Their mother had disappeared and their father had been assassinated and that had left them. Shun and Daisuke, all to their own devices.
It hadn't been so tough back then.
They'd hugged each other all the time and Daisuke could say the words 'I love you big brother' without some sardonic twist at the end.
Then he'd grown up and Shun had grown up and Shun was gorgeous.
Daisuke always took a lot of pride in his big brother. Sometimes he would invent excuses for Shun to come pick him up from school. Just so he could sit on the front steps with a pack of girls and point to his big brother.
"So, do you think my big brother is hot?"
They would swoon like the lushes they were going to grow up to be. Then Daisuke would smile and laugh as he got to his feet. And tell them,
"Out of your league, girls. Hey, Shun!"
And then run towards his brother.
Shun put up with all of this with the exasperated affection that he reserved for his baby brother and no one else. He put up with it because he was guilty of much the same.
He kept pictures of Daisuke anywhere that he could show them off. He loved to hear women say,
"Oh, what a handsome young man! Shun, watch out, your brother is going to grow up to be a heart breaker, just like you!"
Then the woman would titter and try to flirt with him some more, but he always turned them down.
He had other commitments, such as work and taking care of his little brother.
All the while secretly thinking that Daisuke was his and he would be most certain to keep him away from horrible women who would throw themselves at him simply because their family was famous and more importantly rich.
Then Daisuke was in high school and Shun hadn't even considered politics yet.
Then they felt the full force of attraction. Every day Daisuke seemed to grow a little bit. Every day, until Shun was quite sure he couldn't wait for the culmination of Nature's efforts. It was going to be beautiful. He would wait for it.
However, Daisuke, ever impatient, made his move first. He had his brother down on the couch and kissed him, entangling his fingers into Shun's long hair.
When the boy pulled back, he licked his lips and watched his brother's face carefully.
"You gonna hit me now?"
Shun grabbed his head and kissed him again.
"I think I can forgive your impertinence this once."
It had been different when they were younger.
They'd met at a party.
He was an aspiring investigator.
He was the younger brother of an ascending politician.
Ken hated the parties; he found them tiresome, wasteful, boring, and mostly tiresome. He had to be friendly with the politicians though. They passed the bills that got his force their funds.
After talking for nearly two hours with a fat official and his wife, he escaped to go to the punch bowl. There he found the bored looking blond.
"Y'know," the kid murmured. "Osegawa is paying the Leonelli family a whole lotta hush money. I don't think they come much dirtier than him."
Ken shifted uncomfortably. The boy was talking about Senator Osegawa, the man he had just been conversing with. He knew quite well what the man did with his money, he was one of the best investigators in the city.
"I don't see why that's anyone's business but his own."
The blond propped his elbows up on the table, cradling his chin. "You kidding me? Politicians working together with the mafia? That's everybody's business."
"You a cop?" Ken wondered curiously. The kid looked a bit too young for that.
"Nope." The boy scowled. "Just a rich brat with a famously dead daddy and a big shot brother."
"I take it you don't really want to be here," Ken murmured sympathetically.
The boy stared up at him for a long moment. "Wanna get out of here?"
Ken considered it and then agreed, smiling, just a bit. "Where to?"
"You old enough to drink?" the kid joked as he bounced to his feet. He glanced around as if to make sure no one was watching and then grabbed Ken's arm, pulling him along.
"Yes, and what about you?" Ken asked flatly.
"Course I am, hurry up before security tries to stop me!"
It was only later, when they were both drunk and having sex on his couch that Ken found out the boy was only nineteen.
It was different when he was younger.
When he was younger he could be in the same room with his brother without feeling rage bubbling up inside him.
When he was younger he was allowed to call Edmundo by his first name.
When he was younger he'd had something.
Now all he had was J.
"You were fighting with Chief Aurora again, Daisuke."
"So?" Dice snapped.
"A true man does not create such rifts within the family."
Daisuke stopped walking and turned on heel. He poked a finger at J.
"What the hell do you know about it?"
Shun had hit him for the first time when he was seventeen. Really hit him, not just a playful cuff, or a hit when they were sparring.
"Daisuke, I want our father to proud of what I do. I know you don't care, but I am going to follow in his footsteps. We cannot continue as we are, it is completely inappropriate, and is, more importantly, a childish game that we played."
They were brothers. Shun had always taken care of him, always loved him. And they'd been sleeping together for two years. Daisuke had been hurt and betrayed and he'd lashed out and Shun had put him into his proper place.
And the injury to their relationship had never really healed.
J was staring at him, his head cocked just a little bit to the side and his circuits were whirring.
"Your emotional state is unstable and your blood pressure has risen by three counts, Daisuke."
Their relationship…only festered.
So, when Shun asked him to be part of the Special Services Division he'd been stunned. Then pissed, then excited, then indifferent, and then he'd accepted.
And Ken had been furious.
"You never could say 'no' to your brother, could you?"
He'd sneered and Daisuke had burned with anger and a certain amount of shame.
"Just what are you saying?"
"I'm saying that he's taken advantage of you in the past, and this is just another case where you're going to let him."
"Taken advantage of me? Fuck, that was three, almost four, years ago! And he wasn't taking advantage of me!"
"You're defending him again. It's fine when you rage against him, but when it really counts you're still wishing he—"
"Say what I think you're going to say, Edmundo, and I am walking out the god damn door."
"—fucked you every night, like he used to."
"You sack of shit. Fuck you, Edmundo. Fuck you!"
It was different when he was younger. It felt better to be alive and every day had been something. Yeah, he'd had his rough patches. He still had nightmares about his father's death, but there had always been someone to go crawling to about it.
Not now. Now when he woke up in a cold sweat, about to piss his shorts, he just had to sit there.
He almost never fell back asleep afterwards.
On one particularly fucked up occasion he got dressed and headed downtown to headquarters, where he proceeded to type up the damn reports Kyoko and Shun were always bitching about.
"Daisuke," J said, coming out of his sleep mode. "You are here quite late. Is something the matter?"
"Go back to sleep, J. I'm just going to type my activity report."
"A man must be rested in order to face the day."
"C'mon, J, leave me alone."
"Daisuke, I must insist."
The blond typed several more lines before turning around in his chair.
"Ever heard of insomnia, buddy?"
"Of course. It is a condition from which you humans suffer. It is defined as the inability to sleep or to remain asleep throughout the night." J put his large hand onto Daisuke's shoulder. "You have no history of this condition. As a matter of fact, you often come in to work late claiming to have overslept."
Dice shrugged him off and continued typing.
"Daisuke," J said. For an android he sure could put a lot of inflection into his voice modulator.
"All right! God damn!" He stood up, slamming his hands on the keyboard, which probably wasn't smart and probably destroyed the report. He stomped over to the couch and lay down.
J seemed satisfied and returned to his station beside the door. He did not go back into sleep mode, however. He waited, listening carefully to Dice's breathing and heartbeat. Only once he was sure his partner had drifted off, did he finally go into standby himself.
His sensors snapped back on immediately when he heard his partner's startled shout. He got a reading on the boy and began scanning the immediate area, but he found nothing.
"Daisuke, are you all right? Your heart is beating erratically and you are sweating."
"I'm fine," Dice panted, wiping at his forehead. He didn't know how the hell he'd let himself nod off again.
J ambled over and knelt down beside the low couch. "Your emotional state is also shifting. Have you," his head titled to one side, a curious expression for an android. "dreamed?"
"No. It's fine, J. A noise just startled me awake."
"A man does not lie, Daisuke. My records say there was no noise."
"Just drop it, J. I'm not in the mood for this."
"Could I be of assistance?"
"Chief Aurora informed me that you like to be hugged."
Daisuke turned red.
"Daisuke, your body temperature is increasing. Are you in need of a doctor?"
"No, J. It's fine."
His only question was, when had Shun spoken to J? Shun made a point of showing his general distain for J every single time Daisuke was in his office.
"He's just a tool, nothing more, nothing less."
"Are you actually developing feelings for him?"
"Don't let emotions cloud your judgment."
"J," Dice murmured, lying back on the couch. "Here's a new lesson for you. Real men don't hug each other. Therefore, my brother is a woman."
"I do not think that is correct, Daisuke."
"Trust me, buddy, it is."
It'd been different when he was younger. When he'd fought with someone he could smile at them and make it all better. He was charming and usually sincere in that way.
But then there was J: a friend and a partner, even if he was an android.
Just what Shun hated about him.
It was different when he was younger. His foul moods had never stayed as long when he was a teenager. Now they almost feel like they were suffocating him in great crashing waves.
J had informed him that his emotional state was unstable. Maybe that was why the kid had affected him so much.
Or perhaps it was his story. It was a story that Daisuke could relate to. Missing mother, missing father, brother issues.
Maybe it was the little bastards freckles. Or maybe it was because Dice was due for a good lay.
Whatever it was, the gun was at the bottom of the canal and Kia was beneath him, moaning softly.
Dice remembered being that young. At nineteen he was in the same position: drunken, pinned down to the couch with an older man above him, in him, around him.
J always told him a true man never looked back.
He drove forward into Kia, even though it took all his willpower not to call out for Ken.
Of course he never mentioned that to Edmundo.
There was no way in any of the Hells that he was walking up to the inspector and telling him:
"I fucked a nineteen year old boy the other day and it made me think of when we met."
The inspector was on his mind, morning until night for days and when Edmundo called on him to help with Alisa's case, Dice didn't have the sense the refuse. He'd always known he should have had his heart surgically removed.
He spent the night out, kicking criminal ass and saving Edmundo's ex-girlfriend. Which sucked, he noted, as he watched Ken walk away with Alisa.
The very next day, Edmundo called him again. He wanted to take him out to lunch as thanks. Dice couldn't even think up a viable reason to refuse.
So, he ended up in an outdoor café with Edmundo, like it was some kind of date and all he could think to say was,
"You never broke anyone's arm for me."
And all the inspector did was stare at him because they hadn't so much as talked about their relationship in over a year.
"You aren't a woman, Daisuke, you're perfectly capable of breaking arms, all on your own."
It was Dice's turn to be surprised.
"Did you just make a joke, Edmundo? Astonishing."
"Go to hell, you punk." Edmundo was smiling, and after they'd ordered from the waiter, he continued. "So…how are you doing?" he coughed uncomfortably at the end. A day ago he'd called his ex-boyfriend to help him with his ex-girlfriend and everything had become too involved and confusing and more importantly painful. Even for him.
"Me? Same old. You enjoying your suspension?" Daisuke lounged languidly in his chair and took a sip of his drink.
"A vacation isn't a bad thing."
"Look, uh, if you want to thank me, that's great, but could we skip the benign small talk?"
Edmundo rolled his eyes. In some ways Dice would never change, it others he would never be the same.
"How is your brother?"
"Jesus, that is not what I meant."
"It's a reasonable question." Ken shrugged.
"We still hate each other's guts, okay? No different than when we were younger."
"Yet you still work for him?"
Daisuke froze and glared at him in silence. "It isn't fucking about him anymore. I have a partner who depends on me, and I depend on him for that matter."
"Shun seems to think you've got feelings for the android."
"You've been to see him? God. Just…damn it." Daisuke stood up, his body rigid with anger. He stared down at the man for a long, long moment. Then he dropped listlessly back into the chair. "Shit," he groaned.
It was different from when they were younger.
It had been different when they were younger.
He was twice Dice's age and their chapter was over, probably never should have started.
He'd had always had a lot of confidence in Daisuke though. He always would, but nowadays he felt more inclined to scold the kid. Dice could take care of himself, but he was reckless and impatient.
When Clair Leonelli kidnapped the blond Special Services employee, Edmundo became concerned.
No one had even realized Daisuke was missing until Edmundo had a video thrown through his bedroom window.
He'd played it and seen Dice in the center of an empty room, tied to a chair, but not much else.
"Right, so, hi, Edmundo. I've been kidnapped and J can't find me right now because they've put up some kind of electric disturbance. That's really good, because if J shows up, they're going to kill me. So, if it isn't too much of an inconvenience, please tell my brother to pay my ransom. The drop is at Fountain Square."
Daisuke spouted the lines dispassionately, all the while staring at someone outside the camera's view.
Edmundo didn't watch any further; he'd seen all he needed to. Fumbling with the phone and his address book, he called up Shun.
He wanted to have confidence in Daisuke, but he had to admit, at least to himself, that he was scared. Clair Leonelli was absolutely batshit insane, there was no telling what he might do.
Daisuke felt similarly as Clair circled him, eyeing him like a vulture.
"Daisuke Aurora…you've been a major part of my life recently. You're an obstacle, a problem, something I always have to take into account." Clair giggled. "You make things challenging, but it seems I've finally gotten the upper hand on you."
"Yep, it would seem that way, Clair."
Mauro scowled. "You will address the young master properly!"
"Mauro," Clair whispered, running his fingers through Dice's hair. "I would like you to leave us now, and make sure everything in arranged."
"Y-yes, young master."
Clair sat down in Daisuke's lap and smiled. "How do you feel, Aurora? Comfortable?"
"It'd be even better if you'd let me go."
"Mmm, on one condition."
"And what would that be?"
Clair pressed their mouths together, his lip ring was cold and felt fascinating. Then Clair slipped his tongue into Daisuke's mouth, roaming freely, until he was bitten.
"The fuck are you doing, Leonelli?"
"I like you, Daisuke Aurora," the Vampire smiled, sucking on his stinging tongue. "I like you, because no matter what I do, you'll always be with me."
"What are you talking about?"
"You can't leave me, because I'm bad…and you're good." Clair leaned in and kissed him again, sinuously wrapping his arms around Daisuke's body. "You'll always have to come after me."
The blond turned his head to the side and tried to look disgusted. "You're crazy," he grumbled.
"Maybe. But your body doesn't seem to mind." Clair squirmed in Dice's lap to make his point. "Are you really complaining?"
There was a shattering sound outside the room, and couple of gunshots. Then the Leonelli mansion fell deathly quiet. Clair stared at the door, and at length, pulled the gun from his pocket, he pressed it to Daisuke's temple.
When the door flew open, exposing Boma, his human mask in place, Clair laughed.
"Hello, Boma! How kind of you to drop in."
"Let my friend go, Leonelli."
Clair continued to snigger. "Oh, Boma, you…you make me laugh! Why don't you come over here? We can share him!" He pressed his lips to his captive's cheek, leaving no question as to the specifics of his offer.
"Shit," Daisuke exclaimed, trying to toss Clair from his lap, but his legs were secured to the chair. "You're sick! Wasn't kidnapping me enough?"
The worst part of the whole scenario was that Boma seemed intrigued. He sheathed his sword and came closer. He crouched at Daisuke's side and took the blonde's jaw into his hand, turning his head.
"I'm sorry, Daisuke," he whispered. Then he leaned forward to kiss him. Clair made a gleeful noise, as he watched. It became a shriek when Boma broke the kiss and attacked him. Clair's gun went off, the bullet aimlessly striking Daisuke's leg. The Special Services officer cried out in pain.
Boma knocked the gun from the Vampire's hand and then struck him a heavy blow across the jaw, leaving the boy unconscious. Then at last, the werewolf came to his friend's rescue.
"I apologize again, Daisuke," he murmured as he picked the blond up and began to run.
"S'okay, man," Dice's murmured and then made a hurt sound. He passed out somewhere along the way. Boma hurried him to where their other friends were waiting.
He found the inspector, Edmundo, in the park with the other police. He had hoped to find the android, but J was nowhere in the immediate vicinity. Daisuke required medical attention and there were medics who had been standing by for the drop.
"Take care of him," the werewolf instructed, transferring the body reluctantly into Ken's waiting arms. Both of them would leave the scene covered in Dice's blood.
Afterwards, Edmundo had Daisuke lying, still unconscious, in the backseat of his car and Shun in the front seat. He allowed himself to feel relieved that Daisuke was alive and the bullet hadn't gone in too deep.
They arrived in front of Dice's apartment and, together, lugged the kid up the stairs. They settled him into his bed, but neither man wanted to leave him alone in his apartment. They moved chairs from the dining room and set them beside Daisuke's bed.
"I was worried about him," Shun said quietly, reaching out and caressing Daisuke's face, as if to make sure he was there and that it wasn't all a dream; nightmare or otherwise.
"Yeah? Well…I was too," Edmundo shrugged.
"I hope you will help me keep this incident out of the news?"
"Of course. It would piss him off to be the newest attraction in the media circus."
Shun smiled wanly, and then returned his attention back to his little brother.
In the morning, Daisuke woke up to see both men asleep at his bedside. He tried to stretch, but groaned at the pain in his leg. Edmundo's eyes fluttered open.
"What are you two doing here?" Dice asked. His voice was still ragged from sleep.
"We were watching over you while you slept," Ken responded flatly.
"Oh, yeah? Color me surprised."
Daisuke shifted on the bed, frowning. He let the silence hang all around them. "Threesome."
"Clair tied me up and had his way with me. Then Boma showed up and apparently I have a lot of animal magnetism…"
"Daisuke, shut up."
"Whaaat? It's the truth!"
Edmundo reached over and clapped his hand over the kid's mouth. "Y'know, there were actually people worried about you, you little shit. You are never going to change."
Daisuke fell silent, so Edmundo took his hand away once more. They just stared at each other for what could have been forever. There was something hard and unreadable in Daisuke's green eyes that Edmundo just couldn't figure out.
Then Dice finally spoke up. "Hey…Ken? I already have."