Majin Tantei Nougami Neuro (C) Matsuei Yuusei JUMP Shueisha

This is an old Nougami Neuro fic which I wrote almost a year ago. Some of you may have already read this from the Neuro LJ comm. I keep forgetting about posting it here .

Day Off

There were times when Katsuragi Yako would wonder if she ever did something notorious in her past life. Was she a thief who stole the most expensive of jewels? A madman who plotted to destroy the world? Or was she a heartless serial killer who terrorized the streets at night? Certainly, she must have been an evil existence, for someone who did nothing but good deeds would not be punished with a torturous second life. In her case, the punishment came in the form of an arrogant, self-centered monster from the underworld.

"You are late again. How many times have I told you–my patience is inversely proportional to my hunger."

Nougami Neuro—the thorn in her otherwise average life.

Clenching her fists tight, Yako seethed. Neuro had some nerve to demand so much out of her! She was overworked and underpaid–wait, she was not even getting paid at all! That's right–she would work and Neuro would reap all the benefits. Where's the justice in that?

Well, she was tired of it. She was tired of being harassed and pushed around, of being treated like a slave. She decided it was time she brought some equality into their partnership (if Neuro even considered it a partnership).

"Katsuragi Yako, what are you still standing there for? Ah, I see. Do you want me to force you?"

But she also decided she'd start the campaign for equality some other time. She had to make sure of two things first: one, that Neuro was in a much better mood; and two, that there were no brick walls around them.

Her last bruise had just healed.

Four days after, Yako found the chance to lay out her proposal. Unfortunately, this chance came at a very untimely hour. She had just come out of the bathroom after a refreshing bath when she found Neuro comfortably sitting on top of her bed.

Clutching her towel tightly to her chest, Yako shrieked. Neuro, meanwhile, remained nonchalant, as if there wasn't a half-naked girl standing before him.

"Ah, it's about time you finish," he said coolly. "Hurry up and get dressed. I sense a good riddle brewing."

Yako huffed in vexation. Couldn't Neuro have, at the very least, waited until she was fully clothed before telling her that she had to work again? This had to stop. She had to let Neuro know what's on her mind, or else he would forever assume that she would always be at his command.

Placing her hands on her hips, she wore a serious expression. Taking a deep breath, she looked at Neuro straight in the eye and then with a newfound courage she told him, "No, I am not going with you."

Cocking his head to the right, Neuro inquiringly raised an eyebrow. "What did you say?"

She gulped as he began to walk towards her. She, however, continued to put on a brave face. She had to, if she wanted Neuro to grant her demands. "I said, I won't go. I'm tired…"

He stepped closer.

"I want to stay home…"

And closer.

"Rest! Watch some TV!"

And closer.

"Do you get what I'm saying?"

And closer.

"I want a day off!"

And closer. Then Neuro stopped exactly a foot away from her. Gradually, he leaned down and Yako felt shivers run down her spine, even more when Neuro suddenly grabbed the top of her head. God, she hoped he wasn't planning to fling her across the room.

"So, you are rebelling against me now, eh Yako?" he spoke in voice that just made Yako want to take back everything she had said. It was a voice that hinted danger—and possible physical abuse. Yet, she was a stubborn one.

"Y-yes," she squeaked. Realizing that she sounded like a mouse that got caught in a trap, Yako cleared her throat and repeated her reply, this time in a much deeper voice. "I mean, yes."

Slowly, Neuro's lips moved to form what seemed to her was a sinister grin. Yako was certain she was dead.

And then Neuro patted her head. Seriously, he did.

"Okay,if that's what you want. You'll have a day off. We won't go anywhere today."

And then he headed towards the door.

Yako blinked. She just couldn't believe the conversation turned out this easy—suspiciously easy. "Eh? That's it?" She spun around and followed Neuro. "No violent reactions whatsoever? You're just going to allow me to have a day off?"

Neuro stopped and turned to face her. "What's the matter? You want me to take back what I said?"

Yako frantically shook her head. "No,no,no,no! I'm just …"–she eyed him questioningly—"Curious why you agreed so quickly. I really thought I'd have a hard time convincing you."

Neuro smirk."Well, I guess that means you still don't know me well enough, Katsuragi Yako," he replied while tapping her forehead.

She was about to answer back when she suddenly felt the towel loosening around her chest. Reflexively, she glanced down and held the fabric in place just before it could show anything it wasn't supposed to show.

When she looked up, all she could see was an open door. Neuro was already gone.

Maybe he was sick. That had to be it. Maybe he was infected by a virus from the underworld, one that was capable of reversing the personality of the person affected. It sounded so absurd but still, it paled in contrast to the idea that Nougami Neuro had reformed himself overnight. Nothing was more absurd than that.

Yako shook her head as she slowly walked along the corridor heading towards the staircase. Maybe Neuro wasn't really as insensitive as she thought. Maybe what he said was true. Maybe, she just didn't know him well enough. But whatever caused Neuro to grant her day off didn't really matter anymore. She got what she wanted and that was enough. And since this day seemed like a lucky one for her, she also decided to talk to Neuro about her other demands.

But she would do that later, after she had caught up with her favorite drama. All this detective work had made her miss several episodes. She wondered how the story was moving on.

Cheerfully, Yako walked down the stairs. The house was awfully quiet, save for the sound of her footsteps. She found the silence to be natural though considering her mom was at work while Miwaako-san was in Nagoya to visit some relatives. And Neuro? Well, she didn't know where he was or what he was doing at that moment.

Well, I just hope he is keeping himself out of trouble.

Before heading to the living room, a very happy Yako decided to first stop by at the kitchen to get some snacks. However, as she reached destination, her mood dropped greatly. Laid several inches away from her feet were the neatly arranged, dissembled parts of the refrigerator. And as if those didn't shock her enough, she had also seen the dissembled parts of the oven, the toaster, the blender, and just about all of the kitchen appliances that the Katsuragi household had.

Yako's heart began to beat rapidly as a realization hit her. Frantically, she ran towards the living room, and she almost fainted when she saw that their family's brand-new Plasma TV had been turned into a mass of screws, wires and chips. Their DVD player, stereo, speakers and just about any home appliance in the vicinity also suffered the same fate.

Yako gritted her teeth. There was only one person capable of doing this horrible thing—and he was currently, sitting on the couch and disassembling a wall clock.

"My,my,this day off thing surely is so boring."

Yako could do nothing but scream in frustration.

Twenty minutes later, an irritated and defeated Yako was out in the streets,while a smirking Neuro followed behind her.

"Ah,Yako,I thought you wanted to take a day off today?"

Yako sighed. "Never mind."