Warnings: Au, Vamp!Fic, Sexual Situations, Blood, Some violence, Male/Male Relationship.
A/N: Halloween treat for all my KaiShin readers, and most particularly for the folks of the KaiShin Army. This is a Mini Series and is going to be around 6 or so chapters long. I only have, like, two more chapters to write and its complete. I'll be uploading every few days or so.
Also, you should note that, in this series, Kaitou Kid doesn't exist, and Shinichi never ran into the Black Organization.
The car gave a particularly hard rock, bouncing so hard that the shocks couldn't absorb all the movement, and sending Shinichi's forehead to collide, none too gently, with the glass of the window. Giving a low sound of annoyance under his breath Shinichi brought a hand up to cup his abused head, turning a sharp, blue eyed, glare on the driver. Hattori, however, was paying no attention to him.
From the back seat a small sound of pained annoyance drifted forward, followed by Toyama-chan's annoyed, "Heiji! You idiot, watch where you're driving."
Shinichi sighed, his breath puffing warmly against the heel of his palm. His eyes drifted away from Hattori, knowing his annoyed glare would never get through the idiot's thick skull.
"Ahou! I am watchin' where I'm goin'. I can't control the fact that this road is so bad!"
Calling the track a road was a massive understatement. It was barely more than two dirt ruts with a median of tangled grass and weeds; just enough for a car to still pass through comfortably, though the occasional branch scraped the hood, or slapped at the doors and windshield. They had quite the collection of broken twigs and leaves stuck in the windshield wipers by now.
He dearly hoped that Hattori didn't manage to damage the car too much, or the rental place was likely to have a fit.
"Kazuha-chan?" Ran's voice interrupted, magically stopping an argument before it could get started. "I dropped my cell phone, down by your feet, could you get it for me?"
"Eh? Oh, sorry Ran-chan. Hold on."
It was pitch black, the headlights flickering over a small area ahead of them as the car continued to rumble and jolt along, rocking and jumping in bursts that were quickly serving to aggravate the headache Shinichi had already been nursing for the past few hours. Being trapped in a vehicle with Hattori and Toyama wasn't conducive to his sanity by any stretch of the imagination.
"You're not going the right way," Shinichi deadpanned for the fiftieth time in the last twenty minutes.
Hattori dared to rip his eyes away from squinting at the road ahead to glare at him, "I told you I checked the map. This'll get us there in half the time."
Puffing out his cheeks, Shinichi breathed out an exasperated sigh. It tickled his palm again. There was just no arguing with the idiot when he got it into his head that he was right. Well, unless Shinichi was ready and able to give him proof. Maybe he should do just that?
Freeing his hand from beneath his chin, Shinichi leaned forward slightly, the seat belt digging into his sternum uncomfortably, and fished in the glove box for the map he knew was there. Pulling it out he pulled the flimsy piece of paper apart, then fumbled in his pockets for the pen light he knew he kept there. Clicking it on, he clamped it between his teeth and spread the map out between himself and the dash. His focus, however, didn't cause him to miss the way Hattori rolled his eyes.
Shinichi ignored him, fingertip tracing over routes even as his eyes read names and numbers to go with them. He had just found where they'd turned onto this... road... when a particularly rough bump made him lose his grip on the pen light. It fell onto the map, rolling down, the light spinning across them, then fell to his jean clad thighs and bounced to the floor.
Sending another deadly glare toward Hattori, Shinichi leaned down, fingers stretching and feeling, to retrieve it. When he picked it up, the thing was dark. "If this is broken, you're getting me a new one."
Hattori snorted in amusement. "I got that one for you for your birthday a couple years ago anyway."
A light touch on his shoulder had Shinichi looking back into Ran's worried face. "We're not lost are we?" she asked in a whisper, one hand cupping along the side of her face in an effort to keep Hattori from hearing.
Shinichi had no such compulsions. "I wasn't able to see. If I had been driving this wouldn't have happened."
"Yer not allowed to drive," Hattori interjected forcefully. "Not after that incident last year."
Ran tried to cover a laugh, but failed miserably and took Toyama-chan with her. Really, it wasn't Shinichi's fault his mother had insisted on teaching him how to drive, and, really, it had saved him from an ungodly death by moving truck, so he wasn't going to complain.
"I can't help it if you're terrified of my driving," Shinichi shot back. "Though you're just as bad on that motorcycle of yours."
"And this is a car, not a motorcycle."
"Really? I hadn't noticed. What would I do without a spectacular detective like you, Hattori-kun!"
A light smack on his shoulder from Ran was all the retribution he'd get, and Shinichi knew it. He could hear how amused the two girls were over their bickering. With another shuddering jolt, Hattori brought the car to a halt. "Which way?"
"Isn't there a sign?" Toyama-chan asked.
"Give the girls the map, and let's have a look."
Giving Hattori an annoyed look Shinichi complied anyway, and handed the map back to Ran, though he pocketed his pen light, and unbuckled his seat belt. Shoving open the door Shinichi stepped out, leaving it ajar. The small sounds of complaint from the still humming vehicle a background noise to the general silence of the woods.
Musky scents of wood, plants, and loam reached his nose, accompanied by the smell of wet and rain. Though there were no signs of wet in the area, he could only guess it meant there was some coming in. It certainly was too dark to be a clear night.
Ignoring Hattori, who was taking his sweet time stretching and making a fuss about having to be cramped in the car so long, Shinichi ambled along the side of the car and around the front. Shoving his hands in his pockets, Shinichi slowly turned his head, taking in the fork in the road, and what of the divergence the headlights illuminated.
It really was oddly quiet, though a cool, almost chill, breeze was rustling through the treetops like a whisper. No night birds chirped, nothing moved. There was a strange tenseness to the silence, almost expectant, as if it were waiting, asking, to see which way they would choose.
Shinichi felt it was exceptionally odd for a choice in what road you needed to take to feel like you were choosing your destiny, to feel like a life and death choice.
His footsteps drew to a halt before one of the forks, and Shinichi found himself gazing down it absently. Squinting, he tried to pierce the heavy darkness with his gaze. The shadows seemed almost thicker down that way, almost drawing, looming, wanting to drag him in and keep him there.
"Kudou!" Hattori's voice snapped him out of it, and Shinichi scoffed quietly.
He had obviously spent too much time watching American horror movies lately if his mind was playing these kinds of tricks on him. Shinichi fully blamed Hattori on this. The idiot was obsessed. "Did you find something?"
"Yeah, there's a sign over here, but it's kind of covered."
Rolling his eyes in annoyance Shinichi pulled his hands out of his pockets and trotted over to Hattori's side. The Detective of the West was halfway into the bushes at the convergence point of the two roads as he tried to drag the creepers off a dilapidated wooden sign.
Rather than help, Shinichi stood watching Hattori's rather futile efforts to drag the overgrown vegetation off the sign enough to make it legible. "I don't get why the locals haven't taken care of it," The Osakan detective growled in annoyance.
Shinichi snorted derisively, "I'm pretty sure this 'road' has been completely forgotten, and anyone who does use it probably knows it well enough that they don't need a sign."
"They should still do a little maintenance," Hattori grumbled stubbornly.
Turning away from Hattori's continued attempts to unveil the sign, futile as they probably would prove, Shinichi wandered back toward the car. Leaning down he peered into the warm glow of the car's interior lights. "What's the matter Ran?"
Ran looked up at him, worry hovering hazily in her eyes. "I can't find the road we're on."
"Pass the map over and I'll have a look."
Crouching down on his heels Shinichi spread the map over the passenger seat, tracing the lines of the roads with quick precision as he went. It didn't take long to come to the same conclusion Ran had: According to the map, this road didn't exist. He was never letting Hattori drive again.
The detective in question was walking back toward them, dusting bits of leaf matter off his hands and shirt. "Whatever that thing used to say, it isn't legible anymore. I couldn't see anything, at least."
"We'll just have to get goin' and hope we're goin' the right way. Maybe we'll run across a residence or somethin'. I mean someone's gotta live out here right?"
Hattori turned and looked at him, looking faintly baffled by his vehemence, and Shinichi sighed. "You've managed to get us abysmally lost. This," Here Shinichi paused to gather up proper derision and distaste for the word, "road, isn't even on the map. I don't even know how you got us to this point."
"What? Sure it is, I saw it. Look." Hattori walked around the side of the car, wavering slightly as he picked his way along the underbrush clustering at the verge, and leaned over Shinichi to jab at the map, the paper indenting and crackling beneath his fingertip. "See, right there."
"We might have started out on that, but you obviously made a wrong turn somewhere. We're around here." Circling a nebulous area without any real delineation with his finger, Shinichi tilted his head back and glared at the Osakan. But before he could snipe at the other any further, an annoyed growl cut in.
"I can't believe you," Toyama-chan snarled. She was halfway into the front seats, and scowling rather pointedly at Hattori. The hand she wasn't using to balance herself was pointing at her friend over Shinichi's head. "When we get out of this I'm goin' to tell yer mother that you can't even read a basic map. I'm sure she'll have so many things to say about that!"
"Give it a rest, Kazuha! It's dark, how was I supposed to know I'd made a wrong turn?"
"Ahou! You'd think that since yer some great detective you'd be able to drive down a simple road, but no! I think that yer only great in yer own mind!"
Getting sick of the two arguing over his head, and the way Hattori was leaning and looming over him so he could yell right back at his not-girlfriend, Shinichi slugged his elbow backwards into Hattori's knee. Hattori yelped, arms flailing to keep his balance, before he toppled backwards into the bushes behind him.
"Move it, Hattori." Straightening up Shinichi folded the map and tossed it on the dash. "Let's just pick one and go. Hopefully we can find a place to stop and get some directions."
Toyama-chan subsided back in her seat with a slight huff, arms crossed over her chest. Ran gave him a faint, sympathetic, smile. Returning the smile with a slight quirk of his lips, Shinichi slid back into his seat just as the first, fat rain drop splattered against the windshield.
Just what they needed.
Hattori waited for him to slam the door closed so it was easier to get through, then hurried around to the driver's side of the car and climbed in. "Which way? I thought I saw some lights off that way."
Looking along the fork Hattori was pointing, Shinichi recognized the one that had given him that rather creepy feeling earlier. He wanted to protest, badly, but pride made him hold his tongue. Ran, after all, was the one with the fear of all things supernatural. Shinichi, the Great Detective of the East, the Heisei Holmes, was far too logical for that. He was the one who sat blandly through all those gory films and dissected the impossible kills into the pretentious cinematic foolishness they were for the girls while Hattori laughed at the idiocy of it all.
Shinichi snorted and settled back into his seat, snapping the seat belt in place again. This wasn't a horror film, no matter how much it felt like the perfect premise for one. "Do whatever you want."
Ignoring the look he was getting, Shinichi turned his head to gaze out the window again as more raindrops pattered against the glass. He was pretty sure Hattori was just trying to figure out what was wrong with him, since he was no longer putting up a fight.
The car lurched as Hattori maneuvered it down the left fork, sending them deeper into the darkness and shadows. Shinichi's eyes scanned the heavy blackness of the forest out his window, eyes tracking blankly before catching. He could swear he'd seen something, a faint outline, a glimpse of white.
Shaking his head, he turned away. Obviously he was more tired than he'd realized. The clock on the radio said it was around ten at night. They should have been there hours ago.
He really was going to strangle Hattori for this later.
They bounced onward, silence encompassing the interior of the car as the rain continued to pick up. Hattori eventually switched on the wipers, and, despite the rough ride, Shinichi could feel himself beginning to nod off. Ran and Toyama-chan had already dozed off, leaning against each other.
"See!" Hattori's brisk exclamation brought him right out of the fog he had fallen into, and Shinichi shot him a glare. His eyes felt gritty and sore. "I told you this was the right choice!"
Flicking his gaze up, and ignoring the urge to rub his eyes, Shinichi blinked away the lingering fuzziness of his drowsy state. There, ahead of them, in the blackness, loomed small, symmetrical, points of light: Windows.
Hattori slowed the car, easing along the road at a snail's pace as they pulled up alongside a set of wrought iron gates, looking extremely out of place. They stood open, vines and creepers tangled around them with a single minded determination to hide them away fully. The plants were starting to succeed. The posts on either side of the gate were made of large blocks of stone that were quickly being overrun by moss and too many other plants to properly identify.
Carefully, Hattori maneuvered the car through the gap and crept up the driveway, almost as if he wasn't sure if he ought to be driving up here.
Shinichi's eyes swept over the facade of the large western-style manor house. It reminded him a bit of home, really. Warm light spilled out of the large picture windows lining the ground floor, creating patches of light on the dark lawn. It couldn't be more than three floors, with maybe an attic as well. The eves were high and angled, giving it a rather jagged roof, and, as they edged up the long slightly curving drive, he could see that there were two additional wings.
Hattori brought the car to a halt in the small cul-de-sac before the front door. Overgrown hedges lined the far side before fading back into a lawn that ran down to the verge of the forest. The sound of doors clicking open alerted him to the fact that Hattori had shut the car off, and he and the girls were already climbing out.
Undoing his seat belt, Shinichi eased the door open and stepped out, standing with one hand resting on the upper curve of the door. Sliding his eyes over the looming house, he took in the drawn draperies in some of the windows: Most of the ones on the upper floors were closed. Stepping away from the car he shoved the door closed with a quiet slam.
Ran sidled up behind him, her hands clasping the material of his shirt at the shoulder. He could feel her breath, warm against his skin, as she leaned in close and whispered, "This place is so creepy."
He didn't dare tell her he agreed, couldn't understand why he did. That denial, and the fact that he stopped himself from thinking about it, didn't quell the way the hair on his nape and arms was standing on end. It didn't stop the fact that he felt like he was being watched.
Glancing up at the front of the manor again, Shinichi could swear he saw previously still curtains twitch.
The feel of water splashing against his face reminded him that, though the rain may have lightened a bit, it was far from finished. Glancing back over his shoulder at his cowering friend, Shinichi murmured, "It's just a house. You used to think my place was creepy too."
The girl smothered a snicker, but didn't let go. "You told me you'd never let anything happen to me in your house, that's why."
"Well, I'm here aren't I?" he grumbled, refusing to blush.
"Are you two love birds comin' or not?" Hattori barked.
Slanting the Osakan detective an annoyed look, Shinichi shot back, "You're one to talk, Hattori."
Grinning like a loon, Hattori nudged Toyama-chan. "But, see, he didn't deny it did he?" Hattori pitched to the side a second later as something collided with his head before thumping to the ground. "What the hell? Kudou! Did you just throw yer shoe at me?"
Blushing furiously, and not bothering to dignify that with a response, Shinichi walked awkwardly across the gravel to the Osakan pair and grabbed his shoe from where it had fallen. Dusting off the bottom of his sock clad foot, he tugged it back on. "Shut up, Hattori."
"Nice shot, Kudou-kun." Toyama-chan praised. Ran was trying valiantly to smother her laughter, while Hattori continued to give him an extremely scandalized look.
Ignoring the three of them, Shinichi tapped the toe of his sneaker against the ground to settle it, then, hands shoved in pockets, stalked toward the short set of stairs leading up to the double doors. There was neither a doorbell, nor any other way of letting their presence be known, so he merely grabbed the loop of a large brass knocker. Pausing a moment, he eyed the effigy: A pair of brass doves appeared to be holding the part in his hand between their beaks.
He snorted softly. What had he been expecting to see? An Oni? Obviously Ran's nerves were rubbing off on him.
Rapping the handle against the sturdy wood a few times he waited, somewhat impatiently. Behind him he heard Hattori groan. "The rain's startin' to pick up again..."
It seemed to take an eternity, but it couldn't have been more than two minutes, before the door opened with barely a sound. Shinichi once more had to refrain from rolling his eyes at himself. Why did the perfect normality continue to surprise him? He was obviously more tired than even he'd begun to believe. To be honest, he was starting to wish he'd just decided to stay home.
An older man blinked at them in surprise from behind a pair of round glasses. "More guests? What a surprise. Please, come in, come in."
The man stepped aside, bowing in greeting as the four of them trooped in, stopping to toe off their shoes in exchange for slippers. Once he'd straightened back up, Shinichi allowed his gaze to rivet on the large foyer they'd stepped into. From the corner of his eye he could see the girls greeting the old man and introducing themselves.
The foyer itself was rather rich in appearance: A chandelier hung aloft, above the middle of a room that extended all the way up two floors, not counting the ground floor. A large, sweeping staircase curved down the left side of the room, with a landing on the second floor, and a second staircase carried on upward, curving, this time, along the right side of the room and ending above their heads somewhere. Balconies wrapped around ahead and to either side of them with hallways leading off. It was both opulent, and understated. The dove motif seemed to have carried on into this room, and even the banister had a pair of them carved on the post at its base.
"Do you live here alone, Konousuke-san?" Shinichi heard Ran ask. "This is such a big house..." Judging from the slight exasperation and sadness in her voice she was no doubt thinking of Shinichi's penchant for inhabiting the Kudou manor all alone.
"No, not at all. I live here to keep an eye on the young master."
Shinichi glanced back at the old man. Young master?
"Don't make it sound like such a chore, Jiichan," an amused voice spoke up. All eyes were drawn to the second floor landing where a young man, no older than Shinichi or Hattori, had appeared. He was dressed, oddly, in a white suit coat and pants, even gloves. It was unusually formal attire, and the fact that it was mostly all white was so odd... His skin was just as pale as well. Shinichi wondered how often the guy got out of the manor. The tone of his skin would indicate not often.
The boy began to descend the grand stair case, one white gloved hand resting on the banister and trailing along it with each perfectly paced step. He was like a showman, playing perfectly to the small audience they provided. Shinichi wanted to roll his eyes, turn away, deny him the audience he so obviously craved, but, as the boy met his gaze, he couldn't seem to turn away.
He felt a bit disjointed really, like fog had settled around his brain. A muzzy sort of floating that left his body standing there while he drifted off to the side. Nothing to worry about, everything was fine, the world seemed to say. His vision blurred as if he'd let his eyes go out of focus, but even still that gaze bore into him. Enchanted, enthralled, he didn't have a choice. Then, the boy looked away, sweeping his attention over the others as he paused at the base of the stairs, his hand resting, almost fondly, atop the carving of the doves.
"What do I owe the pleasure of so many guests?" Their white dressed host asked. "I hadn't been expecting even one, and now I've five of you!" Smiling a thin lipped smile that almost seemed to invite them to share in the joke, he raised his arms into the air with a flourish of his gloved hands and pronounced, "My name is Kuroba Kaito, and I welcome you to my home!"
Dazed, Shinichi blinked, not really comprehending what was going on around him. He felt dumb, numb, and at a loss. With a rising mixture of nausea and guilt he also realized he kind of missed the pleasant buzz that had been so tight around him before. Giving his head a harsh shake he pushed all of those thoughts from his mind: It had only been fatigue, and it had to be very bad fatigue, at that, if he was beginning to fall asleep on his feet.
It was only then that he realized, with a jolt, that the boy looked almost exactly like him. It was like looking in a strange and twisted mirror.
"–ri Ran, and this idiot is Kudou Shinichi." Shinichi blinked in confusion as Ran's voice penetrated his thoughts. "I'm afraid we got lost and were hoping you could give us some directions?"
Kuroba-san cast a slight smirk his way, but didn't glance at him otherwise. "Is that so? Well, why don't the four of you stay here for the night? There's no reason to venture further at this hour, and any town is still quite distant."
"So long as we aren't imposing..." Toyama-chan murmured.
The white dress boy merely smiled at her, that strange closed lipped smile of his, and said, "Jiichan? Would you prepare rooms for our guests?"
The old man bowed and murmured, "Of course, young master."
"Hey, Kudou," Hattori called. "Come on. Let's go get our stuff before it starts pourin' again."
Sighing through his nose, and making sure Hattori heard his annoyance in full, Shinichi turned away from the weird boy, and stepped back to the entry way. Stepping out of his slippers, he reached down and tugged his shoes on, tucking the laces in alongside his ankles rather than bother tying them. A moment later he followed Hattori back out into the cool rain, goosebumps rose on his skin as the droplets pattered against his face.
Ahead of him, Hattori trotted over to the car and yanked open the trunk. As soon as Shinichi reached his side the Osakan detective handed over two of the small overnight bags the four of them had chosen to pack. They weren't planning to be gone long after all, just a few nights. All they'd really brought was a few changes of cloths and a couple other necessities.
Still, Hattori lingered for a second as if making sure that he had everything, but Shinichi knew that wasn't it. Finally, his friend's sharp green eyes swung up, piercing him with a thoughtful gaze. "Don't you think there's somethin' weird about–"
"How Kuroba-san was dressed so formally when he wasn't expecting guests?" Shinichi answered, voice low. He looked back over his shoulder at the house. "It could just be a quirk, but something..."
"Somethin's weird about this, right?" Hattori asked, even as he slammed the trunk shut. It was such a sudden, final, sound that it almost made Shinichi jump out of his skin. Hattori stepped up beside him, glaring hotly at the manor house. His hair was limp from the wet, and Shinichi could feel his own fringe sticking to his forehead. "Watch the girls. I don't trust that guy."
Shinichi snorted. Like he needed someone to tell him that?
The two of them started back toward the house, when, after a moment, Hattori murmured, "I dunno, this sounds weird but, Kudou, I could swear somethin' brought me here, y'know? Like, I wasn't going to go this way originally, but for some reason I decided to anyway."
A chill swept down Shinichi's spine, and he suddenly was overcome with the urge to get Ran and Toyama-chan and beat a hasty retreat, run away, and leave this tantalizing mystery for someone else to poke at. It was such a foreign feeling that he quashed it without a second thought. Instead he said disdainfully, "You've been watching too many horror films."
Hattori laughed, sounding relieved that Shinichi seemed to think he was being an idiot for once. "Yer probably right."
As the two of them stepped back inside, removing their shoes and shaking the rain off their arms, they found that the old man, Konousuke-san, had reappeared. Konousuke-san offered them a towel each. "Just set your bags there," he said kindly, pointing. "I'll take them to the rooms I've prepared, after I return you to your friends. The young master has taken them to the dining room."
Accepting the offered towel, Shinichi roughly ran it over his hair, before wiping the worst of the rain off his skin. While parts of his cloths were sticking to him, they were already starting to dry again. It hadn't been too bad out there, but it was enough to be annoying. Wrinkling his nose he, followed after Hattori and Konousuke-san with barely a thought, only stopping to blink at his reflection in one of the windows they passed.
With his hair tousled from the toweling he looked even more like their strange host. Scowling faintly, Shinichi settled the towel around his shoulders and began to run his fingers through his still slightly damp hair in an attempt to tame it back into his usual strict style.
"There you are," a voice spoke up directly behind him. Shinichi twitched, subduing the base reaction to jump, and finished what he was doing before he turned around. Kuroba-san stood behind him, looking thoroughly amused. At this distance, Shinichi could now see that Kuroba-san's skin tone wasn't just pale, it was, in fact, slightly jaundiced. He wondered if he should suggest that he get that checked out. Jaundice was usually a sign of other underlying medical conditions after all. "Your friends were beginning to wonder where you'd gotten to, so I came to find you. Come along now."
Without waiting for a response, the strange boy turned and began to make his way down the hall. Shinichi couldn't figure out how he had managed to sneak up on him. Normally even the quietest person made some sort of sound while walking on hard wood flooring. Frowning down at the floor for a second, Shinichi followed after him, his eyes watching the boy's back suspiciously.
It was only as they passed another window that Shinichi wondered why he hadn't seen Kuroba's reflection in the window. The glass had been dark enough that he could see his own almost perfectly. Before he could give the thought too much attention, Kuroba-san stepped through a doorway, the double doors already open, and cheerfully proclaimed, "I found him preening like a vain little peacock before one of the windows."
"Shinichi!" Ran sighed."You idiot! Don't worry us like that!"
"What could happen?" he asked rhetorically, getting an annoyed glare for his troubles. They all knew that Shinichi was well acquainted with what could happen in the worst kinds of ways.
Dragging his attention away from Kuroba-san, Shinichi glanced over the dining room. It was large, with a main table that could seat far more of them than were in attendance, and elegantly decorated. Feeling eyes on him, Shinichi turned his head to find Kuroba-san smirking faintly at him.
The boy reached over and took the towel he still had, then walked toward the table, dropping it into Konousuke-san's hands as he went. "Do join us, won't you? So that we may all be properly introduced, and have a late meal?"
Scowling faintly, Shinichi moved stiffly toward the table to take the seat between Ran and Hattori, across from an unknown blond haired individual.
FINAL NOTE: Jaundice is a condition where the skin gains a yellow coloration thanks to a lack of bilirubin. Apparently it can be caused by increased rate of breakdown of red bloodcells, and considering he's a vampire, he digests red blood cells, ergo a faint case of Jaundice when he hasn't fed for a time.
Don't know if I got my medical stuff right, and frankly I don't care. Its not like I actually extensively researched for this.