It was dark in this part of the city. In the more crowded areas, where people were still bustling about, the bright billboards, streetlights, and lit businesses and restaurants made one forget that the light pollution washed out the stars and made the unlit side streets all the darker for it. This was a business district, crowded during the day but silent and empty at night. To a normal person it would seem eerie, sinister even, but for the young detective that was patrolling around it was business as usual. The type he hunted tended to stick to the shadows, which in turn meant he did as well. His auburn hair looked almost black in the dim lighting, and he was dressed simply in a pair of jeans and a dark red and navy blue plaid shirt. It was a little chilly out so he also had on a worn leather jacket that he had purchased with his very first paycheck as a detective. It had served him well throughout the years, and in the cooler months it was normal to see him wearing it.
Yosuke Hanamura whistled to himself as he walked around, nonchalant as he looked for signs of his suspect. It was completely silent on the street, odd even in the empty business district which would usually have cats or other city creatures stirring in the night. It definitely had Yosuke on edge a little even if he played it off and kept a casual air about him. Yosuke felt the hairs on the back of his neck stand up and he suddenly turned, bringing up a long knife that he kept hidden in his sleeve and using it to stave off an attack by a fearsomely wild looking humanoid being. It growled in annoyance as Yosuke’s blade cut into the flesh of its hand and pushed it back, causing the being to leap back, faster than the normal eye could see, as it snarled at the detective and bared its fangs at him.
Yosuke coolly smiled back before flipping his knife around, sliding it back into its sheath before pulling out his gun. “I’ve been waiting for you to make your move,” he said, sliding off the safety and aiming it at his opponent. The other figure was tall and gaunt with unkept black hair and eyes that glowed sinisterly in the dim lighting. He appeared to have once been a businessman based on the suit he wore, now shabby and torn from constant wear and tear. The being lunged at him again, fingernails sharp like a cat’s claws, and Yosuke quickly dodged before firing off a shot, causing the figure to howl in pain. Yosuke knew it would only temporarily slow it down, and sure enough the wound was already beginning to heal. The being in front of him was a vampire, and Yosuke was a modern day vampire hunter that also doubled as a police detective. This vampire had been stalking Yosuke all night, not realizing that in reality Yosuke was the one actually hunting him.
Yosuke fired off another shot before rushing at the vampire, twirling around it and pulling out a stake that he kept holstered to his leg. He lunged at the vampire, stake first, before ducking and rolling when the vampire turned around and attempted to rake Yosuke with his clawed hands. Yosuke fired off another shot from where he sprawled on the ground before leaping up and putting more distance between them. The vampire began to laugh, a dry, hacking sound that reverberated through the quiet streets, before he seemed to disappear into thin air. Yosuke was ready for him, however, and he quickly crouched down, gun and stake both ready. He felt a shadow cross overhead and looked up, quickly twisting and firing off a shot, hitting the vampire square in the face and causing his blood to spurt out behind it. The vampire continued to drop on him, limp from the point-blank injury, and Yosuke carefully rolled aside to avoid being pinned while also using his other hand to thrust the stake through the vampire’s heart, pinning him down. The vampire began to squirm as the injury to his head repaired itself, allowing him to become cognizant of the situation he was in, but it was too late. “Rest in peace,” Yosuke murmured, before pulling out his knife again and swiftly cutting the head from his body in one quick motion. Immediately, the body began to crumble to dust, and Yosuke pulled out a talisman that had the character for fire on it, placing it on the main part of the body and causing the corpse to burn at a faster rate before disappearing completely to ash.
He then dusted himself off from his tussle on the street, before pulling out his phone and sending his fellow detective and friend Naoto Shirogane a text thanking her for the tip on this particular creature of the night. She also often worked the night shift, although she always worked normal cases. She was aware of Yosuke’s secondary occupation, however, and kept a sharp eye out for any abnormal cases that may spark his interest. Yosuke felt his muscles sag as the adrenaline from the fight wore off, and realized how sore he felt from tumbling to the ground so many times. He checked his phone again for the time and realized how early it had gotten before deciding to head home for the night. He would file his paperwork from his laptop at home before getting some much needed shut eye…although a nice hot shower may be in order first.
When he finally arrived home, he was surprised to see the lights still on since his cousin Teddie always turned them off before bed. He soon realized the reason as he spotted Teddie sitting at the kitchen table, tapping away on his phone with his earbuds in and oblivious to Yosuke’s arrival. Teddie was a stylish young man with blond hair and blue eyes, and always dressed in whatever was trendy at the time. Today it was green capris with a bright blue and red flower pattern and a navy blue button up shirt that matched his eyes. Yosuke had also enjoyed wearing bright, loud clothing at Teddie’s age, which is why he let Teddie express himself anyway he wanted even though his parents disapproved. Since Teddie was going to college in the city, Yosuke offered to let him stay with him so he could save on dorm or apartment expenses. In return Teddie helped with the chores around the apartment, which really helped Yosuke out who often worked long, exhausting hours.
Yosuke quietly snuck up on his cousin, feet light after years in his occupation sneaking around, before throwing his arm around his shoulder and rubbing his head as the blond let out an annoyed squawk. “What are you doing home?” he asked, pulling away and fixing his hair while glaring at his cousin who was doubled over with laughter at his annoyed expression.
“I wrapped up my hunt already so I’m going to type up my report and catch up on sleep. Speaking of which, what are you doing up and not sleeping yourself? Don’t you have that early morning class?”
“I just got home from studying with sensei,” Teddie replied with a yawn. “I was just trying to wind down so I could head to sleep.
“Your sensei?” Yosuke asked, feeling his protective instincts kick in. What “sensei” would have Teddie over so late? Teddie was about as naïve as he was attractive and had gotten taken advantage of on multiple occasions as a result. Yosuke tried his best to keep an eye out for warning signs, a task made difficult by their completely different schedules since he worked the night shift and Teddie was a normal university student.
“Yosuke, I’ve told you about sensei before,” Teddie said with a pout. “He’s our handsome, debonair neighbor!”
Yosuke vaguely recognized the man Teddie was talking about and had glimpsed him once or twice in the hallway. Teddie had talked about him several times, but it was always on his appearance and he never seemed to indicate actually knowing him so Yosuke had never thought much of it. “How long have you been meeting with our neighbor to study?” Yosuke asked. As far as he could tell, their neighbor appeared to be about his age and based on attire decidedly not a university student, although he supposed it was possible he was a graduate student or a TA.
“For a few weeks! Sensei is very smart,” Teddie said excitedly. “He explains everything so clearly!”
Yosuke began to feel even more agitated, before asking in a carefully controlled, friendly sounding tone, “So, do you have this sensei’s number?”
Teddie knew Yosuke well enough to know when his mood had changed, however, and he gave him a distrustful look. “Maaaaaaybe,” he drew out, clutching his phone possessively. “Why do you ask?”
“Ask him if he has time to meet up tomorrow,” Yosuke replied, a smile on his face. “I would like to get to know him.”
“Don’t you dare beat up sensei!” Teddie warned, a frown forming on his face. “He’s very nice and a perfect gentleman!”
“I won’t, I won’t,” Yosuke replied, although he dropped the friendly act a bit. “I just want to make sure he isn’t going to hurt you.”
“Hmmmm,” Teddie hummed to himself, while giving his cousin a sly look. “Very well then, I will ask sensei if he has time to meet with you tomorrow!” Yosuke was a little uncertain about Teddie’s sudden change of heart, but shrugged his shoulders. It suited his needs just fine. After a few moments of texting back and forth Teddie asked, “What time do you want to meet sensei?”
“You know I’d prefer in the evening if at all possible. But I am off work tomorrow so any time will work,” Yosuke replied.
“Sensei says the evening works – around five,” Teddie replied with a smile. “I know you’re going to like him,” he added fervently. “I can’t wait for you to become friends.”
“I don’t know about “friends”, Ted,” Yosuke rolled his eyes before fondly ruffling his cousin’s hair again. “I barely have time for the few I’ve already got. I’m going to take a shower and write up that report though. Don’t stay up too much longer,” he said, before waving and heading toward the shower.
Teddie stuck out his tongue at his cousin before glancing back at his phone again. He was absolutely positive that his cousin would be taken in by his sensei’s charms, and based on how raptly their neighbor paid attention when Teddie shared stories about his cousin he had a feeling he’d like him too. Teddie sighed dreamily and hoped that tomorrow their meeting would go well.
Yosuke, meanwhile, carefully boxed away the meeting tomorrow in his mind as he started his steaming hot shower, instead focusing back on the hunt that night and the report he would file on it. He had to write up both a police report and one for the actual vampire hunt, and he was thinking of how he could twist the incident into something that sounded viable for an official report. These cases never left bodies behind which left him having to be pretty creative in how he closed things out. The chief of police was aware of his secondary job function, but many in the force were not and he knew he couldn’t rely on the higher ups if he slipped up too often in his reports.
After Yosuke finished with his shower, he toweled off before changing into some comfortable sweats and collapsing gratefully onto his soft bed. His room was pretty bare and had a desk with his personal computer and work laptop, a rather high tech stereo system that he was pretty proud of, and bookshelves full of albums and technical documents for work. He also had neat stacks of casework scattered throughout the room that he had separated by an organizational method that only made sense to him. He tried to keep his work contained to his room because he didn’t want Teddie to stumble across it and see anything that may disturb him; at the end of the day, Yosuke was a detective and he worked some pretty brutal murder cases.
Yosuke sat up with a groan before walking over to his desk, tugging the power cord from his work laptop so he could return to his bed and knock out both reports. He was getting pretty sleepy at this point, since the sun was starting to come up outside (although he couldn’t tell due to having blackout curtains in his room), but he managed to stay awake long enough to email both in before shutting his laptop and setting it on the floor next to him. He was too tired to get up and return it to his desk.
Yosuke woke up several hours later, groggy due to not getting enough sleep, but starving since he had not eaten anything when he got home. His stomach growled at him and he let out a groan before scratching his hair, always messy and wild in the morning since he tended to keep it a bit long. He headed outside, immediately squinting his eyes as he was assaulted by the bright daylight, cursing Teddie who always left the blinds open to let natural lighting into the apartment. As Yosuke’s eyes adjusted, he quickly realized he was alone as he usually was in the afternoon since his cousin was still at class. Yosuke yawned before making his way into the kitchen, pulling out one of his many containers of cup ramen while filling an electric kettle full of water. While he had the water going, he poured himself a glass of water and chugged it down, suddenly realizing how thirsty he was. His breakfast consisted of cup ramen and a side dish of vegetables his coworker Kanji had dropped off the last time he had been by, muttering about Yosuke and Teddie’s terrible eating habits.
Yosuke, admittedly, could cook simple meals, but it required a lot of work and actually having time to buy groceries, so he and Teddie usually subsisted on cup ramen and whatever they felt like from the local convenience store. It wasn’t the healthiest diet, but Yosuke reassured himself that Teddie at least got decent food at the school’s cafeteria since Yosuke had bought him a meal plan, while Yosuke sometimes ate decent food when out at work. Once Yosuke was done downing his food, he rinsed off his chopsticks and the container the veggies had been kept in, making a mental note to return it to Kanji before heading to the bathroom to brush his teeth and wash his face. He then changed into a pair of slacks, a white button up, and a red-orange sweater vest, deciding he wanted to make a good impression on their neighbor. It helped to look good when you wanted to interrogate someone since it tended to drop their guard.
Yosuke carefully styled his hair, adjusting it so the messiness looked attractive instead of like he lost a fight with a vacuum cleaner, and appraised himself in the mirror. He winked at himself, deciding that he looked good today, and did his best not to look too long to find anything to fault himself with. His confidence was much better than it had been in high school, but sometimes old habits would rear its ugly head and cause Yosuke to return to his self-deprecating ways. Yosuke stepped back into his room to grab his phone off the charger, checking the time before figuring out how much time he had left before he would be meeting up with their neighbor. He realized he didn’t know the man’s name, since Teddie had continued to refer to him as sensei, and he frowned. He checked his messages and his emails for work to make sure there wasn’t anything urgent before heading downstairs to look at their mailboxes. He knew what apartment number their neighbor was in since he was right below them and his eyes scanned the mailboxes until he came up on the right number and the name listed underneath. “Narukami-san, huh?” Yosuke said to himself.
He still had another hour to spare, so he headed back upstairs. He didn’t want to go out anywhere and risk being late, so instead he made good use of his sound system and put on a cd, laying back on his bed and relaxing as he listened to the music. Music had been the main thing to get him through high school, which had been rough with the usual peer and societal pressure placed upon students vying to get into college. Fortunately for him, his parents had a slightly more lax attitude, and his dad had been more interested in instilling a work ethic in him instead. Yosuke had ended up fascinated in policework since he had always enjoyed detective stories and had studied enough to join the police academy. He had a natural athleticism and instincts, and not long after joining he had been recruited to join the secret vampire hunting division within the police force and had upgraded from a patrol officer to a detective. Yosuke loved his work far more than he had enjoyed being a student, and he didn’t mind in the least the fact he had skipped university. This type of work far better suited him.
Finally, it was time for Yosuke to head downstairs, and he flicked off his music before standing up with a stretch. He carefully smoothed down his clothes before making his way downstairs and hesitating in front of his neighbor’s door. He smoothed his face and put on a pleasant smile before knocking on the door and waiting. He didn’t have to wait too long, for soon the door swung open to reveal their downstairs neighbor, who Yosuke was startled to realize wasn’t just attractive up close – he was drop dead gorgeous. Yosuke found himself momentarily stunned as he stared at the gray haired man who definitely looked put together with his perfectly coiffed hair, elegantly tailored dark gray slacks, sky blue sweater vest over a form fitting white button up, and a dark blue bowtie to tie the look together. His neighbor was also a little taller than him with a lean, tautly muscled body that he could see outlined through the tailored clothes. Yosuke’s eyes trailed up to meet the amused ones of his neighbor, and he suddenly realized he had been caught staring. Yosuke immediately blushed before bowing in greeting and saying, “It’s nice to finally meet you, Narukami-san. I am sorry I didn’t think to bring anything with me…”
“It’s quite alright. Why don’t you come in?” his neighbor asked, stepping aside to allow Yosuke to pass before shutting the door behind him. Yosuke slipped off his shoes and slipped on the house slippers offered by his neighbor, before looking around in awe at his neat and tidy apartment. It was tastefully decorated and very modern, although Yosuke spotted several pieces that looked quite old scattered about the apartment. “And please, call me Yu,” his neighbor added. “We are the same age so it would be odd to call each other by last name.”
“Ah, right, Yu then,” Yosuke replied. “And I’m…”
“Yosuke,” Yu replied with a grin, before leading Yosuke to the living room. It had large, comfortable looking leather furniture, and Yosuke sank into one of the armchairs, breathing in the luxurious smell. “Would you care for some tea?” Yu asked, and Yosuke nodded.
“I would appreciate it. Thanks,” he replied, carefully watching as Yu disappeared into the other room where the kitchen was. Although everything about the apartment seemed very comfortable, Yosuke couldn’t help but feel restless. So far the man had seemed very welcoming, but Yosuke couldn’t tell if it was authentic or if his judgement was being clouded by the man’s attractiveness. Yosuke steadied his mind, firmly shaking his head and reminding himself why he was there in the first place.
Once Yu returned with the tea and some cookies as refreshments, Yosuke accepted his cup and took a sip, surprised by the deep flavor. This was no ordinary green tea. He glanced at Yu who was politely waiting for him to speak, perfectly attentive while avoiding staring. Yosuke set down his cup and straightened his back, before carefully studying Yu, his trained senses in full force. “Thank you for agreeing to meet with me,” he started, and Yu bowed his head.
“I am happy to finally meet the cousin that Teddie speaks so fondly of,” he replied smoothly.
Hearing their neighbor so casually use his cousin’s name couldn’t help but raise Yosuke’s suspicions. “How long have you been tutoring him?” Yosuke asked, trying to sound casual as he sharply studied Yu’s reaction.
The man seemed to think for a moment before replying, “A few weeks I think?”
“And what makes you qualified to act as a tutor?” Yosuke prodded, realizing he was being a little direct but deciding it was better to be straightforward.
Yu was patient with him and didn’t seem to mind. “I am a curator for the history museum and have a PHD in both history and anthropology,” he explained. “I also excelled at math and the sciences – I was always a well rounded student.”
Yosuke’s eyes widened a little. This man was his age and had a double PHD? “Why would a museum curator bother tutoring a college student?” he pressed, and Yu let out a little chuckle.
“I was coming home from work one day and spotted your cousin in the lobby loudly complaining about how hard his coursework was. I, of course, introduced myself to see if I could be of some assistance and ended up helping him with the math problem he was working on. He explained to me as I helped that he was studying in the lobby because he didn’t want to disturb you while you were sleeping,” Yu replied. “I then offered to allow him to study in my apartment so he wouldn’t have to work in such a distracting environment, and naturally I began to help him in areas where he grew stuck.” Yu was replying so matter-of-factly that Yosuke could tell that he was being honest. Everything in his body language was open and natural, and he could tell that he just seemed to be an overall good guy. Yosuke felt his defenses drop a little bit, and he couldn’t help but feel a little touched that his cousin hadn’t wanted to disturb him either.
“I see…” Yosuke said to himself, before taking another sip of tea. Yosuke was quiet for a moment as he analyzed the information Yu had told him, begrudgingly deciding that maybe he was trustworthy after all, when he noticed the other man’s eyes on him.
Yosuke looked up, and was surprised when the other man didn’t look away. “I am happy to finally get to meet you after all of this time. Teddie has told me a lot about you, and I must admit I have been pretty curious,” Yu explained, and Yosuke felt his face flush in surprise.
“You’ve been curious about me?” he asked, with a small laugh. He internally winced at how self-deprecating it came across. Yu, however, pretended not to notice.
“I have,” he replied warmly. “Being a detective sounds like an exciting line of work,” he added.
“Ah, yeah, it can be sometimes. When we’re not filing paperwork,” Yosuke said with a laugh.
“Ah, I too loathe paperwork,” Yu grinned. “It seems like in no matter what your line of work, that is unavoidable.”
Yosuke chuckled at his reply, and was suddenly surprised at how easy it was to talk to Yu. Even though he was obviously much smarter than Yosuke, he somehow felt like he was on the same level and very approachable. ‘No wonder Ted likes him so much,’ Yosuke thought. They ended up talking for a bit more, and when Yosuke started to realize he had been there over an hour and was getting hungry again, he reluctantly began to wrap up the conversation.
“You are more than welcome to visit again, anytime you wish,” Yu explained. “Ah, we should probably exchange contact information. We are neighbors after all.”
“Of course,” Yosuke replied, deciding it was a good idea, especially if Teddie was going to continue to come here to study. “Oh, I should probably buy you dinner sometime,” he said offhand, realizing how it sounded when he felt Yu’s steady gaze on him again. Yosuke quickly blushed, feeling flustered as he explained, “You know, to pay you back for taking care of my cousin. It’s really nice of you to take the time to tutor him.”
“I look forward to it,” Yu said with a gentle smile, and Yosuke’s flush deepened in response.
“Uh, text me later and we’ll come up with a time and day,” Yosuke replied, realizing his voice was coming out a bit squeaky. He winced – it had been years since he had reacted to someone like that.
“It’s a date,” Yu promised, causing Yosuke to choke.
“It’s not a…” he started to protest, while his neighbor began to laugh at him. Yosuke huffed and folded his arms across his chest before fixing his neighbor with a stern look. “I seriously want to thank you here," he pointed out, and Yu unfortunately quieted down, although he still looked amused. Yosuke found he missed the rich sound and realized he wouldn’t mind hearing it again.
“And I appreciate it,” Yu replied sincerely. “I’ll text you my schedule later.”
Yosuke nodded before giving Yu a smile, a real one this time, and headed to the door to swap back into his shoes. Yu saw him out the door, watching him as he made his way upstairs, and as Yosuke rounded the corner to his floor he couldn’t help but stop for a moment before placing a hand over his rapidly beating heart. That man was dangerous…although not, as it turned out, for Teddie. Instead, he was dangerous for Yosuke’s heart.