Disclaimer: I do not own nor profit from any of the ideas, characters, names, etc that I have used from Vampire Knight. Original characters are all mine of course.
A/N: Apologies for the shortness of this chapter, but it is after all, just a prologue. *smiles* Reviews are most welcome. Hint hint. There will be mature content in later chapters, I shall put warnings in the headers of these respective chapters.
Lucio Revelli dropped his chin into the palm of his hand and allowed a bemused smirk to cross his face. The focus of his amusement stood across the long wooden counter from him. He looked the young man over once more. He was certainly not one of his usual customers. His gaze took in the tall lithe frame, the unusual short silvery hair, the intricately patterned tattoo that adorned the left side of his neck, but the most startling aspect of this man was his eyes. Those intense amethyst orbs that had now locked him in a steady glare.
"What's so funny?" The young man almost growled at Lucio.
Lucio pushed himself away from the counter, and waved his hand dismissively. "Oh, nothing. Nothing."
He began to walk towards the rear of his small shop, to the storage room. "Please this way, Mr..." he trailed off, as he realised the young man hadn't given his name. He gave him an expectant look.
"Kiryu." The silver-haired man muttered, matter-of-factly. "Zero Kiryu."
Lucio nodded in acknowledgement and motioned for Zero to follow him into the rear room. The young man fell into step behind him.
The older man flicked a switch as they entered the deceptively spacious storage area, flooding the room with light. Lucio walked to a desk situated against one wall, and settled himself into a chair.
He nodded towards another chair a short distance away. "Please, have a seat."
Zero eyed the chair for a moment before grunting and languidly slipping into the seat. His gaze settled onto Lucio once more, causing the older man to feel more than a little uncomfortable under the intensity of it.
Lucio leant forward in his chair, clasping his hands together. "Well then. What is it you would like to know?"
Lucio Revelli was well known in certain circles for his uncanny ability to obtain information on anything and everything. His small antiquities shop was a front for his other, more lucrative business. It kept the authorities guessing, and more importantly, away from him. Lucio had built up a rather extensive network of contacts over his forty-something years of life, and his ability to read people, their words and actions, led him to realise that he could make a tidy profit from the nuggets of information he gleamed from various sources.
Zero continued to scrutinize the man sitting in front of him for a few moments longer, before letting out a brief sigh. His voice was almost hesitant as he spoke, as if he wasn't completely sure of himself. "I... need a location."
Lucio nodded encouragingly. "Yes? I'm afraid I will need more details than that."
The younger man frowned, but continued. "A building, most likely located in a residential community. One that no-one goes near. From the outside it will look as if it isn't occupied."
Lucio chuckled to himself. "I'm sorry, Mr. Kiryu, but that could describe many of the buildings around here. This is hardly a well-to-do area. Many homes and tenements have been abandoned, or vandalised to such a degree that they are no longer inhabitable."
The younger man grunted in frustration. "I know that, but the building I'm looking for is different." He raised a hand to his face, rubbing his forehead lightly, trying to think of a proper way to word his thoughts.
Lucio cocked his head to one side. "Different?"
Zero dropped his hand to his thigh and nodded. "Anyone who lives nearby, or even who have passed it, will simply know that it is different. That something doesn't feel quite right about it."
The older man raised an eyebrow. "Like it's haunted or something?"
Zero almost smirked. "Something like that."
Lucio lowered his gaze to his clasped hands, thinking for a moment. "There are many urban tales of course. Stories of haunted houses, or apartments. They come as part of a superstitious community. But yes, I have heard of more prevalent tales of a certain building. One that, as far as I know, everyone avoids." He paused, looking at Zero for a reaction. The younger man simply gazed at him, impassively. He took it as a sign to continue. "It is an odd building, in more sense than the one I have just mentioned. It is a tenement block. It has been completely boarded up, save for the ground floor, where no sign of an entrance exists. Almost as if whoever left that place last wanted no-one to enter, or perhaps, nothing else to leave."
Lucio withheld a small laugh. He felt like a child again, sitting around a campfire with his friends, telling ghost stories to try and scare each other - except the expression on the man's face before him told Lucio that he had listened to each word in all seriousness. Who exactly was this man? It wasn't like Lucio to be uninformed. He hadn't been surprised or shocked by anything in many years. So this strange young man who had entered his shop and had begun asking such odd questions had really shaken his sensibilities.
Zero's low voice shook Lucio from his musings. "Where is this building?"
The older man exhaled slowly. "I'll draw you a map. It'll be easier." He shook his head as he stood and fetched some paper and a pen from the desk.
Zero saw the disapproving movement of the older man's head, and his eyes narrowed. "You have a problem?"
Lucio glanced around at the younger man, a little startled. "Uh... no. Why would you think that?" The narrowed eyes and stern expression answered the question for him.
Lucio sighed. "I just don't understand you Mr. Kiryu. I pride myself in my ability to read people. It's how I've become so successful in this business. But you are an enigma to me."
Zero's facial expression relaxed. "Good. Let's keep it that way."
Lucio let out a chuckle before returning his attention to the make-shift map. A few moments later and the sketch was complete. He turned back towards Zero and offered him the sheet of paper.
"Here. I hope you find what you're looking for, Mr. Kiryu."
Zero took the piece of paper, and replaced it with a small wad of rolled up notes. Lucio weighed the money in his hand, and nodded at the younger man.
With their transaction complete, Zero pushed himself up from the seat and turned to leave. At the doorway, he glanced back round at Lucio, who was still watching him.
"Thanks," he muttered. Then he was gone.