Title: Dead Tours
Warning: Yaoi, language, OCs, possibly some violence later on
Disclaimer: I don't own Yami no Matsuei or its characters
Pairings: TsuzukixHisoka, OCxOC (not that anybody cares), and maybe some TatsumixWatari
Summary: A string of murders is connected with a tour bus specializing in tours for gay men. Tsuzuki and Hisoka must pretend to be a gay couple and infiltrate this bus on its latest tour across Japan.
Chapter #1: In Which Nothing Big Happens
Kanoe at his side, Tatsumi stood up from his seat and cleared his throat to signal that he was ready to begin. Hisoka looked up from his perusal of the folder in front of him and Watari and Tsuzuki stopped talking long enough to pay attention, turning their eyes to the front of the room.
"Over the past several weeks there have been a number of murders," Tatsumi began seriously, looking out at his audience, "At first glance they seem random. There is no similarity in manner of death and they all take place in completely different areas of Japan. Gushoshin." Tatsumi nodded to the floating bird. "If you would."
Gushoshin nodded and dimmed the lights. Then, flipping another switch, the projector turned on and images of the dead victims appeared on the screen in front of them, one after the other.
Watching the screen, Tatsumi continued. "It seemed that the only thing linking these murders was the fact that not one of the souls had arrived for judgment. Now we know differently. We have had several Shinigami pairs working on the individual cases for awhile now and each pair has consistently come back with three similarities between the victims." Tatsumi turned away from the screen and looked at his audience to make sure they got this point. "One: their gender. Two: their sexuality. And three: this company." He indicated the screen once more where the images of dead bodies had abruptly changed to an advertisement. Two men stood with their arms around each other, smiling out of the paper, the name of the tour bus printed in bright cheery letters across the top.
"I've seen that," Watari declared excitedly, leaning forward and pointing at the screen
"Oh me too!" Tsuzuki said, happily surprised. "They were advertising it out in front of my second favorite bakery."
Tatsumi ignored them. "This is Yamamoto Bus Tours," he said, indicating the screen again, "A tour line specializing in vacation tours for gay men, particularly couples. Each of the victims was a passenger aboard this bus when they were suddenly killed. Gushoshin." Tatsumi nodded at the floating bird again and Gushoshin turned off the projector. The lights came back on as Tatsumi continued seriously, looking out at the others. "Other Shinigami have already tried to discover the reason behind these deaths, but their progress has been hindered by the very nature of the company. Bus tours tend to move around a lot and have need for relatively little in the way of employees. So after some deliberation it has been decided that this case will be turned over to you."
"And what are we supposed to do that all the other Shinigami have been unable to?" Hisoka asked suspiciously.
"You two will pose as a gay couple and become passengers aboard this bus," Tatsumi answered calmly, sitting back down in his seat.
"You mean me?" Hisoka pointed at himself incredulously and then at Tsuzuki. "With him?"
"Hisoka!" Tsuzuki complained, pouting. "That's mean! What's so bad about being with me?"
Hisoka spared him a dark look. "Shut up," he ordered and then turned right back to Tatsumi. "Why can't some other pair go? Does it really have to be us?"
"I'm afraid so. You two are the only two who fit all the necessary requirements."
"And just what's that supposed to mean?" Hisoka demanded, immediately going on the defensive.
"Nothing," Tatsumi said, face carefully blank, as though he had no clue what other connotations his previous statement may have had. "Just that you two are the only Shinigami pair currently working for us that is both not working on a case at the moment and is compromised of two men. This is a tour for gay couples, remember."
Hisoka didn't have anything to say to that. It did make sense, but that didn't mean he had to like it.
"Oh come on, Hisoka," Tsuzuki said, trying to make things positive. "It'll be fun! Like a vacation!"
Tatsumi turned on Tsuzuki with a glare. "I fully expect the two of you to work. This is not an excuse to be lazy."
Tsuzuki flinched and scrunched down further in his seat. "Yes, Tatsumi," he said in a small voice, looking sufficiently cowed.
Tatsumi nodded, apparently pleased with Tsuzuki's reaction. Then he turned back to the point at hand. "You two will, of course, be expected to act like a real-life couple. Can we trust you to be able to do that?"
Watari bit back on a sudden laugh, covering his mouth with a hand, but he quickly got himself under control and schooled his face into a serious mask. Tatsumi spared him an unimpressed look. Kanoe raised a brow.
Thinking about what he may be forced to do, Hisoka blushed and ducked his head.
"Sure!" Tsuzuki said happily, getting back his enthusiasm for the case. Head snapping up to look over at his partner in some surprise, Hisoka's blush only worsened as he felt Tsuzuki's genuine happiness with the prospect. Did he not realize how embarrassing this could be? What they might have to do?
"Good," Tatsumi said, shuffling some of the papers in front of him back into a folder to signal the end of the discussion. He looked up from his shuffling and said, "Then you are dismissed."
"I can't believe we're actually doing this." Nakayama Kanta laughed, holding onto his boyfriend's arm as the two of them entered the bus depot, carrying a backpack on his back and pulling his suitcase along behind him.
"I know," Takeda Seitarou replied, smiling down at his laughing boyfriend and pulling his own bag along behind him. "A vacation. I can't remember the last time the two of us had any fun together."
"It was seven months ago," Kanta told him, looking up at the taller man. "Remember? We went to that party?"
"Oh yeah," Seitarou said, remembering. He turned back to look down on his boyfriend's dark head. "Fujimura's, right?"
"Yeah! Everything since then has been business, business, business. I was starting to wonder if we'd ever have free time for ourselves again."
"Well this trip should be just what we need," Seitarou said, breaking off the conversation and pulling his arm away from Kanta to hand his ticket to the ticket lady. That done he turned back to his boyfriend. "We'll sit back, read a few books, relax, take in some history, maybe even get some sun."
"And best of all," Kanta broke in excitedly, accepting his ticket stub from the lady and following his boyfriend outside to where the bus was being loaded up. "No laptops! No bosses! We can stay up late into the night watching all the old late night movies and sleep in till noon."
Getting in line to throw their suitcases in the baggage trunk, Seitarou looked amused. "If that's what you want. I didn't know you liked old movies that much."
"I don't," Kanta assured him with a smile. "I just like the freedom."
"Well okay." Seitarou laughed, handing his bag to the worker that was throwing the rest of the bags inside the bus. "But don't stay up too late. We do still have to follow the bus' schedule and they leave the hotel each morning around ten."
"So I'll sleep on the bus," Kanta said, not bothered by this forced change to his ideal schedule and handing his own bag over. "Not much else to do when we're driving anyways."
"True," Seitarou agreed, "I'll probably just read though."
Kanta smiled again as they went to go get in line to board the bus, amused by his boyfriend's love of reading. "Did you bring enough books?" The two of them stopped at the back of the line and began the wait. The bus wasn't being boarded yet so the line wasn't really moving.
"I should have," Seitarou answered, frowning a little as he tried to remember if he'd packed everything he'd wanted. "I brought almost ten."
Hearing this, Kanta blinked. "Isn't that a little much? I know you read really fast, but the trip's only two weeks long."
"Better safe than sorry. Isn't that an American saying?" Seitarou asked, smiling down at his boyfriend again. "Besides this way I have a choice in what to read."
Kanta opened his mouth, about to make a smart-alecky remark to that, when he was interrupted by the loud voices of the couple behind them.
"No, Tsuzuki. No," a youngish voice said, "I told you. One bag. You can have one bag."
"But Hisoka," another man whined in reply. "They're all so good. I can't decide which one."
"I don't care," the youngish voice replied coldly. "I'm not sitting next to you on a sugar high for the next five hours."
Kanta and Seitarou turned around to find themselves facing two of the prettiest men they had ever seen. Now Kanta knew that he and Seitarou were considered good-looking, but this was . . . this was just ridiculous. What were the chances that two men that pretty would find each other out of everyone in the world? It just didn't make sense. Well to be fair the shorter, blondish one looked to be technically a boy, but Kanta knew that no one under eighteen was allowed on the bus, so he had to be older than he looked.
And they seemed to realize they were being watched because the taller one turned to them with a wide smile and said cheerfully, "Oh. Hi!"
Seitarou managed a smile back, but Kanta was still too busy staring. Seitarou quickly nudged his nonresponsive boyfriend and Kanta was knocked out of what ever daze he'd been in.
"Hi!" Kanta replied cheerfully enough, if a bit belatedly.
"I'm Tsuzuki Asato and this is Kurosaki Hisoka," the tall man said, indicating first himself and then his shorter boyfriend.
"Takeda Seitarou and Nakayama Kanta," Seitarou said with a quick bow. Kanta clumsily followed his example, performing a sloppy bow as Tsuzuki and Kurosaki bowed in return. "Where are you two from?" Seitarou asked.
"The Kyuushu area," Tsuzuki replied, "What about you?"
"The Kyuushu area!" Kanta said with a wide smile.
"Really?" Tsuzuki said, his own smile growing in response. "Well nice to meet you!"
"You too!" Kanta said enthusiastically.
"Um . . ." Seitarou said, hesitating for a moment before he worked up the nerve to ask. He'd been looking at Hisoka through out this whole exchange and he just had to say something. "I'm sorry. I just have to ask," he said, "How old are you?"
Kurosaki kindly tried to hide his obvious annoyance with the question and just looked at them in long-suffering tolerance. "20," he said.
"Oh, I'm sorry," Seitarou said apologetically. "I'm really sorry. I just . . . You just look so young."
Kurosaki tried a strained smile. "I know."
"Hisoka just has one of those faces," Tsuzuki said cheerfully, putting an arm around his boyfriend's shoulders and pulling him into his side as he addressed Seitarou and Kanta. "He's gonna be carded until he's fifty!"
Kurosaki's attempt at a smile failed. "Oh I hope not."
"No, that's a good thing!" Kanta said cheerfully, wanting to make Kurosaki feel better. "I wish I could look as young as you do. Can you believe I'm already getting wrinkles? 26 and wrinkles!"
"Oh you can't tell at all," Tsuzuki assured him.
"And I think you look great," Seitarou said with a smile, putting his own arm around Kanta's shoulders.
Kanta smiled back at his boyfriend and snuggled into his embrace. "You always say that."
"And it's always true."
Tsuzuki nudged his boyfriend with a smile. "Hey, why can't you say things like that?"
Kurosaki just looked at Tsuzuki like he was out of his mind. "Why would I even want to?"
"Don't you wanna be sweet?"
Tsuzuki turned back to Seitarou and Kanta looking like he was about to say something before something seemed to catch his attention. "Oh! The line's moving!"
Seitarou and Kanta both turned back around to see that he was right.
"Where are you guys gonna sit?" Tsuzuki asked as they began to move forward.
Kanta looked to Seitarou for the answer and Seitarou took out his ticket stub to check their assigned seating number. "14 C and D," he finally answered then looked back up at Tsuzuki and Kurosaki. "What about you?"
Tsuzuki turned to Kurosaki as the strangely young looking man took out their ticket stubs. "15 C and D," Kurosaki replied, before looking back up at them.
"You're sitting right behind us!" Kanta said excitedly. "How's that for coincidence?"
"Yeah!" Tsuzuki replied just as excitedly.
Seitarou merely smiled at his boyfriend's excitement and tried to herd Kanta in the right direction. Ten minutes later they were all seated, all of their backpacks with their traveling entertainment stuffed in the right places. Kanta and Seitarou made sure they had anything they could want within easy reach, getting comfortable in their seats before Kanta turned around to continue the conversation with their new friends.
"So how did you two meet? No offense or anything, but you two don't exactly look like you would be involved in many of the same things."
Tsuzuki merely smiled, not offended, as Kurosaki continued to mess about in his carry-on bag, apparently looking for something. "We actually met at school."
That was unexpected. Kanta raised a brow. "You don't look like you'd be in any of the same classes either."
"We weren't," Tsuzuki said, "I'm actually a History major and Hisoka just happened to be enrolled in the class I TA'd for."
Kurosaki looked up at this to contribute, "It was an elective. I'm actually a Literature major."
"Really?" Kanta asked, more than pleased by this, "'Cause Sei-chan loves reading!"
Having been listening in, Seitarou groaned. "I thought I told you not to call me that."
Kanta turned to grin at him. "And that's exactly why I call you it."
Tsuzuki grinned himself at this interaction. "That's just like me and 'Soka-chan."
"I told you not to call me that!" Kurosaki hissed with a glare at his boyfriend, having apparently found his iPod and ridiculously thick book.
"But it's so cute," Tsuzuki replied, smiling into Kurosaki's not amused face.
"That's what I say!" Kanta said, happy to find someone similar to him. Him and Tsuzuki laughed stupidly together for a moment. Kurosaki merely shook his head and put on his headphones, apparently deciding to ignore the two.
Oh Kanta could already tell. He was going to have fun these two weeks.
After a brief interruption where the tour leader made some boring speech and told everyone the rules of the tour and bus, the conversation between Tsuzuki and his new friend Kanta continued on, with some interruptions by Seitarou, while the bus rolled out of the parking lot and started out for the first hotel on the tour. After discussing how Kanta and Seitarou had met (Kanta was the secretary for Seitarou's law firm), then commiserating about the difficulties of being in love with a brain ("They use such big words!" Tsuzuki complained.), and then finally arguing the merits of lollipops versus M&M's (Tsuzuki liked lollipops. Kanta worshipped M&M's) the conversation finally died down and Kanta decided to bug Seitarou while Tsuzuki turned his attention to the window to watch the scenery fly by. A cheap bag dinner was passed out to the passengers with the promise of better food tomorrow morning. Kanta poked at his experimentally for a bit while Tsuzuki tore into the bag and scarfed the cold sandwich down as quickly as possible. He'd been hungry for a while and Hisoka had made him throw away one of his bags of candy before the bus had left.
Finally the bus rolled into the hotel parking lot in Hokkaido and everyone on the bus quickly made their way out, stretching and groaning and praising God for the ride being over for the night.
"Alright," the tour leader said loudly as he called everyone over to him, "Everybody gather round! I have your room keys!" He waited until everyone had gathered around him before announcing, "Make sure to remember that we leave at ten in the morning tomorrow. You need to be out here dressed and ready. No exceptions. And we have a long way to drive so make sure to get lots of rest. Here are your keys. Raise your hands when I call your name and come and get them. Suzuki and Ishida!" A nondescript couple raised their hands and pushed toward the front of the crowd to take their key. Then the next couple was called. "Yakamura and Yagami!" And the process just continued until everyone had their room keys and had headed off to find their rooms.
Tsuzuki read off the number on the key, "Room 206," then turned to Hisoka. "So that would be the second floor, right?"
Hisoka nodded and the two of them waved good-bye to Seitarou and Kanta for the night and went to find the elevator.
"You think they gave us two beds?" Tsuzuki had to ask as they stood in the elevator, desperately hoping that they had even though he knew it was a long shot.
Hisoka shot him an unimpressed look. "Don't be stupid. They think we're a couple. Of course they didn't."
And as they finally got to their room and opened the door, Tsuzuki was dismayed to find that Hisoka was, as always, right. And this hotel was Western style too. He groaned, letting himself feel miserable for a moment before turning to examine the floor. It didn't look that bad. It was carpeted at least.
Hisoka closing the door behind them, the two of them dropped their baggage at the foot of the bed and then Tsuzuki went looking for an extra blanket.
Hisoka eyed him strangely as he dug through the closet. "What are you doing?"
"I'm looking for an extra blanket," Tsuzuki answered, voice somewhat muffled as he was still somewhat busy rummaging around in the storage space.
Tsuzuki stopped what he was doing at this and turned back to face his younger partner with a small frown. "I'm sleeping on the floor," he said as though this explained everything.
"Don't be stupid," Hisoka said again, giving him a look. "There's more than enough room for both of us on the bed."
Tsuzuki turned to look at the bed in question. There definitely was enough room. Still, he hesitated. "But . . ."
"We're going to be given a single bed the entire time we're here," Hisoka said logically, "We may as well get used to it. There's no reason you should sleep on the floor for two whole weeks."
Torn, Tsuzuki looked at the closet then at the bed again. "Well, yeah, but . . . What about your empathy? Wouldn't that kind of affect you?"
Hisoka shrugged and walked over to his suitcase to unzip it and get out his pajamas. "Just try not to touch me."
Tsuzuki hesitantly stepped away from the closet and his search, but he was still torn. "But what if I roll over in my sleep?"
"Tsuzuki." Finding his pajamas, Hisoka stood and turned to Tsuzuki to say, in a voice very similar to that of a teacher talking to a slow but loved student. "It'll be okay."
"Well . . ." He guessed if Hisoka said it was okay then it was okay. "Well, okay. I guess that's fine." And it wasn't like he'd give up the chance to sleep in the same bed as the object of his affections when said object didn't seem inclined to tear his head off for it.
Hisoka just nodded and went into the bathroom to get changed. When he returned, Tsuzuki was laying face toward the foot of the bed and flipping through the TV channels. Seeing this, Hisoka frowned.
"I thought you said you would read the mission report," he said.
"I'll do that tomorrow night," Tsuzuki replied, seeming absorbed in his quest to find something to watch. "Nothing's going to happen for at least three days. I have some time."
Hisoka's frown deepened, but he eventually decided it wasn't worth fighting over and went over to sit on his side of the bed and got comfortable, taking out his book to read.
The first day was over and they'd so far managed to fool everybody into thinking that they actually were a couple. Now they just had to worry about the next day and finding out who was murdering those men.