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Human courting is confusing

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Day 1: Holding hands.

After the initial shock of seeing him stand on her window (she would recognise those shoes anywhere), Yako decided to enjoy the rest of her flight as much as she could. She had to ignore the stares of the other passengers when she'd make signs and gestures to something out there, she had tried to let the music coming from her iPod calm her nerves (hint: it didn't), she tried to sleep.

Nope, that didn't work.

Without really wanting to, she spend part of the remaining three hours inside that plane watching Neuro relax and sunbathe at the neck breaking speed they were going, sometimes she caught him playing with his little Evil Fridays, but for the most part he was sleeping. Arms behind his neck, his legs sprawled and a content smile on his face. Obviously she knew he was faking it, but well, at least she got the chance to watch him rest without fearing for her life.

When they landed in Narita Airport, Yako didn't question how no one saw Neuro get pass the police control, but they did see him waiting on the gate where family and friends expected their loved ones come. A woman whispered something in another's ear, their lewd smiles giving away the improper thoughts, a child pointed at him and asked something about his hair to his mother, who moved a few steps away from the demon, frightened by his weird smile and blank stare. A cold sweat descended through her spine. If she ever imagined a reunion with her partner, this wasn't what she would have expected.

"Welcome home, slug." He said patting her head like a pet. She sighed, but smiled nonetheless.

"I thought I was top slug." Yako took his hand and put it between hers with a tranquil smile. He answered with a low chuckle, amused by her acceptance of her low status. Her smile widened and, encouraged by his good mood, entwined her fingers with his and pulled a little bit. Neuro followed her, letting himself be guided for a change.

Her hands were slightly bigger than he remembered, but the warmth was the same one. He looked at her back, noticing that she had, indeed, grew a lot in the time he had been away. How long has it been? He was curious to see how the world had evolved in this time, how many Puzzles were out there waiting for him to be devoured.

But, for now, there were just the two of them walking, hand in hand. It was something he was not used to, as in the demon world no one felt the need to touch another except for the mating process. Sometimes in the courting, some males approached the females with physical contact. But they were not courting and they were definitely not mating, so this was his first real loving contact in decades.

Emerald eyes fixed on their hands, he realised that the knot in his gut that has been bothering him since he parted ways with his slave was gone. And the noise in his head, silenced. Neuro looked up to the human girl (woman) in front of him and caught her looking at him. She smiled and turned, not really expecting him to return it.

They didn't say a word the rest of the walk, not even on the taxi, nor when they were on the elevator to the office. And their hands didn't let go.

Chapter Text

Day 2: Cuddling somewhere.

 

“I’m going to sleep,” she had said when her bags were finally put on the floor and she had said hello to Akane.

“Going home so soon?” Neuro asked, his gloved hand checking the desk carefully. Everything was just like he has left it, except the numerous awards and framed ‘thank you’ letters to the famous High School Detective Katsuragi Yako that adorned the walls.

“There’s a room downstairs that I have taken as my own.” She smiled. “I wasn’t going to stay forever at my mother’s house, don’t you think? When I started university I thought I could start my own life and everything.” Yako wanted to say more, but a yawn interrupted her speech. “Well, good night, Neuro. See ya tomorrow”

And with that, she left him alone in the office. The demon was speechless. His slave was really changed, out of the shackles he had put on her. Too much free will, too little self-doubt. The person he had come to torment wasn’t the same he had left a mere week ago. Something in his chest hurt  and a feeling of unease filled him inside. She kept her promise, she was shining so bright and was so comfortable with herself, that now she looked like she didn’t need him at all. She had evolved .

“Unbelievable,” Neuro murmured before sitting on the office chair and looked to the city lights and the few people walking in the streets. It was getting late and everyone was going home to rest, but the Brain Eater could feel the seeds of a Puzzle somewhere near. He considered harassing Yako, but the mystery was still too young and green. He was tempted to go anyways and bother the little human for old times sake. He was Nougami Neuro! He was the Brain Eater, the Master of Yako, and she couldn’t deny him if he needed to torture her.

Having decided this, he got up and walked to the door, ignoring the sign in Akane’s whiteboard.

[Leave Miss Detective alone, she needs rest. And welcome back]

Neuro arrived at the door downstairs, opening it without much trouble. He smirked. So vulnerable. The human needed some punishment if she was being so careless with her security, as he couldn’t afford losing her to any burglar that could come here. He mustn't let her die. The pain in his chest grew unexpectedly, and the demon froze under the doorway. Was the Earth’s oxygen affecting him so soon? The last time he came here he felt perfectly good, powerful, so it didn’t make sense. Neuro filed the information somewhere else in his mind and entered the room, that he could see was so small that only a bed, a desk and a fridge could fit in there. And in the bed, fast asleep, was the body of the woman he came to visit.

She was in her pajamas, a simple tank top and shorts, the bedsheets had moved to her waist while she slept and a light snoring bounced in the walls. She was so easy to torment, just a little push and her face would hit the floor. As he walked towards the bed, Neuro took a moment to take note of the few changes on his human. She had let her hair grow, it was now around her chin, and her face was slightly less rounded. He didn’t know much about humans, but she looked like the same age as Aya. Maybe he would ask, but he wasn’t really interested in such trivial things.

Neuro reached with a gloved hand, ready to pull the slumbering human, but the background pain in his chest stopped him just a millimeter above the skin of her shoulder. Why was his body betraying him this way? It was like a slow pulsing pain, easy to ignore, but it was something he did not want on him. It would just meddle with his business. He ignored it and touched the warm skin, feeling the pain pulse again angrily, like it was warning him that it could get worse if he kept doing what he was doing.

The demon sighed. Yako seemed to be the key of this weird feeling, but Neuro didn’t know why. He jumped to the ceiling to think more about this for a few seconds, watching her stupid sleeping face, wanting to see the fury in her eyes when he woke her up from whatever pleasant dream she was having.

“Hn… Neuro…”, she said, and he knew that the woman was still sleeping because it came much more relaxed than how she usually said his name. He arched an eyebrow. “Come here…” Yako whispered still in the dream world, seemingly reaching for something. Or someone.

Neuro laughed silently. The human wanted him near, it seems. After all the abuse and the screaming, she was so stupid to want him when she was sleeping. Some demons would think of her as crazy, wanting the Brain Eater around in such a vulnerable state. No demon in their right mind would trust another when resting, even less someone like Neuro.

But she wanted him. And his body moved without his consent. He descended to her bed and removed the suit jacket and the shoes before laying beside her on the bed. The bed wasn’t enough for two people, so he moved to accommodate for her body to rest in a more comfortable position. If he was going to spend the night here at least he was getting the space he deserved to rest.

“Hmmm,” murmured the woman in her sleep, rolling to face him and unconsciously worming her way until her head was on his chest and one leg was trapping his. He permitted this, since she wasn’t aware of it right now. Her thin hands grabbed the white vest he wore and she sighed in contempt. A small smile was on her lips and Neuro knew that she wasn’t going to say much more tonight.

With the other hand that wasn’t trapped under her head, the demon combed his bangs in a pensive gesture. Day one and things were getting weirder and different than what he expected. Something in his head told him that he better get used to the changes, and he always listened to his instincts, so he was not surprised when the pain in his chest disappeared under the warmth of the human body of Yako Katsuragi.

Chapter Text

Day 3: Watching a movie

Next morning, Yako woke alone in her bed. Something smelled like sulfur and coals, and she recognised it as Neuro's scent, but as he wasn't in her room or seemed to have been when she came upstairs with a mug of coffee, she let it pass. Maybe he came to plant his Evil Fridays or another creepy tool from Hell in her room. Yeah that was more like him.

For his part, the demon was trying to figure out what the hell, ironically speaking, was happening to him. That morning, when he had slept his three needed hours to function, he tried to rid himself of the human, but the pain in his chest prevented him to do so. It was so infuriating! He was superior, he did not bow down to anything. Not even his own body.

It wasn't until he saw Yako watch some kind of crappy teenage movie about two stupid humans falling in "love" and fighting for their relationship against their families, that Neuro realised what was the problem with him.

"Is this pain… in my chest. I can't take it anymore, Susan!" Said the leading role of the boy. The two protagonist were on a beach, crying dramatically (ugh, he thought) and declaring their undying love for each other, again.

"Oh, Christian, me too! I need to be by your side or it hurt too much"

That sounds familiar, the demon thought. He must investigate further about it. That's why he got up and walked to the sofa where Yako was lounging and half asleep watching the movie. It was being a quiet day, she had said before turning on the TV and browse through the few channels they had in the office. Neuro listened more interested in the movie than anything else in the human world so far. This might give him answers to the mystery of his body!

"Everyday without you is a torture," the man said, "and your very touch calms my fast beating heart…"

"Are you really watching that crap?" Neuro heard the voice of his slave from below and noticed that she was awake. "I didn't know that you were into this kind of th-" she couldn't finish the phrase since he grabbed her head and pushed until the entire sofa flipped and Yako hit herself on the head. "What was that for!"

"Slaves don't talk back, Yako. I'm really disappointed to see you have forgotten that"

"I'm not a sla-!"

And then a trap door opened. Yep, to a hidden room full of spikes. And yep, she came back through another hidden door in the office. On her knees. At Neuro's feet, looking at his demonic, shining green eyes and fake smile.

"You were saying?"

"I'm sorry…" murmured Yako with a sigh.

"I can't hear you~" he said, his smile widening. This was nostalgic.

"I'm sorry! Ok!?"

The woman stood and straightened her clothes before putting the sofa back where it was, without Neuro's help, of course, and tried to relax again. The couple on the movie were going on a full make out session on the beach, a very dramatic and intense soundtrack filling the lack of dialogue, but Yako wasn't anymore on the mood of this kind of things. The demon behind her kinda ruined it.

She was going to change the channel, but his partner's voice froze her before doing anything.

"Why are those humans trying to eat each other?"

She turned very slowly, shocked to see real interest in Neuro's eyes. What did he mean by that? The kissing? Well, and more than kissing. But he really seemed intrigued by this new knowledge about human behaviour.

"They are making out."

"And what's that."

"Em… kissing very hard." She arched an eyebrow.

"And what's kissing? Some kind of courtship ritual? All humans must do this to find a suitable female?" he let the full power of his emerald eyes fall upon his human. They promised hellfire is she didn't satisfy his curiosity.

Ok, now she was feeling the hysterics. This was a mix between explaining to a child where do babies come from and what "internet" was to her mother.

"Courtship ritual? Well, something like that. But humans don't 'find a suitable female', Neuro."

"Then how are they sure that the chosen one gives strong offspring?" he tilted his head, sitting beside Yako on the sofa and fixing his eyes on the couple on the screen as they took of their clothes. "Is that part of the ritual too?" he pointed to the TV. Yako was on the verge of a heart attack. This was way worse than watching an unexpected sex scene with her mother around.

"Humans work differently" she said feeling her face burn with embarrassment. "Argh, this is too difficult!" she screamed, her hand on her head, pulling her golden locks. Why was he suddenly interested in human 'courtship rituals'?

"In Hell we just follow our instincts, find a strong female and mark her. This," he said pointing to a very dramatic and graphic sex scene, "is unnecessary long. If he wanted her to breed his child, there was no need to such a long performance"

Breed?, Yako thought, bewildered by his questions. She wanted to laugh.

"Oh, that's because it isn't about providing children," the words came out weird when she said them, unused to talk about humans as a species, "humans usually do that out of love."

Love?, Neuro wanted to ask about that new concept, but in that moment the scene changed and his attention went again to the movie. Now he was paying attention, trying to see if anything else was described like the sensation in his chest from last night. But with the new information provided by his slave, now he could search on the internet for answers. Because he was the Brain Eater and no mystery was left unsolved on his watch.

And Yako didn't know what was weirder, his questions or that they were watching probably the worst romance movie of the century together.

Chapter Text

Day 4: On a date.

With how weird things were being with Neuro back at the office, Yako was more than willing to go shopping with her best friend, Kanae. "Shopping" with Kanae was more like a race through the entire shopping district, buying at least one item each two stores. Usually Yako declined politely, since Kanae could be as intense with fashion as she was with food and her money could go away in a single shopping trip, forcing her to work like a dog for weeks to recover everything.

But, hey, at least she has a lot of nice clothes and accessories to choose from. Even some sexy lingerie on which she looked absolutely gorgeous. Sometimes Yako lamented not having anyone who share that underwear with, but then she remembers that very few men would stand a relationship with a girl who travels the world solving murder cases and terrorist hostage situations. And a woman who has seen horrors beyond this world.

No other human would ever understand her. The only ones who did were dead.

The human sighed, trying not to dwell too much on those painful memories from three years ago. Now she must focus on buying only what she needed and not letting Kanae convince her to spend her money on things she would never wear.

"What about this?" said the redhead while showing her a really revealing pink negligée that probably suited her like a glove and accentuated her curves very well, but Yako already had like, ten of those. All of them at the bottom of her drawer. She preferred comfort above sexyness in sleepwear, so despite falling in love with the negligées that Kanae always chose, she decided that ten was more than enough.

"I'll pass," Yako smiled politely, "I think I won't put them much to use these days anyways."

"That's why I ask you to come to the group dates! To find a nice, handsome and rich man to marry and show him those curves you hide there!" The other woman made an attempt to grab some of those 'curves', but her friend dodged in time.

"You know that's just not my style, Kanae…" the detective sighed. They've had this conversation for much too long. She just wanted to save the disappointment and heartache of getting hyped up to just be unsatisfied in the end. Every man seemed so… normal. They found her cute and funny just before discovering her eating habits; and when they tried to be interested in her job, they would recoil in distaste or even disgust with the details. She showed just a bit of blood and guts and they'll run away.

It wasn't that she didn't try dating, she went on a few blind dates thanks to Kanae's help, but she just couldn't settle with "normal" anymore. She was so used to unexpected horrors, to the crude reality, to the evil inside every human, since working with Neuro…

"Hey, isn't that your cute assistant?" the voice of her friend pulled her from her musings. She was right. By the door of the café where the girls were going to sit for a while was the demon himself. Smiling. That was enough to set up her alarms.

"Yeah, that's Neuro. I don't know why he is here, though." Kanae already knew that he was back, they talked about him for a while in the train ride to the shopping district.

"Go talk to him, girl. It may be something important." Yeah, well, if it was a case he would just have kidnapped me, Yako thought but didn't say out loud. Nonetheless, she walked to where he was leaning on the wall, seemingly relaxed.

"Hey, Neuro. What are you doing here?" she said to him.

"I was bored," his smile widened, his pointed teeth clearly visible, if you were watching, that is. Oh boy, she cried inside. That smile did augur no good.

"And?"

"Entertain me." He let his green eyes fall entirely on her person, the pressure bringing back too many memories. A cold sweat went down on her spine and she mentally was thinking what excuse say to her friend for ditching so soon on their so awaited trip.

"You can't just interrupt in my free time just because you are bored!", she hissed trying to sound menacing. Of course it didn't work and he made a noncommittal sound of disapproval while arching an eyebrow, and she knew she was screwed. She sighed again and almost didn't feel the gloved hand that grabbed her by the wrist. Where were her civil rights when she needed them?

But, yeah, with Neuro, she didn't have them. Because he wasn't a normal human person.

"Sorry, Kanae…"

"No worries!" grinned the human, "go have fun. With you date~" the last part she whispered in Yako's ear before giving her a knowing wink and a soft pat on the shoulder. She even took her bags so she wouldn't have to carry everything around. "Bye!"

Help me…, the blonde cried, not knowing where Neuro was taking her. But after walking for a while everything seemed familiar. This was a very popular place for couples. A nice park with a pond and a few secluded spaces to make out without being seen. At night this was even less safe for children, if you know what I mean.

"Now, entertain me, Yako." He said, finally releasing her hand.

"How?" she asked not knowing exactly why he brought her here. He pointed at one couple that was kissing on a bench.

"Is that 'kissing'?" the word sounded foreign on his lips.

"Yeah."

"But why? She isn't a suitable mate. She is planning to steal his money as soon as the opportunity arises. She is very sick. Probably won't live much longer."

"How the heck you know that?" she asked. She was curious to know, but the fact that the very normal looking woman was using a man to get money didn't even faze her. Neuro smirked.

"Is your poor little human brain getting even smaller? I'm sad, Yako, as now I'll have to demote you to an amoeba," he sighed dramatically, ignoring her protests. "I'm a demon. A puzzle eater. I can feel the seed of a mystery on that woman. And her sickness is almost visible. Even a baby could see it."

Now that he said that, the woman looked tired, pale, and dark rings covered in make up adorned her eyes. Her hair wasn't as shiny as a healthy person's is and her clothes were a size too big, probably covering a sickly thin body. With the eyes that Neuro helped her develop, she could see those tiny details that a normal person would just pass up. Maybe that's why any relationship ever worked with her, she could see the evil intent and every secret her dates had. She sighed.

"And what about that guy?" she pointed to a man walking down the dirt path to some of those secluded areas. "The weird twitching in his hands? And the nervous looks around? The cleaned blood stain on his pants?"

Neuro half smiled, feeling really proud of his little human, but didn't tell her so. Instead, he described the 'evil intent' he felt inside the man and the growing puzzle of a possible crime. He told her even of the taste it could had.

Without realising it, hours passed just watching couples go with their seemingly normal lives and pointing out the mysteries inside. Soon, it became a sort of test to Yako, like a competition. He never said if she was winning of losing, just what tortures he had in store if she disappointed him. The glint in his eyes gave away that he was serious on the threat.

It wasn't until she was getting ready for bed that night, humming happily because he had patted her head (meaning that she had passed the test), that she froze in her tracks. 'Have fun with your date', had said her friend, and Yako realised that they indeed had done some kind of recreative activity together and had some fun with common interests. She had laughed way more than any of her dates with human men, that's for sure. She hadn't felt this happy in years.

Her heart started beating a little faster and she put a hand on her chest. She run to her mirror on the little hidden bathroom in her tiny apartment and watched in horror that her cheeks were, in fact, red. Her eyes widened as she felt something akin to vertigo.

Oh no. I just had a date with Neuro. And I liked it.

Chapter Text

Day 5: Kissing.

 

“You didn’t answer my question, slug”, said the demon the next day. The woman jumped at the sudden comment of the demon by her side. They were on their way to a new case on her car since it was pretty far away from the city. Yako have tried to forget the ‘date’ (still some blushing came to her cheeks thinking about yesterday) by focusing on the three hour drive to the tiny village in the mountains. The townsfolk have contacted her with a new mystery, murders in so peculiar circumstances that some elders have started to blame tengus.

Neuro has asked what a tengu was and was expectedly amused when she explained the japanese myth of those demon spirits that live in the forests, usually auguring bad times and war. She didn’t believe much on those stories, but having a bird demon living with her had changed a few of her beliefs.

“Answer what,” she said, eyes fixed on the road, obviously avoiding said demon. Because she knew what he was talking about. The kissing question. He didn’t know quite well what kissing meant in human standards or if it was some kind of ‘courting ritual’, as he had called the sex scene in the movie.

“You know what, louse” she didn’t have to turn her head to hear the smile on his voice. “Maybe this ,” Neuro showed her a chain that she had no idea where he could possibly hide, “will help you remember.”

Yako sighed. She wasn’t afraid anymore of this tortures, but they really needed to get to their destination before nightfall. A honk from another car in the highway reminded her that she couldn’t be distracted. After all, this car was new and she was only human. If they were to crash she would die.

“The kiss.”

“Yeah.”

“What do you want to know?” she could feel the temperature in the car decrease. “I mean, what exactly is that you want to know?” she corrected rapidly to avoid punishment.

“Is kissing something to do in public? Like a claiming of some sorts?” he said after a while. Yako hid the surprise at such a normal question. He didn’t know anything about how human feelings worked, so it was natural that he didn’t get the meanings on human’s shows of affection.

“It depends on the person,” she said, her blushing completely gone. Answering was easy when she looked at it like an explanation from a science book, “some humans do like to kiss in public. But some do not. And it’s not about claiming, is more like showing your partner that you care and love them”

“I see.” He said and the woman could feel the penetrating look he gave her. She let a breath out thinking it was over and focused again in the tricky road, trying to find her exit of the highway.

After what seemed like ages, since Neuro didn’t talk again, they arrived at the tiny village. It only has houses with their respectively farming ground, and an inn. She drove to the place, knowing that they were expected by the owner, who had called her in the first place, that was also the village’s doctor. Her’s was the only car on the whole inn and Yako deduced that the rumours of tengu has scared any few tourist this place could had.

Nice, a ryokan just for themselves. She could get some relax time after solving the case! After all, they were staying the night. Happy by the thought, she cut the engine and was going to open her door, when a very well known gloved hand stopped her. Neuro pulled her to him and crashed his lips with hers without any warning.

Yako’s eyes widened, looking straight at the demon’s, asking what the heck was he thinking. He just looked at her with those intense emerald eyes, as if searching for something in hers. What, she didn’t know. When she was starting to need air, he let her go without saying anything.

“What the hell was that for!” she shrieked, a hand on her lips.

“Kissing,” he said slowly with a big smile, like he was explaining to a child. Yako wanted to scream in frustration.

“I can see that, you stupid demon!” if she wasn’t so angry, the detective could have thought that insulting the demon wasn’t a good idea. And that he wasn’t threatening again with the chains. “Why did you kiss me!?”

The demon chuckled softly in amusement.

“To see if you were the type to like public affection or not” and he pointed to something outside of the car. To her utmost horror, the innkeeper and some villagers were there, watching with knowing smiles.

Chapter Text

Day 6: Wearing each other’s clothes.

 

Yako wanted to die. It was official. They were seen kissing on her car

She wanted to kill Neuro. She wanted the ground to swallow her whole. She wanted to die. But, instead, she took a deep breath and opened the car as if anything had happened.

“Hello, I’m Katsuragi Yako,” said the detective to the people by the inn door, some grinning like some kind of chesire cat, other whispering among themselves. Yako tried not to feel intimidated by this.

“Welcome to our home,” said one of the grinning old women, “My name is Shouko Yamaguchi. I was the one who called.” She extended her hand to shake with the detective. “I see you brought your assistant. May I know his name?”

“Nogami Neuro,” said the demon with an innocent face, as he usually does when in public to keep the appearances. “I just came back from abroad to help sensei in her cases!”

The women all sighed and blushed. He was handsome, thought the human, but they don’t really know how he really is. If they knew he was a demon, like those tengu they were so afraid about, they wouldn’t be imagining lewd things right now.

Yako sighed. Tomorrow was going to be a long day.


While his slave took a bath, Neuro sat on the sole room they assigned to the detective and his assistant. The old woman insisted with a sly smile and giving looks back and forth between the two. The demon had smiled innocently knowing what she was thinking, that they were a couple in love, that being together everyday had sparked a flame of love. It was simply perfect!

Now, he only has to see what would Yako do in this situation, forced to acknowledge a relationship with with and stand the looks and comments from the townspeople. This was the perfect opportunity to see if she felt “love” for him. And to solve the mystery of the pain in his chest when she was around.

He may not understand the human logic of emotions, but he was no fool. He was the most intelligent demon from Hell, the one who solved every mystery down there, and he had the ability to adapt. After the eye opening crappy teenage movie, the demon had searched the entire internet  for anything containing the words “love” and “kissing”. Some words Yako had used, like “sex” or “make out”, appeared in his search, and finally he understood the science of human courting.

The louse was saying the truth, humans were such an stupid species that they didn’t find a mate to breed strong children, they did it based on their feelings . Despite the initial recoil to the idea, he found this fact intriguing. How then were humans the dominant species on Earth? If survival wasn’t an issue, why would they even want children? Those things were disgustingly loud and needy, even more than his slave number one, so he couldn’t fathom the idea of caring for one those willingly.

As he was thinking all of this, the Evil Stalker he put on his human warned him that she was on her way to the room, and a high speed. He smiled and got up to set the wire trap on the door. At the speed she was going, tripping would cause a beautiful crash and a few bruises on her. He couldn’t wait to see it.

“Neuro! What’s the meaning of-”, she sounded angry, but as she hastily opened the shoji door and ran into the room, she unfortunately didn’t see the nylon wire where her feet got caught, launching her across the room to bounce on the table and out of the coincidentally opened window to the koi pond under it.

She sat there, drenched and surrounded by the colorful fish who swam around her, confused by the intruder, in only her panties and the intense blue suit coat of Neuro. She glared at the demon, calming her fast breathing.

“Where… the hell… are… my clothes!” she could finally say, out of breath. Her only answer was the greenish blonde and black haired head of her torturer peak from the window, one of his innocent smiles and blank stares in place.


“Oh, my, sensei. I didn’t know you were one of those people.”

Chapter Text

Day 7: Cosplaying.

 

As they ascended the steep mountain, the detective wondered how she could have agreed to this. She looked down at her feet to the pretty uncomfortable wooden sandals that were not made for this kind of exercise. She understands the outfit change, but she could have wore her own shoes!

Yako sighed. At least the miko garbs the kind people lent her were kinda cool and nice for the hot weather, she tried to look at it on the bright side. When last night she discovered that Neuro had switched the content of her bags to his own stuff, she thought she was going to die. The detective had to find the innkeeper still soaked and wearing only the demon’s coat and ask for clothes to at least sleep on. The old lady seemed to light up like a sun and ran to her closet to find her something that would fit.

She expected some old woman’s dressing gown, but Shouko surprised her with a very old school sexy garment that looked painfully too much like one of the negligées she had at home. Since it was a favor, Yako couldn’t reject the offering, but still she didn’t want to wear that in front of Neuro. She had enough letting him see her panties and that was something she wanted to forget.

That night she barely could sleep. She could feel him near despite being on the other side of their suite room, his eyes on her back, and a weird crawling noise spooked her somewhere near three am. When the sun finally rose she thanked the gods and sped again to the old lady’s room to give back the negligée.

And that’s when she insisted to wear her daughter’s old miko clothes from when she still lived there and attended to the shrine up the mountain. They even gave Neuro a matching monk garb, giving Yako the feeling that they were cosplaying some kind of old anime about demons and mikos.

“I kind of enjoy this nice trek” said Neuro with one of his unsettling smiles. “You look nice,” Yako arched an eyebrow since he never complimented her, “as a servant of the gods. Pretty fitting, don’t you think? Serving a higher being of power. Hm~”

She didn’t have the energy to even groan or shout at his comment.


 

After what seemed like hours, they found the supposed ‘tengu’ lair, that being a gross pile of decomposing corpses. Lost hikers, dead villagers and a very recent body of the last victim of the murders. Yako knew she would be horrified in the past, but now she only felt a bit spooked and disgusted by the smell, letting her go back to her work as detective.

Since Neuro was here with her there was little she could do. Her sight and smell could do only much and she was certain she could not match the demon’s deduction abilities, but still she pointed out her findings and anything she felt odd in that place. Eight out of ten she got her deductions right.

Not bad, she thought, feeling again that competitive side of her rise up to the challenge. Passed the anger and embarrassment from that morning she now felt comfortable around Neuro again, like those old times three years back, solving murder cases together. The only difference was that she was keeping up with him now.

“Hey, have you seen this marks?” she asked the wandering demon, who was searching for clues in places she couldn’t see. He approached her and looked at what she was pointing, an almost invisible mark on the necks of the victims, something a tengu couldn’t have made. But a human could.

“Well done, slug. I may promote you to a dog.” he said with a smile before turning to go back to the inn.

“Yay~”, she answered sarcastically as she followed him, watching the broad back of her partner and trying not to lose him because she couldn’t remember the way back. “Do you know who did it?” asked Yako after a few minutes.

“Yes. It is quite simple. We only need to get everyone on a very specific room of the inn and make him talk. And then, I shall eat this delicious riddle.” The creepy smile on his face that should have given her goosebumps only made her stare at his soft lips and pointed teeth.

What the hell is wrong with me! , she thought looking again to the floor, watching her steps so as not to fall down the mountain. That would certainly amuse her companion, but she needed all of her limbs to drive back home later.

What she didn’t see was the constant looks the demon was giving her from time to time, watching her think and imagining that she was trying to think who the murderer was. He noticed the changes on her detective capacity, as well as the fast thinking and the eyes to see what other humans could not. He was… proud. That weird feeling on his chest apart, he could see a worthy companion on the human by his side. Maybe the only human worthy of his praise or even a feeling or two.

Feelings …, he thought. That was it! It wasn’t rational. The sensation on his wicked heart every time she was near, the different light on which he saw her, the constant need to see her blushing and angry with him, looking at him, trying to impress him. His body has chosen her as a mate, it seemed. His mind too, as he felt the tiny place that his slave has carved on his life and plans. This human could not leave him and go away. He knew it wasn’t fear of losing his cover on the human world to keep eating mysteries. Somewhere on his wide mind, he knew they wouldn’t taste the same without her.  

 

So, he made the logical decision. He had to make Yako Katsuragi fall in love with him.

Chapter Text

Day 8: Shopping.

Now then, when he searched the internet for clues of this new feelings inside, he found a complete guide on how to court a human girl. How convenient! It came with a step by step guide, colorful descriptions on what to do than even he, who had little to no grasp on human behavior on courtship, could follow the steps.

It was easy now that he had learned those new words and could embark in new searches with more accurate information than generic animal impulses or scientific explanations on hormones and natural body process (he knew that humans were disgusting, but not even that was found in Hell); as now, Nogami Neuro, the Brain Eater, was learning How to Date a Girl.

The tutorial seemed simple, with steps like "how to get to know her on a deeper level" which he assumed he could just skip. They've been together almost everyday for more than a year. Yes, that was long ago and she was a new woman, but the essence of Yako was still there. Her likes and dislikes, her strengths and weaknesses, he did know everything of that.

Be genuine, be a good conversationalist, don't dwell too much on her appearance…. Bla bla bla, he thought watching the computer screen that showed him the tutorial. As he was scrolling past the boring part, only Akane was in the office right now, typing something on her desk while keeping an eye (?) on the demon. She was curious to see what was happening to the boss to keep making that angry face, but she chose not to say anything. Better not risk her hair treatments.

"Aha!", said the Brain Eater, finally getting something from the tutorial. "Throw in some surprises, heh." She better have the entire day off.

With a smirk in his face, he took the phone and called one of the few numbers saved in there. After what seemed like an eternity, the woman's voice answered from the other side in angry whispers.

"Neuro? What the hell do you want? I was in the middle of a class!"

"Then don't go back. In fact, I expect you in the office in fifteen minutes," he said as he ended the call. He almost could hear her furious screams from here. Music to his ears.

[What was all that?] had written Akane.

"You'll see." he answered getting his coat and fixing his hair back.


Exactly fifteen minutes later, totally disheveled and out of breath, a very angry Yako arrived at the office building entrance. She glared daggers at the better dressed and smiling Neuro, wanting to kill him so hard that she was surprised that he didn't made any snarky comment about it.

"Is… there… a case or… something?" she asked as she tried to calm her heart and breathing.

"Nope." He answered still smiling. With a swift movement, he grabbed her by the arm with a gloved hand and started to guide her down the street.

"I hate you."

"Hmmm~", he squeezed her arm a little bit, earning that blissful moan of pain.

"What the hell do you want, then?" she asked barely keeping up with his speed.

"It's a surprise," he said looking ahead. Yako was at this point more confused than angry, since it was rare for the demon to go outside if it wasn't for a puzzle.

They walked for a while until the shopping district came to view. He let her go exactly on the same point where he kidnapped her when she came with Kanae, not so long ago. She watched his face searching for any meaning for this, but as usual Neuro was difficult to read. The only thing she could see was that there wasn't any danger and that he wasn't angry with her, so why the sudden trip outside?

"Let's go shopping, slave."

She waited a few moments, waiting for the moment when someone jumps from a plant on the street and say "surprise! it was all a joke!", but that moment never came.

"Are you serious?"

"Yep" he nodded with one of his fake innocent smiles.

"Where's the catch?" she narrowed her eyes, searching for any clue.

"No catch. I thought that, since you could not finish your strange clothes ritual that day, I should provide you the time and money to do that," and then he took out a credit card. One that she recognized.

"That's Godai's, right?" she said with a deadpan expression. The creepy smile widening was her only answer.

Poor Godai. Yako sighed and tried to assess the pros and cons of going shopping with Neuro, but in the end she really should do as he said. This was an easy task to obey, much more than anything else he had forced her to do. And yeah, what was the harm?

"Okay, let's start there" she finally decided and pointed to a shop she had wanted to check out before Neuro appeared that day. Without even thinking, she took his gloved hand and guided him forward, missing the surprised look he gave their entwined hands.

This was the second time he let her do that, and he kinda liked it now.

Chapter Text

Day 9: Hanging out with friends.

Pumped up by the obvious shopping trip success, Neuro decided to step up to the next level. In some pages, they said that introducing your possible mate to friends is important, that the approval of said friends was vital in the choosing process because if the close acquaintances didn't like you it was the end. No mate. Ever.

So, when he heard a few weeks later from Yako that she was going home early because she had promised Kanae going for lunch together, he saw his golden opportunity. Kanae counted as best friend, right? Even he understood what friendship was, despite not having one of those "best friends" thing.

"Why do you want to come?" said the woman, frozen on the doorway with a hand on the strap of her purse. A cold chill went down her spine, and it was not a good sign. Neuro's content smile was creepy enough, more than usually, since it looked like he really wanted to smile but wasn't able to do it otherwise. She imagined the stress lines around his eyes as he forced a non-threatening face.

The fact that he was trying to look harmless to her was unsettling.

"Can't I?" still trying to look like a good boy, he added "I thought that since I couldn't introduce myself the other day, it was due to meet your best friend."

Another chill.

"Why?" she choked out. "Is there a puzzle around her, isn't it? Is she in danger?"

He expected her reluctance to bring her around any friend of hers, but this was absurd. Why was she so unwilling to introduce him to her important people? Was she ashamed of him? A strike of fury invaded him and was going to punish her for her insolence, but he stopped just in time. This wasn't being rational, this was more of those new feelings he was experiencing because of Yako.

"I will confirm once I meet her." he answered losing his smile. If she didn't buy one of his absolutely perfect lies, which she could usually see through, he was going to torture her until she accepted. He had to get the friend's approval! Why was she being so stubborn!?

"O...kay…?" the detective said, trying to think why Neuro had to lie to go have lunch with Kanae and her. He wasn't smelling a mystery, she was sure of it, and he didn't eat human food. Yako couldn't see the benefit of spending time with another unevolved human. "But don't try anything weird, please."

"Are you trying to order me around, slug?" he smiled again, but this time was his usual creepy one in place. Strange enough, Yako sighed feeling relieved. This was normal, this was the usual. She could work with normal Neuro.

"No, Master" answered in a neutral voice, not liking to call him that, but trying to at least get in one piece to her appointment.

"Good."


Kanae couldn't believe it. Yako had brought her boyfriend to lunch! Well, they weren't together for now, but she could already see them holding hands and being all cuddly together! Oh my god, how beautiful would that be! The assistant was tall and handsome, just like how she liked her men, and she could only think of what those big hands were capable of doing! She was going to melt!

"Hey, Kanae-chan." Said the blonde with a bit forced smile on her face. "Neuro decided to tag along."

"Greetings," he said with his more usual innocent smile, "I think I wasn't properly introduced before. My name is Nogami Neuro. Thanks for taking care of senpai all this time I have been away!"

"Oh, don't worry! Yako-chan speaks a lot about you! I feel like I know you already!" she said standing up from her seat at the ramen restaurant where she had been waiting for her friend. Some of the regulars recognized her and left running as soon as Yako arrived. This place was one of the blonde woman's favorites. "I'm Kanae Kagohara, you can call me just Kanae." she smiled.

You can call me what you want with those pretty lips, honey, she thought needing to lay down for a bit. She had seen the man a few times on TV with Yako a few years back, and from a certain distance when he came to pick her up on their shopping day, but having him so close she could see how perfectly handsome he was. Oh God. Yako was practically all day with this living, breathing, gorgeous god by her side AND THEY WEREN'T ALREADY MARRIED?

Neuro just smiled, reading her like an open book. He assumed he had the friend's approval with how the redhead looked at him hungrily and licked her lips, and the knowing looks she gave her friend.

Yako just facepalmed. This was a really bad idea.

Chapter Text

Day 10: With animal ears.

A theme park. The noise, the screaming children, the infernal music on repeat, the constant slow traffic of people because of stupid animal thingy parade. He didn't want this. He didn't like this. The noise was unbearable, the smell was disgusting and his suit already has a cotton candy, as Yako had called the hideous looking pink goo, stain on it.

Neuro just wanted to be done with the mystery and go back to their quiet office. Just a little peace and quiet without children, that was everything he asked for.

"Are you okay, Neuro?" asked the human woman when she stopped to ask for directions. The place was enormous and nobody seemed to point in the right direction to the Haunted House, their destination. Higuchi had called her with a juicy mystery, a chain of strange murders on the park attraction that has been occurring for a few weeks, until the park decided to close the entire area. That didn't stop the other noisy attractions, of course, and people didn't seem to mind having fun beside the scene of a crime.

"Obviously, no," he grunted as he dodged another screaming child chasing whatever had called his attention. "This places sickens me."

"I can see why," she agreed looking at the merry go round. She always liked to ride with her father and mother on the colorful horses. When she grew up they went less and less to theme parks, as the adults were too busy with their respective work to take her out anywhere. "Just a little more and you'll have your puzzle. Then, we are out."

He let a breath he didn't have realised he had been holding, controlling his features and powers so as not to lash out at the next little monster human midget to cross his way. Oh boy, how he was tempted to-

"Here!" he heard the woman's voice and a warm sensation passed near his ears, a gentle pat on the crown of his head. He blinked, surprised at the unexpected contact, and watched the retreating hands of his servant from his person. Neuro felt an odd new weight on top of his head and reached to feel what it was. Something fluffy and kinda soft was there (he couldn't tell through the material of his gloves), and he looked at the nearest reflecting surface to check what the hell she had dared to put on his head. "I thought this suited you well!"

He barely saw her smile from the corner of his eyes as he watched the horrendous lion fake ears on top of his head. The colors clashed horribly and it made him look stupid. He hated them. He wanted to burn them until not even ashes remained.

"You don't have to hate them so much!" she still was laughing. "Look, I even got me one of these to match you so you are not the only one looking stupid." Yako showed him the pink piggy ears on a pink headband resting on her hands. He arched an eyebrow at her chosen item, knowing well she didn't like being called a pig.

"Very well. It seems that now you accept you position below me on the food chain, piggy." Softly, he took the cheap pig ears and carefully put them on her blonde head. It didn't suit her at all, making her look utterly stupid, maybe even more than him. A low chuckle escaped his lips.

Her smile widened before she suddenly turned her head away from him and started to walk again to the Haunted House. Curious to see what made her flee like that, he followed her taking long strides with with equally long legs and walked backwards for a while as he watched her red face with a mischievous smile. He knew this was called "blushing" and it only meant good things.

He was making some progress! This courting thing wasn't so difficult. Why so many people whine about women being impossible to persuade? Yako maybe was an exception and was an easy girl, as they called it. He turned back and walked a few steps ahead of the slave, a proud smile plastered on his face.

While he was so sure of his success, the young woman was screaming inside. What the hell was she thinking? He had to make that cute surprised face and then laugh and smile that smile which showed a bit of his pointed teeth. She wanted to die. She only wanted to distract the demon so he wouldn't kill every human around, and now she was getting those date-y vibes again, thinking again that Neuro was cute. For the love of everything good! This was the more sadistic, crazy and bossy demon on Earth and she was blushing for a cute smile?

Somebody help me...

Chapter Text

Day 11: Wearing kigurumis.

"Ah~" Yako sighed as they exited the noisy theme park. "I am so full. The owner was really kind, don't you think, Neuro?" She has been smiling since they left the last fast food place inside the theme park, a place that she had completely cleaned of food. The owner of the park underestimated her hunger.

The demon didn't want to answer. He was a little more calm now that he had eaten a really good mystery from the Haunted House and the sight of the damned 'Ferris wheel', as Yako had called it, was behind them. The queue for that thing was enormous, something he could not understand. Two hours waiting for a fifteen minute ride? Absurd.

But, Yako looked like she really wanted to ride in that thing. Hm.

"Neuro?" the young woman called again since he seemed spaced out. He has been doing this a lot since a few days back, and it was starting to worry her. It wasn't like him to be totally unaware of his surroundings. But, it has it's bright side: this could be an opportunity for payback! Last time she tried to get her revenge, when he was unable to move from his chair back with the Sicks situation, it ended badly. He was expecting her, watching her, and she learned that she had no chance against Neuro. But now he wasn't himself.

Trying to be sneaky, she approached the tall demon with a permanent marker, ready to write "i am stupid" all over his face and bright blue coat.

"Yako," he started to say something, but then he noticed the marker inches from his face. He turned his blank stare to the very frightened human by his side. She was screwed. "I see." He smiled, something she didn't want to happen. Because then she was beautifully flying over a confused crowd of humans leaving the park, over the lights on top of the wall and right into one of the merchandise shops inside the place. As she emerged from the sea of ruined goods and fluffy toys, Yako saw the prettiest thing in the world.

"I'll take two of those!" she shouted to the angry owner.


That night, there was a spring on her step as she was getting ready for bed. When Neuro came to bully her, she was still on the shower, singing a silly song with repetitive lyrics. She seemed happy, and he had no idea why, but it was pleasing. A happy Yako was more easy to impress. Not that he needed her to be, but on the tutorial they said to "impress the girl" if you wanted to "get laid", whatever that meant. He hoped it was part of the courting process.

"Oh, I didn't hear you enter," said the young woman as she exited the bathroom in only a towel. He arched an eyebrow. She really was too happy if she didn't care to be seen in such little clothing. "Could you pass that bag to me?" she pointed to an enormous plastic bag beside the bed foot. The demon tossed the bag to her with a bit too much force, but despite losing her balance Yako wasn't bothered by it. Resuming her singing, she closed the door and re-entered the bathroom.

Okay, she was being weird. Curious to see what has her so annoyingly happy, he waited patiently the few minutes she took to dress herself with whatever was in the bag, sitting comfortably on the ceiling while planting a few more Evil Stalkers here and there.

"Ah~," she moaned in pleasure as she opened the door, "these are so comfy!"

Neuro watched in complete astonishment the thing that came out of the bathroom. It was Yako alright, but she was wearing the most stupid looking animal suit he had even witnessed in his whole life. It wasn't even accurate, the cat ears just too big for any animal, and those anime eyes printed on the fabric of the hood were far too big and horrendous.

"I always wanted to wear a kigurumi," she smiled up to him, lifting another bag to his face, "my dad said that he would wear one with me if we bought them next time we visited a theme park. Years passed and we couldn't go back to buy it so we never did it, but I thought I could take this opportunity to fulfill a childish dream. I bought one for you, if you want to." She blushed.

The demon was speechless. To even think that he would wear something so degrading was worth punishment and he knew that she was aware of it, but she still bought him that horrible piece of clothing knowing of the consequences. He blinked a few times, weighed the pros and cons of lowering himself to such level. He was part of the Demon Court!

But she looked so happy to be wearing that thing, her eyes shining like stars, and the words from those tutorials about dating a girl resonated in his head. "Show interest in things she likes". Well, this could be an opportunity get the woman to lower her defenses. And then, he would attack.

Neuro smiled, making the woman feel a bit uneasy, but he took the kigurumi from her hands.

"If you speak of this to anyone, you'll wish you were dead," he said with the smile still in place, leaning a bit until his lips grazed her earlobe, "and you know my threats do not come empty."

She shivered as he took off his coat, the smile still in place, and Yako didn't know if it was out of fear or the sensation of his lips on her skin. She was sensitive on the ears, but he couldn't have known that, right? Right!?

The air on the room changed completely while he took off his shoes as well and got into the matching kitty kigurumi. Her playfulness was gone and now she was hyper aware of his presence on her bedroom, that under her own kigurumi she only had her panties on and aware of the ripped body of the demon. She usually didn't dwell on those things, they had been together for so long and in so many situations that being a teenager full of hormones didn't make sense anymore. Yeah, Neuro was really fit and everything, but have he always had that extra glow on his face? Was touching his naked arm so tempting before?

"And well? Satisfied you stupid childish dream?" he asked looking at her with a very 'are you fucking kidding me' face on, but the corner of his mouth turned upwards told her that he was having fun with this. She shook her head trying to get those disturbing thoughts out of her head and focused on the even more disturbing sight of Neuro in a full body kigurumi. He looked horrible.

"Pfft!" she tried so hard to contain her laughter, but failed miserably. He was a sadistic monster with a huggable plushie look. It was too much for her to keep her composure and fell to her bed in the middle of a laugh attack, incapable to stop. "It… it's perfect!" she managed to say between laughs, rolling on her belly and unintentionally resting her head on the other's currently fluffy tights.

The demon felt the need to punish her for her insolence, but it has been him who agreed to this on the first place after all, and she could be tortured tomorrow. But for now, he was going to take this opportunity to follow the next step on this human courting thing.

Chapter Text

Day 12: Make out.

The weight in his chest pulsed for a moment as his eyes rested on the turned face of Yako, who was laughing so hard at his expense that the urge to at least jab her on the ribs as a temporary punishment was overwhelming. She was vulnerable, easy to attack, easy to torment. Just a little kick and he could choke her with his legs against the ceiling, just a little push and she was out of the window, just one movement of his hand and her neck would crack beautifully in an inhuman way.

But, as he thought those possibilities, deep down the paint that guided him in this alien human courting process was urging him not to do that. Which was stronger, you say? His sadistic side, of course. It was absurd to presume the opposite.

"Ah…," sighed Yako out of breath, "I haven't laughed like that in ages!" She sighed again as she rolled until she faced Neuro, fixing her eyes on his face from her position, weirded out by the sudden thought of her being the one upside down.

Neuro was looking down to her, a neutral expression on his face, not telling her what could be passing through his mind in that kind of intimate moment between them. She was used to be alone with the demon in close quarter and usually this didn't bother her in the least as he had told her clearly his little interest in her flesh; but with those new thoughts dancing on her mind lately she couldn't stop the slight blush flooding her cheeks. Maybe everything was in her imagination, maybe Neuro is acting weird for any demon-related reason. Do demons have the awkward teenage phase? She remembers he said that he was quite young.

"Yako," he called her, and her heart jumped in her chest. His green eyes still didn't give her any information about what could be crossing his mind, but she assumed that she was bothering him by being on his legs.

"I know, I know. I'll let you alone," as she moved to stand up his gloved hand pushed her down against his legs. She yelped in surprise as his big hand pressed her face with a bit too much force, crushing her nose and blinding her for a moment.

"Do not dare to move, maggot. I think I found a good use for your insolence," she heard his voice and couldn't see him until he removed his hand, but it was too late to dodge his approaching lips to her person. Shocked, Yako found herself being kissed again by her demon. She hoped that Neuro wouldn't get used to this new form of torture, because she knew that out of all the repertoire he usually threw at her, this was the most hurtful one.

After discovering the effect he had on her heart, she knew she wasn't ready for it to be crushed. She was no fool, he growing crush on the blond sadistic demon was a fact she could not deny, but as soon as Yako registered her new feelings she fought to forget them. Anything with him could not be good. He was dangerous, evil, sadistic and selfish; and none of that was boyfriend material. In the rare case of involving herself romantically with Neuro, she could see a future of pain and one-sided affections. No hugs, no kisses, no loving touches.

A demon does not understand the mechanics of love.

"Hey! Stop!" the woman shouted, pushing him. Yako stood up and stepped back until she was touching the opposite wall to her bed, a hand on her attacked lips and a wary look on her eyes. He stood up slowly, smiling his up-to-no-good smile, reminding her of a big cat stalking its prey. "Why did you do that?"

"I told you not to move," he... purred? Yako was on the verge of a breakdown. This was not Neuro. This was not how she thought tonight was going to be. A stalking demon in a crappy anime kitty kigurumi looking at her like she was a delicious mystery? Nope. No way in Hell.

"I don't know what the heck are you trying to do, but please stop," the detective pressed herself harder against the wall, her heart going a mile an hour. He was at an arm's length now, the smile still in place.

"Now you give the orders?" Neuro circled a hand around her neck, forcing her to stay in her place and incapable of turning her head away from his. His warm breath and crazed emerald eyes frightened her, as it was usual, but this time he didn't look menacing at all; instead, it was like he was evaluating her reaction, waiting to see something. It reminded her of when he kissed her in front of the inn back at the tiny village with the tengu problem. "I think not."

She blushed. She didn't want to, but her heart was acting with a mind on its own. The air in the room was heavy and no sound could be heard apart from the rapid beating of her heart, her blood noisily flowing behind her ears, her head swirling with incoherent thoughts between fear and an unwanted arousal.

"Ah?" she could muster, his lips approaching hers again, this time she could do nothing to stop him before they touched.

Yako closed her eyes tightly, not wanting this to happen ever again. Please, stop, she cried inside trying not to feel good or anything like that. After all, this was Neuro playing with her body and her human emotions. He knew enough about humans to detect her body reactions to his touch, but he couldn't act as if he cared like he was another human man. He wasn't normal, he wasn't suitable to be a boyfriend, he wasn't for her.

Suddenly, it happened. She felt something wet and raspy touch her lower lip, and she presumed it was his tongue. Oh God. She felt like she was going to faint, part from the lack of air and part from the weird things she was feeling in the pit of her stomach, her legs trembling under her and no longer supporting her weight. Yako opened her eyes and clawed at the hand on her neck, which was really choking her now.

Neuro withdrew a little, just enough space to let her breathe, and watched her take a few greedy gulps of air with inquisitive eyes. What was she thinking? Did she like it? Was he properly kissing her? Was his slave going to "fall in love" with him anytime soon? He wanted to confess his intentions, that's what the tutorial advised at this point in the courting. It's supposed to help the woman realise her feelings or something like that. And that's why he used the piece of information that Yako provided him not long ago: "And it's not about claiming, is more like showing your partner that you care and love them". The need to keep her alive and protected by his side counted as "care", right?

"Neuro," she managed to say after a minute, her eyes cast downwards as she tried to calm herself. He still had her trapped against the wall with his hand, he could not afford to let her scape now that the perfect opportunity presented itself. "Why the hell did you kiss me?" the blonde asked lifting her head to face him.

And he was going to smile and say a smart remark, something about doing whatever he wanted to his favorite slave, but the words caught up in his throat when he saw the fire in the teary eyes of his human. She looked furious, scared and tired. This was not expected at all. This wasn't on the tutorial. Neuro felt at loss of things to say, his mouth closed tight as he was looking for things to say. He considered lying, leaving this as it was and try another day; but the angry blazes in her brown eyes told him that she would see right through it and probably there wasn't going to be a "next time".

"And well?" she arched an eyebrow waiting for any smart and logical explanation other that "I felt like it". Neuro looked confused and at loss, reminding her of that fateful day when he returned to Hell, three years ago. But right now she was too angry to care about her little victory in being the only human who could put that face on him. "Are you going to-"

"I need you," he interrupted her, the same shocked face, his gloved hand slowly retreating from her person. But she couldn't move, not yet. Did she heard wrong?

"What?"

"I need you, Yako," Neuro blinked and looked at her with a slightly confused expression, like he was also weirded out by his words. "I want you."

A tense moment passed between them, the chilly air coming from the window cooling down the previously heated room, as they looked at each other in shock. Wow, Yako thought, just wow. What is going on here?

"Can you repea-"

"I won't repeat myself, maggot," he said going back to his usual bossy self, but Yako could see the glint of doubt on his green eyes. Another moment of tense silence passed.

"Is that true?" she asked softly, trying hard to believe it. It could mean a lot of things, he could be doing a big practical joke, he could be using her to experience a 'human thing' just to be faster in solving puzzles, he could be laughing at her for being weak.

"I do not lie about this kind of things," Neuro stepped back a little, watching her with a frown on his face.

"Then… do you love me? At all?" she found the courage to ask the needed question. "Wanting" or "needing" wasn't the same as "loving", and she needed to know the truth. And by the way he tilted his head with a faraway look on, she expected the answer.

"I'm not capable of 'love', Yako," she closed her eyes already feeling her heart break, "but lately I have been having trouble controlling myself. I need you by my side more than before and I get this annoying pressure in my body if I don't know if you are well or your irritating usual self."

Yako took a deep breath. This was… something unexpected. She could work with that. It wasn't love, he wasn't lying, but at least the detective was sure he was saying the truth about those 'new' feelings.

"And…?" she encouraged the demon with a soft voice, taking a step towards him. She wasn't as angry anymore, just a little annoyed by being forced to kiss him, and know she could see the awkward young demon who didn't know what to do with his own body.

"And," he glared at her, but Yako couldn't take him seriously with the kigurumi on, "I want you to love me."

"You want what?" alright, this was more than unexpected. He kept glaring, clearly irritated to be questioned like this. She didn't care, she wanted answers. "Ok, ok, you don't repeat yourself." Yako raised her hands in defeat. She couldn't be angry anymore.

She sighed and weighed the situation. Neuro awkwardly confessed, or something like that, and tried to french kiss her. In a kigurumi. While choking her. She was sure that tomorrow this would earn a laugh or two, but right now it was like being in a weird nightmarish dream.

As she stood in front of the much taller demon, the young woman looked up to his face searching for answers. Maybe… maybe she wasn't so hopeless after all. Could he love her? The answer was no, but… She could be cherished, wanted, respected. Neuro saw a worthy partner in her and despite the constant abuse and trash talking. And he could understand her in a way that no other man on this Earth could. She has evolved into a quick thinking person, a bright detective, and no many men were interested in a glutton detective woman.

To Neuro that wasn't important. He saw in her things that humans couldn't see, a new perspective, as clear as she could see the real demon underneath the bossy and sadistic behavior. Maybe…

"What is taking you so long, dishrag? Just say whatever you are going to say," he took her head and got closer to her face with a scowl, getting impatient.

"Yeah," she said smiling a little. The Brain Eater arched and eyebrow and squeezed harder his grab on her, demanding a more elaborate answer. "I say yeah, I like you too, Neuro. But!" she raised a finger, silencing whatever he was going to say with the digit. For a brief second she thought he was going to bite it off by the intense glare he gave her. "Tomorrow we are going to talk about this in detail. I don't think you are very clear in how 'human courting' works and I'm sure that there are a few things you should tell me about demon ways. I don't want to wake up one day and find myself in trouble because you 'forgot' to tell me something important," by the toothy smile she was sure it was right on point. Oh boy, he was going to be the end of her.

"I expected nothing else, detective," Neuro commended sarcastically, attempting to bite her index finger, but for once Yako was faster.

"And by the way, this is how you french kiss," before he could ask what was that, she kissed him with more enthusiasm that the two times he had kissed her. It was nothing like those times before; this was intense, hot, consuming.

She demanded his whole attention as her lips moved against his, her hands pressing his shoulders down to keep him reachable, her eyes closed in a focused expression that he thought suited her very well. He wanted to see this face everyday, so close to his.

"Aren't you going to kiss me now?" she mocked him, seeing that he was frozen in his place.

She shouldn't have taunted him, she really shouldn't have. Because with the usual forceful way in which he treated her, Neuro grabbed her legs and put them around him, leveling her for a more easy access. This was something new and Yako was excited to find out how this could work out. She closed her eyes, letting the other senses take lead. Now the woman expected the rushed contact from the inexperienced demon on her lips and embraced it. She was a newbie herself, but it didn't stop her enjoyment of her (official) first kiss with her kind-of-boyfriend bird demon.

She almost laughed when she felt what she thought was the wall against her back, only to find it was the ceiling. But, for once, she wasn't afraid. Sure of the demon's hold on her legs, she was adventurous and cupped his face with her hands, letting herself enjoy the soft touch of his smooth skin. Yako always wanted to touch it but was afraid to lose her hand in the process.

Again she felt his wet tongue rubbing her lower lip, and this time she let him in. For a moment she expected some kind of burning sensation, as his acidic saliva wasn't a joke matter, but after a few seconds she only felt his raspy appendage explore the inside of her mouth. It was like a cat's but weirder. She had only kissed someone once, and it was before the boy had to pay her restaurant bill, so she usually tried to bury the embarrassing memory. This was nothing like what she remembers.

An involuntary moan escaped her mouth, overwhelmed by the intense experience, as well as trying to breath some air. He reclaimed her mouth once more, greedy to have more of what they were doing, pleased to see her reactions. That sound was positive, right? He wanted to hear more of that, he wanted more of this, he wanted more and more…

"N..Neuro.." she managed to say, pulling her face from his and opening her eyes. "I need to breathe." He opened his eyes as well, giving a hard squeeze to her thighs clearly displeased to have been stopped. A sound between a grunt and a growl came out of his swollen lips, awakening a weird tingling sensation on her belly. Yako prayed that she was not developing a kink out of that.

"Then breathe, human. But we are not done for today." He whispered in a husky voice. A shiver ran down her spine.

She smiled nervously, realising that the floor was really far from the ceiling. The bed was right under them, but still she hoped that Neuro wouldn't drop her.

Chapter Text

Day 13: Eating icecream

"So," she said as she sat down, taking the menu from the cute café where they decided to come today. It was really hot and sunny, and a nice ice-cream sounded just perfect to cool her tired body. Last night she couldn't get too much sleep (she cursed the demon the whole day for this) and today was the only calm day before the exam week began on monday, "let's talk."

"Yeah," he said with a smirk. Neuro was having the time of his life. After a very interesting night he has grasped the perfect way to kiss Yako and bring out those delicious sounds from her. They had practiced until she reminded him that today she had classes to go to. He let her go, but with the promise to get more of that today. He wasn't satisfied yet. "Let's."

A waitress approached them with a big smile on her face and a news article for the detective to sign. While Yako wrote a small message for the kind girl, said girl looked at the demon with hungry eyes, checking him out from head to toes, fascinated with the foreign looking man in front of her. He was used to this kind of reactions as he was aware of the human standards of beauty and that this form was considered "attractive" in the World Above. Yako doesn't look at him like that. Hm… Interesting.

"Have you decided you order?" the waitress said, looking at Neuro while pocketing her autograph. Yako frowned slightly, detecting the predatory feeling on the woman. For a moment she wanted to feel pity for her, as Neuro wasn't exactly the kind and cute image of her "assistant".

"Yes, I want the Mega chocolate milkshake with three ice cream scoops on top," she said with a forced smile. The waitress turned to her and wrote the order very slowly, a scowl on her face. Nope, not feeling pity for her.

"And for the handsome gentleman?" the girl said turning back to Neuro, who was smiling the whole time.

"I'll pass," he said with a sweet voice. Yako was going to puke. That voice always upsets her stomach.

"If you need anything else," the nameless waitress looked directly at Neuro, hinting that her services went past this café, "you can call me." And left with an extra sway on her hips. Neuro watched her leave with the same sweet smile on, not seeing the frown on his slave's face.

"You can't really be interested in that, are you?" she asked, disgusted.

"Her brain holds no interest in me, worm, as it was quite obvious what her intentions and reasoning are. However," the demon smiled, showing a few of his pointed teeth, "your reaction does. Jealous?" She snorted.

"As if!" Yako laughed softly. "But don't get distracted. We have to talk. And I have questions."

"Then ask," Neuro gently placed his hands on top of the table purposely looking harmless, fooling everyone else on the place except Yako. He has mocking her, she knew, but al least he seemed open to discussion.

"Alright. First question," she thought about it for a moment, trying to decide what knowledge was most important right now. She had made a list in her head the whole day, prepared to come out of this conversation sure of her decision, "is it dangerous? For a human. Getting… erm, involved with a demon."

"Do you mean physically involved?" he smiled and Yako shivered a little.

"No, I mean, with this demon-ish dating thing-"

"Courting," he corrected calmly.

"Yeah, courting. Well, I'm kinda worried for my wellbeing, you know? Everything with you is pretty extra and by the things you've told about the demon world…Is it dangerous for a human? Has it ever happened before?" he thought about her question for a few seconds, still smiling.

"It's not unheard of a mating between a human and a demon. Of the cases I know about, the human survived the courting." Used to his careful use of words, she caught the trick.

"And the mating?" she whispered, fear flooding on her body. She was aware of the meaning of the word "mating" and right now she was sure she wasn't ready to talk about it in deep; but still she wanted to know if she was doomed to die or not.

"It depends."

"On what," Yako was growing tired already. The demon was avoiding her questions!

"On how powerful is the demon," he said and the young woman could only imagine what he meant by that. Was it some kind of violent process? Did it entail blood and pointy objects? Sacrifices to Satan?

"Just for the sake of argument, how powerful was the demon that tried to mate to a human woman?" Yako asked in a strained voice, already feeling her body go numb.

"Less powerful than me, if that's what you want to know," he smiled and leaned a bit over the table, enough to let her hear his low whisper, "And the human was a cowardly male wimp. Do you think that demons only rapture young woman from Earth? How sexist is that, Yako?" he laughed a bit at her expense, sitting back on his chair. She was too shocked by the new information to even register his comment or the approaching nosy waitress with her snack.

"Here is your order," the woman placed an enormous glass full of sweet goodies in front of the blonde detective. "Have you made your mind, mister?" she asked while putting a stray lock of hair behind her ear in what she considered a flirty move. Neuro smiled.

"Actually, yes. Could you bring me a coffee?" the woman was pleased to have something to bring to the gorgeous man and went hastily to the kitchen to fix him his coffee. Yako looked at him in shock. "When she tries to make the coffee, the machine is going to explode. She is going to be blamed, as it's not the first time she breaks something, and will get fired," he answered her silent question.

"I see," Yako nodded as they heard a distant 'boom' in the shop. How Neuro knew so much about the woman, she could only guess, but still was pleased by the gesture. She was really annoyed with the flirting. With a sigh, she picked up the little spoon and caught a bit of the ice cream. It was delicious, of course. She had chosen this place for the milkshake with ice cream after all.

"Any more stupid questions?" Neuro fixed his emerald eyes on her, waiting for whatever she wanted to know. He had agreed to this because she was too determined in forming conditions for the courting (absurd) and despite considering torturing her into submission, he knew that if she really didn't want to accept him, she could find a way not to. She was smart and had the spirit to challenge him. That's why he had chosen her.

"They are not stupid if my life is in gamble," she reminded him, savoring the new spoonful. He waited for a while, expecting the question. "Ok, hm… what do I have to do to stay on the realm of the living?"

"Be yourself," he said without hesitating. She glared at him. "No, it's true. You have to be strong enough to stand my powerful self," he gave her a big smile, totally fake, when she snorted again with such a comment, "and I don't think that my chosen partner is not capable of passing the test."

"What test?" Yako tried not to blush with his sort-of compliment. Neuro took a deep breath and looked out of the window.

"When a demon chooses a mate-to-be, they initiate the courting process. Each demon has it's own process. If the other demon accepts, they mark each other as a warning sign to other demons, to show who they belong to, as with the marking process they merge they energies." Okay, that sounded cute in a creepy way, Yako was thinking. It was like those vampire romance novel she read from time to time. But wait, 'each demon has its own courting process'? What was his and why hadn't she saw any of that? "The marking fades after a Hell's cycle if the mates-to-be don't reinforce it before."

"And how do you do that?"

"The marking? Or the reinforcement?"

"Both, please," Yako gulped, at the edge of her seat with curiosity.

"The marking is a bite on a visible place, embedded with the demon energy. Some of them glow in the dark, it depends on how much energy the biter has," something told her that his mark would be pretty shiny. "The final ritual is a public oath to belong to each other for eternity before a demon of higher power, and then the weaving of souls and the actual mating." Yako blushed looking down at her ice cream, which was starting to melt, and ate a big spoonful. She couldn't wrap her mind around the concept of being intimate with the demon. It was just too much!

"I see…" her head was starting to pound with the new information. What was she getting into? "And how does it change with me being human? I can't go to Hell and we aren't even sure I can survive the process."

"You will survive. I am sure of it," the fire in his eyes was overwhelming in a good way, almost calming, as she could see the trust he had on her. "And I had already thought of that. If I can find a way to get a book from Hell, it will have plenty of spells that could be useful; like, for example, opening a stable gate between worlds or making you capable of going down without dying."

She ate in silence for a few moments, both lost on their own thoughts and the conversation they were having, wolfing down half of the milkshake. It was really delicious and despite the seriousness of the situation she let herself enjoy the heavenly taste while thinking of the weird demon mating process he had described. It sounded really romantic in a demonic way, but as she was now used to these kind of things it was easier to see it in the bright way. It was cute, promising your life to someone you love...

Suddenly, she dropped the spoon and gasped, looking straight at Neuro with tears forming in her eyes.

"But, Neuro, there's something we haven't discussed." He raised an eyebrow. "I'm human."

He raised the other one, considering for a moment if his partner was sane or not. Or if she was devolving into a monkey of the stupid kind. "I was aware of it. What's the problem?"

"I'm going to die at some point. There's no "forever" with me. You mentioned a 'weaving of souls' meaning that if I die you'd-"

Neuro pushed her head down to the remaining milkshake with ice cream in a swift movement that no other customer saw, and kept her down for the few seconds it took to calm himself enough to tone down the demonic shine of his eyes. He grabbed her hair and pulled her out, ignoring the whines of protest.

"You are not allowed to die, worm," he whispered to Yako, who was choking out the ice cream. "You are more stupid that I thought for suggesting such a thing."

As she tried to clean the ruined milkshake from her face and hair, she noticed the tense pose of the demon in front of her. He was sure of their success, but the reality was that she was going to die, be it by some demon mating ritual or by nature itself. She had left what? Four or five decades and then she was gone from this world. If he couldn't find any spell to stop her from aging this mating thing wasn't worth, at least for him.

And the realisation of that he already knew all of this before telling her of the idea left a bittersweet feeling on her heart.

Chapter Text

Day 14: Genderswapped

The next few days Neuro embarked in a furious quest to contact Hell without having to pass through. He was out the entire day, searching for the few weak demons that exiled themselves in the World Above for protection, setting aside his hunger until he wasn't able to go on anymore; and then he would search for Yako and drag her around the city, now furiously searching for any mystery to satiate his need. Yako knew him and his tastes, and those mysteries weren't enough for him, their taste too bland for him, but the demon didn't complain about it for once.

While she appreciated the effort he put in keeping her alive and his compromise with their courting (she was still weirded out by the thought of actually dating Neuro), it was pretty lonely and sad without him around. Yeah, Godai sometimes passed by to see how things were going or if the monster had showed his face in the office; and yeah, Neuro kissed her deeply and long enough to make up for the absence, but still. The thing they had, whatever it was called, was too fresh and new and she needed time to process it. Him not being with her was good and bad at the same time: while it gave her enough space to sort out her own feelings and emotions about the situation, she still needed him around. It was then when Yako realised that she missed him, his voice and his warmth beside her, more than she ever did the three years of wait.

Yako sighed for the tenth time as she scrolled down on the page she was checking. It was about bird behaviour and mating seasons. Yeah, that morning she remembered her curiosity about what could have been Neuro signs of the courting, as she couldn't remember anything besides him being "weird". So yeah, here she was alone in the office, again, listening to the soft tap tap of Akane's typing on her computer and reading about parrots' courtship rituals.

"So, they bite, huh…"she said as the picture of a pretty and colorful parrot appeared on the screen. It was nothing like Neuro, of course, but the mental image of the bossy demon posing for a picture in a golden cage like this yellow bird was enough to bring a tiny laugh to the blonde. "Mark territory… I guess. Most animals do," she continued, looking sideways to Akane, who wiggled a bit in agreement. "Nesting?" Yako snorted. As if she would let Neuro make a mess of their office, more than he usually does with his hidden traps. "And the last thing… Feather plucking. Yeah. Because there are so many feathers laying around. Pff."

Angry, she closed the window and threw her head back in exasperation. This was stupid. Neuro was a demon, not a pet, and it was absurd to compare him to a earthly parrot; heck, he didn't even spend a second in his bird form anymore. She couldn't recall any moment where he was on his other form (his true form, she reminded herself) after he revealed himself to her so long ago, so she was just being silly. And kinda lonely.

"Am I just being stupid, right?" she asked to the braid on the wall, sighing. The screeching of the marker on the whiteboard answered her and she turned her head to see Akane's message.

[You are just tired. Neuro must be returning very soon and you could ask him yourself about these things. Rest for a bit.]

"Yeah, that sounds just perfect," she agreed and turned off the computer before heading to the door.


As she settled on her bed for a quick afternoon nap, Yako thought about the "signs that your parrot is in mating season" again, trying to fit it with Neuro's behaviour. As she slowly drifted to sleep, she imagined him doing a weird mating dance like those colorful birds on TV.

In her dream she felt her body heavy and awkward, like she was walking through some kind of liquid and gravity was acting weird. In the distance, she heard a voice calling for her and despite not recognising it she walked to it, hoping to find sense in any of this.

What she found was definitely not expected, as a very voluptuous woman waited for her seated gracefully on a leather sofa in a white room with no walls. Her long legs crossed, showing a lot of skin as her skin-tight black dress had slits on the sides, and expensive looking heels on her feet. She would be as tall as Aya, Yako thought, if the gorgeous woman stood up barefoot.

But it was her face what somehow made her sick to her stomach. Framed by perfectly combed black bangs (adorned with his signature yellow triangle beads) was the more slender and feminine face of her torturer.

"My, my," the woman smiled showing all of her pointed teeth. Yako gulped, fearing for her life. "Look who's here. Troubled about something?" she said in the voice that was and wasn't Neuro's clearly mocking her.

"Eh…" Yako was going to say something, but her own voice spooked her. It was way more deep that she remembered, so she touched her neck to confirm her suspicions. Indeed, where it should be smooth and soft there was an Adam's apple. She was a man. And in front of her was the female version of Neuro. Now she was sure she was in a nightmare.

"Cat got your tongue?" the woman stood up and walked seductively to her, a predatory look on her emerald eyes. "If you are wondering, yes, this is a dream and I'm a product of your imagination. Surprise!"

The detective felt like she wanted to sit down, but the leather sofa disappeared, leaving her alone in the same white room where she found the she-demon. This was so disturbing in so many ways.

"You seem to have troubles in your mind, darling," she said in a sweet voice that gave Yako the same upset stomach that the original Neuro does. "I think I could help you."

"Why?"

"Because I am a product of your mind, silly!" she smacked her (his) shoulder with a bit too much force, throwing Yako to the ground. Yep, this was Neuro allright. "I may not be real, but I have access to information your unconscious mind had gathered about your lovey-dovey mate-to-be demon. And I know you are having troubles lately." Well, I wouldn't exactly call him like that on my right mind.

"Very well. What can you say to me to help?"

"Uh-huh. It comes with a price, you know," Neuko, as Yako decided to call the blonde for now, was smiling again. He pinched the bridge of his nose in exasperation. Just perfect.

"Ok, what do you want?" it could be dangerous to say that to the real Neuro, but she was practically herself, right? The smile broadening told her that it didn't mean that it wouldn't hurt.

"I want you to kiss me. And accept that you are into kinky stuff."

"What!?" Yako couldn't believe it. "I am not-"

"Yeah, right. Good try in lying to yourself, honey," the nicknames were starting to give her headaches. "Say it. That you like what he does to you."

Yako pressed her lips together, midway between embarrassed and angry. She was not into BDSM or shibari, but she really wanted to hear what her subconscious had to say in the matter. With a final sigh, she admitted what she was, I must repeat, not. "Alright, I'm into kinky stuff and," he added when Neuko glared at him, "I like what Neuro does to me. Happy?"

"Very!"

"Now answer me."

"Okay," she smiled again and approached Yako, swaying her broad hips with every step. "I'll tell you what you need to know: Neuro loves you, Yako. More than he is aware about. He would be completely lost without you and if you don't love him back or accept his proposal, he would be utterly destroyed," Neuko was much too serious while saying this, making him listen her every word. "And he had been courting you way before you knew about this. Don't you remember every time he said that you were his slave? The poor demon was just too young and full of himself to realise it."

Yako gasped. Was this what she really thought about the matter? That Neuro loved her? She wanted to scream, feeling cheated. Neuko smiled a knowing smile as if she knew what was crossing his mind, something that, in fact, she could.

"Give him time, Yako, and things will fall into their right places." A more legit smile formed on her full lips, and she leaned in until Neuko kissed his cheek softly. "And you must wake up now. He needs you."

"What?" Yako asked, but the white room, and everything inside it, started to melt.

Yako, the real Yako, woke up on her room. It was now dark outside and a chilly breeze came in through an opened window she remembers closing before going to bed. A warmth behind her gave away the demon's presence on her bed, and she turned to see that Neuro was there with his eyes closed, sleeping.

He was kinda cute, she thought, and somewhat innocent when sleeping. No malice, no tortures, just his bare and smooth face. As she was going to caress his cheek, the demon abruptly opened his eyes and jumped to the human, and for a moment the blonde thought that he was angry at being awakened.

"Yako!" he said, his a bit too loud voice ricocheting in the silent room, "They are coming for us!"

"What?" she asked not know what the heck was happening. "Who is?"

"The capybaras! They are going to eat me." It was then that she realised that he had a nightmare as well. Yako blinked.

Wow. So… unexpected. Neuro didn't usually show his weaknesses and that he was clinging to her right now, when he had something as mundane as a nightmare, brought some warmth to her heart. She thought about Neuko's words asking her to be patient and understanding. Maybe this was what she meant: if she waited for Neuro to strip every mask and defensive mechanism he had, he would come to love her as she expected him to. Maybe he was more human than she thought.

And in that exact same moment, like he wanted to prove that he wasn't, the demon chose to bite her on the shoulder.

Chapter Text

Day 15: In a different clothing style.

"Neuro!" she yelped in pain. "What are you doing!?"

He looked at her from his position at her shoulder, his teeth still sinking on her skin. For a second, his eyes were glazed over, like focusing on something really far away, but at the sound of her voice he refocused in the present moment, realising that he had bitten her. The demon backed up immediately. And then, at the horror of the human, he started to lick the wound as gently as he could be, which is not much.

Ok, she was far beyond the point of being horrified by his weird impulses, so Yako wasn't as spooked as she expected to be; but, still, she felt a chill ran down her spine at the sensation of his raspy tongue on the tender flesh of her bitten shoulder. She couldn't decide if it was creepy or sexy.

"What are you doing?" she asked, feeling the pain subside a little bit by the adrenaline.

"Stopping the bleeding," he simply said, with no snarky remark. That was weird in him. Usually a "louse" would have been dropped on her by now. She didn't say anything for a while, enjoying the new experience as she could given the circumstances.

It was then that she saw the tired look on his eyes and the dark bags under his eyes. Wasn't he getting any sleep? She always fell asleep with him somewhere in the room, be it on the ceiling or beside her after some "make out" that he decided was necessary. It seemed that he left just after that. Yako felt somewhat cheated.

"Why aren't you sleeping enough?" she asked trying not to be angry, waiting for a legit reason for his abandonment.

"I may have found a way to contact Hell without having to go there myself," he said giving her skin one last lick. The young woman looked at it, finding the perfectly round punctures matching his pointed teeth. She sighed. She'd have to wear sleeves in this heat.

"How?" she tried to be excited. Neuro frowned a little, not buying any of it.

"Well, it seems like you don't want to know it, so…"

"Hey, don't be mad," Yako sighed again, feeling really tired. It must be really early in the morning, she thought. She yawned. "It's not like I'm not interested, I'm just really tired."

"You are lying." Neuro jumped to the ceiling, narrowing his shiny green eyes. She could feel the disappointment even though his face said nothing about it.

"No, I am not."

"You don't want to mate me."

"What?" He looked at her from his high position, his eyes now thin slits that analyzed her every expression. "Where do you get that idea?"

"You are avoiding me, louse," There it is, she thought. "This morning you didn't even look at me when we kissed," the cold way he said it sounded like he even regretted doing that. "And now you are not interested in new information that could help you mate me. Are all of your promises so empty?" Ok, now she was mad. How dare he! After everything she did for him!

"Avoiding you? Are you even listening to yourself, Neuro?" she answered in her own angry voice. She could stand his constant name calling and the like, but this was absurd. He was assuming a situation that wasn't there. A tiny voice on her mind, one that sounded like that Neuko from her dream, reminded her that he was as lost as she was on this situation. "You are the one that has been avoiding me! I don't see you the whole day and when I do, is just for one of your mysteries! I can't stand it! We were supposed to be courting, right!?" she threw her arms to the air in exasperation. He looked down to her, deciding what to say. Yako sighed not really expecting him to be mature about any of this. "Look, I wasn't lying when I said that I wanted to try, Neuro. Is just that," she readjusted herself on the bed, passing one hand through her gold locks, "I don't see you and I doubt about your feelings all the time…"

"I told you I don't feel love, if that what you are expecting of-"

"I already know that!" she interrupted him, looking down. Being reminded of that was painful enough. "I know. You don't understand human feelings. But," she looked up to him with a determined face, "sometimes I wish that you tried as I'm trying to be calm about your demon rituals. Rituals that could get me killed, let me remind you. Some kind of consideration, please?" the woman sighed as his face didn't show any sign of change. He really couldn't understand. "Okay, I guess. I'm going back to sleep. Tell me all about this tomorrow. Good night." And she went back to lying on her bed, covered herself and turned away from the demon, trying to sleep while feeling his piercing eyes on her.

A few moments passed without hearing any movement from his partner, and she felt like crying. She knew. It wouldn't be easy with him, but she didn't expect heartbreak so soon.

"Yako," his voice was loud since she wasn't expecting it in the quiet night, but she didn't turn. She couldn't let him order her around in this matter. "Look at me," still not moving, "please."

Ok, that was new. She turned, finding the very serious demon lying beside her over the covers, looking at her, and Yako felt like he was trying to read her mind and soul. He looked like he was trying to understand, and it warmed her heart a little bit, but still she mustn't cave in.

"What." He wasn't smiling, and that was scary enough.

"I won't apologize, as I still can't see fault in my behaviour," she arched an eyebrow at this, "but I respect your reasoning and understand the logic in it. I may not understand the feelings behind it, but I am aware that you are human and there are things about you that might evade my superior mind."

This was the closest thing to an apology she could expect. Yako sighed, feeling defeated. She opened her arms and wiggled her way to the fully clothed demon, ending their first argument as a couple with an awkward hug.

"I know. I know," she softly patted his back, feeling the tense muscles there. "I forgive you. For now."

He didn't look pleased by her answer. Neuro leaned forward and looked at her eyes, and for a moment Yako swore that he was going to spit acid on her or something like that; but, instead, he bit her nose softly. It was too cute to be real, but the tiny smirk on his lips told her that it really happened.

"Now, is your limited mind ready to process the new information that I humbly gathered?" Humbly my ass, she thought.

"Yeah, yeah, tell me now before I get upset in the stomach." He chuckled a bit and kissed her without warning, slipping his tongue inside her mouth before she could fight to get away from the surprise attack and enjoyed her widened eyes and suppressed moan of satisfaction. He knew she liked this despite denying it every time he mentioned it. "Hey!" she yelled when he let her go. Of course, he didn't hear her complaints.

"I could locate Zera," he said and Yako stopped trying to push him away and listened closely. "She was hidden in the continent, maybe trying not to cross me in the case that I came back," the sinister smile told her that the poor weaker demon was ambushed in a painful way, "but was willing to help me contact someone on the other side and bring the book through her mouth."

"You have mentioned this book, but why is it important?" she shuddered trying not to dwell much on her memories of Zera, the weird okama.

"Oh, that's because is the Book of Advanced Spells from the demon world. If I remember correctly, which I do, it may contain interesting information about humans getting involved with demons, as you named it, and what could we expect."

"It looks very important."

"It is. Actually, is part of the Emperor private collection right now." Yako paled, knowing where this was going.

"And you are going to force someone to steal it for you," she said. His smile widened. The detective could only nod, used to this, but silently praying for the life of the poor thing that would have to steal from the Emperor.

"You should introduce me to your mother," he said suddenly changing the topic, but Yako was used to him enough by now. "It is proper in human ways, right?" She looked at him skeptically.

"Why are you so interested in human ways?"

"Well, you told me to try to understand humans. And the tutorial said that it was important to have the parents' approval in order to marry your intended."

Yako nervously smiled, not feeling like having a meltdown right now. It was late in the night, she was too sleepy to care about any "tutorial" he must be following and that he basically just asked her if she wanted to marry him, and right now having Neuro meet her mother was the least of her worries.

"Yeah, why not." She simply said before cuddling in his warmth and closing her eyes.

And that's why, the next day, the pair dressed accordingly to the occasion (she just couldn't process the fact that it was him who wanted to do this) and went to Haruka Katsuragi's home. They came just after lunchtime so they wouldn't have to explain why they wouldn't eat her food, and Yako introduced Neuro as more than her assistant.

Neither was surprised when Haruka said "it was about damn time, Yako" before embarking in embarrassing tales of her daughter's childhood that Neuro listened to with a big smile on his lips, probably scheming how to use the new information to torture his slave number one.

Chapter Text

Day 16: Morning rituals.

The loud beeping alarm woke the slumbering human. She didn't remember setting it last night when they came back to her tiny apartment as it was so late that she was more of a zombie than an actual human being. Who knew that her mother could talk so much about almost everything, especially her most embarrassing memories (most of them involved food).

"Turn the damn thing off already, slave" she heard the deep voice of the demon behind her before she felt him roll to face her back, "or I'll do it myself."

"Yeah yeah," she yawned and pressed the button to stop the annoying noise of the alarm on her phone.

Yako stretched and let the calming sounds from the city that entered from her window relax her. It was saturday, so today she was only supposed to be studying for her exams. Yesterday she made a promise with Neuro, today was for studying and tomorrow they would go to enough mysteries so she could have at least five days to study. He was surprisingly understanding about the issue and she suspected it was because of the whole courting thing. Well, she could at least take advantage of that, right? Neuro was being as nice as he could be. The best part was…

"Hmm," she heard him a second before feeling herself being pulled back against his warm chest. In this heat he could be really suffocating to be near, but for the moment she tried to enjoy the feeling as they couldn't be together the last few days, so this was welcomed.

"Neuro, I have to study today," she weakly complained, not really wanting to get up from bed. She was a cuddly person, ok?, and this was heaven.

"No," the Brain Eater said back and bit her softly in the base of her neck, where she supposed he would like place his mark. It was one of the more visible places and she would be annoyed to no end trying to cover it in the human world. It was the logical decision for someone like him.

And yes, he was a biter, as she could come to learn yesterday. She didn't know if it was because of the parrot-mating-thingy or if he was just like that, but she had started to get used to it. And he would always lick the wound if he drew blood, something about speeding her healing process with demon energy through his saliva. As the results were instantly healed bites and zero pain, she let it be.

She had also asked why his saliva wasn't burning her, as she knew it was like acid, but he said that with enough focus, even a demon child could control their own bodies. He even laughed at her question.

"C'mon, I really need to study."

"No," he said again, tightening his grip around her. She felt his head buried in her neck and his socked feet surround her legs. She was trapped. Who knew that the demon could be so needy?

"We had an agreement~" Yako reminded him and smiled when he clicked his tongue. She knew that he secretly enjoyed it when she fought back with her own strength. "Ah!" she gasped when his pointed teeth pierced her skin again, this time nearer to her shoulder.

"Slaves don't talk back," he growled in a husky voice, bringing unnecessary feelings to the human. She could not be enjoying that voice. But a tiny little voice in her head told her that it was okay to like it. After all he was her boyfriend, as weird as it sounded, and she was allowed to think those things.

"Neuro! I need to breathe," his grip was starting to make it difficult now. She placed her hands on his gloved ones, feeling the tension leave him as he softened a little bit. As if he wanted to compensate for listening to her command, he bit her again on her neck a few inches higher from the first bite. "Why are you doing that?"

"Doing what?" he breathed on her sensitive skin, giving her the chills. She couldn't see his face but could hear the smirk on his tone.

"Biting," she murmured, her face heating up for saying it out loud.

"I'm practising," he kissed the place where he had bitten her and another shiver went down her spine. He smiled against her skin. "It seems to me that you are enjoying it yourself."

"I am not-!" her voice became a mix between a moan and a sigh when he bit again, successfully silencing her.

"You are so, so, so dirty for liking this, Yako," Neuro teased before kissing again where his teeth grazed her skin. He sucked a little bit, just enough to see what she would do in this situation, having read that some humans found these "love bites" very arousing.

"Ah~", she moaned again, fidgeting in the prison of his arms. Perfect. He had found another thing that provoked a reaction on his human. This was fun, almost as funny as watching her scream in a deathtrap. "I really have to get up…" said human cried while trying to loose up his grip on her as well as trying to ignore the heat that was forming between her legs because of his actions.

"You don't sound very convincing to me. Do you really want to study or is it just an excuse to making me trap you here? I didn't know you were into this kind of things either," the demon chuckled.

"What!? No!" she moved again, this time trying to turn around to face the demon. He let her, waiting to see what kind of hilarious face she was making; and he wasn't let down, as she was so red in embarrassment that he was surprised that she hadn't fainted for lack of blood on her brain. "I have to study and I'm being serious this time."

Neuro smiled his humorless smile, the one he uses to show off his teeth, and studied his masterpiece. The young woman's entire left shoulder and up to the side of the neck was covered in bites and bruises that were starting to color her skin in glorious purple patches. It was beautiful.

"What?" she said as she realised that he wasn't looking at her eyes. Yako followed his line of sight and looked for the first time at the mess that was her skin where he had been "practising". She sighed, not really feeling like getting angry anymore. She just had to wear a t-shirt that covered that part when she went outside, and it wasn't even as bad as she knew that he could be. "Nevermind, I don't care. And now, I'm getting up."

"No," he said for the third time, but instead of tightening his arms around her, the demon moved fast and pinned her to the bed by her arms. She barely saw his mouth approach hers before feeling his lips attack her, moving with much more practise against her own lips, pressing with just enough force so he wouldn't break her skin.

She smiled and put her arms around his neck, pulling him nearer as she opened her mouth for the kiss they both were wanting. She welcomed his tongue with enthusiasm, now used to the weird texture it had, fighting the losing fight for dominance. Passed all the awkwardness and after that first argument as a couple, they found a new passion between them, a constant need to touch each other's bodies, something that frightened Yako a little bit but that she tried to embrace.

He was insatiable, always needing to taste her, forgetting that she needed to breathe oxygen to live. Yako had to push him from time to time, asking for a little time out to breathe before passing out from asphyxiation, much to the demon's displeasure.

She moaned as he bit her softly on her lower lip, enjoying the sensations that kissing him brought to her body, the heat on her lower abdomen, the tingling feeling on her sex that made her rub her thighs together, the drive to keep kissing him all day. But she couldn't. She had things to do.

"Neuro," she murmured against his lips. He grunted in response, sending an electric current through her body. She gulped. "I have to study." The words came rushed and out of breath, but she was happy to have broken the spell she seemed to be in every time they made out like this.

She opened the eyes she didn't remember closing, finding herself before a slightly blushed demon, one who was pouting like a child.

"Buzzkill," he said and let her go.

She got up from the bed and stretched, her back popping deliciously. Yako walked then to her tiny bathroom and got inside, leaving Neuro to calm his own labored breathing, turning on the lights and watching herself in the mirror. Yep, he had fun with her body alright, as the very visible marks and hickeys made it impossible not to look at them. She sighed in defeat, but a part of her, the one who had been whispering in her ear that it was okay to think lewd things about her boyfriend, thought that she looked good with them.

Chapter Text

Day 17: Spooning.

"I'm so sorry, Godai-san," Yako said for the tenth time, a hand squeezing his trembling shoulder in what she expected was a calming gesture. He looked back at her, his second cigarette half finished on his shaking right hand, and a terrified expression on his face. He had stopped screaming a while ago, something Yako was grateful for, and now he was in some kind of catatonic state. "You shouldn't have found out this way."

"Like hell I shouldn't!" he took another drag of the cigarette and closed his eyes, pinching the bridge of his nose. "Please don't tell me that you and that monster have fucked. My old heart wouldn't take it."

"What!? We haven't!" she yelled, surprised by his question. Was this what he was afraid of?

"Yet." Said an amused Neuro beside her, leaning on the sofa she was sitting on, his face mere inches from hers.

"Neuro!"

"Oh God," Godai murmured putting the hand with the cigarette on his forehead, his eyes losing focus. He was losing it, Yako knew, and shook the man a little bit to keep him from passing out. "Oh God. Tell me you are being careful, Yako. I don't trust that monster, but I trust you."

"Godai-san! We are not-" she was starting to say, but was interrupted.

"So, let me see if I understand you. Are you actually more shocked about the fact that Yako and I are courting than me being a demon from Hell?" said demon asked with a low chuckle. They couldn't help it, Godai had to be explained some things after finding them in a very heated make out session, in an advanced state of undress, with Neuro's horns very visible on top of his head and Yako on top of Troy with the demon between her legs. The poor man passed out for a few minutes in shock.

"Courting? Man, that was not courting. That was foreplay, for fucks sake," he whimpered, not realising that his cigarette was burned up. Yako was red to the roots of her hair, facepalming. She didn't think she could look at her friend in the eyes anymore.

She risked a glance at her boyfriend, grateful that he wasn't looking at her. How could she let things go so out of hand? They started kissing as usual, a happy peck on the lips as a reward for doing great on her exams and marking her freedom until next fall (freedom that would be used on more mysteries, of course), and then they were incapable of stopping the need to touch each other. She just remembered wanting more and more, desiring to touch his bare skin, taste it, kiss it, feel him closer; a passion that had been growing every day they spent together sharing kisses and cuddles, until such a point that she had to study somewhere else so she wouldn't be distracted.

She was no longer afraid to feel those things with him, just a little nervous. It was real and it was happening. Being physical with Neuro had became a reality and bit by bit thoughts of what more it could be assaulted her mind, forcing her to take drastic measures to focus on her studies. But now that she was free her more basic impulses came to the surface, allowing such an intimate thing on a place where anyone could walk in and see them. Thank God it had only been Godai. It would be too embarrassing if it was anyone else.

The issue of Neuro losing control of his human façade was something she wanted to discuss. Him losing control of anything? It seemed impossible, but as much as she was aroused by the passionate look on his face when they were at it, his horns suddenly materializing really shocked her. But, well, that was seconds before realising that Godai was at the door of the office, screaming.

"Oh God…" murmured the terrified human again, dropping the finished cigarette.


"Poor Godai," said Yako when she was getting ready for bed that night. They had send him home a few hours before with promises that he would not tell anyone about the demonic condition of his boss, at which he said "I already knew something was really wrong with you monster and didn't tell anyone".

"He shouldn't have interrupted us, and that's his fault," he said as he took off his coat and shoes. They slept together every day, and this time for real, as he was there when she woke up. It was cute, she thought, that she could cuddle with her boyfriend every night until falling asleep. Well, cute if he wasn't trying something weird, from touching her on soft places to playing tricks on her with more of his demonic tools. She just hoped that tonight he'd took it easy on her as she was really tired.

"I kinda thank him that he did," she murmured, not looking at him in the face. She heard him stop what he was doing and feared for her life, as the argument when he accused her of not wanting to mate him was fresh on her memories and she was afraid of voicing her concerns of going way too fast in this whatever they were.

"What do you mean by that?" the demon asked with an edge on his voice that she knew very well. He was interrogating her like she was a suspect. He walked to her position and turned her head to make the woman look at him, finding a serious look on his eyes. The grab on her chin was strong, barely controlled. He was angry, insulted even, but waited for what she wanted to say and trying to understand her.

He had really listened.

"I think we are going too fast, Neuro," she said with confidence, sure of her answer. The tension left his shoulders and the demon let her go, but still looked at her straight in the eyes, expecting her to elaborate. "I don't think I'm ready yet for doing it. I'm afraid that if we lose control I'll let you do something I'll regret later." He chuckled.

"Don't be silly," Neuro said with a toothy smile, "I won't lose control."

"The incident with your horns told me otherwise."

"Ah, that," he arched an eyebrow. "Do you think that I lost all of my control? Slug, I have to stop myself from marking you and dragging you to Hell for the mating every time we are together. Do you think that I care about my form when I have more crucial things in mind?" The woman was shocked. Was that true? Did he really want to mate her so much? She felt her face go red. It was weirdly cute.

Before she could voice her opinion, she felt herself be pushed with force, knocking the air out of her, before feeling that she was being suspended in the air with weight on her back. In front of her face were pointy spikes that came out from nowhere, and the thing on her back was, of course, her beloved boyfriend who grabbing a rope that she couldn't see was attached to the ceiling with a pulley, and down again to her person ending in hooks on her nose.

"I'm disappointed, maggot. I didn't think you had so little faith in me," he laughed when she screamed at being so near to the spikes. "Apologize to your master now."

"I'm sorry, I'm sorry!" she yelled, worried about her face.

"Hm," he let her go and walked to the bed, deactivating the spikes with a hidden button on the wall. Yako breathed hastily, not surprised that he had set traps on her room. Of course he did.

"I hate you."

"Come to bed, my dear," he patted the place beside him as he laid comfortably on her bed. She felt like puking with the fake sweet tone and the big smile.

"I hate you so much." The detective sighed rubbing her nose and walked to the bed. Any sleepiness she could had have was now gone.

She got into her bed and turned off the lights, ignoring the blank faced demon by her side, trying to get some sleep done. Tomorrow she expected him to drag her around the whole city searching for mysteries.

"Yako."

"Hm?"

Instead of answering her, the demon scooted closer and surrounded her in his arms, successfully spooning her as he likes to do. It always calmed her and he knew that. The damn demon was too smart using her weak spots against her.

"Kiss me," he suddenly said making her turn around.

"Why would I do that? You just tried to turn my face into cheddar cheese!" the woman said, angry.

"But you love it!" he was smiling his innocent smile.

"No."

"Yes, you do," the Brain-Eater mocked her and grabbed her thigh, caressing her skin with the soft material of his gloves, earning a delicious gasp when he went up to her bottom. She still getting used to touching in some places. "I can smell it, don't forget."

"Go to hell," she growled, feeling her face go red.

"I am from Hell already."

"I hate you," she said again, gasping when he squeezed her rear with a bit too much force than was necessary. The tingling sensation between her legs came back and she cursed her own body for responding to him in such a way. Her mind was flooded with things that he could do with those hands, things that she didn't want yet to happen despite the growing desire for him to do them.

"Dirty girl," he said and kissed her deeply before letting her go and turning her around again. She could feel him on her back through the thin material of her pajamas, his hands around her and his warm breath on her neck. It was comfortable and cozy and Yako really enjoyed this little moments with him.

She truly felt at home. She closed her eyes.

"Yako," he said again, just under her ear, making her shiver. She made a noncommittal sound in answer. "Is marking 'going too fast' for you?"

Startled, she opened her eyes and turned, looking at him in the eyes. His expression was neutral and didn't gave her any information of what he would be thinking.

"Why do you ask?"

"Just answer me," he squeezed her against his body.

"Well," she thought about it. A visible mark full of demon energy on her body? It wasn't permanent, he said that it would fade if the process wasn't continued, so the level of commitment was very low, "not really. It's not permanent and we could test if this could work. The mating, I mean. Why do you want to know?"

"Can I bite you?" he ignored her question, but that didn't surprise her. What did was the fact that he was even asking after all the times he had been biting her. He slightly furrowed his brows and she paled in realisation.

"You mean…"

"Yes, I want to mark you."

"Now?"

"Yes. Are you deaf?"

"Why?"

"Do I have to explain everything myself?" she snorted.

"No, I get that you are a hormonal-crazy demon that likes to bite, but I'm wondering why now of all the times you could have asked." He seemed to think his answer for a while.

"Something inside, my instincts, are telling me that now is the best moment. And I always listen to my instincts." She arched an eyebrow.

"Is that all?"

"Aside from wanting to mark you for a long time, nope." He smiled his big smile that augured no good and Yako sighed. Yeah, why not. It couldn't hurt more that his usual bites.

"Ok, I guess." There is no harm in it, right?

Later she would regret thinking this, but when he chuckled in his deep voice and licked the side of her neck, her only thoughts were of love and warmth. As she expected, he bit, and really hard, on the spot at the base of her neck in the joint with her shoulder and something like an electric current coursed through her body, somewhere between warm and cold, making her hyper aware of the sensations. It hurt. It hurt a lot. It felt like someone was messing with her nerves, playing with them to see if they could reach every cell on her body, successfully inflicting hot and cold sensations in places she didn't know there were nerves.

Her back arched in pain, her body lifting from the bed, and she tried to scream but a gloved hand covered her mouth in time. His other hand hold her in place against him as the last of his demon energy coursed through her system, reaching her head for a second before swirling back to the bite at the same time that he detached himself from her neck and her whole body.

She took a greedy gulp of air when the pain went away, not leaving any traces of its path on her, and slumped back to the bed, panting.

"What… the hell… was that," she managed to say, looking at the demon who was wiping her own blood from his lips. "Is it done?"

"No quite." He was panting, too. "Now, we wait."

"What for?" she sat back, leaning against the wall and looking at him in the eyes.

"To see if our energies match."

"And if they don't?" she asked, feeling authentic fear. This was not explained before.

"Well… you die," he smiled and sat back in the bed , watching her closely for any change on her face.

"What should I be feeling like?" she was starting to feel a weird tingling on the tips of her fingers.

"From what I've heard of other demons' mating, it feels like "turning into sand"."

"What? Sand?" she definitely was feeling something, but couldn't quite name it. "I'm feeling weird, Neuro. What is happening to me?"

"Just wait. I'm sure that you will succeed." His confidence in her didn't help at all.

"If I die, remember that I hate you," Yako glared at him her best killing eyes, and choke down a whimper. The weird feeling was crawling up her arms and starting on her toes. Slowly, it went up through her legs and shoulders, getting frightening near to her chest and heart. "And tell Godai that I'm sorry, too."

"You are not going to die."

"Yeah yeah," she silently cried as the tingling attacked her heart, which started to beat faster. The pressure was overwhelming. She never had felt like this in her life. Her back arched again in pain, her heart going now a mile per hour, something that she was sure wasn't humanly possible. Ok, it's my time. Goodbye world.

And then, it disappeared. Her body rested back against the wall and her hands felt normal again. No tingling and no dying.

"You passed," the demon in front of her said with a smug smile. "I knew it."

"I did?"

"Yeah. And you are glowing!" she looked at her hands to check if he was telling the truth and, in fact, she was emitting a green glow. Great. Just great. Surviving a demon ritual just to become a living glowing stick.

"Oh, damn."

Chapter Text

 

Day 18: Doing something together

When Yako was wide awake six hours later, the demon already knew that something was off about her. The glow had subsided through the night and the only sign of their union was the very red bite mark on her neck, glowing green in the dark as some kind of beacon. It didn't look like the whole glowstick thing was coming back, for Yako's relief.

"Hey," she had said when she woke up, a little smile on her face. It was when she looked outside and found that the sun was barely going out that she realised that something was off. She felt so refreshed, more than ever. Neuro just let it pass as something punctual, but kept watching her.

His suspicions were confirmed when she broke her toothbrush half an hour later as she tried to clean her teeth, and sighed when he was the one to break the news for her.

"It seems that you have a bit of demonic power. My power, that is." The look on her face was priceless.

Later that afternoon they had an expected visit. Zera arrived at the office a little before lunch, crying and murmuring something no one could understand, and a certain big and old book on her hands.

"Here, you asshole. My contact almost died while stealing it for you. You owe me o- Argh!" the okama screamed when a shoe made contact with her face, squishing it against the floor, as the more powerful demon took the Book of Spells from her hands.

"I'm sorry, I think I didn't catch what you were trying to say," Neuro smiled and put more pressure on the face of the shrieking demon.

"Nothing! I wasn't saying anything! Please don't kill me…"

"Hm," the Brain Eater let the other demon go, who ran for her escape through the door, screaming how a meanie he was with a maiden.

"Is that the book?" a curious Yako peeked from behind, trying to see the cover of such an important relic from the demon world.

"Yes, and now we have our answers," his eyes were bright at the prospect of collecting more knowledge as he softly put the book on top of Troy, opening it in the index page. "Alright, let's see… Mind control… Sacrifices… Where is it?" he frowned and turned the page, his expression softening when he read what was on the other side of the yellow and battered page of the old book. "Yes! 'Human mating and demon-human unions'!" Neuro walked around the table and sat on his office chair, softly patting his legs, expecting his mate-to-be sit there with him.

Fortunately for both, she caught the message and carefully positioned herself sideways on top of him so her head could rest on his shoulder and she could see what the mysterious book had written on its pages. From her position she could clearly feel his heartbeat and breathing, his broad chest going barely up and down, probably fighting to absorb the very little miasma in the air. The triangle beads on the tips of his locks brushed her cheeks and got tangled on her hair, making her feel trapped in a spider's cobweb; but what once would have made her nervous and angsty about, now felt comforting. After what happened last night, she wasn't sure that these feeling were her own or product of the mating process, but the contempt she felt in moments like this was very real.

"Let's see…" his voice brought her back to the situation and Yako looked down at the ancient book on her boyfriend's hands, finding words that she could read.

"It's in japanese?" she asked, curious. Neuro smirked.

"It's a magical book, it adopts the form that the reader wants to see. I read words in my mother tongue from back in Hell, but you read it in Japanese."

"Oh, I see. It's quite useful," she observed and focused on the task at hand. The words danced on the pages, magically transforming into legible characters for her. In a few moments, they were on the section about human-demon mating process and how different is from the usual one.

When a demon and a human decide to embark on the mating process, the first thing they should check is the power of the human. If said human doesn't have the willpower to stand the demon's vital energy, we do not recommend even starting the marking.

Yako scoffed. Obviously Neuro didn't check this before.

If a successful marking is made, the human subject will start to experiences some changes, as the foreign demon power inside their bodies mutates the body to become a more suitable vessel. In some cases could be barely noticeable, but it is registered the case of a human woman capable of summoning the 777 tools of Hell…

"WHAT!?" the human woman yelled, annoying the demon on which she was sitting. She earned a bite because of that. "Hey! I'm still tender, so please don't do that."

"Then don't try to damage my eardrums again, slug," he threatened in his deep voice, his chest vibrating with each word. She looked at the hand she didn't remember putting there, blushing when he chuckled at her embarrassment.

"I thought that the name calling would at least go down with us being… you know…" She felt like she couldn't say "mates-to-be" out loud.

"Not a chance," the demon laughed at her bright red face.

"I hate you," she murmured, going back to reading the book.

The marking, while not a definitive union, is more of a promise to each other. The human, while less powerful, wouldn't be possibly able to join with another creature; but for the demon is like a promise to wait for the weaving of souls, swearing not to go with another demon or human in the meantime even if they do not have physical consequences.

In the process, the human might experience some demonic changes that, if the body and mind can not adapt to, will cause a severe fever that could take the human's life like any of their diseases; but if nothing happens in the following two days, they are suitable to go for the final union before a demon of a higher status and power, and the demon Court.

In the weaving of souls, the changed human's soul will join the demon's and should be ready for it's power, if the demon isn't too powerful. Is in this moment that the human will be nearer to a demon in body and mind, even some physical changes recorded for the the most powerful demon-human join, that could or could not be permanent. After that, the human will lose the stored demon energy to a minimum fixed amount that will gradually become the human's only demon energy, restored more slowly that a demon's in presence of miasma, undoing any physical changes if they chose to remain in the human world.

After that, the human's lifespan will match that of the demon's...


"Alright," Yako said not truly believing that she could be capable of such feat, but since they were alone in the office and no more cases caught the demon's attention, she thought that 'why not' and went for it. It'd be fun, she thought. Now it didn't seem like a good idea anymore. "Don't laugh, it's the first time I try it."

His enigmatic smile told her that he was going to laugh anyways.

The human sighed. Here goes nothing.

"777 Tools of Hell," she gulped, not really hoping that this would work, "Evil Blind!"

She lifted a hand to the air like she saw him do a few times before, lowkey waiting for a sign that she could summon the mighty tools from Hell, when a soft crackling broke in the air, a few pixeled particles floated on the air over her opened hand, but nothing more impressive happened.

She sighed at her failure. Neuro had tried to train her into demon stuff since they read about her possible powers on the book, but so far nothing could work. She was more than ready to give up by now. She just couldn't find it in her to do what he could do like it was nothing.

"I'm sorry, I…"

"Yako," he interrupted her with an unreadable face. The demon approached her with an intense look on his emerald eyes, making her wonder what the hell was crossing his mind right now. As usual, it didn't disappoint. "Marry me."

Chapter Text

Day 19: In formal wear

Of everything she expected him to say, this wasn't it. Really. She blinked a few times, thinking that she was delirious, but he was still there looking intensively at her straight in the eyes, waiting for her answer. No kneeling, no ring, no cheesy speech about spending eternity with her.

She wasn't waiting for it anyways, so the young woman took a deep breath and asked:

"Why?"

He lifted an eyebrow. "You don't want to marry me?" Neuro tried to attack her with his innocent puppy eyes, a gloved finger on his lips, trying to make her feel awful by denying his request. Fortunately for her, she was immune by now.

"I guess so?" She shrugged. "We are already tied together and I never really cared about marriage and stuff, so I don't see why we should."

"I thought that all human women dreamed about their 'special day'," the demon lifted a hand to caress the cheek of the woman as they looked at each other. His sideways smirk told her that he was being sarcastically sweet in that touch, but still her heart skipped a beat at their proximity. Her eyes went down to his lips on their own accord.

"Why do you, who never showed interest in human's dreams and desires, ask me that now?" her voice didn't waver, but she licked her lips unconsciously. His smirk grew wider when he noticed that.

"It seems that some unexpected changes happened on me while you were busy breaking things this morning. Foreign thoughts and feelings have grown inside of me and decided to stay," she frowned not really knowing what he meant by that.

"Are you sick, Neuro?" maybe some backslash from the loss of demon energy?

"I think I love you. And that I have loved you all this time, louse."

That startled her, making her snap out of the spell she was in. Yako backed out the distance she had before leaned in without realising, goosebumps traveling her body at the demon's weird declaration of love. Two thing could be happening right now: he was tricking her again or he was really sick. She hoped it was the second.

The human put one hand on his forehead. "You are sick. C'mon, go to sleep a little bit and we'll search for some mysteries later." She took the hand that wasn't on her face and pulled him to the sofa, but the other didn't move.

"I am not sick, stupid," he pulled on the opposite direction with much more force, successfully making her fall into his open arms, literally. "I am just as human as you are demon, which is pathetically little, but enough to let my mind manage the new feelings I get around you. I love you. Deal with it."

She shivered and looked up at him, bewildered. "Then you asked to marry me because..."

"I want us to be tied in every way possible, human and demon, and never let you go again," he shifted his grip on her, putting one arm around her waist and one hand combing back some locks of golden hair that had fallen on her face, revealing her red cheeks. "Knowing this, will you marry me?"

Her throat suddenly felt very dry and couldn't speak. He was just too close to focus, his warmth seeping through their clothes and his lips too reachable. She could barely look at him in the eyes.

With her heart going at max speed, she nodded.

"Good," Neuro whispered and smiled before leaning down to kiss her.


Take deep breaths, Yako, she reminded herself as she looked at herself on the mirror of the bathroom she was in.

She couldn't recognize the woman on the reflection, one side of her hair pulled back with some flowers on it (Akane firmly attached to her, anxious to be present on the event), her face painted by her friend Kanae, who was trembling while doing the make up but managed to do an impressive work with her usually bare skin. Her body trapped in a tight pastel green short dress, chosen by the explosive mix of Kanae and her mother, that had weaved very complicated flower designs in bright emerald green that easily caught the eye. Her only say on the dress was the colour.

Yako winced when her 'deep breath' put more pressure on her poor lungs, and tried to distract herself from the pre-wedding nerves. She went back to their plan step by step, something she had already memorized, but that was perfect to occupy her mind until the car arrived to take them to the town hall.

As they didn't want to wait much more and neither were religious, it was decided to have a modest party in the lobby of a nice hotel after the signing of the marriage papers. Few were invited, only friends and close family, those being Godai, Higuchi, Usui, Kanae and her mother. Aya was permitted to attend but under the condition to have a guard following her everywhere. The Hayasakas were invited, but declined politely saying that they had business to attend. Yako kind of expected them to be watching from afar.

She wished that Sasazuka was there. And the old man. But sadly they would never be with her to ask what was wrong with her brain to marry a demon, to laugh with her in the party, to have a few drinks with everyone. She closed her eyes and sent a silent prayer for them.

After everything was over, they would go away in the 'honeymoon'. While the humans thought that they were cruising around the Caribbean sea, Neuro and her would go to Hell to finish their mating. They found some interesting information on the demon magic book. A portal that connected both realities could be made, and after a few testing trips Neuro confirmed that not only it worked, but that the Court had been informed about his intention to perform the weaving of souls with her. Perfect, she thought then, now a whole lot of demons know who I am and are expecting me.

And that was it. They would spend the rest of their eternities together with an unbreakable bond. There was not going back with this. Nice one trying to calm down, Yako. She sighed.

"Honey? The car is here," said the voice of her mother from the other side of the door.

"I'm coming!" she answered taking a last look at her on the mirror. Yes, she was doing this. She could do this. She had said yes a month and a half ago on her office, she was saying yes now.

They had talked about everything that could happen, every fear and doubt she had; they had fought and made up a lot in this time, each time helping them evolve their relationship to a better stage, each time a more intimate experience. This was no longer testing new grounds and new feelings, but still each day brought new adventures by his side.

And while she still blushes like crazy when she sees him naked, their physical compatibility was off the charts. Even her mother had noticed the way they are around each other, so comfortable and at ease. Maybe that's why when they told her about the marriage she was supportive and didn't mind the rush.


Neuro was pleased when everything went as expected. No one was late, nothing was missing, and Godai was behaving himself. Yako was radiant in her green dress (he smirked when he noticed the colour, and she blushed and looked elsewhere), her big brown eyes full of feelings and love. If she was nervous, she wasn't showing it. He was really proud.

They walked together to the desk of the woman who was to marry them by the law and stood side by side as she recited a speech about marriage and the life together. He wasn't listening to her, but was instead looking at his intended and basking on the sensation of joining her by human laws. Was this how having a mate felt like? He knew that the weaving would be a more intense and powerful process, but as everything was so new to him he didn't have anything else to compare with.

He had always considered a mate to be a burden. Why would a demon tie themselves to someone else? He could understand procreation, but some couples never mated and had children anyways, so it remained a mystery he could not solve but as it wasn't enough to satiate his hunger he never cared to solve. Now he could see it. A tiny part of him, the human bit that Yako had shared with him, was filled with happiness and love, excited to start a life with her; but the rest of him was in a peace he didn't know he needed. It was like he had always been missing a piece, an instrument out of tune in a big orchestra, and now was finally complete. He still wanted to solve the Ultimate Mystery, but he wanted her by his side when he did it, he wanted to share the meal with her.

"Do you, Nogami Neuro, take Katsuragi Yako as your wife?" said the woman. Yako glared at him knowing that he hadn't been listening. He smirked.

"I do," he answered and took out the ring they bought last week. It was pretty simple and with a clean design, and the only ring they could find that both liked. Who knew that Yako was so picky with her jewelry? Neuro swiftly put it on her ring finger under a heavy silence. He signed the document.

"Do you, Katsuragi Yako, take Nogami Neuro as your husband?" the young woman was blushing and slightly trembling, but managed to keep her voice even when she answered:

"I do," Yako said and put Neuro's ring on a chain around his neck. They had said that he couldn't take off his gloves because of a medical condition. Some were skeptical about this, but so far it seemed that they had bought it. She then signed with her name with surprisingly steady hands.

"By the Japanese laws I now declare you husband and wife."

The public began to clap for the newlyweds, but neither of them registered it (or Godai crying on the background) as they were too busy kissing for the first time as a married couple.

Chapter Text

Day 20: Dancing.

The hotel where the reception was held didn't have any grand chandeliers or fancy decorations, but Yako liked it very much. They decided to spend the rest of the wedding money in one of the biggest buffets the city had ever seen, and even if half of it was meant for the bride (who didn't even blush once while devouring the food), there was more than enough food for the people invited to it. It wasn't as private as the previous ceremony, but journalist weren't allowed to enter. Everyone seemed to want the exclusive of the famous Detective Yako Katsuragi marrying her humble assistant.

The blonde could already hear the news tomorrow and was grateful that they wouldn't be here to see their faces all around the place and hear people talk about her early and sudden marriage. She was sure that they'd suspect a child with all the rush. Or even a secret engagement. Anything and everything they could make up, they would throw it at her without mercy.

She wondered if she would still do her job when they came back, whenever that is. Maybe they'd arrive to a burning place and an angry mob at her door or maybe they'd be pressured to more interviews and more jobs. The last option could be beneficial as Neuro needed mysteries to keep living on the surface and Yako wasn't up to spend her eternity in Hell, so she tried not to dwell too much on it. That was a problem for the Yako of the future.

Right now she focused on dancing with her new husband for the first time. They had never danced before, so this new experience was exciting for her. Their eyes crossed paths as she took his hand and put it on her waist, then putting her left hand on his shoulder and grabbing his left hand with her right one. She asked him if he could dance, worried about this very moment, but he answered that the internet had so much information about it that he didn't need to practise.

Well, she did need it; so when she started to step on his feet he chuckled and lifted her so she was barely floating above his black dress shoes, making in easy to look like they had practised before this and the groom didn't have superhuman strength. She laughed happily as the music coming from the hired quartet (that was the Police department's gift to the detective for everything they did for them) softly swirled around the room, inviting more people to join them in their dance. To her, only them mattered. They were married. It was official.

"It seems that we have company," Neuro muttered before letting her down with a soft thud. Yako turned to find herself before Higuchi, and smiled at her friend.

"Congrats, Detective," the man smiled and patted her shoulder. He had to admit that she was radiant this day, if she wasn't already.

"Thanks," she said happily.

As she looked at him with those big, pure brown eyes, he pondered the hidden feelings he have had about her all this time, how he felt when she was left alone after Neuro suddenly disappeared and how she picked herself up from the ashes and worked to be what she is now. He loved to hear about her. And now she was even brighter than before, with her "assistant" by her side.

He was no fool. He couldn't compete with what they had, whatever that was. That guy was something else and Yako didn't seem to settle with less; heck, not even him was enough for her now. He tried to get her attention, asked her for a few dates even, but she had always that faraway look, like she was waiting for something else, like she was analyzing him until he broke. She was more like him. And a simple human like him wasn't enough to fill the hole.

And he was okay with that.

"You may want to stop your other assistant from drinking his brains out," the hacker pointed something behind him with his thumb, "or from spilling some kind of secret about you."

Yako panicked and looked back at the drinks table, where Godai was gulping down a cup of his drink like it was water, which definitely was not. The bride thanked her friend and walked to the blond man, finding out that he was crying like a newborn baby and hugging a bottle of vodka, mumbling something about monsters and innocent girls lured to their lairs.

"Yako! Oh thank god," the stench of the alcohol was too much for her to bear, but she picked him up with a little effort and sat him on a empty chair. "Yako, you can't marry that monster! He is going to eat you!"

"Well, he is not wrong," she heard the voice of said monster, making her panic. She turned and looked around, her face as red as a tomato, checking that no one heard him.

"Neuro! Behave yourself."

"How could you?" moaned Godai still hugging his bottle, "How could you steal her innocence and drag her to Hell with you! Monster!"

A few people turned their heads to see what the commotion was about, murmuring questions and wondering why the man was talking about Hell. Yako paled. No, please, not like this.

"I suggest that you shut up before you leave this place with a fewer limbs, slave #2," said the demon in a low voice. That seemed to work on Godai, as he gulped and dropped the bottle, his eyes very open. And then, like his most deep secret hadn't been exposed, Neuro turned to the little crowd that had gathered around them, pulled Yako to his body in something that resembled a hug, and laughed. "Well, it seems that someone is jealous! My my, sensei, I didn't know that you were such a two-timer!"

Used to the weird detective and her assistant's humorous gags, people laughed too and let it pass as a quarrel between coworkers.

They turned back to the very drunk man and found him asleep. Well, at least he won't be making trouble again.

"Don't do it," Yako said to her husband before he could move a finger.

"Do what?" he asked with an innocent face, faking again.

"Whatever cruel and inhuman thing you were going to do to Godai-san. He doesn't deserve it even if he almost blew our cover," she looked at him straight in the eyes, serious. He seemed to ponder her opinion.

"Buzzkill," he shrugged.


In the end they asked Kanae to bring Godai home, to her utmost horror; but she swallowed her nervousness and unease around the yakuza-looking man (she wouldn't ever know how close to the truth she was) for her best friend and did it anyways.

Feeling more relaxed now, she took a deep breath and winced when her lungs suffered from it.

"Tired already?" asked Neuro leaning on her shoulder, not really caring if she could hold his weight or not, but she was used to it now.

"My heels are killing my feet and the dress is trying to asphyxiate me."

"Wow, if you wanted to feel pain you just had to ask," the demon brought out a rope from a hidden pocket. How could he hide such thing in his black wedding suit, she didn't know, but she sighed anyways.

"Save that for later, I'm hungry and tired," she went to the food table and served herself enough food to feed an entire family for a week, followed by her amused husband, and sat down at one empty table. She started to eat while looking at the people having fun and dancing to the music. Even Usui was attempting to dance, if that was what he was doing.

Neuro sat down beside her and for a few minutes said nothing, he just watched her eat and react at the quality of the food. Maybe it was the festive spirit in the air, maybe it was the new feelings he was having or maybe he was trying to get used to spending so much time with a bunch of humans that weren't mean to be food; but he was feeling… happy? contempt? He couldn't know until he asked Yako about it, and once again that tiny human part of him was basking in thoughts of fulfilment and the woman in front of him.

He didn't like to be ignorant about a part of himself, and he had blamed Yako many times on the last month; but as she made him realise, he was just at fault as she was. He was the one that started this, who embarked in this craziness, as she called the mating, without knowing the risks. But he was no coward and he faced the unknown with enough plans and the ability to adapt.

Maybe this human thing wasn't so bad after all. She looked very happy every time he said that he loved her, every time he asked about human things he experienced. And a happy Yako was a willing Yako.

"Are you smiling, Neuro?" he looked down to the woman, noticing that she was finishing the enormous plate she had served herself. He relaxed the muscles of his face, finding that she was right. He had been smiling. The young woman shivered. "You? A happy smile? Who is going to die?"

"I'm not killing anyone, idiot."

"Please, at least wait until no other human sees you. I don't want to have to explain it."

"I said I'm not going to kill anyone," he clicked his tongue and glared at her, "and if you keep jumping to conclusions I'll bite you. In front of everyone here." She paled.

"Please, don't. I had enough trouble explaining my mother why I wanted to wear a choker with this heat," she pointed to the green accessory hiding the mating mark.

"That's not my problem," it was her turn to glare at him.

"Don't."

"Hm."

He leaned down and got near her throat. When she opened her mouth to express her protest, he attacked her mouth instead, successfully silencing her for tonight. A few people noticed them and 'aww'ed at the newlyweds. What they didn't see was the hidden gloved hand under the tablecloth, caressing her thighs and going up under her skirt.

Yako jumped a little bit at the invasion of her privacy on such a public place, slightly panicking at the fear of exposure. His other hand hold her in place as he teased her on her most private place and his mouth silenced her little surprised sounds and moans. It wasn't the first time he touched her like that, but he knew damn well how it affected her and how much she loved it.

Too soon, he backed out with a last kiss on the lips, followed by a bite on her lower one, drawing a drop of red liquid.

As he licked his lips he watched her fan her face with her hands trying to lower her temperature a little bit, too flustered to relax her racing heart, clearly left unsatisfied and wanting more of that. He smirked. Maybe this human courting thing wasn't so difficult after all.

Chapter Text

Day 21: Cooking.

"I'm soooo tired!" moaned Yako, taking of her shoes when they finally arrived at their little home just under the office. She was beaten after so much dancing and worrying that everything went smoothly. Apart from Godai's drunken incident nothing else happened, and she was grateful for that. Her mother told them to go home to change and leave for their much needed trip to the Caribbean Sea, or at least she thought they were going to do, and that she would take care of the cleaning up.

"Then maybe we should go to bed," said her assistant hugging her from behind in what he usually called a "bear hug full of love" but was something more of the "death grip" kind. She knew that, despite having a tiny bit of humanity inside of him, he still couldn't grasp the human ways of affection.

"No," she said spinning out of the way just in time and making a dash to the fridge, opening it without any more words and getting ready to prepare some food.

"What are you doing, dishrag? We have to go," he stepped to where she was tinkering with frying pans and pots, ignoring him.

"If we are going to Hell I'm not going with an empty stomach. And who knows what kind of crap you have down there to eat. Nope. I'm taking my own food."

The demon sighed and pondered the option to drag her down through the portal they had opened on the office and had in suspension, waiting for them to cross it that night. By the information the Book of Advanced Spells had, the portals could be programmed to connect any world to Hell, but they have to be constantly feeded with demon energy to function, so they were easily traceable to the owner, something Neuro didn't like but knew was a needed risk. Even if not many demons were stupid enough to go for him, they still could come to the human world.

Another issue was Yako's ability to survive the Miasma. The book said that by the power of the mark she would adapt easily to it, but that it could be very painful if there was too little energy on the mark. He would never admit out loud his worries about this issue, seeing the poor attempt of his human to summon a Tool a month ago, something that she could never achieve no matter how many times they worked on it.

And then, after too many 'if's to his liking, when they'll finally make it to the Imperial Castle, they have to survive a Demon Court full of idiots and the final mating ritual, something that the last Court member that tried to do had ended in tragedy, the death of the human intended and the demise of the Court member. He had replaced that demon (even if he didn't want to) and had to listen again and again to the annoying tale of the idiot that overestimated his human's strength. The weaving is supposed to be a contract to unite lifespans, strengths and power, not the bloody mess the Court witnessed that day. He had always dismissed the story as he didn't deem it useful to him.

But he didn't tell Yako any of this. He was confident in his decision. She could withstand his power and the pressure, be up to the test and pass with flying colors. She had evolved and was still doing it. She was worthy of standing by his side for all eternity.


After hours of cooking and a messy kitchen, Yako was finally happy with the amount of food tightly packed in two backpacks and a few plastic bags and gave green light to their trip to Hell. In any other case she would have questioned her sanity at being happy to go to Hell; but in this case, she was just too high on energy after the wedding party to care. And food. She had tons of delicious food she had to stop herself from eating while she was cooking.

Now changed in more comfortable clothes, and Neuro in his usual blue suit, they brought her suitcase with a few change of clothes and the bags of food to the office. Akane was put in her usual place at the wall, neither being sure about bringing her to Hell at not knowing what could happen in the near future, so she agreed to stay and keep an eye on mysteries on her computer to have them prepared by the time they returned.

"Bye bye, Akane-chan~" said Yako happily before facing the big drawn circle on the wall. Around it were scribbled runes and characters in a language she couldn't recognize but supposed was his mother tongue, in what he had translated as a command for the portal to connect with this specific plane of reality.

She was nervous. A lot. But she couldn't falter now. She was doing this and she was doing it with Neuro.

"Ready?" he said extending his hand to her, and she took it with confidence, her eyes on the gleaming gold band on her ring finger. She was still getting used to having it there. And when she looked up to his face Yako smiled and noticed the gold chain around his neck, the ring probably resting under his scarf over his chest. She had told him a while ago what the rings meant in human traditions, mentioning that some people never took them off if they didn't have to, and it seemed that he was taking her words to heart.

"Yeah, take me to Hell," she finally answered as if the words coming from her mouth were something she said everyday.

And with one touch of his hand on the circle, they were warped to his homeland.


One gulp of air was all it took the human to realise that she wasn't in Earth anymore. It tasted partially like Neuro, like ashes and something burning, but the aftertaste was more of the sweet kind. How weird.

She opened her eyes and what she saw didn't surprise her at all: a vast decaying wasteland, full of buildings from different time periods (of what she could recognize) and other buildings of alien nature that weren't definitely from Earth. And around the city, nothing. Dust, dead trees, and creatures that were hellish and not very pleasing to the eye. Something was burning in the distance, as the smoke going to the red sky gave away, and above her head she could hear loud screeching from unknown creatures. It was wild. Brutal. Savage.

Just like her husband described this to be.

"Welcome to Hell!" said husband whispered to her ear, making her skin crawl with goosebumps. "How are you feeling?"

"How should I be feeling like?" she said, not sure about his question.

"Well, you are currently breathing pure and unadulterated miasma. You should be dead," and smiled with his innocent happy face.

That's right, she thought. I'm in Hell. And I'm alive.

"Wow. This mark is amazing." She dropped one food bag and barely touched the still very visible bite mark on her neck, a shiver running down her spine when her fingers grazed the skin.

But before he could answer with an intelligent statement, one of the loud screeching things flying above their heads decided to land in front of the demon. He narrowed his eyes, recognizing the enormous three-eyed raven that was slowly transforming back to a beautiful woman in front of his very eyes. This woman only meant trouble.

"Look who finally decided to come home, huh?" the tall and lean dark haired woman smiled a feral grin that was meant to show the pointed teeth more than happiness. "And you bring your little human bitch, too. How low, even for you, Neuro."

"Excuse me?" shouted Yako feeling really offended at the 'bitch' part. "What did you just say?"

The voluptuous woman looked amused at her ability to talk.

"I simply stated the facts, human whore. And now stay quiet like the lowlife servant you are."

"I'd prefer if you stopped trying to get in my way, Raven," the demon put a hand on the detective's shoulder, not letting her get revenge. "Because if you don't, I might have to punish you."

A new glint appeared on Raven's eyes as she licked her lips sensually. Yako, on the other hand, felt an ice dagger pierce her heart. Her husband didn't defend her.

"You won't find me complaining. They say that your punishments are the most… creative. I always wanted to find out for myself."

Is she implying what I think she is? Yako couldn't believe what was happening. Not even ten full minutes they had been in Hell and this was thrown at her. Man, she knew things wouldn't be easy but… just wow. What a nightmare.

"As amusing as your behaviour is being I have more important business to attend. Excuse me," and just like that, he grabbed Yako by the same shoulder he had put his hand to stop her before, and pulled her in the direction of the city, behind the dangerous woman.

"What do you think you are doing, Brain Eater?" he didn't even turn his head back to see the other demon clench her fists.

Neuro didn't bother to answer, but the woman narrowed her dark eyes deep in thought before gasping.

"Oh boy," Raven laughed with a dangerous edge in her voice, "Are you really following through with that joke?"

Yako looked nervously to her mate-to-be, finding a calculating look on his eyes. The hand he still had on her person was starting to hurt her shoulder, but the human knew that right now was not the moment to complain.

"The only joke I see here is you, Bone Eater. Go back and hide behind all your pets, as it seems that you care more for them to find an actual mate."

That seemed to trigger the bird-woman, who looked at the demon with wide eyes, as if she couldn't believe what she was hearing. Yako glanced back for a brief second out of curiosity, finding a black mess of a creature between the bird she saw before and the woman that insulted her, her humanoid form clearly not holding under visible fury.

The human had no idea what his words meant or why did he chose to insult such a dangerous thing, but as Raven jumped at them with her pointy talons aimed at her neck, she promised herself that if they got out alive after this she was going to stuff his face with a cake until he couldn't get the icing out of his hair anymore.

Chapter Text

Day 22: In a Battle, side by side.

While Yako was processing the fact that she was very probably going to die, two things happened at the same time:

One, she realized that she could follow every movement that the demon made in slow motion, as if she was a movie she could play at the prefered speed.

And two, she felt strong. Like, super strong. Capable of jumping back from the murderous giant black raven, ending up several metres away and not feeling the usual stinging pain in her feet from such a powerful landing. Her backpack full of food weighted almost nothing and a new strength coursed through her veins, her muscles preparing to fight as if this was something she did all the time.

"You little…!" Raven screamed, her voice distorted in this more animalistic form.

Yako spared a glance at her husband, finding him in the same exact position watching her with those calculating emerald eyes, waiting for her to do something. Did he really expected her to fight back? Against a full fledged demon?

It seemed that yes, that was exactly what he wanted, and the woman wanted to scream in frustration as well as kill her beloved husband in a very painful way. Did he knew something about her new strength? If so, why didn't he say so before? She felt cheated and kind of betrayed.

But well, he was like that. And a tiny part of her mind reminded her that if she was in real danger he would step in to intercede, as he usually did when they were out solving mysteries.

Still, he is soooo dead when this is over.

The human blinked and came back to reality as the black bird charged again in her direction in slow motion, making it easy to dodge. She felt like bullfighting, even if it was a sport she never tried before, and the adrenalin by this new activity almost managed to make her forget her stupid husband for a moment.

"Heh," she murmured and threw a tentative punch to the raven's beak, who was not expecting her to fight back, and found herself face to face with a very human fist right on the side of her face.

Raven screamed when something cracked, immediately followed by the searing pain on her mouth, her three black eyes fixed on the human looking at her with bewildered eyes as if she couldn't believe that her hands were capable of that.

"You," the woman's voice said through broken teeth, "are going to die today."

"You wish, bitch," Yako answered with every bit of anger she could conjure.

"You don't know who I am?" Both started to circle around each other, trying to analyze the opponent.

"I don't and I don't care."

Raven laughed.

"He hadn't told you?" her chuckles were more like a clackle of some kind, but it didn't make her sound less dangerous. "This is rich."

The human woman wanted to ask, but she was aware that it would only allow the bird woman to win. If she admitted that her husband was withdrawing vital information, which he does almost on a daily basis, it was like screaming that he didn't trust her of cared about her at all. If what she could understand about demons from living with Neuro for so long was true, then for demons trust was everything. In a world where everyone was trying to overthrown each other, being able to share weaknesses with another being was a big honor and information was traded as a rare good.

The fact that Neuro didn't tell her this specific piece of information only meant that he didn't deem it important for their trip. Or that he was messing with her. Either was a valid option with the demon.

She smiled at the poor attempt to shake their relationship. It was obvious that this demon woman wanted Neuro and Yako was in the way, but what Raven didn't anticipate was the detective's quick thinking and sharp reasoning.

"If he didn't tell me about you then it only means that he doesn't consider you worthy enough to waste breath on it," she smirked when her comeback hit bullseye as the bird's face transformed in rage. On her back she heard her husband's chuckles obviously muffled by his gloves, and while it felt good to impress him she was still too angry to smile about it.

"Whore." Raven spat before charging again.

Well, there goes intelligent banter, Yako sighed and sidestepped again. The frustrated mega bird huffed and emitted a high pitched shriek that wasn't human, followed immediately by three more of those from somewhere over their head. Damn, there where more of these things, Yako remembered. This situation had just worsened and she was only human, despite whatever crazy thing the mark had done with her body.

On the corner of her eyes she saw Neuro finally step in. For a brief second she hoped that he would take care of the obviously crazed bird fangirl, but he smiled back at her with his most charming expression (the one he uses when they are on camera) and made a beeline to the newcomers. Yako snorted. So much for expecting backup.

Yako tuned out the sounds of the battle around both women and focused on the injured giant bird, who was now considering Yako with a new light in her deep black eyes, obviously learning from her past mistake and not underestimating her opponent. The human felt honored to be a threat to a demon, even if this woman didn't seem as powerful as Neuro, after so many trash talking and snarky comments about her human weakened condition. She had taken some self defense classes, just in case, in the time she spent travelling around the world and waiting for her partner to return; but deep inside she always knew that it wasn't enough, that she wasn't enough to be up to the task at hand, that she would never be able to cheat the odds in a combat like her demon could do.

Well, it seemed that now she was able to put her classes to good use and also draw some useful power from the demon power bestowed by the mating mark. She still didn't know if she could summon a Tool, but her body and reflexes definitely felt more than human.

She smiled as Raven lunged again, this time ready to do more than just dodge her.

"777 Tools of the Demon World," she murmured and felt a new current of power course through her body, so fast and so intense that she couldn't pinpoint where did it come from. But she felt powerful, even if for a brief second, "Evil Chainsaw."

She felt it before she could even glance down to see it for herself, finding that her hands metamorphosed into actual Evil Chainsaws, successfully making her a thousand times more dangerous for the unsuspecting bird still approaching at high speed. With her momentum, Raven could barely avoid being cut by the sharp blades, only managing to change course so the wounds wouldn't be fatal.

Yako didn't laugh this time, but smirked when the even more wounded giant bird decided that taking another risk was too much for her. With one wing on her bleeding side, the Bone Eater shrieked and took off, immediately followed by the smaller birds she brought with her. In the background there was a deeper sound in what she supposed was an answer, but it sounded like a much more bigger animal, if that was even an animal. Whatever it was, she didn't want to find out.

"Well done, dishrag!" her husband's voice brought her back from her musings and she dispelled the Evil Tool, the weird sensation gone from her person, and turned to find a very smiley Brain Eater. "Even I couldn't have done it better!"

"Cut the crap, Neuro," she was getting angrier by the second when she remembered that he left her alone when dealing with the bird woman. "Why did you do that?"

"Do what?"

"Leaving me alone to die!"

Neuro snorted like it was an absurd thing to do. "Of course I didn't leave you to die! I was confident that you would be victorious!" And he leaned down to kiss her, obviously considering the argument finished.

What he didn't expect was the very strong and very solid slap across his face.

Chapter Text

Day 23: Arguing.

In any other moment of her life, the look on her demon's face would have stirred her most deep fears at the horror his eyes promised; but not right now. Because she had just defeated a full demon with her own hands, had successfully summoned a Tool and was still running on the adrenaline from the fight. She felt strong and powerful, and she would not be pushed around by her husband, as he had tried to do now.

"What was that for?" he asked, one gloved hand on his reddening cheek.

She didn't answer and turned around, partly to give him the cold shoulder and partly because she was afraid that in the moment when words came out of her mouth all of her newfound strength would leave her body.

"Answer me, dishrag." Neuro demanded, and Yako was sure that he hadn't moved from his spot. She didn't know how she knew, she just did.

And she still wasn't answering, walking in the direction of the city.

"Stop this nonsense, slug," the human noticed the dangerous edge on his voice, but her determination didn't falter. "Or I will punish you."

"Oh yeah?" she just could hold her anger anymore, "And why would I care? What punishment would be worse that having me fight a demon that clearly wants me dead, all alone, with me being a human? Tell me, because I can't understand you, Neuro!"

The human turned around to find her husband, eyes burning with fury at being ignored and hands clenched in fists, at an arm's reach. She suppressed a flinch and turned again to keep walking towards the city, not caring if he suddenly wanted to punish her or about the abandoned bags on the place where Raven attacked them. She would survive with whatever she had on her backpack anyways.

"Then your mind is less evolved than what I believed," Neuro said loud enough for her to hear. She felt a pain in her chest like a cold dagger piercing her heart. For Neuro, that was quite the insult.

"Fuck you," she answered back.

Keep walking, Yako. Don't look back, she told herself, feeling like an idiot. Where was she going to go, anyways? She was trapped in Hell now, and her only way back was through her very angry husband behind her.

"Don't be so uncooperative," he then said, his voice purring just behind her ear. She now suppressed a shiver. He always tried to seduce her out of their arguments.

"Don't touch me," Yako slapped the hand that was worming his way around her waist. She kept walking, the wall of the first building now a few minutes away. Then, she wasn't sure which way to go.

"You won't even hear my reasons? What an hypocrite, my dear wife, after you asked me to listen to yours." He had a point, but she won't surrender so soon.

"Your reasons would probably entail between 'wanting to have a laugh' and 'being bored'. So no, I don't think I want to hear you saying that my safety is not a priority for you."

Neuro wanted to sigh, but that would mean that she was winning. In their weird dynamic, developed in the time they took for themselves while preparing the wedding, arguments were pretty common. He knew that the main reason was cultural differences, but sometimes their own stubborn personalities would get on the way of their relationship.

Not that he was in any way wrong, obviously; but as Yako liked to point out, his methods weren't appropiate or even legal in some cases.

And he was sure that this time was one of those 'cultural differences' argument.

"If I stepped in she would have won without having to fight you," he said after a while, when Yako stopped to think where to go now. She wasn't turning to see him, but her body language told him that she was listening. "She challenged your position as my mate and by demon ways you have to fight each other until one dies. Or surrender, in this case."

This time the human turned to face him, her eyes narrowed with her usual stubbornness shining on them.

"And you didn't think it was important to tell me about your ex-girlfriend here? I'm a vulnerable, powerless human. She would obviously challenge me the moment I got here."

"First, she is not and never was my girlfriend," the word sounded weird in his lips, not used to the human expression. "Second, you are not, by any ways, vulnerable and powerless. You are my intended. I would not mate a weak creature."

She scoffed and turned her face, but he saw her blush anyways. The demon smirked.

"Still, you should have told me more than a few things. Neuro, when I agreed to do this I wanted to be told anything I needed to know."

"As you kindly told Raven before, she wasn't worthy of wasting my breath," Yako blushed deeper at this. "She is part of the Court and is always playing around with a harem of hers, but never choosing a mate. Raven decided that she would mate me on her own. I think it is because I'm the only one who ever was honest with her," the demon shrugged, clearly not really caring what the other demon thought. And a brutally honest Neuro matched Yako's impression of him.

"And the challenge to death thing?" Yako relaxed her shoulders, not feeling as furious as she was before. Maybe it was the obvious zero interest Neuro had on Raven, or the previous praise to her person, what calmed her. Still, he insulted her with the whole "unevolved mind".

"I didn't expect her to do it just when we arrived. You see, the Imperial Palace is just on the other side of that building," he pointed to a very tall building a few blocks to her left, "and the Court barely leaves the Palace. It is not her style to ambush people where there's no public to watch her humiliate her victims."

"Then I guess that it's a good thing that she didn't," Yako smiled, crossing her arms on her chest. Neuro arched an eyebrow in question. "I mean, she would have been the one humiliated in front of her 'public'."

The human smiled a tiny smirk when her husband started to laugh, really laugh, the sound being one of the things that only her had access to by being his mate. It always amazed her how he could be much more "human", in his own way, when he let his guard down for a little bit. It wasn't like he was a different person with her, he still was as bossy and sadistic behind the doors; but there was this… something, that she was discovering every day they spent together. Not a vulnerability, not a weakness, not a 'soft spot'. It was little everyday things that made him more real, made of actual flesh, than just a 'demon from Hell'.

And she loved it. She loved him.

Oh God, I'm so hopeless, she sighed and walked to her demon, finding that she wasn't angry with him anymore.

Chapter Text

Day 24: Making up.

“Have I ever told you how much I love watching you fight?” Neuro purred in her ear when she so kindly decided to seal their argument with a hug.

“No, you haven’t. I think it’s because I had never been forced to fight a crazed demon.”

Neuro laughed at her attempted dagger to his person.

“Well, I may need to tell you that more often,” he then leaned down to reach her lips with his own warm ones, his body heat suffocating her in a kind of cozy way, something that she could stand for short periods of time.

“Only if you promise not to push me into meaningless fights,” she whispered against his lips, leaning back a little to look at him in the eye.

“Sure,” he said, his emerald eyes shining with deceit and laughter, and she knew by her wording that he was more than ready to find loopholes to force her into dangerous and potentially fatal situations.

Yako snorted and grabbed his face, pulling him down for a kiss of the passionate kind, not really wanting to dance around the situation. He was forgiven, and she wanted to kiss him. Simply like that.


 

“Woah, this is big,” she whispered, out of breath.

The trek to the Imperial Palace was longer than she expected and Yako was more than ready to take a nap and eat some of the goodies they brought all the way here. In front of her was the biggest and most beautiful pagoda style building she had ever seen, taken straight from an older Japanese era, probably the Sengoku. It was weird seeing something so familiar in such a strange place, but it was not a good kind of feeling, of that she was sure, and the red sky gave the Palace a nightmarish glow. If her husband wasn’t right beside her she would have turned back and ran for her life.

There was… something about this place. It seemed human made, but the general sensation she had now that she was at the giant wooden door of the palace, was one of irrational fear. Raw power. Strength. A ridiculous amount of power came out in waves from the structure, so much that even her with her little amount of demonic power could feel it deep in her bones. She felt respect for this kind of power, but no matter how much she searched she couldn’t feel any ounce of fear. Maybe it was that she was used to her demon displaying colorful shows of power on her homeland, or maybe she was way too tired to care about a demon so powerful that could crush her under their thumb.

This was the Emperor’s power. Obviously.

“Just let’s get this over with and come back home,” Neuro murmured, one hand on her arm to guide her through the opening wooden doors. Behind it, a servant dressed in a kimono bowed to Neuro and let them pass to the inner courtyard. “I hate this place.”

Yako wanted to ask why could he hate something so horribly beautiful, but then a group of demons came out of the courtyard gate, all of them in similar purple silk kimonos, their head held high and an amused glint in the eyes.

There were four of them, she counted on her head, and while they retained a lot of human features each has a rather animalistic treat in them that revealed their demonic nature. One, she noticed, had scales coming up on the skin of his neck; a woman’s teeth were pointy and sharp, ready to chew bones and rip muscles from anything stupid enough to get near her mouth; another rather young looking demon had a horn on top of his head, a little one that was almost cute on his young face, but that he obviously compensated that with a permanent angry scowl; and the last demon had barely noticeable slitted pupils on striking blue eyes, something she couldn’t see until they were a few steps from their position.

“Greetings, Brain Eater,” the scaled man hissed. Yako noticed a forked tongue.

Neuro clicked his tongue in disgust.

“I don’t want to be here almost as much as you don’t want me here,” he ignored them and pushed her in the general direction of the inner door, “so, please ,” he spat with so much disdain that it was clear he just said that out of fake courtesy, “move out of my way.”

“Don’t be like that, Neuro,” the woman said with a fake smile, “we just wanted to welcome you in a more civil way. After all, you decided to announce your arrival in advance, this time at least,” she smiled wider showing all of her teeth. Yako suppressed a shudder.

“Oh, don’t try to use the “civil way” card with me, Lakhmet. We all know that you want me dead more than anyone else here,” Neuro smiled at her over his shoulder. The woman grumbled something that sounded like “pompous jackass”.

“Still, there are some protocols-” the scaled man tried to bring some reason.

“Why don’t we let them rest for a bit? The travel must be really exhausting on the poor human, right?” the slitted eyed man interrupted his companion, his kind smile directed at Yako. She felt weird and spooked. That wasn’t a kind smile at all. “You are free to go to your rooms and rest. A servant will show the way.”

Neuro didn’t argue or said anything at all, he just turned back and continued his way inside, his intended firmly pressed to his side.

It was then that downed upon the “poor human” that these people were, in fact, the Demon Court.


 

“There are currently six court members,” Neuro sighed as he explained who those people were, dropping the bag he carried on the wooden floor of their assigned room. She was told it was a temporary room, and that as a mated couple they would be able to get a more secluded and private room, as she has been promised by the paled faced demon servant that guided them here. For what they would need a “more secluded private room”, Yako didn’t want to think about right now. “Lakhmet, the fish demon. She is more of the piranha kind? I don’t know, I don’t care enough to ask,” he shrugged. “Tantalus, the snake demon. He is harmless, but has a lot on influence with reptile demons. I think that’s why the Emperor puts up with him and his “protocols”. The third one is Mamoru, the kid. He is powerful. Yeah, don’t look at me like that, louse,” he added at her surprised expression, “he is two ranks below me, actually.”

“What kind of demon is he?” she asked, carefully sitting on the bed on their room. An actual bed from Above, she noticed, not a futon. The combination was really weird, but hey, she wasn’t complaining. It was way better than what comes in mind when you think of “Demon Palace”.

“You call his race Oni,” Neuro stood in front of her, his body tense and his eyes sharp. That was something else she had noticed: since they arrived here he hadn’t been himself. It was like he was waiting for something to jump at them any moment. Probably something was.

“I see.”

“And the fourth is Saidan, the cat demon. He is not that powerful, but he is good with getting what he wants. I hope you use that unevolved brain of yours to guard yourself against his mind games, dishrag, because I can’t be with you all the time.”

“I noticed something like that. The manipulative type?” she ventured. She wasn’t used to palace business at all, but she could adapt. It was like those TV dramas she was once addicted to.

“Absolutely. Not as smart as I am, of course, but he can fool everyone else on this realm. Be careful.”

“I’ll be,” she smiled at him not expecting Neuro to smile back or say something encouraging. The fact that he trusted her to be on her own was enough for her.

“Then there’s me on the Court, as you know. And the last is Raven,” he smiled showing his pointed teeth when she jumped on her seat at the sound of the name, “the bird demon. And the daughter of the Emperor.”

Yako blinked once. Twice. She pinched her arm trying to see if she somewhat had fallen asleep on the bed while he explained and was having some kind of nightmare right now.

Because she couldn’t have just beaten not only a Court member, but also the Emperor’s daughter, in single combat. She, a human. Yeah, she had the element of surprise by her side, as Raven was too cocky and sure of her success, but Yako was clear that she wouldn’t get a second chance. And she was sure that they would encounter each other sooner of later, probably sooner than later, so she was utterly screwed.

“I hate you.”

“I know. I love you too.”

Chapter Text

Day 25: Gazing into each other’s eyes

It was so weird seeing flowers in Hell, but here she was, watching some pretty but unrealistic flowers neatly arranged in a beautiful garden somewhere in the inner chambers of the Palace.

Yako has been trying to find Neuro, who disappeared while she took her much needed long nap (it was amazing to think that mere hours before they were getting married in the World Above), after waiting for him for fifteen minutes alone in their room. She couldn’t be a coward, not right now when so many eyes were on them. So she decided to explore the place.

They thought that she couldn’t hear them, but the servants underestimated her human ears and whispered loudly around her, gossiping and spreading news about the new arrival at the Palace. From what she could understand, and she found out she could understand the weird hissing and grunting language (the human suspected the power of the Mark behind this), rumours about the soon-to-be mated couple and the human in the Palace were starting to take shape. Some said that she was after the power, other where trying to build some kind of romantic story about soulmates, others were disgusted at the idea of sharing the same air with her. “Unworthy”, she heard a lot. She didn’t understand why they said that with so much disgust and ire, like it was an insult in demon ways. Maybe there was something she was missing? A dialect that the Mark couldn’t quite translate into human tongues?

Neuro had mentioned that word too. “Worthy” he once said to her, so much meaning in his words, more than when he told her he loved. It was then that she realised that yes, his human part loved her and made him see that he felt ‘love’ (human love) for her; but his demon part considered her more than “lowlife human scum”. That his deepest and most demonic feelings for her where positive. She took it as that he “loved” her in a demon way, but she never had the opportunity to ask what that word meant for him.

Yako sighed. Demons were so complicated.

“I see you like my humble garden,” a soft voice called from behind her making the human jump. Afraid of encountering another dangerous demon ready to eat her for dinner, Yako slowly turned and hardened her expression. She might be human, but she was not an easy prey.

What she found was not a demon, but an angel. It had to be, she was sure, as the kind expression glowed in the dark gloomy light of Hell like some kind of beacon. A smile was placed on full rosy lips, a true smile and not what she had encountered in the inhabitants of Hell so far. Her clothes were white and soft looking, flowing like liquid around the slim body of the unknown woman, moved by an invisible wind.

“Hello?” Yako managed to choke out. The mysterious woman giggled at her and walked to a bench Yako didn’t see at first, patting the space beside her for the human so sit down. Mesmerized by the woman’s angelic beauty, the detective obliged.

“So you are the human everyone is talking so much about?” the angel asked. Yako nodded and gulped, trying to find her voice.

“My name is Yako Katsuragi,” she said, extending a hand for the other woman to shake. The angel smiled wider and shook her hand with a firm grip, radiating raw power. Who was this person?

“And I am Gabrielle,” her eyes shone with doubt and Yako knew the woman was debating what to say next, as if she was keeping some kind of secret. The detective tensed. “Fear not,” the angel said noticing that, “I am human, just like you.”

“What!?” Yako jumped on her seat.

“Indeed, but it’s been so long since I lived among my kind that I don’t consider myself one anymore,” something crossed behind her eyes, but Gabrielle managed to hide it in time so Yako wouldn’t see it. The woman in white unconsciously reached up to touch something on her long blonde hair that the detective didn’t notice at first. A tiara.

“You… you are the Empress?” the human deduced. Gabrielle sighed.

“Yes, I am.”

“But, how? You are human!”

“And so are you, my dear,” she smiled enigmatically, “And yet you are betrothed to the Brain Eater.”

“You know Neuro?” Gabrielle giggled again, bringing light to the garden.

“Everyone knows him. Always does as he pleases with a great show and someone getting hurt in the process.”

“That sounds like him,” both women laughed.

A comfortable silence fell between them, each caught in their own thoughts, enjoying the company of a fellow human in a Palace full of demons.

“Does it hurt?” Yako asked trying not to show her fear. Gabrielle looked at her in the eyes knowing exactly what she was asking.

“If you survived the Mark, then have no fear. Your body has been prepared to endure the weight of such a enormous power.”

“But Neuro said that-”

“Ah yes, that incident,” Gabrielle sighed and looked up to invisible stars on a red sky. “In my humble opinion, that was a premeditated murder. The human was not prepared and the weaving was rushed and forced. My personal guess? Someone wanted the Court seat and was too coward to fight for it. Unfortunately for that demon, your Neuro took the place instead.” Yako tried not to blush at “your Neuro”.

“Is that so?” she came up with the neutral answer, looking everywhere but the powerful woman besides her.

“But don’t worry, you’ll survive it,” Gabrielle smiled before sighing. “Actually, I wanted to meet you before the ceremony, Yako. I was… worried I was going to witness something so horrible again. But I’m glad it’s not going to happen. You are strong. And he loves you.”

Yako’s eyebrows went up at the last part, not believing what she was hearing.

“Don’t look like that,” the Empress laughed. “Even a blind person can see it. The Brain Eater has never in all these years cared about someone else but himself, until you. You see, when he came back from his trip to the World Above, half dead and weakened, the first thing he did was demand a portal to come back. He refused medical attention and threatened the Court with war if they didn’t comply.”

“He did?”

“It was really amusing, at least for me. The Court wasn’t really happy with it, and even less my dear daughter. He was put into trial for leaving without permission. His defense? You.”

“Me?” Yako wasn’t understanding anything.

“Oh my, I forgot you just came into these madness of a existence. He said that you were worthy and demanded to come back to find you.”

“I’ve heard that before,” the detective said, her hand on her chin as she tried to guess the meaning. “What does that mean? Some kind of love declaration?”

“Kind of. When a demon finds a worthy partner it means that the person can be trusted with their own lives. Some demons mate those partners, but being worthy doesn’t mean it has to be that kind of bond. Some partners are capable assistants and things like that. It’s a very high title,” Gabrielle looked back at Yako with a serious look, “and him being the third most powerful demon means business.”

Yako was going to say something but a servant arrived to take the Empress back to her chambers to change for the ceremony. With a smile and a wave of her hand, the mystical woman was gone, leaving the human alone with her thoughts in the beautiful but out of place garden.

She kind of felt out of place, too. She wasn't a demon and she wasn't as powerful and self-confident as beautiful Gabrielle. She was just good old Yako.


 

Yako was used to being looked down, to have people whisper her name among hurtful things, to have false rumours about her person being murmured behind her back. So she was ready and prepared when they finally left their room to go to the Court Hall to have the ceremony of the Weaving of Souls.

They were dressed in fine clothes, obviously borrowed, traditional kimonos for the special ocassion. She wasn’t used to wearing them back home, but the familiarity of it was enough to help her calm down the ten minutes it took to arrive at the big double doors of the Hall. There, a few servants were waiting for them to open the heavy looking doors.

The Hall was as enormous as everything was in this place, a round room with chairs for the Court in the perimetre, some of them already occupied. The human noticed that there were a lot more than the six current Court members, around ten or so, and she wondered why. If the demon world was ruled by power and demons were sorted by that, why did the Court had so few members?

“Silence,” a deep voice vibrated through the walls, making everyone stop and look at the two biggest chairs on the opposite wall of the Court Hall. It was easy to deduce that those were the Emperor and the Empress’ chairs.

They were surprisingly simple and poorly decorated, barely two stone chairs, clashing with the beautiful rooms and halls all around the Imperial Palace. Well, they were as tall as a two story house, but they were quite simple.

Gabrielle winked at Yako from her too big chair, a tiny smile on her lips. She was really the Empress, Yako thought.

They were approaching the center of the room, a few steps from the Emperor and the whole Court watching them with expectation, and she was getting fully married to Neuro. This was real.

She felt like fainting. She wasn’t the fainting type, and after living through so much she was surprised to feel so sick under pressure. Maybe it was the fact that she was a mere human surrounded by creatures that could kill her with ease; maybe it was that she was about to tie her soul to a demon’s, and in her human psyche that sounded as twisted as her husband; or maybe it was that she was dreading a messy disaster like the last time someone tried to do this with a human. This was not natural. Humans weren’t made to come to Hell, and even less to mate with them.

She looked at her husband and mate-to-be, full of panic and doubts. Was this how she was going to die? She didn’t want to die, or make him go through that pain.

In the few moments that a servant brought the needed items for the ceremony, his eyes were fixed on hers, full of understanding. Neuro knew what her doubts were and had scoffed at them before, but right now she was too weak to be laughed at. The Court was watching, waiting for them to fail, for the death of the human and the fall of the Brain Eater.

He didn’t smile or tried to comfort her, but leaned down and whispered some words that no other would be able to hear but them.

“Remember why I chose you. Remember that you are worthy,” he said before straightening his back and looking at the Emperor, who was about to speak.

Yako blinked away a few tears and did the same, still a bit unsure of everything, but considerably calmer. She reached for his hand and slightly squeezed it, not really expecting him to even notice it. To her surprise, his gloved hand squeezed back even if his face betrayed nothing of the sweet gesture.

Chapter Text

Day 26: Getting married.

Saidan considered himself a smart man. A scholar. In fact, he was one of the smartest demons in hell, ranked barely below the Brain Eater.

But he lacked brawls. In power he was ranked pretty low on the list and if he wasn't on the Court he was positive that no one would ever know his name. But he was needed here, next to the Emperor, and he was positive it was because the Brain Eater didn't do his job. Saidan was the back up plan.

Everyone knew it. And it was humiliating .

So when Neuro scaped to the World Above he saw his opportunity. Finally! A moment to teach him a lesson! He spent every single second lobbying for the immediate arrest and execution of the rogue demon as soon as he left through his forced portal, and when it was heard about his sudden return he was gleaming with joy.

But, the prick had found a worthy partner. That changed everything. That threw everything he had worked on for what seemed like an eternity to the deepest pitch of Hell. You see, if a powerful demon finds a worthy partner it is a big deal, because it means a change in the status quo, a messenger send by Fate to change the scales of power.

The last time a top five demon found a worthy partner, he became the Emperor.

Saidan clearly remembers the day that Gabrielle came to Hell, a flimsy human afraid of her own shadow. No one considered her worthy at all, but as she was brought there by the son of the current Emperor no one challenged or said anything about it. The mating was such an event, the human doing a hundred-eighty degrees change, becoming the powerful being she was now. It became legend.

And this… stupid woman in the center of the room was threatening the way of things, probably without knowing what she was doing. She was not worthy of mating the Brain Eater! Everyone knew so. He was sure of it.

A look around the room confirmed him that everyone of the Court agreed about the girl. Maybe except Mamoru, but that boy was always so closed up about his thoughts and emotions, so Saidan simply ignored him. But the general consensus was that today would be proven that humans were not made to mate powerful demons, so no more pesky weaklings would enter the demon ways of things anymore.

And that would wipe out the Brain Eater out of his way. He smiled.

“Don’t be so cocky,” he heard a voice behind him. Saidan turned and found that Raven had chosen to sit beside him instead of nearer to her parents. It wasn’t surprising giving the fact that not long ago the woman arrived at the Palace, heavily wounded and weakened, noticeably angry but somewhat tamed.

Everyone knew that she had just challenged the human for the right to mate Neuro, and she had lost. To a human girl.

“And why is that?” he asked without tearing his eyes from the couple getting ready to perform the weaving. Neuro had gracefully kneeled in front of the Emperor and took a wet rag to clean his hands. It was tradition to clean oneself from any dirt before joining their mates.

“That human is not normal, Saidan,” there was real fear in her voice and for a fraction of a second the demon felt doubt.

“How so?” Now it was the woman’s turn to kneel and clean herself, doing so with no grace and painfully slow.

She can summon the Tools ,” Raven lowered her voice, trying to keep their conversation between themselves.

Saidan felt his heart skip a beat. Raven must be mistaken. She must have seen wrong. Because it had to be impossible that the human was able to access the Tools, something that only the top ten ranked demons could do. The last human that did it…

He looked nervously at the Empress, carefully seating in her throne in her pure white kimono, making her literally gleam in the dark room. Her kind smile wouldn’t tell anything about the things she was capable of doing, but demons old enough could remember. He could.

It was not something that a human without any demonic power should be able to summon. The amount of power, focus and ability to do that was gained after years of training, even for someone already powerful enough to spend energy in the summoning. And the girl was alive ?

Maybe…

“No,” he said, refusing to believe it.


 

“You may begin,” bounced the deep voice of the Emperor, now in his human form. He appeared as a tall man dressed in a pitch black kimono. Yako could see a third eye on his forehead, very similar to the one on Raven’s bird form, and then the detective saw the obvious resemblance between the daughter and the father. The dark hair and even darker aura, the pale skin and the eyes full of evil intent.

It was so sad that Raven had very little of her mother. Gabrielle was the total opposite of her husband, and now side by side the differences were painfully obvious. How the hell, no pun intended, did someone so pure end up being the Empress of Hell? With what dark scheme did the Emperor get this human woman to agree to this madness?

Yako couldn’t imagine what would it be like to be the Emperor’s bride. If it was already pretty rough with Neuro, how many painful experiences did the human suffer before getting here?

A movement on her side woke her from her thoughts. It was Neuro initiating the weaving, she was sure, and she looked in his direction not before taking a quick glance at Gabrielle in her giant throne.

“My strength will be your strength,” he said, taking her left hand between his, the difference in their abilities very much obvious. If he wanted to crush her hand he could do it, and the reality on the fact made her heart skip a beat. “My blood will be your blood,” the demon continued, picking up the dagger on the floor before making a swift clean cut on her palm. She flinched, but the pain was less than she expected. “My power will be yours,” he then let out his aura, a colorless shine that lighted the dark room they were in, dancing on the pale faces of the demons of the Court, who were clearly afraid of what he could do. Yako thought that it was the most beautiful thing she had ever seen. “And from now to eternity, I will be yours and you will be mine.”

Their eyes fixed on each other, a determined shine on his emerald ones, an amused tone in hers. They both knew what the other was thinking, that the people on the Court expected her to fail, that they expected her to be afraid, to back out from this. He smiled in equal amusement. The Court had always been stupid and this was a perfect opportunity to shut their mouths for good.

Yako took a deep breath and started her own vows.

“My strength will be your strength,” the only human in the place took the dagger with her uninjured hand from where he had let it down, and softly placed his left hand on her left one, careful of the oozing blood. “My blood will be your blood,” she made a cut deep enough to draw blood, but the demon didn’t even flinch, he just smiled, his eyes on her face the whole time. “My power will be yours,” her eyes lighted with a new force, one Neuro knew very well, the one that almost no human could see, too blinded by their unevolved minds. The Demon Court gasped, watching the new aura coming from the unsuspecting human on the center of the room, shocked by her strength and willpower. “And from now to eternity I will be yours and you will be mine.”

And as they let their mirrored wounds touch, the light in the room exploded in a myriad of colors, engulfing the demons in the Court in raw power, choking them, making them suffocate under the pressure of one of the most powerful demons in Hell. Some even watched in amusement, still not believing that a mere human could dream of mating the Brain Eater, expecting her to be consumed by the enormous energy swirling around.

But, to the utmost shock of the unbelievers, she was laughing in delight. The lowly human was enjoying the crippling pressure coming from the power of the demon, answering with a power of her own that, while many times smaller than his, was playing and swirling in harmony with the other like they were meant to be together.

With a final giggle from the woman, the light condensed back to the central point of the court room. A few seconds passed in complete silence, no one daring to break the intense moment they had experienced, watching the newly joined couple in front of them. He had reverted back to his original form, a giant bird with great horns adorning his head and dangerous talons scratching the stone floor; and smiling by his side, the tiny human some had come to respect this very moment, full of demonic power and literally glowing with the excess of energy absorbed in her body. She was happily snuggling the side of her mate, letting the soft feathers caress her face.

The Emperor looked at them and slightly bowed, acknowledging the joined couple, and got up from his seat signaling the end of the gathering. Some demons let out a breath they didn’t know they were holding, exhausted.

The giant bird’s head turned towards his mate and gently poked her side with its beak, breaking her from her heaven of soft warmth feathers. Yako grumbled, not liking being pulled down from her power high, and stood straighter with a tiny smile on her lips.

She was alive. They were mated. It was done.

 


 

“Congratulations,” said Lakhmet when everyone got out of the Court room. A clearly fake smile on her dangerous lips, and Yako wondered if her face was frozen in that expression 24/7. She was not liked here, not that she didn’t expect it, but the thought was still painful enough to damper her happy mood a little bit.

“Thanks,” she answered before her mate could, with an equally fake smile. Her mind was more focused now and her body was oozing with demonic power. It was like she was on some kind of drug that accelerated her cognitive functions, making her feel more awake and, well, smart.

Lakhmet’s eye twitched, the smile not leaving her lips as she turned and left the hallway. Yako’s smile grew.

The next one was Mamoru, who just nodded and bowed slightly before walking to the corridor on their left. As usual, he was expressionless, but surprisingly enough, that didn’t even affect her. It was just one person that wasn’t looking her down.

From the corner of her eye she could see Tantalus murmuring something to her mate, quick hissing words and a worried expression, but before she could approach them she was intercepted by the one demon she didn’t want to face, who was next to the demon she didn’t want to meet.

“Congrats,” Saidan bowed slightly with his trademark fake kind smile on place. His striking blue eyes were even more impressive at close distance, but fortunately her overworking mind could focus on the conversation more than she would be able to mere hours ago.

“Thank you,” she answered with a little bow of her own, purposely not looking at Raven. A quick glance at her confirmed that the bird demon was very unhappy and glaring openly at her.

“Naturally, it is my pleasure to welcome you to the Court, Katsuragi Yako,” the cat demon continued in a gleeful voice, totally fake. “It is not every day that a human manages such a position among our kind.”

“Thanks, I guess,” Yako didn’t know where he was going with this. “But I really don’t care about the position. I just wanted to mate my husband.”

Saidan’s smile faltered for a bit.

“So honorable of you, my dear! Tell me, why the rush? Expecting children soon?”

“Excuse me?” she couldn’t believe it. But as the cat demon opened his mouth to give what Yako supposed was the final strike, Raven, who had been surprisingly silent all this time, interrupted him:

“You really don’t know what you got yourself into!?” the woman pushed aside her comrade and place the full glare of her crimson eyes on the human. “Did you really mate the Brain Eater out of love ?” she spat the word like it was some kind of insult. “How stupid can you be?”

The detective didn’t expect this to happen, at least not so soon, so she didn’t have any response to that. She just blinked a few times, trying to know what this was all about. Neuro said that Raven had been trying to mate him for a while, but here was the woman looking down on love and calling her stupid. What was her motive?

“I can’t believe this!” Raven continued, “Of all the things he could mate with he choses a human! Tell me, insect, what did you do to get his attention? It can’t be your looks,” Yako’s eye twitched at the comment, “or your intelligence,” another twitch, “so, how? Did you spend your time whoring-”

“Enough.”

“How do you dare-!”

“I said enough!”

There was a bright light and then Raven was pushed to the other side of the hallway, her body breaking through the wood and crashing into the next wall with a loud thud before falling to the ground. Her face couldn’t be seen under her thick black hair, but as she didn’t get up she must have been knocked out.

“Oh my,” a gentle voice giggled behind Yako. Gabrielle was there in all her white glory, one hand on her mouth trying to hide a smile behind her kimono sleeve.

“I’m sorry!” the detective said bowing very low, ashamed. This was the Empress and Raven’s mother, not matter how much she disliked the princess.

“She had it coming, so don’t worry dear. Do you mind having a walk with me?”

Yako looked back to her mate, worried of having embarrassed him or breaking some kind of rule that would get them in trouble. But as what she found was an amused expression and a look in his eyes that usually told her when he was up for some funny times , she breathed deeply.

“Yeah, let’s go.”

Chapter Text

Day 27: On one of their birthdays.

“I’m sorry,” Yako apologized for the tenth time. Gabrielle turned back to her and gave her the trademark smile the Empress seemed to have all the time, and what once calmed her heart now gave the detective authentic fear.

She gulped and glanced at a servant that was walking down the corridor both women were walking through. She looked like a girl, barely thirteen, but knowing demons she must be older than that. Yako thought about smiling but as soon as they made eye contact the demon opened wide her eyes and cowered into the further side of the corridor, like she was afraid of being in their mere presence. Was it about Gabrielle? Or rumours about her… disagreement with Raven had already spread all over the Palace?

“I said it's okay,” the Empress answered and opened a door Yako couldn't recognize (but as she had been in the Palace a few hours she wasn't surprised by it), finding herself on Gabrielle's beautiful flower garden. “Have a seat.”

Both seated on the same place they did before. Now it seemed like so long ago, like if the Yako that expressed her insecurities to this woman was another different person. Maybe it was, as Yako was now more demon than she was before. Even  breathing the miasma was different than before. It tasted better, like some kind of sweet dessert.

“My daughter is a complicated being, isn’t she?” the angel said first, breaking the tense silence between the two. “Don’t hold it on her, though. She is just… young. And reckless.” The haunted look on Gabrielle’s eyes told the detective that there was more history behind that phrase. In a strange way, this woman reminded her so much of Aya.

She missed her so much. Maybe she should visit when they got back home. What would her friend say when she learns about everything that was happening?

“Well, that she is.” Yako said, trying to be diplomatic.

“You don’t have to tone it down for me, honey,” Gabrielle giggled, and it was the most beautiful sound in the world, “I know my own daughter. In fact, I'm aware that she despises me.”

Yako blinked.

“Really?”

“Indeed,” the Empress nodded softly, “she hates anything human-related. You see, everything she thinks of is power and ways to obtain it. For her, being a human is a disgrace and mating one is a waste of potential.”

“But she is the second ranked demon, right? She is quite powerful already,” she said, not understanding. And her mother is human, she left unsaid.

“There’s a big gap between my mate and her, Katsuragi Yako,” Gabrielle sighed and looked at the other woman with a sorrowful face, like she was about to deliver some bad news. “Until now, being second in rank meant nothing compared to the Emperor, so for Raven it didn’t mean anything. She hoped that mating the third in rank would give her the power to be closer to my mate.”

Yako gulped, already knowing where this was going.

“Until now?” she managed to say in a whisper.

“Yes. Now your Neuro is second, with the power of the weaving on his side. You gave him that power, dear.”

“M-Me? But I am human!”

“And so am I, Katsuragi Yako. Tell me, are you able to summon the Tools?” Yako nodded, “Do you feel the energy inside of your body? Can you hear the conversations on the other room?”

Yako blinked thinking that obviously she couldn’t do that, but there was a quiet murmur on the borders of her mind, something that if she could focus long enough she could make up the words.

“I… I guess so?”

Gabrielle smirked.

“I was once like you, honey. I came here a long time ago without knowing what would become of me. I left a warring kingdom only to find something worse. There was death and horrifying demons everywhere,” she sighed. “There were some records of human-demon matings back then, but almost everything was a myth. I was sure I was going to die, everyone was sure of it too, but my mate and I did the weaving anyways. And everything changed.” For a brief moment, Gabrielle’s eyes held a faraway look and a spark of power that complimented her striking blue eyes, making Yako wonder what really happened so long ago.

“How so?” the sound of her creaking voice snapped the Empress out of her daze.

“It’s a story for another time, but it was then that my mate killed his father and became the Emperor.”

“What?” Yako’s heart was beating so fast she could feel it on her throat.

“You see, my mate was ranked second back then but the power of the weaving gave him what he needed to overcome the current Emperor,” her smile suddenly turned sad, “like with you and your Neuro.”

Ba-dump.

“Are you trying to tell me…” Gabrielle smile widened and her eyes shone dangerously. It was the first time that Yako felt real fear next to the woman. It was something deep and raw, an unconscious feeling in her gut. She tried to swallow the lump in her throat.

“Indeed, my dear Katsuragi Yako. If the Brain Eater wanted, he could become the next Emperor right now.”

In the next beats of her heart Yako could feel everything finally be tied together; the fear on the Court room, the fake courtesy of Sakhmet, Raven’s outrage, Tantalus’s worried murmurs to her mate and the scared servant back on the corridor.

It was… heavy . She wasn’t ready for this.

She watched Gabrielle's expression and pondered what was the next step to take.

Why was the woman telling her all of this? If it was true, then her mere existence was a threat to her position and life. Was she going to kill her? But if she wanted, then she would have done it before, Yako was sure of that.

Still, she wanted to know.

“Why are you doing this?” Why are you warning me? she thought.

“Because I really don’t want you to die, dear.” The mesmerizing woman smiled like she hadn’t said something so horrible. “I really like talking to you. I told you already, it can be quite boring being the only human around.”

“Then you aren’t angry?”

“Why would I?” she simply said, her smile still in place, “I know you didn’t came here for power and the Brain Eater never was one of responsibilities. The logical conclusion is to help you both get out of here in one piece before everyone in Hell kills you to get the power.”

“Because there’s people that doesn’t agree with the current arrangement of things?” Yako ventured.

“Exactly.”

“I see…” Yako whispered and turned back to the beautiful flowers in front of them. She felt so small and yet so powerful. This was way bigger than what she expected and for a moment she considered how it would be like living like Gabrielle as the Empress here in Hell. She would feel so powerful all the time, people would bow down as she passed by them…

But she knew her place wasn’t here being feared and respected. She liked her world and her human friends. And the cases too, even if from time to time they’d encounter a nasty human that seemed more dangerous than Raven herself. She liked the normalcy that came with humanity.

“Nah,” she finally said not realising she was speaking out loud, “this isn’t for me.”

“I’m glad to hear that,” the blonde woman by her side smiled when Yako blushed.

“But I’d want to come back to visit you. Maybe you would like to visit us Above…?” but she hadn’t finished talking when beautiful Gabrielle was shaking her head with a sad expression. The message was clear: she could not leave.

Yako wondered why, but she pushed the thought back into her mind. Meddling with the Emperor’s affairs wasn’t a good idea.

“On other less... gruesome matters, have you got anything special planned?” the detective blinked slowly.

“For what?” Yako asked not having any idea what she was talking about.

“For your Neuro’s birthday! Today is the 334th day of the 16th month in Hell. I still celebrate birthdays despite how hard is to keep track of the time down here.”

Yako blinked again, not really expecting this. The change of topic hit her like a brick thrown at her head.

Was it seriously Neuro’s birthday?

“Huh?”

“Yes, yes!” Gabrielle seemed way too excited for this. “You’ll have to excuse me, but demons don’t usually value things like this. My dear mate always forgets about his and I try to do something new each cycle.”

“Neuro never told me it was his birthday today.”

“Shame. I thought he chose this day because of that,” the blonde sighed. “Still, have you thought about any special plan for today?”

The detective felt the gears working full time on her now developed mind, but nothing coherent came from the stream of thoughts going at full speed. She had to work on focusing on just one thought at the same time.

“Erm… No?”

Gabrielle fake-gasped, her tiny smile hidden behind one pale hand.

“Then, my dear, I think we have much to talk about.”


 

She wasn’t afraid . Not that this was something she usually did, but it wasn’t exactly new . For Pete’s sake! Neuro was her husband and they had been courting for quite a while already. His body and his mind, both were known grounds for her at this time.

But still, watching her body dressed in only a see-through negligée and panties didn’t help her calm her nerves. This was it. Their first night as a married, mated couple. The first one in forever. And it was the night when they would do the real final ritual for the mating process… the actual mating.

Sex didn’t scare her. Even saying the word out loud, something that a mere year ago she wouldn’t have been able to do, wasn’t new to her. She was a healthy adult woman with a healthy sex life with her boyfriend - now mate/husband-, and doing this didn’t scare her. It enticed her. Excited her.

No, what scared her was her body’s reaction to all of this. She didn’t feel like herself but at the same time she did, like she had unlocked a part of herself that hadn’t been there before; like she had become something that was her and even more. A silly part of her was scared that Neuro wouldn’t like what he would see, that he wanted to mate a human and what she had transformed into after all of this wasn’t what he wanted-

Gosh. Was she just being stupid, right?

She had her husband on the other side of the door, probably half naked and partially turned on, ready to do with her body a lot of things until morning came. She wanted this. She wanted him. And was sure that he wanted her back.

This whole thing was about trusting your partner, right?

Yako sighed and checked every inch of her body once again, making sure she had got rid of every hair when she shaved a while ago. It was silly as he had seen her in all states of hair growth, but she really wanted to do this, at least tonight.

When she was satisfied with what she saw, the probably-not-human-anymore adjusted her panties’ rubber band on her hips and took a deep breath before opening the shoji door of the adjacent bathroom of the room the Emperor had lent them for the mating ritual. It was a quiet and secluded place, away from where life was made in the Palace, so they would have as much privacy as someone like Neuro could.

Still, nothing of that mattered that night. Because then only he and her existed. And by the smirk on Neuro’s face and the ropes and scary looking objects spread all over the western-style bed on the center of the room, tonight was going to be something worth remembering.

Chapter Text

“You look delicious,” was the demon’s first comment.

Yako forced the blush down and focused on her hands’ position, one above her head on the frame of the door and the other on her hip, which was cocked to a side in a desperate attempt to look sexy and desirable. She felt ridiculous and the tiny smile on Neuro’s face told her that her bold movement didn’t have the effect she expected.

Welp, she was just trying to calm her nerves.

“Come here,” he ordered, his emerald eyes shining like they never did, a predatory glint in them that instead of invoking fear in her body gave her shivers that had little to do with the cold. Yako approached him with a slow pace, looking at him straight in the eyes, not knowing that in her own brown eyes a demonic shine appeared on them.

Neuro chuckled.

“As you can see,” he started as he made a gesture over everything placed on the bed, “I have come prepared. Rejoice, Yako.”

She slowly blinked and looked at the stuff her husband had brought from the human world. She recognized plenty of those things but she had never see one in real life, only pictures on the Internet. She would be lying to herself if she said that she had never browsed on the internet about BDSM and all the mechanics and complexity around that world. She was aware that what her demon did with her body was not different from the usual techniques and the fact that she had survived some of the catalogued as “hardcore” ones made her laugh once upon a time.

At first it was a scary thought. Doing that in a sexual manner, that is. She was used to punishment and painful treatment, but she never felt aroused when Neuro did those things to her. It was simply the usual thing they did and even if she didn’t like it, it was normal .

But they had slowly got used to the idea of including more of that into their private moments, little snippets of controlled pain and getting her movements restricted. She found out that she did like it and that the feeling was very different from when Neuro punished her for whatever other reason. She didn’t know if it was the look on his face or the way her skin seemed to be over-sensitive when they were doing it, but her body responded in a very different manner when she got tied up and vulnerable and at her - by then - boyfriend’s will.

It was probably around a week before the wedding when she discovered she was a hopeless submissive person.

There was little she didn’t enjoy, but she suspected that it was because she trusted her now husband not to do anything potentially dangerous or fatal to her. He never did, not even when he was really angry, so she didn’t have any reason to start fearing him now. But he did like to tease, and a lot. It was in that border between letting himself go full demon mode and reminding himself that she was only human what usually took her to her limit.

The idea of testing where those limits were with the new arrangement of her condition (and his) excited her so much that she felt the familiar tingling sensation between her legs. The broadening smile on her demon’s face told her that he knew what she was thinking, arousing her even more than before.

She still was a bit nervous, so her voice came a little strangled when she finally spoke.

“So…” she stopped to clear her throat and realized that she didn’t know where to put her hands now. Yako stepped closer to Neuro until her naked legs touched his crossed ones, and as sexily as she could she leaned down and put her hands on his bare shoulders. He had taken off the traditional kimono and put back his usual blue pants and white undershirt, she noticed. “Ready?” she whispered looking at him straight in the eye.

The demon smirked just in time to have his lips claimed by the not-quite-human-anymore Yako. The kiss was soft and tame, something that may be out of place in a mating night. Usually those were full of raw passion and rough sex, barely any words and a lot of skin to skin contact. But, of course, with Yako everything was different. She made everything unique with her human nature and her quick thinking mind. She was, after all, his mate and he wouldn't settle for less.

He let her push him into the soft mattress, even if it was only to see what she was going to do. He had to admit, it was interesting letting her take the initiative from time to time, letting himself just feel her small hands undress him, just like they were doing now. Her smaller hands undoing the buttons of his inner shirt, ceremoniously caressing the skin beneath with the tips of her blunt nails as it was being uncovered.

“My my, aren’t we in a rush?”

Yako blushed but stuck her tongue at him. What she didn’t expect was his sudden attack to her person.

“Ouch!” the detective complained, tasting the blood on her mouth coming from her bitten tongue. “Please, be careful with your teeth.”

“I think that’s exactly what you don’t want me to be tonight,” he smirked.

“Well…,” she looked anywhere but the gorgeous demon under her, a tiny smile on her blood-stained lips.

“Naughty girl.”

He flipped them over and pinned his mate against the soft mattress, personally enjoying how her legs parted to make room for one of his, which settled teasingly near her core. He smirked when she let out a tiny gasp that obviously wasn’t meant to be heard.

“Thankfully, as I have said before, I came prepared to punish little servants that misbehave.”

“Oh, I see,” she smirked, her face red but determined, “so you are used to punish servants that are also your mate. I’m hurt, Neuro. I thought demons mated for life.”

“But we do, my dear slug,” the demon let go one of her arms and cupped her cheek with his hand, caressing her skin softly and earning a sigh full of desire from his mate. “I wouldn’t do this to anyone else.”

As he spoke, his hand make its way down to the exposed skin of her throat and the top or her cleavage. The piece of sexy lingerie that she wore wasn’t new to him; in fact, it was the one he said he liked when she did a silly runway two weeks before the wedding. She had insisted on asking his opinion on her stuff and while it was silly he gained the promise of more smooching after that. Both were pretty distracted the whole show and it surprised him that she remembered which one gained a legit response from him.

“I hope so, because if I ever learn that you cheated on me, I’ll kill you,” Yako lifted her freed arm to gently caress his cheek as the demon laughed pretty loudly.

“You can try.” His eyes sparkled when they crossed paths with hers, which were again shining with that inhuman glint that gave away her current status.

Yako licked her lips, cleaning them of any remaining blood from before.

He suddenly grabbed her left boob in a rough movement that she didn’t see coming, the gasp of pain dying in her throat when the sensation burned all the way down to the place between her legs. The demon squeezed softly, pinching her covered and hardening nipple between gloved fingers, making her bite her lower lip and close her eyes. She liked this but the amount of pleasure that this simple thing gave her was absurd. Was it because of the bond they now shared that her body was so sensitive and turned on?

Neuro squeezed again and captured her lips in a rough and open mouthed kiss, licking the trapped lip under her teeth.

“Don’t silence your pretty sounds, Yako. I like hearing you beg and squirm.”

“Someone might hear-”

“Then let them,” he grumbled, his lips somewhere near the mating mark. “This is our mating night. Let them be reminded of that.”

A shiver went down her body and not because she was cold (which she wasn’t) and she closed her eyes, letting herself just feel her mate’s administrations to her body. He was being slow and gentle, or at least as much as he could be, compared to other intimate moments they had shared before. She wondered if he was feeling as weird as she was, but maybe it was just her marveling at the power that entailed big amounts of demon energy. Was this how he felt all the time? Like he could do practically anything without breaking a sweat? No wonder he was always so full of himself.

She felt the bites go down her neck and all the way to her shoulder, his sharp teeth leaving marks and drawing blood before he licked the bitten skin to close the wound quickly. It didn’t hurt as much as she expected, her mind too full of information to focus on the pain anymore.

“Stand up,” he commanded, his voice husky and seductive. Just as she liked it. “I want to try my new toys.”

She did as was told, shuffling until she was on her knees on the comfy bed, her cute piece of lingerie pushed down and barely covering her breasts and her uncomfortably soaked panties. She rubbed her thighs together trying to ease the sensation.

Yako looked at the stuff he placed on the bed and wondered what he had planned for today’s session. She wondered if it’d hurt. She wondered how much she would like it.

“Hands,” Neuro said, standing up and going to the other side of the bed to pick up something from there. Ropes. How original.

“Really?” she asked, one eyebrow cocked.

“Nu-uh,” the demon shook his head. “Slaves don’t talk back, Yako. I thought you would have learned your lesson by now.”

She smirked and bit her lip, the ‘Then I guess I need a reminder ’ on the tip of her tongue. Somehow he read her thoughts, because he smirked, flashing those perfectly pointed teeth to her, and approached her again. He took her small wrists in one hand and pulled her to him, his lips ending so close to hers that she could almost taste the sweet and smokey flavour of her mate.

“My sweet, sweet Yako,” he purred teasingly. “ So predictable.

As she leaned in to finally kiss him, he pulled back with a deep chuckle.

 

Chapter Text

“Not yet, slug.”

“Why not?” she complained, pouting.

“Because I don’t want to. And less talking and more staying still,” he ordered as he pulled her hands once again, tying them with the looped rope in his hands to perform a single knot. He could do intricate loops with his eyes closed, always with the perfect amount of tightness, not really worried about messing up in any way. He could always cut them with his claws.

Yako supposed that it was a perk of having a demon boyfriend.

“What are going to do toda-?”

“No talking,” he interrupted her as he finished the last knot and cut the rope, his sharp eyes analyzing his work.

“But-”

In a swift movement he silenced her with a kiss and pushed her back to the bed before she could register what just happened.

“Hey!”

“Turn around.”

With a dramatic sigh she did as was told, not really trying to be mad at him. Both knew that she trusted him not to do anything potentially dangerous and that she lowkey liked when he was all bossy in this situations.

She hummed a tune as she felt his hands work on her ankles and knees, letting herself feel the subtle caresses each time he lifted them to loop the rope around her soft limbs. It was a language they both talked between them, no words needed when your mate could see your intentions in your eyes. Each time he planted a soft kiss on her feet or on her thighs, she knew he loved her without needing him to actually say it. Her initial fears of being trapped in a one-sided relationship were vanquished after she learned how to speak without words and understood every action the demon did around her.

It was sweet, in a way, to share a secret language with your significant other.

“Don’t fall asleep on me, louse,” Neuro pinched her butt and Yako jumped on her place on the bed.

“I wasn’t sleeping. What a way to kill the mood,” she grumbled the last part to the mattress.

“I heard you.”


Several minutes later the human found herself completely immobilized in a kneeling position that wasn’t new for her. Her wrists were tied together and to a long rope that went all the way to the ceiling, her ankles tightly attached to her thighs so that her legs were forced open over the soft fabric of the bed.

“You are being pretty unoriginal today,” she commented.

“Keep talking and I’ll gag you,” Neuro answered taking a step back to admire his handiwork. Yako was giving him the full view of her pink lace underwear that matched the negligée, a damp spot in the center of the cloth. Her tied hands were over her head, curving her body in a delicious way.

“I thought you said you wanted to hear me,” she retorted and turned her head as much as she could to give him a tantalizing look. Neuro cocked an eyebrow.

“Oh, but I do,” he approached her and stood in front of the bed in a spot where she couldn’t see him. That’s why, when he gently placed his fingers on her burning pussy, she made a little surprised sound.

But he didn’t stop there. He pressed a finger in the covered private place, smiling as the human squirmed trying to close her legs but being unable to. If she tried to move an inch he pressed even more on the spot and she wasn’t going to give him the satisfaction, at least not so soon.

“Stop that,” he reprimanded, his other hand caressing softly upwards over the fabric of her clothes, “you know we both like your sounds.”

She refused to answer, choosing to close her eyes instead and letting herself feel the distant touch of her husband on her sensitive skin (probably because of the overload of demon energy on her system). She wished she didn’t have the negligée on and that Neuro didn’t have gloves on. Sure, his claw-like nails would hurt and pierce her skin, but his hands were warm and deliciously rough, and she enjoyed them very much when he decided to rid of the clothes that covered them

And without her realizing, the demon did just that. Neuro slowly lifted his other hand so he grabbed her hips with little pressure, just enough to pull up the silky lingerie that covered his wife’s back and revealing healed skin without any mark on it, at least not from a wound of his making. Sometimes he stopped to recount the ones he recalled from their early detective adventures, tracing the constellation they did among her natural beauty marks; but today he decided to take a different approach. Not that he didn't adore his wife's body any less.

With his teeth he took off one glove as he used his other hand to keep the back of the negligée up near her shoulders, unceremoniously placing his inhuman claws on her soft skin and marveling at the texture. Yako usually complained that this was ticklish, but so far she hadn't made a move to avoid him. He took her soft sigh as a signal to proceed and caressed her back with a little bit of pressure, just enough to make her feel the edge but not draw blood.

“Hm,” she closed her eyes and straightened her back, barely pressing herself against the claws on her skin.

Neuro frowned and tried again, putting slightly more force on his hand, this time drawing a thin line of blood in a superficial wound that he could easily heal… but that this time seemed to heal itself.

“Does that feel good?” He asked softly, trying not to break the mood.

“Hm… yeah,” she said, her eyes still closed. “A bit ticklish still, though.”

This made the demon stop in his tracks, knowing now that something was off about his mate. She couldn’t heal herself before, not even a tiny cut on her lip, so this new development caught his attention in a lot of ways.

This could change everything!

“Tell me how this feels,” he instructed before proceeding to dig his claws on her skin, making the blood flow.

“I can feel the pressure,” she turned her head to look at him, “but it doesn’t bother me much. Why?”

“Good,” he ignored her question and moved his hand down a bit, opening a wound that was deep. In another time he would feel bad for hurting her like this, but the slash started to close itself not a second after he moved. And Yako shivered under his hands, suppressing a moan. He arched an eyebrow.

“What - What are you doing?” she asked and tried to look at what his hands were doing to her skin, catching a glimpse of red. “Is that blood!?” Yako trashed on her binds. “What the fuck, Neuro!”

“Calm down, slug. You didn’t feel anything, right?” Neuro hastily said, one calming hand on her hip to stop her from hurting herself.

“But-!” she was interrupted when he dig his claws on her skin once more, this time somewhere near her elbow where she could see, sending an electric current to her core. It felt like when he touched her boobs, but weird. It was like her whole skin was full of nerves, ready to send mixed signals to her brain. Pain wasn’t pleasure, at least not like this, right?

“You like this, don't you?” he smirked, bending down to lick some of the blood that was oozing from the already closing wound. Once he cleaned her skin, he pulled back and watched in awe how her back was as soft and milky as it has always been, not a single mark of what he did on it.

“I.... I- I do,” Yako whispered, looking elsewhere with a blush on her cheeks. Damn her and her sub instincts!

“Do you want me to keep doing this?” he teased her back with the tip of a claw, this time carefully drawing swirls and circles on it, with a hungry look in his shining green eyes. She knew what he was thinking. He always had to keep himself in check so he wouldn’t do anything unnecessarily painful to her. They always had to stop before she was seriously hurt, and it always marked a limit in their sexy times.

But such a restrain wasn’t there anymore. Ironically enough, with her hands tied above her head, Yako felt liberated. Free. She wasn’t human anymore, and the differences between her and her husband, her mate, were minimal.

On the back of her mind she remembered the words on the Advanced Book of Spells, saying that on the mating night, the human was at the peak of demon condition. She wouldn’t be able to be like this anymore, she wouldn’t be this close to what could be a full sexual experience with Neuro, the demon.

The answer came easily to her.

“Yes. Let’s do this.”


At first it has been scary, facing the pain as a source of pleasure. She had never experienced pain this way, not like something she could analize in her mind and forget the bad that came with pain. She didn’t even had to make a conscious effort to enjoy it!

They started easy. Neuro took out one of the toys he brought from the World Above, a flogger, and gave her a few tentative flicks with it in different areas, asking which one she liked most. The-not-so-human-anymore Yako bit her lips waiting for the pain… that never came.

She couldn’t help herself, she laughed at the absence of the thing that scared her. It wasn’t on purpose, she swears, she just felt high in the realization.

“What are you laughing for, slave?” the demon caught her jaw in his still gloved hand and made her look into his eyes. She bit her lip and smiled with the remains of the laughter in her system, her eyes swirling with a shine of her own.

“Nothing,” her voice came a bit weird as she couldn’t open her mouth very well.

“Is this funny to you?” he looked down at her with disdain, but there was a slight smirk on his lips. “Being punished brings you joy?”

“Uh-huh,” she wanted to shake her head.

“Silly girl. Lying to me is of no use. I thought you knew that already.”

“Whatever you say,” she wanted to roll her eyes for a better effect, but she found herself then attacked by the demon’s lips, who was demanding her whole attention and her body as well by the way his hands found their place on her bottom. “Hng!” she yelped in surprise at the feel of his tongue forcing its way on her mouth.

She didn’t know what to focus her mind on, the way his tongue was ravishing her mouth and his sharp teeth bit her just in the right places; or how his hands gripped her butt with so much force that they pushed her up until he was the only thing taking her weight.

She fought back for freedom, at least as much as you could when you couldn’t really move, trashing her head to the sides and pushing back his tongue with all her might.

“Ungrateful slave,” he whispered with his lips barely separated from hers. She took the opportunity to take a deep breath.

Then, she laughed again and bit him in the lips.

Chapter Text

Neuro slapped her butt with force, the sound startling her for a second.

“Sexy, ungrateful slave,” he finished his words with another slap. “You have just lost one freedom for tonight.”

He let her go unceremoniously and reached for another thing he brought from her world. It was something she had used before, but not as much as other things on the bed. Neuro was telling the truth - both liked to hear each other’s voices. The fact that he was using it was a real punishment inside the charade of the roles they played in their sessions. If she didn’t make sounds he wouldn’t either.

“Don’t you dare - ”

“Uh-huh, Yako,” he smiled as he put the gag on her mouth, a sadistic glint in his eyes. “Slaves don’t talk back.”

She grumbled something and tried to get used to the plastic ball between her teeth and the leather strap around her head. She could breathe well with it, at least. Not that it dampered the hot feeling between her legs. Losing control like this, even if with its tinge of humiliation, always turned her on.

“Now, I hope you behave, my dearest mate,” the shiver that went down her spine when he whispered in her ear definitely wasn’t there. The word ‘mate’ in his sexy voice was delicious. The expectation of what that simple word entailed in their relationship, and, in a more immediate connotation, their sexual relationship, was appealing.

Before she could make a sound of agreement, he very carefully slipped his clawed fingers under her panties, caressing her butt with promises attached to the sharp points of the claws. She took a deep breath and closed her eyes, feeling how his other, and gloved, hand reached for her left breast with uncharacteristic gentleness. He squeezed hard, pinching her nipple until she whimpered in pain, stopping his hand and kissing her neck in a apology for the pain.

Distracted by the kiss, she didn’t notice her underwear being ripped from her body like it was made from paper instead of fine fabric, the guilty claws of his ungloved hand piercing her backside in a way that once would have been painful but right now was rather ticklish.

“Stop laughing,” he reprimanded her with a slap. She laughed again even if she couldn’t make the words, earning another slap. “Ungrateful slave,” Neuro whispered in her ear before biting it.

Then punish me, she thought, hoping that her eyes told him what she wanted to say. It seems like he got the message, because then the demon jumped so he was at her other side, letting his gloved hand a better reach of her crotch; leaving his claws travel to her neck and forcing her head to look up and away of what he was doing to her down there.

“Hm?” she procured her question, watching his face from the corner of her eye. Neuro smiled and kissed her cheek in an uncharacteristic sweet gesture. She was going to ask what he was doing, but then felt his hand grab her pussy, the force lifting her from the bed an inch. “Hm!?”

“Shhh,” he whispered against her skin. His body was close and his heat engulfed her as his hand proceeded to massage her folds slowly, as if they had the time of the world. With each stroke she felt like an electric current zapped her body all the way through, a sensation that wasn’t unknown to her, but which intensity surprised her. “Relax.” He whispered.

And so she did. Or at least she tried, because the distracting movements his fingers did down her body made the world zero in what he was doing. Soon, her breathing became more labored and the electric zaps made passage to another equally intense sensation of her body coming closer to the edge.

Neuro knew what to do to get her to that point, teasing her and pressing softly on her bud of nerves, sliding one finger or two into her, sometimes three, teasing a more complete sensation and leaving her wanting more and more. It was part of their game, she was aware - he’d tease… she’d beg… it was the usual. She wondered if tonight was going to follow that structure.

“Yako…,” here it comes, she thought. It was her time to beg. “I need you.”

She blinked in surprise. It was weird to her that this had come so soon, but his words broke her out of her stupor. She turned her face and looked at him, the question obvious in her eyes. He was breathing hard, too, and his control seemed to be breaking as he got the air to speak his answer.

“I want you,” he repeated. No. Those were different words. They made her travel briefly to a thousand moments ago, when Neuro told her something similar. That he wanted her.

But now it didn’t mean the same. Back then he was trying to tell her that he loved her. Right now, though…

She tried not to blush when she nodded. This was a Neuro that tried to keep in character despite this being his mating night, too. He had told her how these nights weren’t about preparation and having fun. For her, had wanted to do it in a different way. Their way.

More nervous than ever and with her heart going on overdrive, she looked at her mate’s eyes and nodded again. Still looking at each other, Neuro removed her mouth gag to kiss her passionately in the lips. It was all fangs and tongue and emotion, things she drank with enthusiasm as she responded with biting of her own. She tried to reach for him but her hands were still tied behind her back, the sound of the rope being yanked and pulled distracting the demon.

He grunted something in his language, frowning at the interruption. He drew back a little from her and bit the other glove off his hand, his eyes glazed over when she looked at them.

“Neuro?” she whispered, unsure of what was going to happen to her.

“Yako,” a shiver went down her spine, as happened every time he said her name. Specially with that husky voice.

Before she could ask what was he going to do, a loud snapping sound made her jump, the sensation of her hands and shoulders now free startling her. She felt his sharp claws do something on her back, and then Neuro was grabbing her hands at her sides, the pointy claws caressing her skin over the nightgown.

“I love you,” he grumbled, his mouth close to her skin and his breath giving her chills. His heat was everywhere, his arms around her body like they were her new ropes, forbidding her to get too far.

Yako took a deep breath and smiled.

“I know.”

Like it was some kind of spell, the demon moved so fast that her eye could barely register how he removed their clothes. No, remove was too kind of a word for what he did with his hands. The clothes had literally vanished. He had ripped whatever was in his way and pushed her to the bed, throwing away whatever was still on the mattress, one of his clawed hands on her shoulder and the other on her hip, mindlessly caressing a lonely scar on the skin.

“I love you too,” the not-so-human-anymore smiled wickedly, biting her lower lip with expectation.

“I know,” Neuro answered as his hand went down to her core and tested how wet she was. “Ready?”

She grumbled as an answer and closed her eyes, shivering slightly as she felt him enter her body. It was warm, soft and slid perfectly inside of her, like they were made to be together like this. It was a silly detail, but she liked to think about how compatible their minds and bodies were. It didn’t matter if she wasn’t a demon like him. Not anymore.

“My mate,” he whispered, groaning once he was fully inside. Yako opened her eyes and blinked, smiling at his delighted eyes. This was the man she was tied to. It was still difficult to get used to.

“My mate.” Yako put a hand on his cheek, watching the swirling in his eyes. She bit her lip again and jerked her hips a bit to remind him she was ready for this, for him. “Aren’t you gonna move?”

Before she could say anything else, he withdrew and pushed back inside with force, silencing any coherent thought she might have been brewing. Neuro smiled, one of his no good smiles, and grabbed her hips for once not caring if he pierced her skin or not.

Yako barely felt the warm liquid go down her skin. Neuro had lifted her lower body to accommodate better for his next move, her upper body still on the bed. He back didn’t ache or hurt, she felt like she could maintain this position for hours. Was this what she could expect for all eternity? It wasn’t that bad.

Without warning, the demon moved again much faster than what she was used to, not that she complained. It was supposed to hurt, and it might have once upon another time; but for now it was… marvelous. A completing feeling. Something she could never get used to.

Was this what real sex with a demon was like?

“Mmm,” she murmured. She opened the eyes she didn’t remember closing and watched the now horned demon lost in his own pleasure, and she wanted to participate in that. “Come here.”

In any other moment he wouldn’t have obeyed, but Neuro’s instincts seemed to get the best of him as he leaned down to kiss her again without losing his pace. She used the opportunity and kept him down with her hands on his back, feeling the rough skin as well as every muscle moving with him. She loved doing that. This little piece of control, watching the muscles around his eyes twitch at her touch and how he smiled once she sank her nails in his skin.

She knew he loved it, too.

“Love you, Neuro,” she whispered in his ear and proceeded to do something she was always curious about but never got the courage to actually do it. She bit him.


A while later… she couldn’t even know for sure as the light coming from the window was the same, but maybe an hour? A few hours? Anyways.

Yako was feeling… intense.

Sore? Maybe a little bit. But as she breathed in and out she found out that the pain was going away with every passing second, so this being not human thing had a lot of advantages after all. She couldn’t be hurt as easily as before. She could get out of her sessions with Neuro in one whole piece and not having to walk slowly for a few days.

It was good. Yeah. Nice.

As if he could read her thoughts, her mate purred at her side like a big kitten (a weird overgrown cat with feathers instead of fur, she thought), one hand over her heaving chest as she tried to calm down and come back to earth from her pleasure cloud.

Once upon a time Neuro commented that he liked to feel her heartbeat. That it was a humbling experience. She didn’t see the appeal, but she liked to feel his hands on her breasts so she let him enjoy what he wanted.

She lifted one hand of her own and played with a colorful feather, watching the colours dance on the soft texture. She thought it was beautiful. Neuro’s plumage, that is. She had seen it very rarely and since they arrived Hell she had the blessing of admiring the colours with more detail. Especially now that the feathers weren’t getting into her mouth in the heat of the moment.

“Tell me your thoughts.” It was an order, there was no doubt. Yako turned her head from her feather and watched her mate look at her with intensity, making her wonder what were his thoughts in that moment.

“That I feel good,” she answered his question. “That I feel different. Less human.”

“Does that upset you?” he lifted an eyebrow, the clawed hand that was on her chest now tracing her features, getting tangled in her blonde hair. She felt exposed to him, but it wasn’t in a bad way.

“No.” Yako smiled at the question. Was it possible that he was having doubts? “Never.”

“Good. You shouldn’t,” he yanked her hair and pulled her face to him. His eyes were mesmerizing, not a bit as frightening as they were to her the first time. That was so long ago. “You have evolved. Rejoice.”

He kissed her lips with an unexpected tenderness, his teeth barely scratching her skin. Yako smiled and tossed the feather in her hand away, not caring where it fell or if it joined the mess of magenta feathers all over the bed. The woman tangled her hand in his hair and moved him closed to her, trying to feel him all over again, to show him how good and simply content she was right then. Her body fitting perfectly with his, she basked in the warm feeling of skin on skin contact and the deep vibration in his chest at her movement.

“Another go?” Yako smiled in the kiss, laughing when he grumbled and grabbed her hips to position her with a better angle. “Thought so.”


She opened her eyes as her breathing calmed down once again. What she found was the upside down view of the room they were in, the bed in a wrong angle, and the layer of feathers covering almost the totality of the mattress.

They were on the ceiling. And Neuro wasn’t supporting her weight.

She was.

A chuckle escaped her lips, despite her naked situation. It was weird, feeling the wood on her back but not feeling the roughness of the material; feeling the gravity pulling her but being stronger than that. It was like the up and the down didn’t make sense anymore.

“What’s so funny?” her mate asked and Yako turned her face, a beaming smile on her lips and not being at all distracted by his fangs and his horns and his exposed skin.

“We are on the ceiling!”

Neuro’s eyebrows went to his hairline as he questioned his mate’s sanity. Or intelligence. He narrowed his eyes not really knowing how to react to her comment, so obviously he chose the easiest way.

The demon flicked her forehead, clicking his tongue.

“Oof!” Yako gasped as her grip on the surface of the ceiling failed, falling to the bed faster than her tries to stop a rough landing on the mattress. It made an awful sound on impact and when she opened her eyes once again she was in the middle of a mess of broken wood, feathers and a ruined bed.

She looked up at her mate with the smile still in place. Her eyes shining with emotions, a swirl of demonic nature adorning them, calling for her mate in a daring way.

Neuro knew that Yako wasn’t aware of what she was doing to him, but accepted it nonetheless. It was part of who she was, of what they had.

He returned the smirk. His body tensed for the jump, giving the woman just enough time to move aside and avoid the incoming attack of the demon, rolling out of the bed and out of his reach, her booming laugh bouncing on the walls.


...


Next morning, or whatever time it was (in Hell it was difficult to talk about daytime), Neuro and Yako made their way to the throne room. She was wearing another kimono, but this was less elaborate and with less layers, so it was a plus she appreciated.

She sighed, feeling all kinds of sore and tired, but knew that this was necessary if they wanted to go back home. The Emperor’s permission. A confrontation she was scared to witness, if by what Gabrielle told her could become a fight for the throne. Neuro wasn’t interested in Hell’s affairs, he had been clear about it, but now with the mating she understood that the rules of the game had changed.

The not-so-human stifled a yawn, listening to every demon’s hushed conversations as if they thought she couldn’t hear them with her new senses. Rumours about what happened between them, retelling of the screaming and the noises they heard (much to her embarrassment), astonishment at her survival.

Duh. Of course she could survive this. She had been through worse with that sadistic demon in the past.

She looked up when they stopped, the movement pulling at a lingering biting wound just where her mating mark rested. Her healing was fast, but it seems that not fast enough to heal last time’s fun times. She didn’t even blush when a servant gasped at the sight of her skin.

Her mate’s eyes were shining bright, as usual, as they poured into hers with emotions. She understood. This was their first step into an long life together, maybe an eternity. Who knows? They could deal with anything in their way as long as they did it together. Her lacks were his strengths and vice versa.

She was Yako Katsuragi and he was Nogami Neuro. Together, they were a force to be reckoned with.

“Let’s deal with this crap and go home,” she smirked, taking one of his hands.

Neuro nodded without answering, and opened the door to their future.