Chapter 1: I Wear My Sunglasses at Night
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.
Chapter 2: Somebody to Love
Yu finds himself interested in his neighbor and looks forward to being treated to dinner by the attractive detective.
Yu leaned in the doorway for several moments after the detective left, noting the momentary pause after he had rounded the corner before he finally returned upstairs and closed the door. Yu couldn’t help but play back over the entire encounter in his mind as he finally stepped back into his apartment and got ready to head to work. He had been pleasantly surprised to receive a text from his young neighbor the night before asking him if he would meet with his cousin, for after hearing Teddie talk about him for so long he had found himself curious about him. Yu had only ever seen Yosuke in flashes, and his brief impressions of the man had been that he seemed attractive but that he also often carried the scent of blood on him. With his occupation, it wasn’t too surprising, although on more than one occasion Yu thought he was catching the scent of vampire blood, which was definitely worrisome.
After finally meeting Yosuke, however, Yu was struck by how warm and friendly he became once he let his guard down. He hadn’t been entirely surprised to catch on to the fact reason for his visit had been out of concern for his cousin, but he had been caught off guard by how much more striking and lively Yosuke was in person. The moment he had opened the door and finally faced the detective, his breath had literally caught in his throat, and he had been spared getting caught staring by the fact the detective had fortunately chosen to stare back even longer. He found Yosuke’s slip ups charming, and the easy way he was riled up incredibly alluring. And the smile that lit up his face when he was leaving was downright sexy in how natural it was with his tousled hair and boyish charm.
Yu was definitely smitten, which was allowing him to throw caution to the wind a little in accepting the invitation to dinner. In fact, he was quite looking forward to it. He hummed to himself as he headed out the door and down to where he kept his car parked, a rare luxury in the city. Due to Yu’s age and resources, he had accumulated quite a bit of wealth over the years, even if he chose to live more simply than some of his more extravagant friends. As he began the 20 minute commute to work, his musings were interrupted by the one who most aptly fit the description. He clicked the button on his steering wheel to answer the call, and a small smile graced his face as the voice of his oldest and dearest friend greeted him through his car’s speakers. “Hello, darling, did I catch you on your way to work?” Rise asked. Darling was an old pet name for him from back when they dated almost a century ago that she kept up long after they had broke things off. Rise was a well-known super model and didn’t understand Yu’s taste for his quiet, reserved life.
“You did indeed,” Yu chuckled. “How has work been?”
Rise spoke to him about working with the up and coming fashion designer named Ai and how she would be walking her upcoming fashion show for her fall collection. Rise let him know he would be receiving an invitation shortly and that she fully expected him to be there. She liked to drag him out to social functions to ensure he didn’t spend all of his life burying himself in his research and hiding out in his “dreadfully small” apartment. “Oh, do you have any plans this week? I’m planning on going out for drinks with some friends and thought it would be nice if you joined us,” Rise said, swiftly changing topics.
Yu pinched the bridge of his nose and winced. Anytime Rise invited him out for “drinks with friends” it always ended up being a very unsubtle attempt to set him up with someone which also always ended in failure. It had been awhile since Yu had last truly seen someone – over a decade at this point – and while he was perfectly content with his single life it drove his best friend crazy. “Actually, I do have plans this week,” he said thoughtlessly, before immediately regretting it as Rise replied with a spark of interest in her tone.
“Oh? What kind of plans?” she asked, trying to appear nonchalant although he could already imagine the gleam in her eyes.
Yu let out a sigh. He was never any good at coming up with lies and usually tended to be quite straightforward. “I was invited out to dinner by a neighbor,” he said, and Rise audibly gasped on the other end of the line.
“It’s that detective, isn’t it!” she said gleefully, while Yu felt his cheeks blush in confusion. How could she possibly have known?
“How did…I mean, yes. He wanted to thank me because I have been tutoring his cousin,” he quickly explained. He didn’t want Rise getting the wrong idea, although it appeared he was far too late.
“I had a feeling something was up. Every time you mentioned you were tutoring the university student you would inevitably say something about that cousin of his,” she said excitedly. “And from the way you described him, he’s totally your type.”
“My type?” Yu asked. He wasn’t aware he had a type, and also doubted Rise’s words due to her pitiful track record when it came to setting him up.
“Yes, your type. You always go for brunets with sunny smiles,” Rise replied. “And legs for miles.” She then giggled at her rhyme. Yu thought back to his previous relationships and frowned. She did have a bit of a point. “Unfortunately, it’s hard to find genuinely warm and friendly people these days…I’m glad you seem to have stumbled upon one yourself!”
That answered his latter question. Yu let out a sigh. “Don’t get your hopes up,” he replied. “It’s not a date.” His mind wandered back to his earlier conversation with the detective and how he had blushed bright red after Yu had jokingly suggested it. If only…
“If you say so,” Rise said with a sing song voice. “But, you must give me all the details afterward. When is it?”
“I’ll be sending him my schedule once I get to work and then we’ll pick a time. Fortunately, he appears to work night shift so setting it later shouldn’t be a problem,” Yu replied.
“I am excited for you. It’s been awhile since you’ve gone out with someone. I’m sure you’re almost to work at this point – I’ll let you go. My break is almost up for the shoot. Talk to you later, darling!” Rise then hung up, just as Yu was pulling up to the employee parking lot at the museum. He shook his head in bemusement before parking his car. Some things never changed.
The first thing Yu did upon reaching his office was check his schedule for the week, before sending Yosuke a text with his availability. He was pleased when the detective replied quickly, his messages short and riddled with typos due to how quickly he typed. Yu had a feeling it was common in his profession with how fast paced it could be. He also found it another endearing trait. They decided upon Thursday evening before Yu finally got settled into work. His conditions upon accepting the job had been to work at night, and although it was unorthodox the museum had readily agreed due to their eagerness to employ him because of his credentials and reputation in the field. Yu had to build a new life for himself every few decades once the fact he appeared ageless began to become hard to hide, but he found the change was a benefit since it allowed him to study and learn a new field every time. It gave him a continued appreciation for life and kept him from growing bored as so many others of his kind did.
Yu, who was normally focused on his research, found himself distracted that night, and he couldn’t help but occasionally pick back up on the text conversation with his new acquaintance who would quickly respond back until he eventually mentioned playing a videogame and finally fell silent. Yu was a little disappointed by that, although he had to admit it helped him remain better focused on his work afterward. Fortunately, the next day Yosuke was at work, which meant his messages were far less frequent which kept Yu on task, even though his mind frequently wandered back to the detective and their upcoming plans. He found himself looking forward to dinner, and wondered where it was the detective would be taking them.
He ended up inviting Yu out to a trendy sushi place in town that had a very personable chef that chatted with his customers as he made their meal. Yu noted that Yosuke appeared pretty nervous, and based on the fact Yosuke was already there when he himself arrived a few minutes early he figured the other man had probably been there for several minutes already. “Hopefully this is ok,” Yosuke said, fidgeting a little where he stood. It was a sharp contrast to the Yosuke who had been so confident when interrogating him, and Yu realized that he liked this shy side of the detective as well. He could already imagine Rise’s knowing smirk and shook his head before giving Yosuke a warm smile in order to calm his nerves.
“This is an excellent choice,” he replied. The restaurant was pretty well known and had great reviews, and he could tell that Yosuke had put a lot of thought into the choice even with the little he knew about Yu. It was just a shame the food was wasted on Yu who wouldn’t really be able to taste it. It was one of the main drawbacks to his condition.
Yosuke smiled gratefully at him before ushering them inside and providing his name to the host for their reservation. They were brought right to the bar and Yosuke explained they would be getting the chef’s choice that night, while asking Yu what he wanted to drink. Upon seeing Yosuke perusing the alcoholic menu, Yu picked out a nice sake for them to share before subtly slipping a pill into his drink when Yosuke wasn’t looking. The pill was like a synthetic blood and when added to any liquid would sate his hunger. It wasn’t quite as good as the real thing but it made it to where he didn’t have to subsist on human blood; it was the modern day vampire’s answer to bloodlust.
They fell into a conversation as they sipped on their sake and sampled each piece of sushi that the chef painstakingly crafted for them. Yu could tell by Yosuke’s reaction that each piece was probably delicious, even though it was completely tasteless to him. Fortunately, he was still able to enjoy the quality of the sake, and even more so of Yosuke’s company.
To his surprise, Yosuke asked him several questions about his work, taking interest in it even though it was obvious he didn’t have a lot of personal interest in history or archaeology. He did seem to know a little about the Sengoku period, stating he had a teacher in high school that was obsessed with it, although his level of knowledge suggested he had at least a slight interest in it himself. Yu also asked Yosuke questions about his work as a detective, assuring him that he didn’t mind hearing some of the more graphic details when Yosuke seemed hesitant to answer, and he couldn’t help but find it fascinating when Yosuke began to animatedly talk about his job. He could tell Yosuke was passionate about his work and had good instincts, but he could also tell that he was careful in some of the details he provided and would occasionally catch himself before blurting something out.
Yu couldn’t help but instinctively try to tease out a few of the details the detective was trying to hide from him, and was impressed when Yosuke managed to navigate around his attempts each time. While Yu found it a little suspicious, he also knew that as a detective there were probably parts of the cases he worked that were confidential, so it made sense he would use discretion about certain aspects of the cases. While Yu enjoyed hearing Yosuke talk about his work, he couldn’t help but find his interest pique even more when they stumbled into a different topic. “Being a detective can be kind of lonely sometimes,” Yosuke said with a sigh as he took another sip of sake. His face was slightly red, and Yu could tell he was starting to get a little tipsy. It hadn’t affected his ability to talk around his casework, but it did seem to be loosening his tongue about his personal life which Yu was a little more interested in anyway.
“You do work difficult hours,” Yu commented. He knew how hard people working a night shift had keeping up with a social life – in a way it was the same for his kind when it came to interacting with the human population. He rarely saw his own colleagues due to his schedule and mainly met with them at events the museum held in the evenings.
“It’s more than that. I’m on call all the time and don’t really have time for someone else outside of work, you know?” Yosuke said, with a small sigh. “I barely have enough time for Ted… Thanks again, by the way, for spending time with him and helping him study. I know he gets lonely sometimes…” Yosuke seemed guilty and a little defeated, and Yu found he didn’t like to see him like that. He missed the warm smile and the animated way he talked.
“I am sure you did your best to find time for them. And I know you do the same for Teddie,” he gently replied.
Yosuke laughed bitterly. “How would you know that?” he asked with a wry grin before popping their next piece of sushi that was topped with a creamy sea urchin into his mouth. He closed his eyes and let out a sigh at the flavor, before opening them and looking startled at the fact Yu had leaned forward to look him in the eyes.
“How long did it take you to pick out this restaurant?” he asked casually, causing Yosuke to blush.
“Why are you asking that?” he asked, hand nervously rubbing the back of his neck. He didn’t move away, however, and for some reason the thought made Yu quite happy.
“To point out I can tell how much thought you put into it,” Yu replied, finally leaning back and feeling smug when Yosuke looked a little disappointed. “If others were unable to tell how much care you put into the relationship and were unable to understand the nature of your work, they didn’t deserve you to begin with.”
Yosuke opened his mouth before hesitating and shutting it again, obviously unable to know how to respond to Yu’s statement. Yu took another sip of his sake before grinning at him. “I wouldn’t mind doing this again, although next time it will be my treat.”
“You don’t have to treat me,” Yosuke objected. “I mean, I was doing this because of Ted…”
“Consider it my thanks for what you do every day to keep the city protected,” Yu replied with a twinkle in his eye, feeling amused when Yosuke narrowed his eyes at him. The detective could tell he wasn’t being honest about his intentions, but he let it go with a shrug.
“I’ll be looking forward to it,” he said with a playful grin, and Yu felt a sudden tug in his chest that he hadn’t felt in years.
‘Damn that Rise,’ he thought in annoyance, realizing that she was right. He certainly did have a type after all and Yosuke seemed to be checking all of the boxes.
Chapter 3: Who Are You
Yosuke is invited to check out a case with Naoto and they come up with theories as they begin their investigation. This chapter covers a crime scene centered around a murder and also briefly refers to an assault case.
Yosuke couldn’t get his mind off of dinner the night before. ‘How long did it take you to pick out this restaurant…’ Yu’s question kept ringing in his ears, and it caused a blush to creep up the back of his neck. It still baffled him that the guy could somehow tell. Yosuke had spent hours looking up places to go and trying to find one that he thought suitable for a guy like his neighbor; usually Yosuke ended up at family restaurants with Teddie or izakaya with his friends from work but neither really seemed classy enough. That sushi restaurant had really good reviews and Yosuke had been wanting to try it for a little while now…
Suddenly, Yosuke found his airway restricted as an arm latched around his neck, shoving him painfully down to the ground before a knee pushed into his back, keeping him pressed against the mat he had been sparring on. “Look who finally decided to join us,” a voice said sarcastically above him, and Yosuke gasped for breath and flailed a little until his neck was finally released. He sent a pointed glare at Chie who was his former partner and was currently the sparring instructor while she was on light duty. “Look, I tried getting your attention for the past five minutes or so,” Chie defended herself, before crossing her arms in front of her chest. Chie may have been small but she was mighty and well-versed in martial arts; she had always been a force to be reckoned with. “What’s got you all spacey today?”
Yosuke’s blush resurfaced and he awkwardly ran his hand over the back of his neck from where he was kneeling on the mat. He carefully avoided her gaze. “N-nothing really,” he replied, and Chie stared at him for a moment, obvious disbelief on her face.
“Does this have anything to do with your little outing yesterday?” she asked, her eyes suddenly lighting up as they always did when she either got to gossip or tease Yosuke.
The detective let out a sigh, before leaning back on the mat and crossing his legs. Chie eagerly plopped down next to him. “What was he like?” she asked excitedly, and he rolled his eyes. Chie and her girlfriend Yukiko had invited him out for drinks yesterday and when he had declined saying he had plans they had pried the information out of him.
“He was fine. Dinner was fine. I told you already, I was just thanking him for tutoring Ted,” Yosuke replied in exasperation.
“Oh, I’m sure he was fine based on how you’ve been acting today,” Chie said, her eyes twinkling with excitement.
“Chie, seriously?” Yosuke grumped at her.
“Where did you take him?” she asked curiously.
That reminded Yosuke again of Yu’s comment about him being thoughtful, and he quickly shook his head to clear is thoughts. “That sushi place – you know the one with the really friendly chef?”
“Hmmmm…seems kind of fancy for you,” Chie tilted her head.
“Hey, I can be fancy!” Yosuke objected, causing Chie to burst into a fit of laughter.
Their bickering was interrupted by the arrival of a tall and lanky man. He was a year younger than them and had also been in the force a shorter amount of time and was a little rough around the edges. It worked well for the undercover work he did in their division though. “Give sempai a break,” he lightly admonished. He had walked in on the tail end of their conversation.
“Thanks Kanji,” Yosuke said in relief. Kanji helped Yosuke up before clapping a hand onto his shoulder.
“I’ll be rooting for you,” Kanji added, pumping his fist in the air in solidarity, and Yosuke slammed his palm into his forehead.
“I’m telling you – it wasn’t like that!” he groaned while Chie resumed laughing. Fortunately for Yosuke, he received a call from Naoto asking for him to join her for a non-vampire case. While she usually only involved him when she suspected vampires would be involved, there were occasional cases where she felt Yosuke’s instincts would be a good fit for the case, so she would invite him to inspect the crime scene with her and come up with some theories based on the evidence that was gathered. While Naoto had great observational skills, Yosuke had natural instincts had a tendency to piece together things that Naoto would skip since it often too much a leap in logic.
“I’ve gotta go – Naoto wants me to work on a case with her,” Yosuke said after he had ended the call.
Chie pouted. “Man, I wish I could return to the field,” she complained, while crossing one arm over her chest and gripping the other that limply hung at her side. Yosuke’s eyes glanced at a large scar that ran down her arm and he felt an old feeling of guilt claw at his chest.
“It won’t be too much longer,” he replied while giving her a weak smile. Chie frowned at him, but before she could berate him for beating himself up again, he began walking away, waving at them while refusing to look back.
“Hey, Hanamura!” Chie shouted after him, while he heard the low grumble of Kanji telling her that he wasn’t going to listen anyway.
Yosuke closed his eyes for a moment and paused, a brief image flashing before his eyes of Chie laying strewn on pavement, blood pooling around her from various tears and gashes along her body. He clenched his fists and let out a shuddering breath, before quickly making his way to the lockers to shower and change. He then headed outside, spotting Naoto waiting for him in her police car. He got in the passenger seat and was immediately handed her phone which had her email pulled up with some details about the case included.
“Why did you decide to call me in?” he asked curiously as he began to read through it. From the details gathered so far it seemed pretty normal as far as murder cases were concerned. It appeared to be an attempted robbery gone wrong based on the condition of the store and the fact the victim was the store owner. It appeared to have happened early in the morning, probably as the owner was at the store alone preparing to open; it was one of those used goods stores and while most things were pretty cheap they did have a few electronic goods and pieces of jewelry that may be worth stealing.
Yosuke’s eyes roamed through the notes, trying to see if anything was stolen, but while the place looked ransacked there didn’t appear to be anything missing so far. Nothing except some cash from his wallet which seemed like a pretty petty theft, especially considering the outcome of the crime. “Notice anything odd yet?” Naoto asked quietly, predictably waiting for him to spot it instead of spelling it out.
“For an attempted robbery, they sure didn’t take much,” Yosuke replied. “It looks like he was tied up as well.” Something about that detail bothered him. “Did it say with what material?”
Naoto’s small smile let him know he was on the right track. “It was blue rope. It had definitely been brought by the perpetrator and not something kept in the store,” she replied.
Blue rope… Yosuke’s eyes narrowed. “Wasn’t there another case like this a few weeks ago?” he asked. “That victim had been brutally attacked but let go,” he added.
Naoto nodded. “Unfortunately, the perpetrator had been wearing a mask and the victim is having a lot of trouble remembering details due to the trauma,” she said with a sigh. “If it’s the same person…it sounds like they’re escalating.”
“So, you don’t think this was a robbery attempt at all,” Yosuke replied.
“We need more facts first,” she said firmly. Naoto didn’t like to speculate without all the facts and evidence laid out in front of her, but Yosuke could tell she was already starting to pull together some theories based on the details on the case so far. It wasn’t like it was the first time someone had tried to mask one crime with another kind of crime. Yosuke couldn’t help but feel for the victims and their families though, and he felt his usual spark of justice thrum through his veins.
“We’ll figure this out,” he said, fire in his eyes, and Naoto smiled.
“I am sure we will sempai,” she replied. Naoto technically was Yosuke’s senior based on the years of experience she had on the field, dating back to before she was in high school, but once she had found out he was a year older than her, she had taken to using the term occasionally when it was the two of them as a form of respect. In front of others she always referred to him as Hanamura-san though. Yosuke couldn’t help but chuckle to himself over Naoto’s very internal guidelines when it came to her logic. He had found it odd at first, but after working together for so long he had grown used to it.
They arrived at the crime scene and stepped out, quickly noticing that a different detective had beaten them to it. “Tohru-san, what brings you here?” Yosuke asked curiously as he and Naoto walked up to the front of the store that had been blocked off with police tape.
“I could say the same to you, Hanamura,” the man replied. “This isn’t your jurisdiction.”
“It is mine, however, and I invited him,” Naoto replied bluntly, and Adachi clicked his tongue in reply.
“This seemed similar to a case I’ve been working. So, I figured I should come and check it out,” he replied. Adachi worked assaults and had been the one to investigate the other shopping incident that Yosuke and Naoto had been discussing earlier. However, he had hardly gotten any headway on the case and in fact seemed to have upset the victim with the line of questioning he had used when interviewing her. He had asked questions that blamed the victim, and honestly Yosuke already wasn’t really that fond of Adachi to begin with. There were a lot of rumors that some of his practices weren’t exactly by the book, and while none of them had been proven it didn’t stop him from feeling suspicious.
“Well, it’s not like we can stop you from looking,” Yosuke replied, before ignoring Adachi and following Naoto inside. To his relief, the older detective opted to stay outside and continue to slink about out there. Yosuke couldn’t deny that the man’s instincts were also spot on, but he had been on the same level as Yosuke for quite a long time and didn’t really seem motivated to try to move up in his career for whatever reason. He also tended to say some pretty obnoxious things sometimes, and Yosuke was surprised he had been allowed to get away with it for so long. He shook his head and tried to push the other detective from his mind as he and Naoto prepped themselves by covering their shoes and putting on gloves so as to not disturb the crime scene. Once they entered, they steeled themselves as they spotted the body, years of detective work numbing them to the horror so they could view it with a clinical eye. It never stopped them from sympathizing with the victim and wanting to ensure he saw justice for what happened to him.
They were both quiet as they reviewed the scene, picking up on a few similarities to the other case while noticing some key differences. Both victims appeared to have suffered some abuse, and based on the fact they had both been tied up Yosuke had a feeling the perpetrator probably had a gun he used to subdue them and control the situation. At the first location a few more items had been stolen to make it feel more like a robbery, while at this location the money stolen from the wallet almost seemed like an afterthought. Both victims had struggled but they had different victimology; one had been a female store manager who was in her late 20s and had been closing alone, while the male store manager was in his 50s and had been opening the store. More than likely each store had been staked out with the perpetrator knowing the store would only have one person during those times.
Yosuke and Naoto puzzled over the details as around them the crime scene investigators bagged evidence and took pictures of the crime scene. “I’m going to go and interview the employee that walked in on him,” Naoto explained, before turning to look at him. “Once I’ve got a case file together I’ll send you a copy to look over.”
Yosuke nodded. “I look forward to catching the bastard who did this,” he replied. He then gave Naoto a wave before checking his phone. It was still pretty early in the evening, so he shot a text to Yukiko, trying to see if she was still at her family shrine. Fortunately, she was. He took a taxi over to there since it wasn’t really on a train line and would be a bit of a walk, and when he arrived Yukiko greeted him with a smile. She was still dressed in her shrine maiden outfit that she often wore during the day with red hakama, a white kosode, and a red hair ribbon keeping her long, black hair pulled away from her face. Yukiko was a miko at the Amagi shrine, and she blessed his weapons and provided him the talismans he used when fighting vampires. She also happened to be his partner’s girlfriend which meant she had already heard about their discussion that afternoon.
“How are you doing this evening, Yosuke?” she asked with a knowing smile on her face. Yosuke blanched slightly – whenever Yukiko got that look on her face it usually spelled trouble for him.
“Not too bad. Just got back from a crime scene,” he replied. “Figured since it wasn’t too late I’d have you take a look at these.” Yosuke pulled his weapons out of his bag to show her.
Yukiko took one look at the state of his weapons and lightly chided him. “I have told you many times to visit before they get into this state. The charms have almost completely worn off,” she frowned.
“But they aren’t worn off,” Yosuke argued. “This time at least…”
Yukiko gave him a stern look, and Yosuke gave her a bashful grin. “Uh, sorry?” he said, and she let out a sigh.
“Come with me. I will get you some tea while I work,” she said in her most disappointed tone of voice. Yosuke winced as he followed her, marveling at how much more effective Yukiko was at making him feel guilty than Chie. Once they were settled, Yosuke sipped at his green tea while Yukiko worked at blessing his weapons and getting him set up with more talismans.
“So, how did dinner go last night?” she finally asked, causing Yosuke to choke on his tea.
Although she was focused on the task at hand, Yosuke could tell she was amused at his expense. “I already told Chie. We had sushi. I thanked him for tutoring Teddie. That’s all it was.” His protests were honestly weak to his own ears, but it didn’t stop Yosuke from trying.
“Hmmmm,” Yukiko hummed. “And when will you be joining him for dinner again?” she prodded.
Yosuke was speechless for a moment, and a blush suddenly spread across his cheeks. Yukiko glanced up at him knowingly. “Oh? You’re not denying it,” she pointed out.
“I mean… He kind of asked me… It’s not what you’re thinking!” Yosuke protested. “He said he wanted to thank me for my service or whatever…”
Yukiko giggled at that, while Yosuke did his best to refocus his attention on the remainder of his tea. He was well aware of how obvious of an excuse it was and how he had played into the other man’s hands by failing to acknowledge it. If he was being honest with himself, he was looking forward to dinner with him again though which is why he had let it slide. Yukiko refrained from teasing him anymore, although Yosuke knew she would be letting Chie know about the tidbit of information he had let slip and that he would be hearing it from her later.
Not too long afterward, Yukiko was finished with her task and handed his weapons back to him. “Make sure not to go so long without visiting me again,” she tutted at him, and when Yosuke reached for his wallet she shot him another glare.
“Look, I just want to pay you one time for your services,” Yosuke complained and Yukiko snorted in reply. It was one of her few, unladylike habits and one of the things that made her so endearing to her girlfriend. The other was her awful sense of humor.
“You pay me back by keeping yourself safe,” she replied. “I don’t know what Chie would do if something happened to you…” She was being completely sincere, which is why Yosuke never pressed the payment issue. He had been on the opposite end of that scenario not that long ago and it still haunted him.
“Got it,” he replied, before packing up his weapons again. Yukiko did a formal bow toward him and Yosuke quickly returned a short bow, always finding it endearing how Yukiko stuck to her traditions even when it was just the two of them. She was always serious about her family business, both the regular ceremonial aspects and shrine upkeep, and the services they provided to vampire hunters.
“You should join us for dinner tomorrow,” Yukiko added as she gracefully stood, and Yosuke shot her a look.
“As long as neither of you are cooking…” he said nervously, and Yukiko flicked her head in annoyance, causing her long ponytail to swish behind her.
“We are going to be eating out, but you shouldn’t turn down a home cooked meal, Yosuke,” she said in a threatening voice. Yosuke had been almost poisoned by their cooking too many times to care. At this point he was more worried about self-preservation.
Their conversation was interrupted as a third party arrived, almost appearing to melt out of the shadows. Yosuke was startled to realize that he recognized him. “Yu? What are you doing here?” he asked in surprise, and the gray-haired man also appeared taken aback.
“Yosuke?” he asked, his eyes glancing to look at his bag. Yosuke nervously shifted it on his shoulder, although there was no way the other man could know what was inside. “I am here to pick up a scroll that the Amagi family is kindly lending us for our upcoming series on Shintoism,” he explained.
Yukiko was watching their exchange with rapt attention, and when they weren’t paying attention, she snapped a picture of the two of them in order to share with Chie later. “I was not aware you were both acquainted?” she interrupted, causing Yosuke to flush again.
“Ah, right, Yu is my neighbor,” he quickly explained, not liking the happy gleam that appeared in his friend’s eyes. He narrowed his eyes at her and she pretended not to notice.
“So you are that charming neighbor we have been hearing so much about! Realizing that it is you I am no longer surprised,” she said with a laugh.
Yu smiled lightly before tilting his head at Yosuke. “Oh?” he asked, while Yosuke gritted his teeth.
“Listen, once they found out I was going out to eat with someone, they just kept pestering me with questions,” Yosuke quickly defended himself. He then noticed the subtle glance Yu was making between the two of them and the fact that while he seemed slightly amused he also appeared a bit troubled. Yosuke was sure most people couldn’t pick up the unease due to how understated the other man’s body language was, but even though he had only met him a few times now he was surprisingly quick to pick up on it.
“Ah, you’re probably curious as to why I’m here. Yukiko here is my partner’s girlfriend,” Yosuke explained. “Her family provides protection charms for the officers so I swing by sometimes to pick some up and catch up. I didn’t realize you would be acquainted with her as well, although I guess with how old this shrine is it’s not that surprising…”
“The Amagi family has entrusted the museum many times with artifacts from their shrine. We are very fortunate to have them work with us,” Yu replied smoothly. If Yosuke didn’t know better, he appeared to have perked up at Yosuke’s words.
“I will leave you two to your work then,” Yosuke replied. “Unfortunately, I have a long night ahead of me. I have a few case files to pour through.” He gave them a small wave before heading out, keen to get away from Yukiko’s knowing gaze with Yu right there. He could already imagine the line of questioning he would have to endure tomorrow.
Chapter 4: Can't Fight This Feeling
Yu figures out Yosuke's hidden profession and considers what it means for their growing relationship.
Yu’s eyes followed Yosuke as he walked away, his sharp night vision able to trail after him longer than possible for a human, before he turned his attention back to Yukiko. She had obviously been watching him, but the moment he turned his head she instead busied herself by neatly putting away the materials she had been using to make the talismans and blessings for Yosuke’s weapons. Yu recognized the material and the specific smell of incense that had wafted from Yosuke’s bag; there was no denying that they were the tools used by a vampire hunter. Yu’s heart sank for a moment at the thought, before he politely seated himself where Yosuke had been resting moments before as Yukiko went to get him fresh tea. She was always great at reading the mood and often left him to his thoughts when he visited instead of forcing him into idle chatter. He found he wouldn’t have minded some now to keep his thoughts from being gnawed by worry.
‘What if he’s prejudiced against vampires?’ Yu worried. Vampire hunters tended to be a mixed bag; while they were bound by law to only go after vampires who were a threat to humanity, many were under the belief all vampires were inherently a threat and were not shy about making those views known. Others had no problem working side by side with vampires and understood that just as with humans there were those that were good and those that were monsters. He somehow doubted that Yosuke fell into the former category with his friendly personality, but one never knew at first.
His worries were interrupted as a steaming cup of green tea was gently placed before him as Yukiko took a seat across from him. “Something troubling you?” she asked, tilting her head as she carefully examined him. Yukiko was pretty adept at reading even his mood and had picked up on his unease. She was able to expertly pour herself a cup as well, even though she didn’t take her eyes off of him.
“It’s one thing to know his occupation, and another to be faced with the knowledge that it is truly dangerous,” Yu replied smoothly. It wasn’t fully a lie – while he knew Yosuke was a detective, a job already dangerous in itself, the fact he was also a vampire hunter put him at even more risk. A protective feeling bubbled up inside of him, much to his surprise, especially in light of the fact he had just been worrying over the man’s opinion of vampires moments before.
“Yes, I worry about Yosuke quite often I’m afraid,” Yukiko replied. “After what happened to Chie he’s been working alone and he can sometimes be a little reckless. You should have seen how faded the charms were…” She then looked at him slyly before adding, “Maybe you can talk a little sense into him?” causing Yu’s brows to raise. “You are his neighbor after all and can see him at any time. Maybe if you remind him to come by more often he may actually listen.”
Yu couldn’t help but grin, relieved that his initial surprise upon seeing them together had been totally unfounded. “I can certainly try,” he replied, and Yukiko shot him a warm smile in return. She definitely seemed to view Yosuke like she would a brother, and based on the fact her girlfriend was his partner it wasn’t too surprising. He also felt some of his earlier negative thoughts slide away as Yukiko’s complaints suddenly reminded him about Yosuke’s character. Yosuke had been understandably cautious toward him at first when they had first met, but he hadn’t jumped to conclusions and had taken the time to investigate his intentions with his cousin. He was protective, but not unreasonable. Yu’s heart warmed at the thought and he took a sip of the tea.
“Do you have the scroll prepared already?” he asked, and Yukiko nodded before gracefully standing up and walking over to where a plain, black box with an ornate, gold seal on the top was sitting on a low shelf. She picked it up before walking back over and setting it in front of him.
“I am surprised you are doing an exhibit that would include this particular part of the shrine’s history,” she commented as she sat back down across from him. Yu gently lifted up the lid to the box and peered inside to see a well-preserved scroll that was depicting a ritual the miko used to perform in order to protect the shrine from demons. Really, the ritual was anti-vampire, but back in the day those things were synonymous with each other. And based on what he had just encountered, it looked like the family was still tied to those roots.
“I find ancient rituals fascinating,” Yu replied before gently closing the lid back down. “When the director was floating ideas around for the next exhibit, I actually came up with the recommendation. It’s a little different and there are a surprising number of artifacts already in the archives that haven’t been displayed before that fit the theme.”
“I look forward to seeing it,” Yukiko replied.
“Your family’s scroll will be the centerpiece,” Yu added. “We will take good care of it and return it once the exhibit is over.” Yukiko bowed her head before seeing him off; it was time for her to be off for the evening and he didn’t want to hold her over any longer.
Yu gently picked up the box and carried it carefully out to his car, nestling it in the front seat beside him before heading into work. He took the box inside and stored it away in the archive which was temperature controlled to ensure it was kept in perfect condition until they pulled it out in a few days as they began setting up the exhibit. He then headed up to his office, used to the quiet of the museum with no one else there but him and the security guards when they made their rounds. He settled in at his desk, ready to work on some research, but he found himself instead distracted as his mind wandered back yet again to the detective.
Vampire hunting really was a dangerous job, and Yu couldn’t help but feel nervous for Yosuke. He was suddenly unsurprised by the times he smelled blood on the man when he returned home from work and wondered how many close calls he had encountered in the past. Yu remembered how carefully Yosuke had talked around some of his cases before and he leaned back in his chair.
‘He works alone,’ Yu suddenly thought, remembering Yukiko’s words about her girlfriend’s injury. He felt his chest tighten for a moment trying to imagine the other man with his charming smile going one on one with a vampire. He knew exactly how dangerous that was and wondered how Yosuke managed to do it on a nightly basis. Not many had that ability; most hunters worked in pairs. It was a testament to Yosuke’s ability that he had managed on his own so far, but Yu couldn’t help but feel worried since so many vampire hunters die or at the very least retire at an early age due to the stress it put on the body.
Yu shook his head to clear his thoughts. He was only beginning to know Yosuke and he had honestly not seen his interactions with vampires or abilities in the field to judge. Yosuke had managed to get by at least a few years in his role, so Yu just needed to trust he would continue to do so. He settled back into work, answering emails before returning to his research and finishing up some of the verbiage they would be using for the exhibit. Once he had finally wrapped up with work in the early hours of the morning, he checked his watch before standing up with a stretch. He had been sitting at his desk for hours, which was the norm since he didn’t have to get up for breaks like humans would. The security guards always teased him for that, calling him the professor and saying he got way too caught up in his work. They had no idea how bad it actually was.
Yu headed out to his car, giving the guards a wave on his way out, before returning home before sunrise. When he arrived, he was surprised to see Teddie in the lobby, head down on a book as he dozed in the middle of studying. He walked over and gently shook him awake, causing Teddie to sit up with a start. “What time is it?” he asked, his voice a bit high pitched as he reached for his phone in a panic.
“5:00,” Yu replied with a bemused grin.
Teddie visibly relaxed before letting out a yawn. “I can’t believe I fell asleep,” he groaned.
“Pulling an all nighter?” Yu asked, and Teddie glumly nodded.
“I put off studying too long… Don’t let Yosuke know,” he quickly added.
Yu glanced at the time again. “It would probably be best if you got more rest before your exam,” he commented. “When is it?”
“It’s my second class,” Teddie replied.
“Do you really need to be in your first?” Yu asked conspiratorially, and Teddie’s eyes widened at the idea.
“No,” he replied. “I could probably skip it…”
“While I wouldn’t suggest making it a habit, I would recommend following that course of action today,” Yu gently prodded, and Teddie let out another yawn before sleepily nodding.
“Promise not to tell Yosuke?” he asked, and Yu nodded before helping him pack up his books. “Thanks!” Teddie said before making his way up the stairs, wanting to hide in his room before Yosuke got home.
Yu chuckled to himself before also heading up the stairs and heading into his apartment. He made sure all of his curtains were tightly drawn so no sunlight would enter his home before pouring himself a glass of wine and dropping in a blood tablet. He took a sip before stepping into the other room that he used as a study; he didn’t have a bedroom since he didn’t need one. It was lined with books he had collected over the years and he pulled out one he hadn’t read in awhile before settling down in a comfortable leather armchair in order to read before he started his daily meditation. It was a sleeplike state vampires fell into during the day that allowed them to bear their old method of burying themselves to avoid the sun; these days some vampires only followed the practice if their energy was low since there were other ways to block the sun and plenty of ways to stay amused in the daylight hours. Yu figured it would be a good way to re-structure his thoughts as he considered what a friendship with Yosuke would be like now that he was aware of his occupation. For now though, he was content to unwind after a long night of research.
Chapter 5: Don't Fear the Reaper
Kanji comes to Yosuke with news that he may have found the vampire that had nearly killed Chie the year before. They both head out on the hunt to see if they can find him and put him to rest.
A few days after getting his weapons re-blessed, Yosuke was sitting at his desk looking over the case file that Naoto had asked for his help with. He had also gotten a copy of Adachi’s case through Naoto, even though the man had been reluctant to hand it over. He was comparing both cases and making notes about the similarities and differences in order to try to see if they could be linked. So far, the similarities were leaning toward linkage even if the victimology in both cases was quite different; it was just too much of a coincidence that with both cases the attacker brought the same kind of cord to tie up the victims, especially since that information had never been released to the public. He just wished he could do something about the investigation with the first victim since she was now refusing to talk or cooperate.
Yosuke’s thoughts were interrupted by a knock at his door. The door was open, so it was just out of courtesy to get his attention. Yosuke looked up to see Kanji standing in the doorway. Kanji always dressed more casually than the rest of the office since most of his work was undercover, and today he had on a t-shirt for a punk band, his leather jacket, and black ripped jeans. “You busy?” Kanji asked, and Yosuke closed the file he was looking at.
“Not really. Just working on something for Naoto. What’s up?” he asked.
Kanji stepped inside before closing the door behind him. He then set a folder down on the desk in front of Yosuke. “I found something I thought you may be interested in,” he said. He stuffed his hands into his jacket pockets while waiting for Yosuke to look at it. He appeared uncharacteristically tense, so Yosuke was cautious as he gingerly lifted open the case file. When he saw who it was for, however, his eyes widened.
“You found him?” Yosuke asked, looking up sharply at Kanji. “You really found him?”
“I think so,” Kanji replied. “My vampire contacts have started seein’ him pop up again and think he finally recovered his strength. You and Chie got him pretty good.”
Yosuke flipped through the pictures that had been taken from the vampire’s various haunts, and sure enough it looked exactly like him. Yamada Taro was a school teacher who had been reported as missing by the school when he hadn’t shown up to work. He had lived a normal, simple life and overall seemed like a good teacher and neighbor. His face had shown up on the local news and papers for a few days after his disappearance, and the police department had received some tips from people calling in to say they had seen him; most tips upon follow up had gone nowhere, due to the young man having a very plain, common appearance. However, a few leads had seemed promising…and then one day the case had landed on Yosuke’s and Chie’s desks. It turned out the man had disappeared because he had been attacked by a vampire, and due to not receiving any direction after he had turned, he had become the most dangerous kind – a fledgling with unmitigated bloodlust and no one to guide him. He had quickly devolved into a predator that stalked his victims at night and went into hiding during the day, and he had racked up a pretty high body count of victims in his short period of time. It was supposed to have been a relatively easy case – while fledglings were strong, they weren’t as skilled or used to their abilities as fully fledged vampires and were usually easier to deal with. Unfortunately, things don’t always end up as they should.
“Do you know where he is right now?” Yosuke asked, closing the case file and looking up at Kanji. Kanji had been carefully watching him as he read through the file and was now pretending to look at his phone.
“I have an idea of a few places he’s been hangin’ out at,” Kanji replied. “We can go scout them out tonight…” Kanji trailed off, and Yosuke narrowed his eyes.
“But?” he asked impatiently.
Kanji let out a sigh. “Are you ready for this sempai?” he finally asked. Yosuke felt a pinprick at his pride at the question, but held tightly to the feeling of irritation. Kanji was only looking out for him, and he knew it. Especially with what the outcome was last time. Besides, while Yosuke had been searching for the vampire non-stop since he had gotten away, he hadn’t ever really addressed what had happened; there had never been time between his and Chie’s recovery and getting back to work afterward. However, there was one thing Yosuke was certain of. This vampire was dangerous and needed to be taken care of. He had felt guilty every day since he had gotten away the first time.
“Yes,” Yosuke replied, eyes resolute. “I am.”
“Alright then,” Kanji said, sliding his phone into his pocket. “You gotta promise me somethin’ though.”
Yosuke was packing up his things and preparing for a night of hunting. “Hm?” he asked as he began strapping on his weapons.
“Take care of yourself, sempai,” Kanji said. “Don’t let him get to you.”
Yosuke paused, before glancing up at Kanji. The younger man had a serious look on his face. Kanji could often be dense about a lot of things, but he had always been pretty perceptive when it really mattered. “I won’t, don’t worry,” Yosuke replied, and he heard Kanji let out a sigh, indicating he didn’t fully believe him. It wasn’t like Yosuke was planning on screwing things up, though. They had to make sure that people were going to be safe, especially with how quickly things had escalated before. Once Yosuke was ready, throwing on his own leather jacket over his button up shirt and dress pants, he followed Kanji out the door.
It was a chilly autumn night, and Yosuke very quickly zipped up his jacket, wondering at Kanji’s ability to manage with it open. Yosuke buried his mouth against the collar of his jacket and shoved his hands into his pockets. “So where to first?” he asked.
Kanji ended up leading Yosuke to some of the areas close to where Yamada had worked and lived. Yosuke always found it sad when the vampires who were fully maddened by bloodlust still somehow found attachment to their old lives that they no longer remembered. He shuddered to imagine what it must be like to lose all of that – attachments to friends and family and in Yamada’s case his students. The fact his haunts were so close to his old elementary school were also a concern to Yosuke; kids were easy targets and this area was popular for young families with a park nearby and the school playground.
“He’s been spotted at the park and around the school a few times,” Kanji explained. “Nearly got a security guard but somethin’ spooked him an’ he ran off. Some of the people who work a night shift around here have said they felt like they were being followed or heard someone repeatin’ multiplication tables over and over…”
Yosuke felt a chill run up his spine at that. Yamada had been a math teacher and he specifically remembered during the fight with him how he had muttered multiplication tables over and over between periods of manic laughing. Yosuke and Kanji reached the playground outside of the school, and Yosuke couldn’t help but feel his adrenaline spike as he faced it. The place where he and Chie had encountered the vampire before had been a street that led up to the school – he could see the street entrance in the distance, lit up by a streetlight. His eyes trained on the street for several moments, until Kanji broke him out of his trance by tugging on his arm. “I got permission to check out the school first, see if he’s hidin’ in there,” he said.
Yosuke nodded, and they made their way through the quiet playground. It was overall very still, although with the wind blowing some of the playground equipment kept creaking which was keeping Yosuke on edge. Kanji didn’t seem as affected by it, though, and kept moving forward at a steady pace. They checked in with the security guard, flashing their badges and gaining permission to go inside; he had been expecting them and remembered the attacks from last year. “I hope you find the bastard,” he said, and Kanji and Yosuke had gave him a small nod before making their way inside.
If outside had been quiet, inside it was dead silent. There was the occasional sound of the wind blowing outside rattling the windows or making a low whistling sound, but inside the school itself there was nothing. As they explored the halls, checking for anywhere the vampire may be hiding, Yosuke found himself yet again falling into flashbacks of the last time he had been at the school. He and Chie had visited it a few times during the investigation, trying to gather clues about the “missing” man as they hunted him down. The last time they had been here had also been at night on the same day of their encounter with him.
As they were exploring the art room, creeping around the tables with guns drawn as Kanji checked the supply closet to clear it, there was a sudden crashing noise that caused Yosuke’s heart to leap into his throat. He quickly turned, gun trained in front of him, and felt relieved to see Kanji picking up the artist’s palette he had knocked over. “You scared the shit out of me,” Yosuke said, breathing a sigh of relief, while Kanji shrugged his shoulder.
“You sure you’re ok with this? We can stop now,” Kanji cautioned, and Yosuke shook his head.
“I’m fine,” he replied, and Kanji didn’t say anything in response.
“I guess the last place we gotta check is his old classroom,” he said. He and Yosuke exchanged glances before nodding and heading across the hall. The classroom looked different than what Yosuke had remembered; back then, it was still decorated in Yamada’s style, and now it had obviously been decorated by a different teacher. It was a little sad, knowing that all little traces of his former life were one by one taken away, although Yosuke remembered the other lives he had taken and how their mark on the world was also slowly diminished. It didn’t take long to clear the classroom – it appeared the vampire wasn’t at the school after all – and they soon headed back outside.
“Where do you wanna go next, sempai?” Kanji asked. “We can wander around close to the school or go to the park…”
Yosuke’s eyes trailed back to the street where they had encountered him last time, but he somehow felt it would be unlikely they would run into him there again. “Where did most people report they felt followed?” Yosuke asked.
“The park,” Kanji replied, and Yosuke’s eyes narrowed as a thought popped into his head.
“Did anyone mention seeing disturbed earth at the park?” he asked, and Kanji tilted his head.
“Uuuuh, not sure about that one,” he replied, obviously not following Yosuke’s train of thought.
“I can almost bet on it,” Yosuke commented, hands on his hips. “Vampires will bury themselves in the ground when they need to regain strength. It’s possible he’s been here this whole time and we had no idea. We always assumed he went somewhere else when he got away.”
Kanji’s eyes widened. “I didn’ even think of that,” he said, slamming his fist into his other hand. “Damn, you can be smart sometimes.”
“Only sometimes?” Yosuke retorted, and Kanji grinned at him.
“Sometimes,” he repeated, and Yosuke elbowed him in reply. He knew it wouldn’t hurt Kanji who towered over him and was also all muscle.
“What a way to show respect,” Yosuke grumbled as they began to make their way over to the park. He somehow felt relieved as they left the school and that ominous street behind them; even though they were probably heading toward the danger, he couldn’t help but feel more relaxed in a place not filled with terrible memories.
Once they reached the park, their guards were back up as they noted how many trees the vampire would be able to hide in. “Let’s stick close together,” Yosuke said, pulling his gun back out as he fell back into a defensive stance. He and Kanji were both holding their guns and their flashlights this time since the park was only sporadically lit; it was a shortcut for the locals through the surrounding residential area, and normally quite safe, which is why Yosuke figured so many people had reported encounters with Yamada even though it was pretty dark in some parts of the park.
“Keep your eye out for any sign of disturbed earth,” Yosuke directed, and Kanji nodded to show he understood. They both kept swiveling as they slowly moved through the park, ears trained for any sound of disturbance and eyes darting about for any sudden movement. Vampires were master hunters and could pop out at any time, sometimes surprising even the most veteran of hunters. After a few quiet, tense minutes, Kanji finally spoke.
“Sempai, is that what you were looking for?” he asked, pointing his flashlight toward a spot in a clearing across from them. Sure enough, there was an area that looked like it had been dug up recently without anyone bothering to try to flatten the earth back down.
“7x6 is 42. 7x7 is 49. 7x8 is ehehehehe.”
Yosuke’s blood ran cold and he immediately began swiveling around, shining his light in all the trees around him. Yamada’s voice sounded way too close for comfort, and the laugh was just as chilling as he remembered. “7x8, 7x8 ehehehehehehe…”
“Sempai, on your 6!” Kanji shouted, and Yosuke quickly swiveled, his flashlight highlighting Yamada’s bedraggled form as the vampire lunged at him. Yosuke fired off a shot, and the vampire quickly dodged out of the way before disappearing back into the trees with another bit of manic laughter.
Yosuke’s adrenaline was pumping, and he and Kanji quickly rushed out into the clearing so they would be more likely to see the vampire as he came after them. “Damn this guy is freaky,” Kanji said, sounding as nervous as Yosuke felt. The laughter had stopped, and the silence was somehow even more worrisome than the numbers and laughter had been. Yamada was still wearing the same clothes he had been in last time Yosuke had seen him, with tears in the same place they had been during the fight. They were also caked with dirt, which matched Yosuke’s theory he had been buried this whole time. It was like for Yamada, time had stopped after their last fight, and it was screwing with Yosuke’s head seeing him in basically the same condition he had left him in.
Suddenly, there was a crack of a branch to Yosuke’s left, and he and Kanji both turned as Yamada jumped from a nearby tree branch, yet again lunging for Yosuke. Yosuke wondered if the vampire somehow recognized him in all of his madness, and as Kanji readied his gun to fire another shot, Yosuke pulled out his dagger from his sleeve. Kanji fired, hitting Yamada in his arm, but the vampire was undeterred just as he had been the year before. He began laughing again, and Yosuke used his dagger to stave off the attack, pushing Yamada back and knocking Kanji out of the way as the vampire pivoted and tried to lunge at him instead. “Watch yourself – he has crazy fast reflexes. I think they’ve somehow gotten even better,” Yosuke cautioned, before jumping back as Yamada came at him again.
Yosuke was barely able to dodge each attack as Kanji sat up from where Yosuke had knocked him over, pulling out a blessed crossbow and a stake shaped into the size of a bolt. He held up the crossbow and aimed, holding steady as he waited for an opening.
“7x8 is 56,” Yamada said, voice suddenly deeper and eyes almost appearing to clear for a moment. He stared at Yosuke, gaze sharp and animalistic, and Yosuke was suddenly brought back to the last time he had fought Yamada and how he had pierced him with the same gaze before running away, leaving Chie’s body behind in a pool of blood. “7x9….7x9…ehehehehehe…”
Kanji used the brief respite to fire the crossbow and it hit Yamada clear in the shoulder, causing the vampire to wail in pain before clutching at the bolt. Although it was steadily burning his hand from the Amagi family’s blessing, he kept tugging until he yanked it out and tossed it on the ground. His eyes had grown hazy with bloodlust again, and Yosuke watched as the wound rapidly began to heal, much faster than it should have from the spell.
“Shit,” Yosuke said, scrambling back as Yamada began to slowly circle around him, fangs out as he eyed him hungrily. “Apparently sleeping in the dirt has made him a lot stronger. We gotta be careful.”
Kanji was also cursing, and he changed tactics, deciding to rush the vampire instead of staying on the defensive. Yamada danced away before swiping at Kanji with his sharp claws, getting a cut in and causing Kanji to wince in pain before quickly leaping back. “Watch yourself, Kanji,” Yosuke shouted, suddenly feeling worried. He and Chie had struggled against the vampire, and she had honestly been one of the best fighters in the force. Yosuke had a little more experience behind him, but the vampire also appeared to be stronger and faster than he had been before.
“7x9…” the vampire muttered before blending back into the shadows under the trees. “7x9, 7x9 is…ehehehehe.”
When Yosuke had faced him before, he and Chie had split up. Yosuke had been further down the street, investigating one of the neighborhoods, while Chie had stuck closer to the school. Chie had been surprised by an attack from the vampire and had thought to call him, Yosuke only hearing his name when he answered her call before the phone fell to the ground, allowing him to hear the sound of their scuffle and grunts along with Yamada’s manic laugh. Yosuke had rushed to her aid, and by the time he arrived Chie had already been bleeding pretty heavily from having to defend herself. She had gotten some hits in on Yamada as well, and the vampire had several bloody gashes that had taken longer to heal since he was just a fledgling. They hadn’t expected the fight to be so hard; Yamada was strong for a fledgling, and to this day Yosuke still wondered the caliber of the vampire who had turned him.
Yosuke had rushed to Chie’s aid, and they had fought back, Chie managing to hold her own in spite of her blood loss, and between the two of them they had finally started making progress in the fight. Yosuke had also gotten a few hits in although the vampire had gotten him a few good times as well, and eventually Yamada had sustained enough injuries that he had the sudden presence of mind to run. Yosuke had made to go after him, but at that very moment Chie had collapsed and he had needed to make the split decision to call for help and stay with her or go after him; he had chosen to stay by his partner’s side and Yamada had disappeared into the night. Yosuke knew he would have always chosen to help his partner, but a part of him felt guilty at letting Yamada get away. Yosuke wasn’t going to allow that to happen this time.
“Sempai!” Kanji shouted, breaking Yosuke from his thoughts. He saw Yamada rushing at him again, and Yosuke knew he wouldn’t have time to dodge this time. Yamada was moving too fast and was too close. Instead, Yosuke reached for the stake strapped to his leg and pulled it out, driving the stake into Yamada’s chest as the vampire lunged for him and dug his claws into Yosuke’s back, leaving deep, burning claw marks in their wake. Yosuke let out a cry of pain as Yamada’s fit of laughter devolved into a wail of agony.
“Kanji, hurry,” Yosuke gasped, and while Yamada was temporarily paralyzed by the stake, Kanji used his opportunity to cleanly cut Yamada’s head from his body. Yamada’s hands finally loosened from Yosuke’s back and he collapsed on the ground, wincing in pain as he kicked Yamada’s body off of him. Kanji pulled out some charms in order to speed up the process of the body turning to dust, and as the body rapidly deteriorated he said a small prayer for him.
He then turned his attention to Yosuke. “Where the hell was your head, Yosuke,” Kanji chastised, dropping the sempai for a change due to his agitation.
“I mean, it gave you an opening right?” Yosuke cheekily replied, and Kanji glared at him.
“Let me see your back,” he said, and Yosuke sat up, head swimming for a moment from the pain. Kanji sucked in his breath at seeing the deep scratches on Yosuke’s back, and he quickly pulled out his first aid kit from his bag.
“How bad is it?” Yosuke asked, realizing belatedly that he would probably have to finally get a new jacket; this one had managed to stay with him through his whole career and he would definitely miss it.
“Pretty bad,” Kanji said. “But I’ve definitely seen worse.”
He began cleaning the wounds as best as he could, before having Yosuke remove his jacket and shirt so he could wrap it with gauze. “We should probably get you to the hospital,” Kanji said, and Yosuke shook his head as he pulled his shirt and jacket back on over the dressing.
“Like you said, I’ve been through worse,” he said. “I’ve got some of that special Amagi ointment at home which will work wonders on the wound. I honestly don’t feel too bad – going to the hospital will just mean more paperwork and questions.” It was already hard enough reporting on their cases without a body; when actual injuries also had to be reported it was a nightmare. Yosuke would come up with an excuse for his wounds after getting some rest first.
Kanji stared him down, and Yosuke defiantly stared back. “I can make it an order, Kanji,” Yosuke threatened, and Kanji let out a deep sigh. Yosuke was the senior detective and got the ultimate say in what calls were made.
“Give me a call when you get home, sempai,” he said.
“You know what you can do for me though,” Yosuke said brightly. “You can write up the report for me this time. I definitely foresee my bed in my direct future.”
Kanji rubbed the back of his head in frustration. “Yeah, I can do that. Don’t forget to call me, got it?”
“Yeah, yeah,” Yosuke said, waving his hand as if doing so would get rid of Kanji’s concerns. He then began to gingerly make his way back home. At first, other than a slight stinging pain on his back from the scratches and the antiseptic Kanji had used to clean them, Yosuke hadn’t been feeling too bad. Just as he had thought, the wounds didn’t seem as bad as they looked, and he concerned himself more with what he would say to Teddie when he had him help clean them. It wasn’t until he was about halfway home that he began to realize something was off. The cuts began to feel like they were burning, and when he reached back to feel at his back, he drew his hand back to realize there was blood on it from the wound. Yosuke clenched his jaw – he knew Kanji had done a good job tightly binding them, so they shouldn’t still be bleeding that freely. His picked up his pace, realizing he needed to get to that cream which was specifically created to deal with vampire inflicted wounds since it both treated the infections they could sometimes cause and their ability to mess with the body’s ability to coagulate in order to stop blood flow.
When Yosuke finally spotted his apartment up ahead, he began to sway on his feet and realized his head was starting to feel really fuzzy. He forced himself to take more steps as he pulled out his phone to reach out to Teddie, but he never got a chance to hit the phone icon next to his cousin’s name. Yosuke’s body began to sway and his vision dimmed as his phone slipped from his shaking fingers. The last thing Yosuke noted as he collapsed into unconsciousness was a clean, fresh scent like fresh laundry that felt vaguely familiar to Yosuke, although he blacked out before he was able to piece together why.