stir fry or die

2/18/23 - i wanted to write centi and eva interacting.........i recently read a few stories about how food can be used in writing as an act of communion or character development......was normal about it! or well. uh. as normal as i can be when your protag drinks human blood.

this takes place in a fun chainsaw man AU i have of me and my friends' ocs. centi is the centipede devil who killed julian and took his body to survive. however he was still in there, so now they're stuck in the same body as the centipede fiend. and uhhhh he was roomies with eva so this stinks for him. bwaha. centi uses any pronouns and here they use he/they/it interchangably


Eva walked alone down the halls of the apartment building, jingling his keys around his finger. His mind buzzed here and there thinking, calculating exactly what he’d do once the Devil behind his home’s door inevitably struck.

He knew how it went down at this point.That thing would hear him coming from down the hall like some demented house pet, and be hiding, waiting for a moment to strike. It had many possible hiding spots. Eva carefully considered each one, and how he’d dodge— perhaps summoning his scythe right as he entered so upon a surprise head-on strike he could parry. Perhaps he’d be waiting above, clinging to the ceiling somehow.

But no matter what, he’d be prepared. He had to be. He had to be even if he was already exhausted enough from a rigorous workday at a place that barely cared for his well being. He was sore, beaten, and hungry…but he’d scare the bug off and go to treat himself to a delicious stir fry using the leftovers from last night.

Mmm…yes, that’s what he’d do.

He inserted his keys into their rightful home inside his door. Before opening it he whistled quietly, calling forth the Music Devil to grant him a ghostly scythe in his hand. He stepped forward into the apartment, still humming to himself. The floorboards creaked. 


He shut the door behind him. His eyes trailed upwards. Nothing. He looked to the side. No one was home. 

He quickly turned onto his heel and held out his scythe. The Devil was nowhere to be seen.

Eva let out a breath, and the scythe flickered in his hands. The bug wasn’t striking. Weird. Maybe he was playing the waiting game…but even then, Eva’s stomach was growling. He had more important things to worry about, and the Centipede Fiend was not one of them. Maybe Julian was finally in control again, after that selfish Devil practically began hogging his body…or napping, or something.

He stopped humming, causing the scythe to vanish, and crept into the dark kitchen. 

Click. The lights turned on with a flick of his hand and he set his bag onto the table. 

Usually this is when he’d hear skittering from down the hall, or at least the tapping of Julian’s feet as he came running down to greet him. But no, still nothing but his own movement.

Whatever. My head kind of hurts anyways. Better appreciate what little peace I can get. He unpacked his meager groceries— a small bag of frozen vegetables, some oil, and some painkillers— something he had been able to snatch on the way home.  

But…it’s eerily quiet. What if they aren’t home? Eva froze in his tracks. Despite being a Fiend, that is still a Devil under my responsibility. The moment they get out and kill an innocent…it all falls under me.

A chill ran up his spine. He left the groceries where they were and immediately ran to the bedrooms. In the dark apartment he could still see that thankfully his bedroom was empty, devoid of any Centipede, although a bit trashed… 

Upon entering Julian’s room, he held his breath. He didn’t see them, but he did see a nest. The Devil loved to construct and burrow into these makeshift nests made of sheets and pillows and cushions, so seeing a big one piled up on Julian’s bed was a promising sight—

Human…” A muffled hiss from inside the nest. Eva let out a sigh of relief. Thank god it was here.

“Devil,” Eva responded. “You’re quiet. Why?”

Like a snake emerging from its burrow, they slowly crawled out of their hiding spot. Their head was tilted down towards the undone bed below them, and Julian’s hair swept down and obscured their face in messy heaps. It was the worst he’d ever looked, like he’d been without grooming for days, and Eva hated seeing that thing trash his body. 

It turned its head to glare up at Eva with its red eyes, full of hate. Eva returned it, and although usually he’d be just as loathsome, he was tired. He didn’t want to deal with them, he wanted to leave them there and go make dinner.

“Feed me…your blood,” it croaked, forked tongue slipping between its jaws as it slowly drew closer, like a wild cat on its hands and knees. Yet despite its threatening facade, its voice sounded…weaker.

Eva backed away, eyes hooded with contempt. “I just came back from fighting Devils like you,” he said. “Why don’t you just grab a blood bag from the fridge? The office gave me those for you.”

Stupid human,” the Devil hissed, voice wispy with scorn, “you think me to be like some…dog appeased with whatever scraps you throw at it?” It crawled down the bed, but instead of continuing forward, upon reaching its new position hanging from the bed, it let out a growly breath and slumped there, hanging limp for a moment as if conserving its energy. “…Those blood bags… are nothing compared to fresh blood, and raw meat and bone, fat and flesh!” 

Once it opened its eyes again it had a new energy, almost crazed. Eva narrowed his eyes.

“Centipede…you’re not getting that. Listen, I—you’re hungry? Is that it?” He glanced up to the nest, and down to the Fiend, who looked a little more scraggly and paler than usual. They had been sleeping a lot more often in their little nests when they weren’t ambushing him and any of his visitors, but he had just assumed it was the thing growing lazier. “If you’re so bloodthirsty, the hell’s stopping you from going out and hunting? Or…did you already…?”

The Fiend rolled to sit on the ground and stuck out an arm. “THESE!” He turned it over and extended all five of his fingers. “THIS! THIS STUPID THING!” He slid back to all fours. “Do you have any idea how much harder it is to down prey with a body like this, let alone even reaching it in the first place?! Humans are weak, small, soft, fragile, so easy to kill and corner in my greater, more powerful Devil form! But being one?! How are these supposed to break skin?!” He held out his hand again, brandishing his dull nails. 

“Tough. Maybe start eating animals like everyone else.”

“NO! I—I am a Devil, human! I feast on weaklings like you, I will not be knocked down a peg by this stupid restricting form!” The Devil approached him once more. “I will ask again, human…let me feast upon you, even just a little bit! Please! Do you want your human friend to starve!? I’ll keep him here! I’ll never let him control the body again, and we’ll bot—“

“Jeez, shut up already about him!” Eva snapped. “Listen, you’re not getting any part of me. I’m going to make dinner, and either you stop being an asshole and let Julian fix your stupid mistakes by letting him eat some real food, or you both starve. I don’t care.” He turned on his heel, obscuring his twitching brow—he cares. He does. But he isn’t about to give into his command so easily, and he isn’t about to become Devil food after spending hours getting the shit beat out of him by the things.

He exited the room. He could hear Centi scrambling to get up behind him.

“Fine!” He yelled from the floor, voice hoarse and raspy. “You’ll bury our body once this form wastes away! You see how you like picking out a coffin for us! HISS!”

“Starving’s a pretty miserable way to go, buddy,” Eva called back, moving into the kitchen. “Good luck eith that.” 

He sighed. At least the Devil wouldn’t be as much of a nuisance or a threat from now on. It looked pretty weak as is, and Eva had to wonder exactly how long that thing had gone without giving the body sustenance.

He shuddered thinking about Julian in there…but tried to refocus on making dinner. He hoped maybe the smell or the sound would draw them out. Or perhaps it’d draw Julian out, if he were hungry enough.

No, no, he was worrying over him again. Focus. Gather the rice, the egg, vegetables, oil, pan…

     Centi still lay on the carpet of Julian’s room, feeling sleepier than he ever has in his life. He was quite the formidable devil in life. Even after scurrying over large expanses of land and city spanning miles and miles on end he could still have the energy to tunnel deep into the ground, sweep heads clean off shoulders, and hunt for its next meal. Yet now, in his weak human body, after such a dreadful scarcity of tender human flesh and feast, he could barely get himself to move or even stretch his mandibles without complaint from every limb and surface on him.

That grubby human was up to something in the kitchen again. Every time he went in there he’d cook—summoning loud, hissing oils and gasses that steamed and flamed and burnt anything near it, just to fire up the most pathetic looking slop he could ever see. It was nothing compared to the mountains of flesh Centi could amass in a day of regular hunting, yet the human was always so stupidly proud of it. Look, Julian, it’d say, as if Julian were there to listen. Made your favorite again. Doesn’t it look good? No! It looked and smelled so stupidly fragnant, so pungent—admittedly, it wasn’t a bad stench, like the stench of artificial perfume or a fruit left too long to rot, but it was so drastically different from what he found palatable that it made him recoil. 

But now, as the smell wafted over from the kitchen and into his room, it seemed Julian’s human instincts were once again fighting for dominance. His torso let out a loud growl, and he curled up into himself feeling hunger pangs rack through him. Oh god, it was almost as if that scent was appetizing! But it was so…oily, and herbal…he’d rather die!

He couldn’t. It refused. It couldn’t die here, and it wouldn’t stoop as low to put that artificial dreck in its jaws. It gathered its strength to begin to stand once more, holding itself up with an extended human arm. It wobbled. Oh, it hated wobbling. Legs that were once so sure on its prowl began to trudge and stagger.

It made it outside of the room. The human, Eva, was largely focused on its meal. Centi’s eyes glowed softly in the dark as it began to navigate the house, looking for anything to fill that growing void in his gut. Even a mouse would suffice, even a cricket or a fat, dead cockroach, but this human kept its home obnoxiously clean. He sifted through drawers, cabinets, even took a third search inside the human’s room, but nothing was found. 

He found himself sitting back at the foot of his bedroom door, staring with glazed eyes out at the kitchen.

Smells good, doesn’t it? A familiar voice said in his head.

“You shut it,” he hissed under his breath, words slightly slurred. Even hissing expended valuable energy at this point. “What even is that garbage?”

Stir fry, silly. Julian couldn’t hide his laugh as he responded, even if his own voice was just as sluggish. You toss vegetables, meat, and some delicious condiments in a pan and you have food. It smells like pork…ahhh.

Centi and Julian found themselves shutting their eyes and leaning forwards, just inhaling a whiff of the simmering meat. 

His eyes flashed open.

“No!” He shook his head quickly. “No, you—you horrible, horrible thing!” Centi clenched his teeth, gripped his fists tight, kicked his legs. “I can’t eat that! It’s—it’s—“

Why not? Dude, we’re ridiculously starving. If you won’t, I will. I can take it! I love Eva’s cooking, it isn’t that bad!

“It isn’t that!” He yelled in a whisper. “I’m…haven’t you ever tried to eat flesh? Blood? Maybe even an animal  you aren’t supposed to, like a rat or a squirrel?!” 

What? Hell no. Julian replied. I mean, I guess when I have a nosebleed and it goes down my throat it tastes pretty gross.

“Exactly! To you, it tastes pungent—to some, maybe not bad, but—it’s, it’s gross! It’s bland! Flavorless! Or much, much too flavored! Gross! Hiss—just, different!” Centi sighed and narrowed his eyes. He couldn’t believe he was even trying to explain himself to a human— what could he know? “I feast on blood, human, beast and weaker bugs! I do not cook my food, human, why do you destroy everything that’s good by burning it?!

Oh, so it’s, like, a food you aren’t used to. Julian paused, and Centi could tell he began to think of some strange foods, but he was so hungry he couldn’t focus on any of it. I mean, I’m the same with medicine. But sometimes you just gotta swallow it fast cuz it’s good for you…Y’know?

“No! I don’t know! I don’t care for any of this, hiss!”

So we’ll die, then?

“NO!” His mandibles clicked together furiously.

Okay…so we’re gonna eat, then. It’s this or the bloodbags, and honestly even those aren’t looking too bad at this point… Centi could feel Julian’s metaphorical head lower, and although usually that’d fuel him, knowing he was miserable, now that Centi’s equally as miserable it just fueled his temptation.

“He’s going to think he’s won,” Centi hissed quietly under his breath. “We’re going to look pathetic. I hate this. Why couldn’t you just be a better hunter?”

     Eva slid the final meal into a bowl. God, that looked good. He switched the stove off and slid the pan to the far end for it to cool off. 

Sure, the meal was mostly leftovers, but something in him had been waiting for the chance to fry some leftover rice. And combined with the vegetables drenched in sauce and spice, as well as some equally well-dressed pork? He felt like an artist wielding his magnum opus.

He picked up utensils and a drink, and sat down at the dining table with a satisfied sigh. The table felt lonely as ever without his roommate across from him, but he didn’t care anymore. He wanted nothing more but to dig into that rice a—


He nearly jumped out of his skin.

What?!” He turned to the Devil, suddenly so up close to him—how did he not notice it approaching?! 

Centi was on his knees with his hands limp at his lap, looking up at him from next to his chair. His eyes were narrowed with the same demonic hatred he usually held in his glare and his antennae were pulled back flat against his head. They read more frightened than threatening, however, with his threatening stance trying to make himself look taller rather than smaller. Not only did his goofy fangs stick out from under his lips, but traces of his tongue flicked out as well.

“You will relinquish that ‘Stir Fry’ to me or experience my wrath.” He bared his fangs, but it looked more like a grimace.

“Terrified.” Eva stirred his bowl and watched the steam rise. Something in him immediately relaxed as he heard him say this—he was finally eating something, thank god. “I can always make you more, y’know.”

No!” He hissed. “That’s an easy meal! Give me your food now or I sink these into your arm!” Centi opened his mouth wide.

Eva scooped up some of the stir fry rice into his fork and held his hand underneath it. He lowered it down to Centi’s level. “Try some. Just a little for now to taste.”

Centi wanted to protest, to lunge out and sink his teeth into Eva’s supple-looking arm, but the moment that fork came down he couldn’t hold back, and he quickly reached up to close his mouth around it instead. 

The taste was instantly repulsive. It was ridiculously bitter, but—tangy…? Oh, and the meat— the meat!! He began to chew slowly with a face squinted up like he was eating lemon, navigating this tangled mess of flavor and texture, but when he got to the meat, he couldn’t deny, it was sustenance! It was strange, really— when Centi first took this human body, human food tasted horrible, like hot garbage, repulsive and sour. But the longer he stayed in this body, the more their true flavor seemed to burn into his head, and now, he could taste it all. It was almost overwhelming.

“…You good…?” Eva tugged back the fork. He eyed it with disdain— sure, he’d be fine with Julian eating from it, but this Fiend had been drinking exclusively blood… He glanced back down to them, their eyes still squeezed shut and their mouth still chewing slowly. “How’s it taste?”

After a moment they swallowed. Hard. 

“…You will give me more,” they hissed quietly, eyes squinted in a sharp glare but their antennae slowly returned to the front of their head in a curious sniff. 

Eva stood and fetched another bowl, which he placed across from his seat at the table. Centi followed close behind, watching his every move with darting eyes.

“I’m gonna make some more,” Eva sighed, admittedly exhausted, but happy his friend was finally getting fed something he knew he liked. “You take my bowl.” He turned to the kitchen once more and began gathering the last of the leftovers he had to cook up a new batch. 

Centi stood by the table. “…You give up your meal so easily, human?!” He crept over to the bowl, examining it as if it were poisoned. “What, are you this submissive to every devil you see?”

“Just glad you liked it.” Eva poured some more oil into the pan and turned on the heat. “Shut up and eat.”

Centi stared him down. Once he figured he was completely occupied with his cooking and would not pay him any mind, he clambered into the dining chair and hunched over the bowl. He didn’t bother to use utensils, instead taking the bowl by the sides and digging into it like a ravenous dog. He could barely control himself—it didn’t taste like rotting garbage! It was—it was strange, a bit bitter, sure, but—food! The two could barely take breaths as they ripped through the meal.

Eventually they finished, leaving the bowl completely empty. Centi sat straight up, licking stray grains of rice off his face and chin as his eyes trained on Eva once again.

He skittered up right next to him to watch. Eva notably shrunk back.

“…Hello,” Eva greeted.

“Teach me,” Centi said.

“…T…Teach you…?”

“Teach me to…conjure food.” He licked his lips. “You did not earn that meal. You did not hunt, did not draw blood…”

“I went to the grocery store.”

“Yet even using that pitiful, preserved cut of an animal slain by a hand other than your own…it almost tasted newly born!” He hissed.

“Cooking.” Eva turned the heat off. “If…you’re serious…I can teach you, but you’re gonna have to get a lot cooler with humans and being human real fast.”

Centi’s eyes squinted back into a glare. He stood silent as Eva slid his stir fry into his bowl. 

“…Then I think I will continue to hunt.” He quickly seized the bowl, yanking hard, and fled off to the living room.

“You—FUCKER!” Eva dropped the pan to chase after him. “I’m starving, asshole! Give it back!”

“Gyehehe!” Centi cackled gleefully as he did a u-turn directly into his bedroom and straight for his nest.”Hunt human, hunt!” He dove in, getting rice and veggies spilled everywhere. He curled around the bowl like it was true prey. 

Eventually, after a lot of fighting and resignation, Eva finally settled on a meal of canned soup and toast, as the Centipede Devil had devoured most of the bowl of stirfry before he could successfully wrestle it away from him. He mumbled and cursed under his breath— he had been waiting to eat that the entire time he was coming home. How come that pest had to suddenly develop a taste for it tonight?

But…he couldn’t bring himself to fully loathe him. Sure, he was driving him to his wit’s end, but… as annoying as it was, it was still Julian he was dealing with. Just…with an irritating devilish wall trying to fight against everything that made him himself.

As Eva dragged his weary self over to grab the bowl back from his nest, his eyes rested unexpectedly fondly over a sleeping Centi, passed out in a mess of blankets and pillows, curled tight around an empty bowl of his cooking. 

Julian had always liked his cooking. It wasn’t as good as his, but the genuine taste he had for it made him feel proud. Seeing his skittery headmate come to like it as well…well, it almost felt the same. He found himself at ease watching this Devil rest easy on a full belly, no longer weak and starving foolishly. What an idiot.

…But he’s only just learning how to get used to this. I’m…no different. Picky. Irritable. Tired. Scared.

He approached quietly and carefully extracted his bowl from their grip. They shifted in their sleep, their eyebrows and mandibles twitching, their throat emitting a small growl…but they continued to lay asleep. Usually the Devil would be on guard if not completely obscured inside its nest, but tonight it lay outside of it, totally unprotected. Accommodated, and safe.

Eva shifted the bowl to his left hand and used his other to carefully tuck them in, draping a blanket over them. He sighed. I can’t let myself be tricked by a Devil. It’s Julian I care about…

But…I guess they’re kind of…intermingled now, aren’t they…? Eva glances down at their sleeping form. You neglect one and the other croaks, too. He absentmindedly reaches down and smooths back their hair. And you care for one, you’re inevitably starting to care for the other as well…maybe it’ll come around and make this easier for me.

He left a kiss on his head and turned to leave. God, I hope it doesn’t kill me. It’s for Julian, he convinced himself. It’s for Julian. It’s part of Julian, so of course it’s getting it too. Hell, maybe it’ll make it nicer. Fuckin’ hell, might as well. Please don’t kill me.

But as he turned back to shut the door, he spotted a small smile on the sleeping Fiend’s face. 

He shut the door and decided to leave that in the dark, for now.


i am scared, i want to go home