Author's Notes: THIS STORY CONTAINS MILD SPOILERS FROM THE MAJIN TANTEI NOUGAMI NEURO MANGA ENDING. I don't know the details of the final chapter, but I know some of the basics, so if you don't want spoilers, don't read.

This idea has been eating at my brain for a while now, so I decided to make it happen. This is supposed to be a suspense/thriller (two genres I've never written before), but it will also be a romance. NeuroXYako of course. :) It will be (I hope) a very subtle and dark romance (that means NO FLUFF, though I do love fluff), so If I'm too obvious, please let me know! I'm not sure how long this story will end up being, but I do know that I'm going to finish it one way or another. Please, please review! This is only my second MTNN fan fiction, and my first attempt at suspense/thriller, and I want feedback! Any suggestions you may have, constructive criticisms, what have you. So please REVIEW REVIEW REVIEW!

Disclaimer: I do not own Majin Tantei Nougami Neuro, but I do own the OC you'll meet in this chapter, so NO TOUCHY.


Tag

Chapter 1

Let's Play

Everything was wrong. And dark, though that didn't interfere with the demon's sight. In fact, he could see perfectly fine, though any human would be completely blind in the pitch blackness. He could see that everything was wrong; he could sense it.

The large red desk under the window, Troy, his desk, was shining as bright as ever in the moonlight. That was wrong. This office had been abandoned for five years, that desk should be buried in dust. There were books cluttering the shelves of the bookcases on the right side of the room, but the demon knew that his slave would have packed up all their books before closing the office for good. Two couches and a table sat exactly where the old ones had, but they weren't the old ones. There was the tv, Yako's desk, the computers, Akane's desk, the waistebasket, Godai's desk, they were all there like they had been five years ago, like those years had never been. That was wrong, all wrong. But the most powerful sign that something was wrong took over his senses completely, drowning out all other sights. He smelled it, he heard and felt it squelch under his shoes, he tasted it in the air, and he saw it, smeared over everything.

Blood. Human blood, dried and fresh, dripping off of shelves, staining the wallpaper, sitting in large puddles all over the floor.

Needless to say, it was a shock to see the familiar office so drastically altered. How could this have happened? What exactly did happen? For how long? Why? Who, or what did this?

Closing his eyes, the demon took a deep breath of the foul air, searching past the scent of blood to find a trace of a clue. It hit him more like a brick wall than a trace and suddenly, his whole body tensed. The thing that had done this was still inside the office. And it was watching him.

"Nougami Neuro…" a sickly rasping voice floated out of the far corner of the ceiling. A large shape moved in the shadows, but Neuro's demon eyes could already see it. Not that he needed to, he knew what this creature was without having to lay eyes on it.

"Devourer of mysteries…" the voice went on in its husky hiss. "My, you've gotten weaker, haven't you? I think the Underworld would be filled with laughter for the first time in history if it ever saw what a mockery of a demon you've become… But I suppose that doesn't matter, since you seem to have made the Upperworld your home. What could have possessed you to do such a thing, I wonder…"

The shape dropped from the ceiling noiselessly, sliding and slithering over the floor to Troy, as insubstantial as smoke. Settling in a column on the edge of the red desk, it shifted into the shape of a lanky male youth somewhere in his mid twenties.

"That look doesn't quite suit you, Hitokiri," Neuro said, a knowing smile on his face that had nothing to do with happiness.

"You think so?" the monster queried leisurely, running his spidery fingers through the blood colored hair that fell into his poisonous red right eye, and his piercing silver left eye. He was paler than death, which was ironic considering how many living creatures had become that color one he was finished devouring them, and dressed in nothing but a pair of black pants. As he spoke, the monster called Hitokiri's fangs and claws slowly began to grow back into their proper size, the ivory talons a good foot long each and curved to a needle-sharp point, and the teeth becoming small fangs that could puncture even metal. "I happen to like it. It's a rather handsome look – well, as handsome as a pathetic mortal human can be, anyway. Not like that ridiculous disguise you seem so fond of."

Neuro ignored the insult. He seemed perfectly at ease standing just inside the doorway, his arms folded comfortably in front of him, that knowing smile plastered on his face. In reality, every muscle was tense, every thought in his mind alert, all senses acutely pointed at the monster sitting on his desk.

"So how is it that you've moved your nest into my office, Hitokiri?" the demon detective asked. His voice was calm, but Hitokiri could hear from across the room the threatening undertones. "You seem to have been thriving here for some time…" Like cockroaches under a rock, as the human saying goes, he added mentally.

"Your office, is it?" Hitokiri hissed amusedly. "Didn't you abandon it five years ago? I'm surprised you even returned. No no, this is no longer your office, it is my nest." His voice lowered to a sickly whisper. "And I like it here."

"Well unfortunately, I feel the same," Neuro countered pleasantly.

Hitokiri let out a raspy bark of laughter, his multicolored irises gleaming wickedly. "Feel? The great mystery eater Nougami Neuro feels an attachment to this place? This human-made hovel?! It is a cozy place for a nest for a creature like me, but Nougami Neuro is far too high and mighty for a shed like this. Or have you really fallen so far… Neuro?"

"It suits my needs well," Neuro replied, brushing off the blow to his pride. The monster was trying to provoke him. He would like that, wouldn't he? But Neuro would not be so easily baited. There was only one end to this argument, and it was fast approaching. "And I am ready to take it back now, if you don't mind. If you do, well that is most unfortunate for you."

He was bluffing now, and Hitokiri knew it instantly. "There's no way a demon like you can remove me forcibly from any place, especially if I've laid claim to it." He idly ran a finger through a puddle of blood on the desk's surface and sucked at it. "And as you can see, I've painted my name on every surface," he added with a smug grin. "I am too powerful for you, Neuro. Even in your prime, you were no match for me. And now you are trespassing on my feeding grounds, which I have found most satisfactory thus far. If you don't leave soon, I'll be forced to play rough."

Neuro opened his mouth to reply, but Hitokiri suddenly added, "Oh, one more thing! I wanted to inform you that I've had my eye on some new prey for a while now, but was always wondering… if you ever returned that is… what your reaction would be if I moved in without your knowledge." Neuro stiffened visibly, but Hitokiri went on as if he hadn't noticed anything.

"She is quite attractive for a human, young and tender… I can just imagine what she tastes like… I was taken in as soon as I spotted her, but then I noticed something most disappointing. It seems a certain demon's scent was quite heavy on her. They must have spent quite a bit of time together, so much so that the scent lasted well through the years of separation. Well now, if she was Neuro's toy, I couldn't devour her without feeling at least a bit guilty, now could I…?"

Hitokiri's multi-colored eyes flicked to Neuro, reading his unreadable expression, seeing beyond the blank emerald eyes and grim mouth to the gears whirling behind them. A pointy grin lit his eyes with wicked mischief. "Say, I've thought of a most entertaining game, Neuro. What do the humans call it… tag? Yes, let's play a game of tag. We're both it. All or nothing. The first person to eternally claim Katsuragi Yako wins.