Note From Author: Yes, I'm still working on Another Way Part 3, but this was something I had to write. Personally, I never favored crossovers, believing they had to have a very specific purpose to make sense, so hopefully I can get that right at least. I'm not sure how long this story will run for, but I'll try not to let it get in the way of finishing my others. Also, please keep in mind that I only know the Anime version of both series and what I've read on the wikis and TV tropes pages, and for Shiki I only know the TV episodes, I haven't seen the two OVA. Oh, and yeah, it won't be in the forefront, but there will be some NatsuTohru and GarekYogi shipping.
Synopsis: Gareki passes his tests and returns to the Second Ship of Circus as a new member of the organization. Along with Yogi, Nai, and Tsukumo he is sent out to investigate a Varuga at a laboratory. When Nai hits a button on the lab's main computer, they find themselves teleported somewhere else. Meanwhile in Sotoba, Natsuno is pleading for Tohru to run away with him, only to find himself being attacked a second time. When Tohru wakes from his frenzy, he finds himself standing over an unconscious Natsuno in an unfamiliar place, and having little time to find shelter before the sun rises. When Natsuno recovers the next night, to find himself alone, several cases of mistaken identity occur under the moonlight of this strange new place. Will either group ever find their way back to where they came from? Will either group actually want to? Will Natsuno and Gareki get along, or tear each other's throats out?
Chapter 1: Where Are We?
Hirato smiled as he welcomed the dark haired teen back onto the Second Fighting Ship of Circus. It had been some time since Gareki had gone to school to become a member of Circus, but he had done exactly what he'd set out to do, he was now an official member of the government defense organization Circus. "Welcome back, Gareki-Kun," he said with a tip of his top hat, "I see you've finally returned to become a Child of the Second Ship of Circus."
"I'm home," Gareki grumbled, looking around as the ship's robotic sheep gathered around him for his voice recognition. Gareki tried not to smile, but somehow, this phrase just seemed to fit with this place. It felt… normal. His eyes shifted around as he realized none of the others had come to greet him. Hirato shook Gareki's hand and congratulated him. It didn't take long just from listening to Hirato speak for Gareki to realize what was going on. The others weren't here to greet him, because Hirato hadn't told them he was coming, just as he hadn't told them when he left that it was to train to become a member of Circus. "Shitty Four-Eyes," Gareki thought, trying his best not to smirk, "He must have wanted to surprise them."
Gareki headed to Yogi's room, assuming he'd find the ones he really wanted to see there. Tsukumo-Chan, whom he'd come to view as a sister, Nai whom he'd done his best not to look at as a pet, and… the one person he'd never admit he really wanted to see the most. The one person he'd found himself unexpectedly pining to be near throughout his training, a certain obnoxiously childish twenty-something-year old blonde prince with violet eyes. He hesitated outside Yogi's door, as he had to fight back the flutter he felt in his heart. Would those violet eyes have turned cold toward him in his absence? From what Gareki had figured, none of them would have aged due to the Incure within their ID bracelets.
Gareki opened the door and gave a quiet smirk at the scene before him. Yogi and Nai were in the middle of a pillow fight, while Tsukumo was in a corner, quietly sewing together a doll, trying to avoid the rough-housing boys. "Yep, nothing's changed," he thought to himself.
Nai blinked and turned his sharp red eyes to the door. "Ah! Gareki!" he squeaked happily, jumping off the bed and running to the dark haired teen. Gareki tried not to smile, but it was something he always found so hard to do when looking into the Niji's eyes. Giving the albino hybrid a brief smile, Gareki rubbed the top of the little one's head.
"Wha?" Yogi exclaimed, turning to look at the door. Those violet eyes lit up as bright as they could when they saw the dark haired teen standing there. Before he could move, however, Tsukumo had already put down her sewing and rushed past the bed to welcome Gareki back. Yogi sighed as he watched Gareki interact with the others and he squeezed the pillow in his hand, looking back at the bed. Yogi's urge to jump from the bed and pounce Gareki like he use to was there, and strong, but he remembered how Gareki always acted. "He probably only came looking for Nai-Chan," he thought to himself.
Gareki frowned at the blonde. This wasn't the Yogi he'd come to know. He approached the foot of the bed and scowled at him, crossing his arms. "Hey? Not that I care, but what the hell? You can't even muster a proper hello?" he chided.
Yogi gripped the pillow tighter for a second. Gareki didn't seem to have changed one bit. "GAREKI-KUN!" Yogi exclaimed, leaping off the bed and throwing his arms around him. "Welcome back! Did you miss us?"
THIS was the Yogi Gareki had come to know and love in spite of himself. "Like hell I did," Gareki lied, turning his head away from the blonde, "I just thought I'd say hello." Gareki blinked. "What the…? Hey! You're getting my shirt wet!" he grumbled pushing the blonde away.
"I'm sorry," Yogi said, rubbing a finger under his lachrymose eyes, "I'm just so happy to see you again. You never contacted any of us! I thought you'd forgotten us."
"Who could ever forget someone as obnoxious as you?" Gareki replied. Yogi blinked as Gareki spoke these words. It was quick and fleeting, but the blonde could have sworn he saw a real smile cross the younger boy's face. Gareki wasn't being mean. Gareki was simply being Gareki, and there was a hidden message in those words just now, though Yogi dared not call him on it, almost scared to believe that it was just his own wanton imagination. Nai flinched as his ears picked up on the flux in Gareki and Yogi's heartbeats. Yogi hadn't imagined that smile, Nai could sense the truth in how Gareki felt, too.
"Alright, children," Hirato's voice came from behind. The four 'Children of Circus' as Hirato had now named their little group turned to face their captain. "I'm sure Gareki-Kun's tired from his trip. Give him some time to settle back into his old room and get some rest and a shower. You'll have plenty of time before bed to catch up after supper. Tomorrow, you're going on a mission together."
The four of them stood at attention and nodded. "Yes, sir!" came the unanimous reply.
Gareki welcomed this news, it would be his first official mission as a full fledged member of Circus. It would give him a chance to put all that training into action. Yogi and Nai insisted on helping Gareki unpack. Yogi blushed as he unzipped Gareki's bag and found the Nyanperowna and Niji plushies inside. Yogi blinked in surprise. "He actually kept them? I thought sure he'd throw them away, especially if someone at the school poked fun at him over it," he thought. Pulling the Nyanperowna doll out of the bag, the blonde Lieutenant stopped as he noticed something. He tried to be discrete in his methods, but pulled the plushy close and sniffed at it. It distinctly smelt of Gareki. "No way!?" Yogi thought, holding the stuffed cat at arms' length and glancing back over his shoulder toward the dark-haired boy. "Has he actually been sleeping with Nyanperowna?"
"What the hell are you grinning at?" Gareki asked, noticing from his peripheral that Yogi was staring at him. "If you're just going to goof off, you can leave." Of course, Gareki knew he wouldn't rid himself of Yogi that easily, not that he even wanted to, but he had to make some sort of comment in order to maintain stability.
Yogi smiled and pounced Gareki, throwing his arms around him, the stuffed cat still in his hands. "GAREKI-KUN! You really did miss us, didn't you?" he exclaimed happily. Nai and Tsukumo ignored Gareki and Yogi, they'd gotten use to the two 'boys' being like that with one another, but Nai could sense there was something much deeper between them, even if he didn't quite understand it.
The next day, the group of four was sent out on their mission. A Varuga had been sighted in a small secluded town, with a large mansion just on the outskirts. It was believed the Varuga was being harbored in the mansion by its creator. As always, the Varuga was to be expunged and any left over information from the creator's lab was to be brought back for evidence and research purposes.
"So this is a typical mission, then?" Gareki inquired, "Should be a piece of cake."
"Gareki, remember, you're a member of Circus now, and your scores were indeed quite good, but Yogi is still the lead officer on this mission," Hirato reminded him, "Don't get too cocky out there."
"You don't have to remind me," Gareki scoffed, crossing his arms. "HIM on the other hand…" He shifted his eyes to the blonde with the goofy grin on his face. Hirato and Tsukumo sighed and Nai simply smiled.
"This will be your first mission as an official member of Circus, right, Gareki-Kun?" Yogi asked with his charming boyish smile. Gareki nodded, trying not to make eye contact. If he looked the idiot right in the face, he'd probably blush or smile or both. Yogi's smile got even bigger. "Then let's do our best out there, huh? I look forward to seeing if you're finally able to keep up with me!"
Gareki smirked and raised an eyebrow. "Is that a challenge, Yogi?" He looked over at Nai, and smiled. "You're on!"
The group left the ship, descending to the mansion in question. It was quiet, too quiet. "Aw, not again!?" Yogi whimpered, "Azana-Kun was captured, right? Nobody should have known we were coming."
"Just because Azana was captured, doesn't mean there might not be another leak," Gareki grumbled, "Let's just see if they were careless enough to leave anything behind and get out of here, alright?"
The others nodded in agreement. As always, Nai was clinging close to Gareki, glad to finally be reunited with his best friend. As they searched through the mansion, they found the usual scenario, not a single paper trail, no signs of the Varuga or its creator, it was as if the mansion had been uninhabited for years. Until finally, they found the laboratory. Again, no notes or drugs, only empty tubes and research equipment, and one rather large computer. "Maybe something's on here?" Nai chirped as he reached toward the consol.
"Wait, Nai-Chan!" Tsukumo called out to him.
"Nai, don't go hitting random… buttons," Gareki scolded. Too late, Nai's finger was on a large red button and the little Niji was looking over his shoulder at his comrades, already well aware he had messed up. Tsukumo snatched Nai away from the computer and everyone watched as the screen flickered. Nai covered his ears as the machine began to give off loud beeps. The noises were already loud and annoying to the humans, but to Nai's sensitive ears, it was almost deafening. Suddenly, something malfunctioned and the energy from the machine fed back into itself, forcing it to pop and crackle. The entire group grew wide-eyed hearing this and made the move to pull out and flee. Too late, the computer exploded and the last thing any of them recalled was a blinding bright light.
Meanwhile in Sotoba
Natsuno threw down the stake and mallet. "That's just playing dirty!" he exasperated as he stared down the blonde eighteen year old standing across from him. For the first time, he got a good look at his friend's eyes. The blonde standing across from him had been his closest, no his only friend since moving to this tiny secluded town. This person should be dead! He had helplessly watched as their dead classmate bit him on the neck, he attended the funeral and watched with baited breath as this very person was lowered into the ground. For the first time since learning his friend had come back the same as that pink haired witch who had killed him, Natsuno Yuuki/Koide got a good look at Tohru Mutou's eyes. They weren't the beautiful brown he'd fallen in love with and come to trust, they were dark black circles with two red glowing lights. Tohru didn't have his beautiful smile which had always made Natsuno feel so safe, but a frown that denoted both fear and worry. "Damn it all! Don't act like the Tohru you used to be! Act like a monster already!" Natsuno sank to his knees. "How dare you call my name when you're like this! Do you even realize what you did to me the other night?" Natsuno's hand wrapped around the puncture wounds in his neck. He wasn't the type to break down and cry, not even in front of Tohru, but he was at his whit's end. "I can't do it. I thought I could, but I can't, not him!" the frustrated fifteen-year-old thought to himself, "No matter how many times I tell myself it's not him… IT really does look and act like my Tohru-Chan."
Tohru started to approach him but stopped dead in his tracks when he saw the younger dark haired boy flinch. "Natsuno, I'm sorry," Tohru said. He could smell Natsuno's fear, he could smell Natsuno's blood, he could smell Natsuno himself. He dared not move any closer for fear of hurting him again. "I didn't want to hurt you, but I was left with no other choice! As a Shiki, I have to feed from human blood, whether I kill or not, but Sunako insists killing is our only way."
"But why me, Tohru!? When you ran from my window the other night, all I could think was how you didn't do anything to deserve coming back as a monster like that. Why of all people did you come to me?" Natsuno asked.
"I didn't choose it, Natsuno!" Tohru replied.
"Don't call me that!" Natsuno scoffed, rising to his feet. "You have no right to call me by that name. You're not the Tohru-Chan I knew."
"You didn't like me calling you by it then, either," Tohru sighed. He closed his eyes and looked away. "I never wanted to hurt you, Natsuno. I never even wanted you to know I'd come back as one of these creatures. If there was a single person in all of Sotoba I wish could have remembered me as I was, you were it. Tatsumi ordered me to come find you." Tohru shifted his eyes toward Natsuno. "I was given a choice, you or my family, Natsuno, but when I saw the look in your eyes, that's why I fled! I didn't want to do it, and I couldn't bring myself to."
"Then why? Why did you bite me?" Natsuno scowled, "If you couldn't bring yourself to do it, then why did you? Why are you back now? Are you here to finish the job? If its for your family, maybe I can understand."
"I did it for them, yes," Tohru sighed, "But it was the only way I could see to save you at the time. Tatsumi-Kun and Megumi had you cornered. If I didn't, they would have. Tatsumi-Kun and Sunako want you out of the way. Natsuno, they see you as a threat."
"This can't be the only way," Natsuno sighed, shaking his head. "If YOU had come to me and explained, I would have worked with you, Tohru-Chan. If the Shiki try to work with the people of Sotoba, rather than killing, there could be another way. Wait a few days, and a person's blood will replenish enough that you can take it again, right?"
"It's not that easy Natsuno! Even you see us as monsters, do you really think someone would cooperate with us if we told them what we truly were?" Tohru pointed out. His eyes looked panicked, he realized Natsuno was moving closer to him.
Natsuno pulled up his sleeve, exposing the flesh of his arm. "Then take my blood!" he said determinedly. "Tohru, I realized after your funeral I couldn't leave here without you. Come with me, we'll run together and find a better way. Leave these stupid people in this Podunk little town to their own devices. If they can't figure it out on their own, perhaps they deserve what they get."
"That's really harsh, Natsuno, even coming from you," Tohru thought. He flinched and shook his head, turning away from the dark haired boy. "No, it won't work! If we run, Tatsumi-Kun might still attack my family. He may come after us. You don't know Tatsumi-Kun, he's a cold hearted sadist!"
"Isn't it worth a try at least, Tohru-Chan?" Natsuno asked as Tohru threw his hands to his head and sank to his knees, shivering. "If he comes after us, we'll fight him. Tohru-Chan, I'm offering you my help, you don't belong with these people. Tohru-Chan please? Tohru…?" Natsuno had come too close, Tohru gave off a low warning growl for the boy to stay away. "Tohru-Chan, you didn't feed at all last night, did you? I won't fight, not against you. I'm telling you it's alright!" Natsuno blinked and almost smiled as Tohru slowly began to turn toward him. The smile quickly faded when the blonde vampire had turned to face him. The look on Tohru's face was downright frightening. "T-Tohru-Chan?" Natsuno gasped in fear as Tohru lunged at him. Tohru wrestled Natsuno to the ground, tears streaming down his face, venom and saliva dripping from his fangs. Natsuno cried out as Tohru's fangs sank into the flesh of his neck. The vampire was no where near as gentle this time as he had been the last. Natsuno trembled as he felt Tohru's weight on top of him, he could feel his strength slipping away even further. Natsuno didn't push the frenzied vampire away, however. He forced his arms to move and he wrapped them around him. "T…To…Tohru-Chan," he gasped weakly, "Please, stop… If you take much more I-I'll…" Natsuno closed his tear-filled eyes and fell unconscious.
A bright light flashed and Tohru blinked. He was no longer frenzied. He was somewhere he didn't recognize. "Where am…?" Tohru gasped as he felt something warm and liquid running from the corner of his mouth. The vampire licked his lips and gasped. "BLOOD! No, I've attacked someone again? But, who?" His eyes widened as he remembered everything up until the hunger frenzy took him. The last person next to him was… He looked down at the ground. He found himself straddling a certain unconscious dark-haired teen. "N-Natsuno!" he wailed. "Natsuno! Natsuno? Please answer me! Oh God, what have I done?" He hugged Natsuno tight and close. "Natsuno, I'm so sorry…" He blinked as he hugged the frail human close, and gave a quiet sigh of relief. "Your heart, it's still beating. Oh thank goodness, you're still alive!" His eyes scanned the area once more. "Where are we?" Blinking yet again, Tohru jumped to his feet. "CRAP!" The area was thick full of trees, but not the fir trees that surrounded Sotoba. This gave some shade, but Tohru could already see the first lights of dawn creeping over the horizon. "I've got to find somewhere I can hide, and fast," he said worriedly. His eyes turned to Natsuno. "But I can't just leave Natsuno here alone." He pulled the unconscious boy onto his back. He was stronger now than when he was human, so he wasn't at risk of being slowed down. He ran as fast as he could away from the rising sun, keeping his eyes open for somewhere, anywhere where he could hide. "A cave? That'll have to work!"
Tohru quickly ducked into the cave and moved as far toward the back as possible, staying away from the sunlight. He knew he could have left Natsuno closer to the entrance in case someone passed by that could help him, but he wanted a chance to apologize face-to-face first. "Hang in there, Natsuno," Tohru sighed, hugging the dark-haired teen close. "Please, don't die on me." Tohru snuggled as close to Natsuno as he could. He was already having trouble staying awake. "Don't leave me," he whispered softly. "He's so… warm."
Natsuno was so weakened from Tohru's feeding frenzy that he slept away the entire day. Groggily, he opened his eyes and put a hand to his head. "Where…? Where am I?" His vision was blurred, his head throbbed, parts of his body felt numb it took every effort to even sit up right. "T-Tohru-Ch…?" Natsuno forced himself to a sitting position and pushed his back as far against the cave wall as possible as he remembered what happened the night before. "What's going on? Where am I? Why are am I here?" He looked around. He was alone. "Tohru-Chan? Where is he? Did he leave me here?" He pushed against the wall of the cave and forced himself to his feet. "Damn it all, it's difficult to move. I told him it was alright, but I didn't realize he'd take so much. I wonder if he's alright? If he left me in a cave, I can only imagine he was planning to come back for me." Natsuno staggered toward the entrance of the cave. Even now, with all his body weak and numb, all he could think of was "Where am I? Where did Tohru go? Is he alright?"
What Natsuno didn't know was that Tohru had woke the moment the sun went down. He thought finding food for Natsuno was the least he could do. He had timidly promised the sleeping teen he would be back as soon as he could. Perhaps Natsuno was right, perhaps there was another way. Once or twice a week from a willing human, then finding others to feed from or forcing himself to deal with the blood of animals if need be the rest of the time. This only meant he would have to nurture Natsuno's food intake in order to keep his blood development stable and prevent the risk of killing the boy. "IF he's even still willing," he thought to himself.
Gareki sat up and rubbed his head, looking around. "Where am I?" he grumbled. "Where are the others?" He jumped to his feet and began calling out to his companions. "Tsukumo-Chan? Nai!? … YOGI!? Where are you guys?" He couldn't understand it, the last thing he knew, it was midday and the Children of Circus were in a mansion. Now, all of a sudden, he was alone in the middle of the woods. "Did the computer self destruct and throw us into the woods?"
Tsukumo and Nai sat up and looked around. The two had landed somewhere in the woods, but were still together, as Tsukumo had pulled Nai away from the computer before the explosion. "Tsukumo-Chan, are you alright?" Nai asked, his large red eyes opened as wide as they could get as he looked her in the face.
Tsukumo smiled at Nai and nodded, "I'm fine, Nai-Chan. Are you OK?"
"Un!" Nai nodded, "But…" He stood up and looked around. "I don't see Gareki or Yogi… Ah!? Gareki!? I hear him, Tsukumo-Chan! He's calling for us."
"Nai-Chan, which way?" Tsukumo asked, jumping to her feet.
Nai closed his eyes, holding his hands to his ears, listening. Tuning out the echo, he was able to focus solely on Gareki's voice. His body twitched every now and then as he tried to listen. He opened his eyes and pointed. "THAT WAY!" he said determinedly.
"Let's go then," Tsukumo said, catching Nai's hand in hers. Nai nodded and quietly followed after her.
"Gareki!" Nai called when they finally caught up to him.
"Nai! Tsukumo-Chan!" Gareki heaved a sigh of relief, glad to see the smaller members of the group were safe and sound. Nai ran to Gareki, jumping into his arms, like a dog greeting its master. "You're both alright?" Gareki narrowed his eyes at Nai, as he could only see him in his Niji form whenever he acted like this.
"We're alright, Gareki-Kun," Tsukumo assured him, "But where's Yogi-Kun?"
"I thought he was with you guys?" Gareki replied, trying to hide the worry in his voice.
Tsukumo and Nai both slowly shook their heads. "Uh-uh."
"Damn it all!" Gareki thought worriedly, "I hope he's alright!" Gareki sat Nai back on the ground with a sigh, "I suppose we need to go look for the damned idiot. We need to find him… If that patch of his was knocked off again during that explosion…" Gareki shook his head, that wasn't something he wanted to think about. "Nai, do you hear him?"
Nai shook his head. "I haven't heard him once since Tsukumo-Chan and I woke up," he timidly admitted.