Disclaimer: It's not mystery that I don't own Neuro. (Ba dum bum.)
Author's Note: Haven't read the last manga yet (since as-of-now it has yet to be scanlated), so I guess this takes place after the Neuro/Yako separation at the end of the anime… though I feel as if there's gonna be a separation at the end of the manga, too, and as such would rather this went along with the manga (as I think my characterizations of Neuro and Yako are more akin to the manga, rather than their anime-counterparts)… but I suppose it doesn't really matter either way. :3 Also, please be patient with me, as this is my first time writing for the "Neuro" fandom! (I phear OOCness… D:)
Enjoy! (And if you are kind enough to leave a review, please don't spoil the ending of the manga for me. Thanks! ^_^)
Warnings: NeuroxYako. Spoilers for the end-ish of the anime (I guess), but mostly the manga, up through (and including) chapter 192.
"And what do you think you're doing, slave?"
The sudden, virulent burst of blind enthusiasm and crazed adrenaline that had rushed through Yako's small body petered out almost as instantaneously as it had materialized. Her thrilled beam wavered; her outstretched arms flopped. And she found herself—like so many times before—dangling precariously from the demon's leather-gloved fingers, wincing under the pressure applied by each spidery digit.
Neuro tilted his head, feet reconnecting with the floor as he gave the girl in his grasp a gentle jostling, his smirk widening as she flailed like a helpless rag doll. "Well?" he prompted over Yako's incoherent warbles of irritation. "What possible purpose could a lowly life form— such as yourself— have for approaching her master in such a threatening way? Clearly, your manners have regressed during our time apart. I shall have to start your training from the beginning."
Yako groaned (in both exasperation and anguish) as her limp arms were locked zealously behind her, and a cheerful foot began to grind into her lower back. "I wasn't—moving threateningly—!" she snapped through gritted teeth, finally remembering how to struggle. Not that it mattered; her resistance only seemed to further please her hellish boss: he had the audacity to chirp in amusement as he bound her neck with spare rope. (She didn't bother wondering where he'd pulled it from. She didn't want to know.) "I wasn't!" Yako persisted, straining against the make-shift collar. "I was just gonna hug yo—!"
"So the cowardly amoeba admits to her crime already?" Neuro happily interrupted, grinning madly as he gave his slave's leash a light, reprimanding tug. His malicious eyes shone as her face turned temporarily purple. "You would make a horrible criminal."
"Hugging someone isn't a crime!" Yako rasped in protest, even as she collapsed: falling to her knees in an attempt to catch her breath. A stupid thing to do, really— and proof of how long they had been apart. She should have known the demon would jump on this chance to sit on her.
"Oh?" Neuro hummed, conversational, as he adjusted his weight. The girl's back made a delightful array of straining sounds. "Then tell me. What is this 'hugging,' exactly?"
As always, he expected a prompt answer. But for some reason (perhaps she really had regressed, the stupid dishrag), the slave hesitated in responding… Her still-lavender features were turning slightly (what was the word she had used, again?) pink around the cheeks. How odd, his servant was embarrassed about something. Luckily, Neuro knew just want to do: in such situations, Yako required reassurance and encouragement— something that he, as her benevolent master, was only too-willing to give her. Thus, he accompanied his inquiry with an encouraging smile… as he stuck two knife-sharp, razor-edged fingers encouragingly close to her eyes.
It worked like a charm. "A hug is a gesture of affection!" Yako immediately blurted, wriggling as far backward as she was able. Which, admittedly, wasn't all that far, seeing as he remained pointedly on her back. "You wrap your arms around another person and hold them… A human hugs someone to show that they've missed them!"
"Oh?" Lounging comfortably, Neuro absorbed this— as he did all other bits and bytes of information— with a quirking sneer and a reciprocating story. "Humans are very bizarre creatures, aren't they? In the demon world, such affection is shown completely differently. There, two demons who have missed one another smash their faces together, and allow their tongues to do ferocious battle—there is much saliva and biting. Bruising too. And the more that you have missed someone, the more violently you are allowed to ravage their mouth. It is quite the comfort."
Beneath him, Yako wore her trademarked 'shocked expression.' "That sounds aw—!" she heatedly began, but the girl's bulged eyes and slackened jaw reverted back to normal unusually fast. Disgust and horror now-withstanding, there was something strangely familiar about his description… In her mind, Yako ran over Neuro's words again, subtracting the violence from the equation.
Then she blinked.
"…in the human world, we call that 'kissing,'" she told him, awkwardly clearing her throat.
"Is that so?" Neuro sang, randomly ramming his elbow in-between her shoulder blades. The unforeseen, shooting pain weakened her joints; Yako belly-flopped onto the floor with a muffled "umph!" "I shall have to brush up on your species' pathetic lingo, now that I have returned."
With that, the demon stood, carefully trod upon Yako, and made his meandering way to Troy, reassessing the cleaned office as he went. No doubt he was silently deciding where to place all of his toys and torture devices…
It was like nothing had changed.
Still … things had changed, hadn't they? So many things had changed… not just after his absence, but before it, too. They'd never had a chance to talk about it— though she doubted that they ever would have, even if they'd been able to, but… But against her better judgment, she had been starting to think that… She had begun to wonder, to hypothesize… She had realized, with the unexpected placement of a hand upon her knee… The spoken—and unspoken— sentiment that the gesture had entailed…
Please… let me stay by your side.
Muting a moan (that had less to do with discomfort and more to do with her own growing feelings of idiocy), Yako pushed herself to her feet, loosening the noose around her neck. "…say, Neuro," she muttered as she did so, toying uneasily with the rope's frayed ends, "I know that demons don't feel emotions the same way that humans do… but you just said that there are gestures to express a sentiment like 'having missed' someone in your world. So, since you can miss stuff… did you… miss me at all, while you were gone?"
Hesitant, coughing, and nervous for reasons that she couldn't quite define, Yako glanced slowly upward as the demon paused in his perusal of his desk. One gloved hand was rooting through a dusty box of poisoned curries; the other had pulled out a drawer that clattered and clanked, sounding suspiciously as if it were full of metal. (Her bet was a hidden handcuff collection.)
"Miss you?" Neuro echoed sweetly, in a voice that carried easily over the clinking. As he spoke, emerald eyes swiveled in his slave's direction, gleaming with twisted delight. "Of course not!"
And without further ado, he returned to the happy task of rustling through his playthings, either intentionally ignoring or utterly oblivious to the way the girl's countenance suddenly became very mask-like, her bright eyes dulling for a fraction of a second.
But then the expression was gone, and Katsuragi Yako was once again grinning foolishly.
"Yeah, didn't think so," she chuckled, scrubbing absently at the back of her head. "It was silly to even ask! Well, anyway… I'll leave you to get reacquainted with the office. As for me, there's a new ramen shop opening by the train station, and I wanna— ulp!"
Once again turning a fetching shade of violet, Yako felt her legs slip out from beneath her as she tried to stroll one way, but Neuro (his hand somehow catching hold of that damn rope again) yanked her the other. Without so much as looking up from his amassed collection of recently re-discovered toys, he reeled her in like a fish: locking her outstretched arms to the tabletop as her head bashed against Troy's polished surface. It was enough to make her head spin.
And when her swirling eyes finally slowed, she not only found that they were focused upon Neuro… but Neuro was focused upon her. It was a decidedly unnerving feeling, like being the unlucky recipient of a visual autopsy. Yet, despite the discomfort, she could not look away— mainly because there was nowhere else to look: directly above her, his green eyes glowed like alien suns; all around her, wisps of blonde and brunette curtained and hindered her peripheral vision. As if from far away, she could feel his fingers squeezing her wrists…
The demon scoffed, his leer lengthening in response to Yako's obvious confusion. "Only a human would be stupid enough," he explained in a bored drawl, "to waste precious time and effort missing someone he knew he was going to come back to."
A beat, a pause. For the first time in living memory, the girl's bugged eyes weren't the direct result of agony. "Y—?" she began… but whatever question had been forming on her lips was abruptly silenced, squashed, and forgotten: swallowed by the mouth that descended impatiently upon her own.
There was pain, of course. A great deal of pain: pointed teeth bit her, and diluted acid burned her, and his sharp tongue strangled her own… there was blood, and a tear, as he forcefully intensified the embrace—probing deeper, suckling harder, talons digging into her skin as he drew her closer and closer and it hurt so much—!
But being separated from him had hurt so much more, and the thought of pulling away now (even if that had been an option) was more painful than she could possibly bear. Besides, she had endured worse pain in her time—usually (ironically) at Neuro's hands. In comparison to the whips, chains, knives, monsters, tools, and torture, this embrace was… well, 'quite the comfort.'
At the five minute marker, the pair's aggressive kiss finally broke: cut off with a faint suctioning sound, a soft pop that was nearly-drowned-out by Yako's raspy, breathless gasp. Her vision swam from shock and pleasure and pain and oxygen deprivation. Trust Neuro to turn kissing into an attempt to smother someone.
"…I thought you said you didn't miss me," Yako eventually managed to wheeze, glaring suspiciously up at the looming demon. All the while, Neuro continued to smirk down at her—occasionally dropping close to lap at already-developing bruises and bright red teeth-marks. The weird combination of his skilled tongue and acidic saliva sent a barrage of electric shocks down the girl's spine.
"I didn't," he reaffirmed coolly, forcibly lifting Yako's arms up and around his neck. Even when he let go, she remained: going so far as to lace her fingers into his hair.
"Then what was that for?" she pressed, eyes narrowed knowingly.
"Hm?" For a moment, there was bewilderment. The demon blinked once, twice—and then his expression changed: morphing from one of lustful depravity to a face full of innocent amusement. "But of the two of us, Sensei is the investigator, isn't she?" he asked, bubbly eyes deceptively naive.
Yako jolted, startled by the unanticipated transformation. Neuro's response was a grin of glee. With a final shift of expression and a purr of quiet laughter, he dipped downward one last time, whispering hotly into the girl's sensitive ear:
"I won't explain everything to you, maggot."
And with that, Neuro threw Yako merrily into the wall.