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scared of almost nothing at all

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Kagami first hears about him when he's as old as sixteen and undergoes training for the first time. His name's been whispered around - Kagami's ears catch on Kise like they're trained for nothing else, a threat that arose five years ago, the danger - and glory - of all vampire hunters everywhere.

"You don't need to worry about Kise," Alex says, after they hear some of the elders murmuring about him and Kagami asks her. There's a stake in both of their hands and Kagami is practicing stabbing the dummy with all his might - Alex takes him by the wrist and chuckles, repositions him.

Kagami frowns. "But we're supposed to be vampire hunters," he says. He'd undergone all the lessons under the temples, passed with - well, he'd passed, and now he's ready to learn the best ways to slay a vampire. "What makes Kise so special?" he asks Alex. "Why is everyone - how dangerous is he?"

"Very," Alex says, giving Kagami a trying smile. Kagami meets her dead on, and Alex sighs. "Kise's been targeting us - vampire hunters - to turn. He'll suck the blood of humans, but it's evident that - "

"He's just trying to fuck with us!"

"And eradicating a centuries-old practice down here, yes," Alex says, gesturing around the temple. "But don't worry, one of us will purge of him one day."

"I will," Kagami says determinedly, stabbing the dummy with heat. "Nobody messes with us, or me."

*

Four months into training, they're to go out into the field and hunt - there's a forest behind the temple for them to practice on animals, and Kagami's classmate Kuroko doesn't seem too happy about that. Kagami tries to cheer Kuroko up, but it's only when Aomine, one of the better hunters in their class, says, "You can come with me, Tetsu," that Kuroko visibly calms down. Probably, Kagami thinks, because Aomine will do all the hunting for him and let Kuroko take some of the credit instead of hunting himself.

Kagami's done runs through the forest before, likes the feeling of the faint wind rippling against his muscles. He's comfortable here, alone, with the ring of garlic around his neck, knives clanging in his utility belt, stake tucked into his side. Today he has to go slow, properly hunt, creep in the forest - part of his issue, Alex says, is that Kagami has difficulties in being quiet, and Kagami doesn't know how successful he is when he can hear the sound of his every breath.

He's strolling as quietly as he can, trying to catch sounds of the smallest crackle, when he hears a faint humming sound. Startled, Kagami thinks it's from the temple at first - but no, it's coming nearby. It's someone humming, a tune, and Kagami's hand grips around his stake reflexively, even though it's probably Takao or someone.

He approaches a clearing, and is greeted by the sight of a blond figure, hair curling around the neck, dressed in a dapper suit, eyes as red as cherry sunsets when Kagami's practicing still outside to the day's end. The person is walking with his hands in his pockets like he doesn't have a care in the world - he vaguely looks older than Kagami, but not by much.

Before Kagami can properly react - damn him, he's probably being too loud again - the person whips his head around and meets his eyes, smiling widely. 

"Oh, hello," he says. "I didn't realize I was so close already."

Kagami's grip on his stake tightens. "Who are you?" he belts out, taking a defensive stance. The red eyes - this isn't a human. "What are you doing on our territory?"

The non-human laughs. "Clearly they need to improve their education around here, if you don't know who I am," he says. "I'm Kise." He smiles. "And you are...?"

Kagami swallows, and pretends his heart is rattling in his chest. Pretends that he can't feel every pump of blood surging from his heart to his neck and back. "So you're Kise," he says.

"And I still don't have your name," Kise says.

If he stays like that, maybe I can stab him, Kagami thinks. "Kagami's my name," he barks out. "But you don't need to know it if I'm going to slay you now."

"Oh, are you?" Kise smiles. "I'd love to see that, Kagamicchi."

"I - what?"

"Nothing," Kise says innocently. "So, are you going to slay me now?"

Kagami hesitates. Later, he'll call it a mistake - but it doesn't feel right, when Kise is standing here with his hands in his pockets, not even putting up a fight, defenseless and in plain sight, right in front of Kagami. Plus, they're alone - and there's no telling that Kise won't try to turn him if Kagami gets close.

"Are you going to turn me into a vampire?" Kagami blurts.

Kise's eyes widen dramatically. "You think I'm that type of person?"

"Don't feed me that kind of bullshit," Kagami snaps. "You're a vampire, I've got," he gestures to the garlic around his neck, and Kise visibly flinches. Good. "I won't slay you if you don't bite me," he says. To himself, he mutters, "It wouldn't be right."

"I don't know if I should be grateful or not," Kise says.

"You should be. I'm the best hunter in our class," Kagami boasts. Then he deflates. "Well, I guess Akashi is technically the best, and Aomine is the fastest, and Murasakibara is the strongest - but I'm the most rounded!"

"The most rounded," Kise repeats. His mouth twitches. "Well, I must be off to turn one of you, but I won't touch a hair on your head today since you'll do the same to me."

"Wait," Kagami starts. "Who are you going to - "

Kise waves at him. "I look forward to our next meeting," he says, before moving - and in a flash, he's gone.

*

Himuro goes missing on the same day, and Kagami feels terrible, not speaking a word of the meeting in the forest to anyone. 

The two years of training go by with Kagami even more determined to slay Kise, to bring him down, even though a part of Kagami is saying that Kise didn't do anything to him. But it's not about what Kise did to Kagami - it's what he's done to people like Kagami, and Kagami won't settle for that.

He graduates from training - after training, they're to undergo the world to continue with their lives, hunting vampires in the process. Kagami and his classmates are to go to university, loathe as Kagami is to school, because there are a lot of vampires around the university age who like to go around turning people the same age as them. 

On the bright side - though Kagami will never admit it as such - Kise still hasn't been captured, and Kagami takes it as personal karma. "I'm going to slay Kise," he says, as he walks back from a class with Kuroko. "Kise's mine."

"I didn't realize you felt so ambivalent about Kise," Kuroko says mildly.

"He's been at large for seven years." Kagami grips his bag and growls in frustration. "No one's caught him, he's targeting us - "

"Akashi could probably catch him."

"Akashi already hunted a vampire," Kagami grumbles reluctantly. Akashi had been the first - it had been no surprise to anyone, but Kagami's heard that Aomine's stalking down someone in his class that he's pretty sure is a vampire, and Kagami doesn't want to wait for the inevitable to happen. "I'll get Kise," he tells Kuroko determinedly. "He'll be my first."

"I can't wait for my first," Kuroko says dryly. "Do you think it's fun, maybe, stabbing a vampire and watching them disappear into smoke?"

"Of course it's fun," Kagami says immediately, before shaking his head. "And that's not the point. Especially with someone like Kise out there - do you want to be a vampire, Kuroko?"

"I'd imagine it's boring," says Kuroko.

"And evil." Kagami grips at the knife in his pocket. "Downright evil."

*

Kise doesn't become Kagami's first - Kagami spies a vampire when he's walking back from dinner one day, that flash of red eyes unmistakable, long dark hair covering his eyes and face, stopping on a bridge when he realizes that Kagami is following him. It's night and they're alone when the vampire turns around and attacks Kagami with his teeth - Kagami immediately whips out his knife and blocks with the metal against the vampire's teeth, cursing that he'd forgotten to bring his garlic but defending, aiming to stab that the vampire howls when Kagami gets him once. 

The vampire tries to teleport around Kagami, get him where his back is turned - but Kagami is quicker, blocking all of his fists with his own arms, keeping his ears on all of the pop!s with each of the vampire's movements. "C'mon," the vampire says, who Kagami and Alex later identify as a vampire named Makoto Hanamiya. "Just a little bite, you pretty hunter."

"Who're you calling pretty?" Kagami says, meeting Hanamiya attack by attack. All of Kagami's sparring with Aomine has paid off - Hanamiya doesn't lay more than a finger on Kagami, and it's not long before Kagami has Hanamiya under his foot, bruised and panting, looking worse for wear under Kagami's rowan-laced boots, in the bright moonlight. 

Hanamiya grins up at him. "Kise's right, you are something special," he says, with Kagami's wooden stake so close to his chest.

Despite himself, Kagami's heart thumps loudly. "You're friends with Kise?"

Hanamiya snorts. "I can hardly call it friends, we just all know each other," he says. He struggles under Kagami's foot, but Kagami inclines the stake closer to Hanamiya's chest - he's going to kill him< after all. "Actually, you're probably more friends with Kise than I am."

Kagami hesitates before saying, "I'm not friends with a vampire." He brings down the stake into Hanamiya's chest - it's satisfying, the way Hanamiya groans, the stupid grin still on his face, before disappearing into a puff of smoke. All that's left of him is a silver coin and a smell that Kagami can't quite place, that'll linger here for centuries to come. He picks up the coin and pockets it, to examine with Alex later, and tries to ignore that weird knot in his chest that comes with killing someone supposedly immortal.

*

("Hanamiya and me weren't friends," Kise chuckles. "I didn't like the guy - I don't like most other vampires."

"Is that why you turn us?" Kagami asks.

"Yes, I think you're much more tolerable than the other vampires," Kise says, and Kagami throws his head back and laughs.)

*

The next time Kagami sees Kise, it's out in the open, in the middle of the city, with everyone bustling around them. Like the other vampires who mingle, his eyes are flickered dark so no one can tell - but every so often there's a flash of red, that lets Kagami and anyone else know that there's a vampire among them.

But Kagami knows what Kise looks like, and Kise is talking to a girl, and Kagami's only thought is, he's going to turn her. He doesn't know who the girl is - maybe Kise will just kill her instead, who knows - but he runs up to Kise anyway, shoves his stake under his chin, and says, "What are you doing?"

Kise looks surprised, but grins. "Kagamicchi!" he says, even though Kagami is this close to killing him now, blood pulsing hotly. "Nice to see you again. This is my friend - "

"You're not going to turn her," Kagami tells him. "Or kill her, whatever."

Kise raises his eyebrows - and to his surprise, the girl laughs. "You think he's out to hurt me?" she says, and when (against his better judgment) Kagami turns his head, he sees that her eyes flash red - fuck, she's one of them too.

"Like I was saying," Kise says, bringing Kagami's wrist down, careful not to touch the stake. "This is my friend Momoi."

"Hi," Kagami says begrudgingly, putting his hand down too. He can't kill Kise like this anyway - they're in the middle of the street, it'll attract too much attention.

"So you're not going to kill me again," Kise says. "Do you have cold feet when it comes to being a vampire hunter?"

"No," Kagami bites out. "I've already killed a vampire, for your information."

To his satisfaction, Kise balks at this and takes a step back, looking worried. Momoi immediately goes wary too, hissing to Kise, "You're friends with a vampire hunter?"

"We're not friends," Kagami says immediately, the same time Kise says, "Look, we've only met once."

"I thought you were done with turning the hunters," says Momoi.

"Hardly," Kise tells her. "Don't you know, Kagamicchi is my favorite target - he wants to kill me, I want to turn him. It's very Romeo and Juliet. I'm a romantic," he adds to Kagami. "I spent a lot of time reading Shakespeare."

"You've only been a vampire for seven years," Momoi says.

"And what does that have to do with romance?" Kagami says, flushing. "I want to kill you, there's nothing romantic about it."

"You haven't yet. I can see you're pining."

"Pining to kill you. You just want to get rid of all vampire hunters."

"No, I'm making more vampires because I'm lonely." Kise goes to lean into Kagami dramatically, before flinching back. "Do you have garlic in your jacket?"

"Yep." Kagami pats his jacket pocket. "For situations like these."

"I guess that means he's happy to see you," Momoi giggles.

Both Kagami and Kise give her dirty looks; Kise says, "Ah, well, I suppose this is another day of our tragic fate of never being together."

"We won't be together," Kagami says, beginning to make his way out of the conversation - he can't be seen just talking to two vampires, and it's already making his skin itch, even though both Kise and Momoi are keeping their distance from him.

"Tragic fate!" Kise calls after him, as Kagami tries not to focus too much on the blood rushing through his ears.

*

"Have I told you it's hot when you kill vampires?" Kise says, coming out of the shadows.

Kagami jumps - he hadn't heard Kise at first. "What are you doing here?" he demands. They're in a secluded spot in the park at night, where Kagami had tracked down Haizaki, and fought and killed him. Kagami's still panting, sweaty, and Kise is watching him with wide eyes, hands in his pockets.

"When have you seen me kill other vampires?" Kagami says. Midorima and Akashi had set up a system for them, identifying vampires, assigning certain ones to each other on certain days, so Kagami's been getting vampires about once a month. There's something like sick and adrenaline that surges through him, just like that first time with Hanamiya - but he doesn't regret it, this is what he's trained to do.

"Oh, I've been watching," Kise says airily. "I thought you knew."

Kagami grunts. He has seen Kise in the streets quite a bit - their eyes meet, but they never say or do anything, and it makes Kagami itch. Not to drive a stake in Kise's heart, but something - unplaceable, or at least in a way that would otherwise make Kagami feel guilty.

"I guess I did," he admits.

"So," Kise says to him, grinning under the moonlight. "It's hot."

Kagami snorts. "What, are you going to ask to take me to dinner now or something?"

"Is that what you want?" Kise says. "Because I can."

He's a vampire, Kagami reminds himself. He's a vampire, and he's flirting with Kagami in the middle of the park, after Kagami's just killed someone of his kind, and Kagami will admit to kind of liking it. "Are you some sort of masochist?" he asks. "Is this what happens to you after every time someone kills a vampire - "

"Oh, no," Kise says. "I actually just didn't like Haizaki very much - wait, is that a threat?"

"Maybe." Kagami smirks and winds his hand around his stake, and Kise takes a step back. It's odd to - Kagami didn't think he had any power over Kise, but there's apparently something here.

And there's apparently something between them, when Kagami takes his hand off the stake and says, "We can skip the dinner part and go back to my place."

Kise is the one who pauses this time.

He says, "Okay."

*

(Kise is careful not to use his teeth, to kiss Kagami tenderly as Kagami works on the buttons of Kise's pants, shoving his hand in and relishing in the way that Kise moans and hisses. Kise's lips are surprisingly soft and Kagami tells him so; Kagami says, "You're gentler than I expected," and Kagami says, "Do you want me to go rough?" Their fingers twine and Kagami's stake is a few feet away from them just in case, but Kise is too busy being hot and wet around him and Kagami thinks it could be beautiful if they disappeared together, the way their bodies arc together and Kise's sharp teeth glint as he rides him, as he smiles.)

*

There is no rhythm with Kise. There is no predictability - Kise is not Kagami's first, they're fated to kill or be killed, disappear in smoke, the knives and cloves of garlic in Kagami's fingers been a part of him his whole life.

He goes through university. He ages, and he kills other vampires, and over the few years he fucks Kise. He thinks about the inevitable, the tragic fate, hovering over Kagami, the strain of his muscles when he drives a stake into another vampire.

Kise still tells him it's hot, comes up to him unexpected, and sometimes Kagami sees him with Momoi again and gets that burning jealousy at the thought of her spending eternity with Kise, and he not - it's all the more reason to purge Kise already, eradicate him into smoke like all the other vampires he's killed.

Kagami thinks about it, and he stalks Kise down, like all the other vampires. He kisses Kise against a tree when it's two in the morning and the full moon is heavy above them; Kise pants against him and says, "Are we going back to yours?"

"We can go back to yours," Kagami says, and Kise raises his eyebrows.

"I apologize if it's disappointing," he says, "but I've really only got a coffin, and a place with Momoi - "

Kagami shakes his head, inclines his neck, the thump-thump of his heart even louder than before. "A coffin's fine," he says, tucking his collar back.

He feels Kise swallow. Kise is - there's something shining in his eyes, and he says, "Are you - sure - ?"

"I can still kill vampires if I'm a vampire, can't I?" Kagami says dryly, and Kise chuckles and kisses the corner of his mouth. "I'm only going to get older otherwise, and you're - we're - "

"We're something good," Kise says. "Though I am really thirsty, if you just want me to kill you instead."

"I thought you were supposed to turn vampire hunters," Kagami says to him.

Kise kisses his mouth, his neck, and bares his teeth.

*

(They are beautiful, and no one realizes that Kagami isn't aging until it's too late, until Kise's gotten enough vampires, until they need to feed and they do and there is a stronger sense of belonging when Kagami does this with Kise, sinking his teeth in, into each other.

Both of their blood is frozen, but Kagami always feels hot when he's with Kise. Whether it's the slide of their mouths together, fingers gripping each other, smiling as the world moves around them and the trees wither away and they remain cold as winter. Kagami feels it in his veins, doesn't need the sun when he's got the bright of Kise's laughter and eternity with him.

There are bite marks on Kagami's neck that Kagami runs his fingers over, as Kise tells him about all his time about being a vampire, as Kagami tells him about the years of training he's gotten, the disappointment from most of his old classmates except for Kuroko, nearly all of them on a drive to kill him now and Kise says, "We'll run from them together."

Kagami says, "We can turn them together, too," and Kise's eyes get watery and Kagami laughs at him. He remembers when all he wanted to do was drive a stake through Kise's heart - but now, Kagami knows that he has Kise's heart, for days after today.)