Mystery 62: Full Circle
Secret Strawberry curiously looked at the closed door leading to her masters' bedroom.
"Neuro, stop that!"
There was pause...
"Why did you stop?"
"I'm trying to better understand the chaotic randomness of the human mind. It's odd that you say 'stop' for 'stop' and also say 'stop' for 'please master, I beg you to continue'."
"You usually don't listen to me anyway, but what counts is how it's said, the context, the tone, the expression... Oh never mind, you're right, I should just be clear, don't stop."
It sounded like her masters were busy and it was already night time, so maybe they would play with her tomorrow. Secret Strawberry returned to the living room and ate some more of the strawberries Neuro left out in her dish for her, immediately carrying Yako away afterwards, saying he would give her, "something more enjoyable than food," though Secret Strawberry couldn't imagine what it was. She guessed it was a new pillow to sleep on, there was nothing more pleasurable to the little fire creature than food and sleep.
Secret Strawberry curled up on the couch to sleep, it was soft and comfortable so she liked it, but she wasn't completely at ease, there was an odd feeling in her throat and a strange involuntary sound came from it, accompanied by a little flame. It happened again, much to the dismay of the confused Secret Strawberry, she had the hiccups.
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The ill-timed incessant beeping of the smoke detector echoed through the small apartment. "Fire!" Yako was immediately alarmed.
"You want me to set you on fire?" Neuro mischievously asked, "I would be happy to."
"No, the apartment is on fire!" Yako fought with the chains she was tangled up in. The links were entwined together like a puzzle rather than having a lock and Yako had become faster at figuring out how to get free with practice, she was becoming quite the escape artist.
"I'll have to get new chains if you have these figured out." Neuro pushed Yako down on the bed again, "where do you think you're going?"
"The alarm..." Yako tried to reason with him.
"Yes you can," he bit her neck and trailed kisses up to her lips.
'Maybe I can ignore it for a little while...' Yako thought, then her rational side took over again when the smell of smoke became stronger and it started filtering into the room under the door. Yako pushed Neuro off, "I have to go," she squirmed until she was free.
"Where are you going?"
"I'm going to see what's up," she threw on her robe and headed out of the room.
Neuro pouted, "you're looking in the wrong place," but Yako was already gone.
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The living room was a disaster with Secret Strawberry wailing and hiccupping in the middle of the flames. She didn't mean to set the furniture on fire, she couldn't control herself. "Strawberry!" Yako called out to her. "Neuro come quick!" She coughed in the smoke.
"I wish you would make up your mind," Neuro looked at the fiery mess with disinterest.
"Get Strawberry to safety, she's scared and help me put out the fire before-" it was too late, someone was already knocking on the door and Yako knew they would knock it down if it didn't open.
In a split second, Neuro ran through the flames, picked up Secret, gave her to Yako, then turned to his true form and created a massive gust of wind with his wings, which put out the flames as fast as Yako would put out the candles of a birthday cake so she could eat it. Then he went to open the door and smiled innocently at the security team, "you're here because the alarm went off? It was nothing, there's no danger here."
The security team peeked at the mess inside the apartment curiously, but they couldn't see it too well with Neuro blocking their view. He wore only a pair of pants, with a few burns in his upper body from when he got Secret out of the way before putting out the fire with the wind that sent the furniture to crash against the opposite wall. "If there are any problems, please report them. Don't forget there are people who can help," with a shake of their heads and pitiful looks, the security team left.
Neuro closed the door and looked at Yako, who held Secret, her head resting on Yako's shoulder as she patted her back. "It's okay Strawberry; I know it was only an accident. Be careful from now on and if you have any more accidents, come get me right away." Yako looked at Neuro, "you're hurt!"
"Why would fire hurt me?" The burn marks disappeared.
Yako sighed, "one of these days you're going to land me in jail. Look at the living room, what a mess and the furniture was new!" Strawberry whimpered, "it's okay, sweetie, I'm not blaming you, it's daddy's fault."
"I put out the fire!" Neuro defended.
"Thank you," Yako kissed him then went off to the kitchen, "I'm going to give Strawberry some juice and put her bed in the guest room, I'll be right back."
"I don't trust you to be right back if you're going to the kitchen without supervision."
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Neuro often ran into Sai, the two getting into a fight more often than not, though he seemed to have a growing soft spot for Yako, whom he on occasion, perhaps without realizing it, had began to call 'Yako-neesan'. Things were progressing well towards the future that was expected, slowly but surely.
Beyond the future that Neuro had the chance to glimpse at, he pictured his mother, Phoenix, eventually popping up when he least expected her, willing to accept all his choices as long as she found amusement in the situations of his life.
Neuro knew his father, Yougan, would be grumpy about his choice of mate for some time, until his exaggerated yet justified fear for Kaiyo and his appetite either faded or grew to such proportions that it pushed him into denial and drove him to pretend he knew nothing of the boy's abilities.
Then, when Yougan finally calmed down and began to settle into the role of the grandfather of a half-human boy with an appetite more dangerous than his mother's, it would be the perfect time for Neuro to introduce him to Angelus. If anything, Phoenix would be amused at how her family became so varied, but Yougan would surely throw a fit about being the distant relative of an angel, the two families linked together because of Yako and Yukari being cousins.
Neuro would enjoy giving his father the news at just the right moment, if the feather duster was good for anything other than inspiring sneezes, it would be as the cause of Yougan's nervous breakdown, much to Neuro's amusement, since mother and son both enjoyed picking on him, though Nera was totally a daddy's girl. To make matters more interesting, while Phoenix could handle being around angels, it was Yougan who was cursed with both a fit of sneezes and rainbow chickenpox as a reaction.
Focusing on the present once more, Neuro went to the kitchen of the apartment, where Secret Strawberry was enjoying a bowl of red juice. Newts were primary vegetarians, a fact which had surprised Yako when she learned of it. Yako was currently preparing a delicious snack for herself, a tall mountain of multicolored ice-cream with a variety of toppings. Neuro knew she wouldn't resist the temptation of having a snack.
Yako placed the ice-cream on the kitchen table and gave it the finishing touches, noticing Neuro's curious stare, his eyes glowing with mischief. Filled with hope that felt futile, Yako offered Neuro the ice-cream, attempting to make him forget about his obvious plans of dumping the bowl on her head. If she shocked him by sharing her food, maybe she could use the distraction to her favor.
"A cold treat, for me?" Neuro was amused as if quietly laughing at a joke only he understood. "Cold things are hard to find in my world," he began to eat the ice-cream. "They're rare, nice gifts, traditional for some things. I can't taste this but the cold feels good," he continued devouring the dessert to Yako's shock and misery. "It took you long enough to correspond. I'll have to punish you for keeping me waiting."
"Correspond to what?" Yako frowned at the empty bowl.
"The newt," Neuro explained. "When choosing a life long mate, it is customary to give a pet as a gift, it doesn't matter who gives it, the male or female, the point is the couple is supposed to take care of it to see how well they can handle taking care of a living creature together. I guess the tradition originates as a sort of practice in case they have a child. The one who gives the pet took the first step so the one who receives the pet must correspond by finding a rare cold treat and giving it as a gift. I don't know what took you so long; cold things are not so hard to obtain in the human world."
Yako was speechless, her mouth hanging open in awe, she was in pure shock and it amused Neuro to no end. He knew very well that there was no way Yako would know about the traditions of his world, he didn't say much about it despite her inquiries. "Does this mean we're engaged?" She finally found her voice.
"Engaged? That is a human thing, there's no big celebration where I come from, you're my mate and that's it. That tradition with the pet and the cold treat is the only thing that's done, and not many do it anymore, it's an old tradition, from the time when my parents were young. But I might as well properly claim what's mine in the human world." Neuro took Yako's hand, retrieved a small item from his pocket and placed it in her palm, closing her fingers over it.
Yako's heart was racing so fast she could hardly look at the little object in her hand, "it's a..." she stared, "it's a mint candy."
"Your breath stinks, worm," Neuro was once again being Neuro.
Yako pouted, "it does not!" She knew he was wrong about that, but she ate the mint anyway, Yako wasn't one to refuse food and the candy looked harmless enough, though she had to ask, "you didn't put anything strange in that candy, did you?"
"It was too small to put anything really good in it, but I heard sometimes people hide things in food for others to find. Since you always end up eating the papers in fortune cookies, I thought it would be best not to put this in your food or you would eat it too," Neuro tossed a small shiny thing at Yako.
Yako caught it, confirming it was in fact a golden ring with a large diamond in the center and a pair of emeralds on either side. She put the ring on her finger, finding that it fit perfectly and jumped on Neuro showering him with affection. "I love you-ow!"
Neuro pinched Yako's cheeks, pulling her face left and right. "You were looking at me like a delicious dish you're about to devour."
Yako's smile returned when Neuro released her, he wouldn't be Neuro without his usual teasing. Though she had known about the future for some time, it wasn't until that moment when it completely sank in for Yako and it made her even happier. She would look forward to every day of her life while enjoying every second of her present and she knew the feeling was mutual.
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When Godai arrived at the office, he saw Yako talking to a woman with long black hair and quietly assumed she was a client, except Neuro was at Troy instead of playing assistant, which was odd. Secret Strawberry was playing with a ball of yarn and getting tangled up in it in plain sight, despite the presence of who he thought was a guest at the office. Godai didn't make his arrival known to the two females, who seemed to be absorbed in their conversation, and he didn't normally greet Neuro, instead being greeted by an order from him. Godai glanced towards Akane's corner and saw the wall had been damaged where Akane's body used to be and she was nowhere to be found, "Akane!" His arrival was finally noticed.
"Godai!" Seeing the face of the black haired woman, Godai recognized her. She wore her long hair down for easy movement, still being able to control it despite her current status as a living human, thanks to the two pink triangular batteries she wore as earrings. She hugged him, she was warm as a human should be, her lungs taking in oxygen at a steady rhythm and her heart beating strongly. "I'm human again, so don't feel guilty anymore, okay?"
After all the supernatural things Godai had witnessed, he thought nothing could surprise him, but he was wrong. "A-a-a-ka-ne!"
"It sounds like slave number three has forgotten how to speak," Neuro observed with amusement. "I promoted Akane so now you're number three now."
Godai ignored his demotion and instead asked, "how did you?"
"Akane's soul clung to her body; she never truly passed on so she wasn't fully dead. All I had to do was accumulate the needed energy to restore her body and jump start her vital functions," Neuro explained. "Don't think I did this out of kindness or anything stupid like that. I just needed someone to take care of our pet while Yako and I go to the moon after that useless and bizarre earthling mating ritual is done."
The surprises kept coming for Godai, "you're going to the moon?"
Akane giggled and Yako clarified, "we're not going to the moon, we're getting married!"
"You meant to say he," Godai pointed at Neuro who snaped at his finger causing Godai to retreat, "is actually going through with an Earth style wedding? That's even more shocking than going to the moon!"
"About that, I was thinking we could let lose some a few serial killers among the guests," Neuro suggested. "Then I can figure out which one killed who and have some mysteries to eat. After all, it's not fair that everyone gets to eat something delicious during my wedding except me."
"How about having puzzle themed party games and a riddle contest?" Yako offered.
"That's not good enough, you're going to be stuffing your face during the entire event, so I want some good food too," Neuro argued.
"This wedding is going to be anything but normal," Godai concluded.
"I agree; but it will be interesting," Akane voiced.
"Akane... Since it's been a long time since you last went out of this office, do you want me to show you around the city, so you can see how it's changed and stuff?"
"I would like that very much," Akane smiled.
"I told you they were lovers," Neuro spoke to Yako, but did so loud enough for everyone in the office to hear.
"Shut up!" Godai yelled, "don't let him bother you Akane," albeit she looked more so amused than annoyed, "let's get out of here," he took her hand, leading her out of the office."
"See you later," Akane went along, amused by how Neuro always made Godai lose his temper so easily, his expression was especially priceless, blushing deeply.
"Makes lots of little slaves for your master!" Neuro called after the pair, with Godai yelling back some angry and embarrassed remarks, while Akane's laughter echoed.
"You're never going to stop teasing them, are you?" Yako playfully hugged Neuro.
"Your brain has truly disappeared if I have to answer that," Neuro replied.
"Here's a different question, is it okay if Angelus is at the wedding? Yukari will want to bring him, we can think of something to keep the allergies in check."
"Pretty please, I beg you master?"
"You don't sound very convincing and I know you're inviting your cousin and her feather duster anyway like the ungrateful rebellious slave you are," Neuro concluded.
Yako smiled hopefully, "does that mean it's okay?"
Neuro pulled Yako closer, with a look of mischief in his glowing green eyes, "you better make it up to me when we go to the moon."
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Pixies are small, fun loving creatures, who live uncomplicated lives most of the time and are simple minded in many ways, making their special abilities remain unnoticed. Though lacking in physical strength due to their diminutive size, they have plenty of speed and magical potential, albeit they are too easily distracted to think about developing it past their natural instinctual abilities.
They have the potential for so much, maybe too much given their ability to time travel and cross the borders of different worlds with such ease. Yet they remain unaware of their own possibilities and perhaps it is best that way. Another interesting thing about pixies is that they are easy to persuade with the promise of amusement.
A certain pixie sensed something unusual and wandered into a certain office, where she met a certain someone while the others were away. Akane was convinced Neuro and Yako were in love, so with the help of her new little friend, she decided to give them a push in the right direction...
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Years later, Yako was looking at a photo album with her wedding pictures. Neuro and Yako dressed in the classic wedding attire. Neuro and Yako kissing at the altar, it reminded her of how the vows had been "for all of eternity" instead of "till death do us part".
Nera and Yukari having a food fight, while Angelus, who was wearing the neutral cloak, tried to convince them to have a truce and Yako grimaced in the background of the picture about the waste of good food. Yako's mother, aunt and uncle, Neuro had put up quite the nice act and they adored him.
Pictures of family and friends; including Sasazuka, Ishigaki and several people from the police department. Neuro and Yako dancing. Sai hidden among the guests. Secret Strawberry disguised as a very odd long cat, eating cake. Neuro and Yako smashing cake into each other's faces, he claimed to have been worried she would bite his hand off at the time.
Neuro dancing with Yako's mom, she had to have one dance with her son-in-law, whom she insisted called her mom. Higuchi dancing with Yako, he got away with it while Neuro danced with her mom. Higuchi and Kanae dancing, they looked cute together. Godai dancing with Akane. Akane catching Yako's bouquet of flowers.
Then the door was opened and a rush of footsteps was heard. Yako put away the album and listened to Kaiyo telling her about his day. As Kaiyo grew, so did his special abilities; he could grow wings with violet feathers and hide them at will. "I did it, I flew all by myself!"
"Only because you inherited my genius," Neuro ruffled the boy's hair.
Yako smiled, she was proud of her son and she knew Neuro was too, "that's wonderful, let's have a feast to celebrate!"
Kaiyo's green eyes glowed brightly, "awesome!"
Disclaimer, I don't own Majin Tantei Nogami Neuro. Special thanks to Chio-san for telling me about the end of the manga, which inspired the last scenes in this chapter, originally it was going to end right after Neuro gives Yako the ring. There's a reference to the Lol Cats in Secret Strawberry's disguise. :) Thanks for reading the story to the end, everyone! Your reviews have been very inspiring all the way. :D