"I’ll keep you guys posted," Yamada said with a laugh before ending the call with his friend. But as soon as he stepped into the kitchen, his good mood instantly soured as he saw Chinen standing there with a mischievous grin on his face, making his fangs look extra shiny in the fluorescent lights.
"Hello roomie," the vampire said in a tone of voice Yamada was all too familiar with by now. That tone of voice which meant Yamada wasn't going to like what he said next.
"If you tell me you've got another training session..." Yamada began, trailing off in annoyance.
"...I won't tell you," Chinen said, opening the back door and then gesturing towards the two people standing on the doorstep. "They can tell you."
"Hi!" exclaimed the taller of the two guys. "We're here for the new vampire training session." He waved enthusiastically, which caused the other person to lean warily away from him.
Yamada sighed and crossed his arms.
"First vampire rule to start with," Chinen began addressing the trainees, "you have to be invited inside." He swiveled his head towards Yamada.
"I don't want to invite them in," Yamada said. "What if they're not as friendly as you and try to crunch my bones and drink my blood?"
Truthfully, Yamada didn't think either of them looked strong enough to attack him, but if Chinen insisted on these annoying training sessions, he was at least going to make it fun for himself too.
"I think only ogres crunch up people's bones," the tall one mused.
"The only thing I crunch is numbers," the other guy chimed in, nodding sincerely.
They all stared at him because of the unexpectedness of his response.
"...I'm an accountant," he clarified.
"A vampire accountant," Yamada remarked, and then sighed. "Okay, you guys can come in." He gestured to the kitchen table. They seemed too nice for him to just leave them standing on the doorstep in the cold all night.
The two settled down in chairs and introduced themselves as Yuto, the tall one, and Keito, the accountant.
"The thing to remember about invitations," Chinen started as he began passing out pamphlets to the vampires-in-training. "The thing to remember is that you only need to be invited inside once, but it's always nice to be polite and ask again when you return. And also, the welcome sign at any store totally counts as an invitation."
By now, Yamada was used to hearing all this information since Chinen hosted these sessions about once a week to earn extra money. But the new vampires looked very interested in what Chinen had to say. Keito was even taking notes.
"It's also nice to know that you can stretch the definition of 'invitation' pretty far," Yamada added because he knew it would derail Chinen's carefully planned session. "Like, 'yes, please bring the delivery inside' totally counts as an invitation."
That's exactly what he'd said to the people who had unsuspectingly dropped off a coffin instead of the mattress he'd ordered, thus inviting Chinen into his house and his life forever.
Yuto's eyes grew wide. "You mean we should pretend to be delivery men?"
"Don't listen to my human roommate," Chinen said. "He's grumpy because it's past his bedtime."
"I'll miss sleeping at night," Yuto said, looking wistfully off into the distance. Or perhaps just at Yamada's microwave. It seemed easy to distract the young vampire from the topic of discussion to any random tangent.
Keito shrugged. "I never really slept at night before anyway..." he trailed off momentarily as they gave him strange looks again. "...because I'm an accountant."
They continued to stare until Keito pouted and added, "We're very busy people!"
"Anyway..." Chinen said loudly, trying to get the group back on topic. "Little known vampire fact: you actually can go out in the sunlight for a small period of time if you put on enough sunscreen. Gotta be SPF 100 or higher though. I have a list of recommended brands to use in your information packets."
Yamada watched as Chinen continued to explain things in meticulous detail. It was actually kind of funny to him considering how Chinen didn't even have enough dedication to remember which kitchen drawer the forks were supposed to go in.
Though he supposed Chinen probably was just feigning forgetfulness.
"Next topic!" Chinen said, cutting off Yuto in the middle of a story about sunscreen expiration dates. "Uh... turn to page 15 and let's look at mirrors."
"He means metaphorically 'look at' of course," Yamada butts in, "because, you know, you guys don't have any reflections in mirrors."
Chinen clicks his tongue with annoyance. "Stop spoiling all the good parts of my training session."
"You should see Chinen try to fix his hair without a mirror," Yamada continued with a laugh, making all sorts of crazy hand gestures to mime hairstyling.
Yuto raised his hand as if he was in a class. "I have a question. Do we have reflections in water?"
"Or anything shiny?" Keito chimed in.
"Ooh, yeah," Yuto nodded, suddenly more excited. "Like a stainless steel refrigerator!"
Chinen blinked for a moment. "Huh. You know, that's a good idea." He tilted his head as he considered the possibility.
"I swear, if I walk into the kitchen tomorrow and find you using my toaster as a mirror..." Yamada threatened.
Chinen waved a dismissive hand. "Oh I'll just take the toaster to my room. No worries."
Yamada groaned and put his head in his hands. Keito kindly patted his shoulder for moral support.
The vampire training session continued onward, and Yamada let it go uninterrupted for a while. He figured he'd had enough fun for the time being. While the three vampires continued talking, he stood up to make some coffee for himself. Thinking over the past year of living with his vampire roommate, he secretly could admit that he didn't really mind it as much. Chinen was not the kind of terrifying bloodthirsty monster that he'd seen on film growing up. Instead, he was cheerful and kind, though always quick to let his mischievous side shine through. He had an annoying habit of being good at just about everything (cooking notwithstanding), but it was also sorta endearing the way he tackled any obstacle head on.
After a crazy year of living together, Yamada could admit they've actually become friends.
"Of course, you should know it's vital to avoid stakes," Chinen said to his two trainees who looked fascinated with the flood of knowledge.
"Even high stakes poker games?" Keito asked seriously.
Yamada immediately clapped his hand over his mouth to keep from laughing out loud. Everyone else turned to stare at Keito for the strange question.
"...that depends on how good you are at poker really," Chinen answered with a shrug.
"Do you usually play poker a lot?" Yuto asked his companion, eagerly taking the conversation way off topic again.
Keito shrugged. "It's a work thing."
"What kind of accountant are you?" Chinen's eyebrows shot up in confusion before side-eyeing his trainee.
"I know!" Yuto exclaimed, a loud crack echoing in the kitchen as he excitedly slaps his hand on the table. "He's an... acCOUNTant."
There was complete silence after Yuto's terrible pun for a few seconds until Yamada pointed to the door and jokingly said, "Get out of my house."
Yuto merely grinned in response.
Chinen cleared his throat. "So that concludes today's introductory session. Do you have any questions?"
"Is it true we have to stay away from garlic from now on?" Yuto asked immediately, like he'd probably already had a whole list of things prepared to ask.
Yamada began nodding his head, but then stopped when Chinen answered with "actually, vampires being repelled by garlic is a common misconception."
"Wait, what?" Yamada blurted out before he could stop himself.
"You can continue to eat and cook with garlic however much you'd like," Chinen said with a polite smile and nod, ignoring Yamada completely. Then he clapped his hands and stood up. "Please feel free to call me if you have any more questions."
He ushered the two back to the doorway they had entered through earlier, waving goodbye as they left.
"Good luck with the accountant stuff," he called out to Keito before turning towards Yuto. "And good luck with... whatever you do..." He looked like he wanted to ask but thought better of it.
When Chinen turned back around, he was met with Yamada's annoyed face. He had his arms crossed and was tapping his fingers impatiently on his forearm.
"So the garlic thing is a myth, huh?" he questioned.
"Yep," Chinen said as he inched slowly towards escape from the kitchen.
"So then why did you throw out all the garlic I cook with when you settled in here?"
Chinen's eyes darted around the room as he stalled for time, and then he dashed towards the hallway towards the safety of his bedroom.
"I just don't like garlic!" he called out as he disappeared.
Yamada should be annoyed, but he just shook his head and chuckled. As frustrating as Chinen could be sometimes, he just couldn't stay mad at the vampire for very long. Glancing at the clock, he figured it was time for him to go to sleep.
One thing was certain: having Chinen for a friend was never boring.