in a ‘please don’t let the mercurial kimono man flip out and shoot this guy who is sort of my friend’ kind of way.
Luckily, though, murder doesn’t seem to be on the man’s mind…at least, not right now. In an action that is both chilling and calm, he slides the shiny black sunglasses to rest on the top of his head.
“Mori,” Hatter says solemnly, “get the board.”
Aguni rolls his eyes and mutters something akin to ‘here we go again,’ but ultimately leaves his place at the head of the table to do as he’s bid.
Arisu mood has shifted from ‘potentially not freaking out’ to ‘slightly freaking out and very confused.’ Mira lays a friendly hand on his shoulder and whispers to him that he’s ‘going to adore this,’ but that isn’t particularly helpful.
“Now,” Hatter says, leaning back in his chair and tapping his fingertips together in a way that looks very devious, “I don’t suppose anyone would like to volunteer to be scorekeeper…”
“Arisu should do it.”
All eyes shift the nervous young man, who squirms uncomfortably in his seat at the thought of being involved in whatever the hell is going on.
“Good idea, Chisiya,” Mira chimes in, lips stretched into her signature unnerving smile, “since he’s new, he’ll be the least biased out of all of us.”
“It’s easy,” Last Boss reassures him, “all you have to do is give a point to whoever delivers an insult.”
Aguni reappears, pushing a white dry-erase board in front of him. The words “Hatter” and “Chisiya” have already been written at the top in blue marker, with a line going down the middle.
“Uh, okay,” Arisu agrees—because he doesn’t really have a choice here, despite the fact that he has technically been asked to assist.
“Marvelous,” Hatter exclaims, flashing Arisu a wide-mouthed smile. Arisu returns the gesture (albeit awkwardly) as he scurries his way to the front of the room.
“Gentlemen, you know the rules,” Aguni grumbles, “no insulting mothers, no allusions to previous murders and/or crimes, and absolutely no slapping.”
Hatter rolls his eyes at that.
“If you cry, you lose. If you take more than ten seconds to respond, you lose,” Aguni continues, “Whoever has the most points after ten minutes gets to go first in the Lightning Round.”
“That’s the best fuckin’ part,” Niragi interjects, “Hatter always kills it with the name-calling.”
“Actually, they tied last time,” Ann recounts coolly, examining the perfect blood red of her manicure, “so this is a grudge match.”
“Which I’m sure I’ll win,” Hatter adds very smugly.
“Ah, such confidence,” Chisiya muses, “and here I thought you were completely devoid of redeeming qualities.”
“Hey—you know we don’t count it until Kuzuryuu starts the clock,” Aguni chides, then turns to face the bespectacled lawyer, “You good to go?”
“Yeah,” Kuzuryuu replies, his voice already tinged with exasperation, “ready when you are.”
Arisu uncaps the marker in his hand and clenches his jaw—even though the air is thick with tension, he seems to be the only one feeling the effects. Maybe it’s always like this and he just has to get used to it.
“Alright,” Kuzuryuu says. He pulls a stopwatch from his shorts pocket. “Three…two…one…go.”
“You know,” Hatter says, “we never did discuss who would go first.”
“What’s the old saying,” Chisiya replies, “Ah, right—‘age before beauty.’ That means you, doesn’t it?”
Arisu puts a tick mark next to Chisiya’s name—which receives an affirmative nod from Aguni, much to his relief.
“I may be older than you,” Hatter responds, “but perhaps that’s not a bad thing. With age comes wisdom and experience, which are two things you’ll probably never have…”
One point next to Hatter’s name. Arisu begins to feel like he could maybe get the hang of this…
“I was top of my class in medical school,” Chisiya remarks, “I have plenty of experience. In fact, we were doing a proctology unit right before I got to the Borderlands…”
“Not sure how that’s relevant…”
“I know an asshole when I see one.”
The crowd ooh’s. Last Boss reaches into his pocket and takes out a small orange—maybe it’s a clementine, Arisu can’t really be sure—and begins meticulously peeling it.
“Fuck, man,” Niragi heckles from the sidelines, “you gonna let him get away with that?”
Last Boss wordlessly hands him a section of fruit, which Niragi absentmindedly accepts. Between his shirt and the way he laps the little wedge up with a swipe of his tongue, Arisu thinks he’d make an excellent lizard.
“Patience, Niragi,” Hatter says, “He needs time to warm up and get all of these half-baked, lukewarm little jabs out of his system.”
Two points each. They’re pretty good at this, but that’s probably because they’ve had plenty of practice; the existence of a pre-prepared board speaks to that.
“I’m taking it easy today,” Chisiya replies, “Unlike some, I have nothing to prove…”
The look he shoots Hatter is pure poison wrapped in a dagger-toothed smirk. Arisu has seen him make that expression before, but a little less gleeful than it is right now.
“You know,” Hatter muses, pointing a lazy finger in Chisiya’s direction, “I think we could be friends after we leave the Borderlands. I’ll have to get you my phone number…”
“Wait for it,” Aguni mumbles to Arisu.
“…oh, I know! You can ask your father. He calls me when he’s lonely,” Hatter gloats, “Just check under ‘Daddy.’ I’m sure it’ll be there.”
“Oh shit,” Niragi shouts, popping another slice of orange into his mouth, “your dad would have to be desperate to bang this guy!”
“Hmm. If my father calls you…that,” Chisiya says, “then that would make you a grandpa.”
Chisiya pauses for a moment and puts his hand over his chest, as if he’s about to offer heartfelt advice.
“I’m proud of you for finally acting your age.”
Mira gasps. Aguni leans in Arisu’s direction and discreetly tells him to give Chisiya two points for that one. Even Last Boss, who had been fully devoted to getting all the little white strings of membrane off of his orange, looks up to see Hatter’s reaction.
…But Hatter doesn’t seem to react much at all. In fact, he seems to not be paying attention to the conversation at all; with his lips pressed into a tight line and his gaze is fixed towards the ceiling, as if lost in thought.
Arisu jumps a little when Hatter suddenly smacks his hand down on the table with a heavy thud!
“I’ve done it,” he exclaims, “I’ve finally figured it out!”
Chisiya’s eyebrows raise.
“That you’re a pathetic, lonely man who hides from his feelings behind a haze of sex, alcohol, and petty displays of power?”
“Oh, everybody knows that,” Hatter spits back, hand flicking a lazy point towards Arisu and the board, “Statements of fact don’t count.”
Arisu nods quickly, using his index finger to rub out the half-line he’d made.
“Now, as I was saying,” Hatter continues, “I’ve finally figured out why your hair looks like ten different kinds of Kentucky-fried tragic.”
“Does that count as a statement of fact,” Ann asks flatly.
“It’s not that bad,” Mira counters, “I mean, it’s definitely bad, but I think a deep conditioning treatment could go a long way…”
“Hm, yes. Conditioner. A vital part of any hair-care routine,” Hatter says, running a hand through his own dark locks as if to showcase their silky shine, “You know, hair care is a passion of mine…”
“One minute left,” Kuzuryuu interrupts, “if you’ve got a point, make it.”
“Fine, fine. The reason our friend and colleague has the crispiest hair in seven prefectures,” Hatter explains, “is because conditioner is kept on the highest shelf in the store and he’s just too short to reach it.”
Niragi shrieks in laughter. Hatter leans his elbows onto the table and rests his chin on his laced-together fingers—like a teenage girl at a sleepover about to spill the latest gossip for her eager friends.
“Don’t worry, sweetheart,” he says with a over-exaggerated pout, “next time, I’ll help you.”
The smile that splits his lips is pure venom, and even a few of the other executives wince. Chisiya cocks his head to the side and gives Hatter a quick once-over with his gaze.
“I don’t know, I think I’m the ideal height,” he says, “I’ve got the perfect angle to gut you like a fish.”
“Good luck getting through my abs of steel.”
“You’d cut like butter and you know it—“
“Actually,” Last Boss interjects, “it depends on the knife. I’d imagine you’d choose a scalpel, given your background in medicine, which is good for smaller, more precise cuts. But you may want to consider something a bit more practical for close-combat…”
“Right. Uh,” Aguni cuts him off, “let’s move on to the Lightning Round.”
Arisu is glad he doesn’t have to hear any more about the finer points of evisceration—it’s one thing to see it on TV or in a video game, but knowing that the scary man who carries around a big knife has actual experience in stabbing and slicing makes him feel a bit ill-at-ease.
“Since Chisiya has a two-point advantage, he’ll get to go first,” Aguni concludes, “and remember, this is the Lightning Round. Gotta be quick with it.”
“Think you can keep up?”
“Clock starts…” Kuzuryuu drones, “now.”
“Cute budget Hugh Hefner cosplay. Compensating for something?”
Arisu’s eyes grow large. Chisiya’s certainly not holding back now.
“Yeah, I’m compensating,” Hatter rebuffs, “compensating for whatever the fuck boring-ass, bargain-bin bullshit you’ve got going on.”
“It appears I’ve struck a nerve…”
“I’m gonna strike you into the fuckin’ wall—“
“No slapping,” Aguni reminds him, crossing his arms across his chest.
“I had no idea you were so fragile,” Chisiya muses, “So sorry for hurting your feelings.”
“Nothing you say can hurt me,” Hatter retorts while narrowing his eyes, “I work retail.”
The squabbling continues, each man giving as good as he gets. It’s impressive—and uncomfortably fast, with Arisu scrambling to mark down each point in time to hear the next rapid-fire insult.
A tap on his shoulder breaks his concentration. Arisu turns to see Aguni leaning slightly towards him while keeping his eyes on the argument in front of him.
“Even ‘em out,” Aguni mumbles.
“The points,” he clarifies, keeping his voice low, “doesn’t matter how, just make sure they have the same amount.”
“The only thing they want more than to win is to not lose,” Aguni nods in the direction of Chisiya and Hatter’s rapid-fire squabbling, “If they tie, nobody complains, and we all get out of here in one piece.”
“I get that,” Arisu replies, “But, won’t the others say something? I mean, Niragi seems pretty invested—“
“It was his idea,” Aguni says, turning his attention towards the the man in question, “He’s a pretty smart kid, actually. Just a little…well, you know…”
As if on cue, Niragi does one of his weird tongue-sticky-outy moves, the grip on his rifle tightening as if it’s some kind of deadly security blanket.
“…Yeah, I, uh, I see what you mean.”
Arisu gets to work. In order to make it seem like he was actually counting this whole time, he adds a handful of tick marks next to each name—a move that grants him an nod of approval from Aguni, who then claps his hands together to get everyone’s attention.
“Last one,” he announces, “make it count.”
“Hm,” Chisiya says, “I would, but…he’s not really worth the effort.”
“Cute,” Hatter replies, “you’re just…oh, you’re just adorable, Shinsuke.”
“You know thats not my name.”
“I know that I don’t care.”
“Alright, alright,” Aguni interrupts before the conversation could devolve into further squabbling, “Arisu’s gonna call it.”
Once again, all eyes are on Arisu—it’s less unnerving this time around, but he still feels a modicum of panic set in as the group waits for his verdict.
“It’s uh,” he gulps nervously, sidestepping so the board is visible to the audience, “it’s a tie, I guess…”
“Well, well, well,” Hatter gloats, “looks like, once again, you’ve failed to best me in a battle of wits. Better luck next time, my dear.”
“I’d hardly call it a battle,” Chisiya sasses, “well, maybe for you, but I certainly didn’t have any trouble.”
A hand pats Arisu on the shoulder—once, twice, a heavy but good-natured succession of thuds—and Aguni nods his head in the direction of the table. Arisu takes that as permission to abandon his post as scorekeeper and slip back into his original seat.
This is…oh, boy, Usagi’s gonna love hearing about this.