Chapter Five: Ningyo
beta read by Dragonlady2000_15
Warnings: Implied sex
Author's Note: Firstly, in the last chapter there were some questions about the spelling of Giotto's Japanese name. From most of my sources, Ieyasu, the spelling I have used in last chapter is the correct one. If you're not convinced, take a look at Tsuna's family tree in the first chapter of the Reborn manga. Secondly, the supposed "sex" scene between Byakuran and Bluebell is not here, because smut is hard enough to write. Especially for two characters you don't like together. No offense Byakuran/Bluebell lovers out there.
Byakuran entered room six of the Aphrodite. The Aphrodite was a love hotel, infamous for its frequent clients from the Shibuya nightlife. The white haired kitsune looked about the room. There wasn't much about the room, just a large bed that took up most of it. The room also held a nightstand and a shaded light. There were three doors, one of which was the entrance, the second door belonged to the bathroom and last; a closet for those who slept over. There were no windows, but there were mirrors. Large mirrors positioned at certain angles. Though it was faint, he could feel all sorts of energies from this very room. There were a lot of residual feelings as well; passions, desires, pain and dread were all present and were anchored to this place.. Places like this delighted Byakuran. It was amusing to think humans were so impatient, that such establishments needed to be set up in the middle of the city. And yet, here he was fulfilling the purpose of the shady and seedy place.
Byakuran moved over to bed and tried not to flop on to it as he sat and waited. Bluebell should be here any moment. She would never keep him waiting for too long. As if on cue, the door to the room opened.
"Byakuran!" His anticipated guest exclaimed. He turned to face a girl with ankle length blue hair and bright blue eyes. Although, she looked young, she had lived for a very long time, perhaps even longer than he had. Mermaids were kind of like koi fish, they were blessed with lengthy lives, and it was no wonder people thought that eating a mermaid's flesh would grant them immortality. On the contrary, mermaid flesh was quite poisonous and actually granted a swift death than an elongated lifetime. The mermaid was wearing a high school girls' uniform, her favorite garment of choice, because it fit her youthful look as well as her childish personality. She mostly hung with the young crowd, although she wasn't interested in the things that concerned them. She was old enough to be over the trivial things that human youths encompassed their whole lives around.
Bluebell ran up to the Kitsune, hugging him around the waist.
"Hello to you, too." The fox greeted. "Have you been doing well?"
"Yep." Bluebell commented. Her eyes then caught the sight of Byakuran's clothing and then pulled away a short distance to examine the garments. She turned a suspicious eye to the fox spirit. "Who gave you those clothes?"
"Oh these?" The kitsune looked down at his garments, pulling at a slight cease in his shirt. He was still wearing the clothes Tsuna had given him the other day. He hadn't had the time to change, but he didn't feel he needed to. Plus the human's clothes were very comfortable. "My new acquaintance gave them to me."
The mermaid made a face of disgust as she eyed the clothes even more. "They're so plain and ugly."
"That's not nice. I actually like them." Remarked Byakuran.
"It looks like you're trying too hard to fit in." Bluebell continued to belittle his clothes, but the reynard knew she was only being spiteful. Usually, when hengeyokai first create a human appearance, there are many mistakes that one could make. One error was wearing the wrong clothing. Somehow, you attracted more attention to yourself if you weren't up to date with the current time's fashion. Thankfully, Japan had a number of fashion trends, ranging from the traditional to the absolute bizarre, so this usually wasn't the case. However, there was more to Bluebell's statement than that; her words were filled with prejudice.
"Like an aristocrat in commoner's clothing." Byakuran said more to himself than to Bluebell.
It was to be expected. Most yokai believed that they descended from the kami, and so they felt they were superior to humans. Their immortality and the powers that yokai possessed only justified this belief, since humans didn't have such abilities and only lived for a short span of time. Some yokai even had the nerve of calling themselves demi-gods. The truth was, humans and yokai, had all descended from the same place. But if you informed a yokai of this fact they would probably laugh in your face.
Byakuran never shared the same view. Personally, he favored the company of humans more than he did his preternatural brethren. He had figured that it was a kitsune thing. They had a habit of mingling with mankind, teaching them lessons and even courting them. It was like some DNA ingrained obsession. Perhaps that was why he didn't feel so bad using Bluebell in such a way or even robbing from Hibari. He would never do those things to a human though, unless they were asking for it.
"How come you never wear the clothes I get you?" The blue haired mermaid inquired with an adorable pout.
The marine yokai had brought him a variety of things over the years. None of which he accepted. It was kind of like a woman accepting a drink at the bar. Accepting a drink usually meant that you were accepting of other things the buyer had planned. Accepting any of Bluebell's gifts would only lead the mermaid to believe that their relationship was more than physical. "Ah, But if I were to wear them you'll get silly ideas in your head."
"They're not silly." Bluebell whined, contorting her face.
Suddenly, Byakuran's shoulders slumped as he felt another wave of fatigue. A hand went to his forehead, pushing the white strands of hair in his face back.
"Are you okay?" The mermaid inquired, her young face showing genuine concern for the kitsune.
The kitsune wasn't all that drained. He was just tired of the other's babbling. He very much wanted to go back to feeling vigorous; instead of going in circles with conversations that they had already went in the motions of. He slowly looked up to the aqua haired yokai.
"Just a bit drained." Assured the kitsune with a smirk.
"Do you want me to make it better?" Bluebell asked cupping the kitsune's face with her hands.
The mermaid's touch was cool on his skin. Kitsune could already feel the power of her caress, seeping energy into his pores. It was a nice feeling, but the fox spirit felt nothing. It was more like an energy boost to his system, then anything erotic. But he would play along, it was would be disappointing for the both of them if he didn't. Byakuran gave the girl a weak grin as he pulled down the side of her uniform shirt, revealing a bare shoulder. "That's what I'm hoping for."
"So you met a Kitsune?"
Tsuna nodded, surprised by how calm Enma was being about the whole situation. After Tsuna had told him everything, he was sure Enma would think he was crazy or hallucinating from some narcotic. Instead, his friend had been very understanding. Actually, he was able to maintain his quiet demeanor throughout and like a workaholic; his attention was on the pile of dishes that needed to be cleaned.
"And you've been to the crow tengu's base, too?" Enma asked.
"Yea." Tsuna answered, looking at his friend expectantly. He was waiting for Enma to show him some kind of reaction to his tale.
Unfortunately, Enma did not give Tsuna the answer he was looking for. The crimson haired boy's face was deadpanned. "Oh. Okay."
Just 'okay'? Tsuna thought, disappointed by the other's disinterest. But as he looked at his friend more closely, he figured that Enma may be used to supernatural stuff. "Then, you've come across them before?"
Enma nodded. "Before I came to Tokyo. At my hometown, they used to follow me a lot."
"Seriously?" Tsuna exclaimed, surprised. This was the first time he heard of it. "How come you never told me?"
The crimson headed dishwasher shrugged his shoulders. "You never asked."
Who would ask someone that out of the blue? Tsuna thought to himself, but even verbally he could not cut out his thwarted tone. "Well you could have brought up the topic?"
"I doubt you would have believed me." Enma dismissed as he grabbed for another dish.
"True." Tsuna agreed. Before yesterday, he probably wouldn't have believed his friend. Up to this point, he always thought the stories his grandfather told were fairytales or myths. Curiously, the brunette questioned. "Do they still do that?"
The crimson haired boy shook his head, wiping his hands on his apron before; he dug them in his pockets, retrieving a sutra. The symbols written on the sutra was hard for Tsuna to understand, but appear mystical. "This protects me against them."
Tsuna eyed the sutra. It looked impressive, similar to the pieces of paper his grandfather used to write in his spare time. "Did you get this at a shrine? I could use one. "
"No. I wrote it with my own blood." Enma said with a serious expression as he looked to the sutra.
"Your own blood?" Tsuna exclaimed again, baffled by the length his best friend had to take in keeping the spirits away.
Tsuna's best friend added. "I mixed it with ink, though."
Mention that first! Tsuna countered mentally. He then began to consider Enma's situation. If his friend had to use his blood in his sutra then he must be harassed by some terrible creatures. "Were the attacks that bad that you had to go through such lengths?"
Enma just looked to Tsuna as he placed the sutra back into his pocket and the brunette knew without having a word uttered. Tsuna struggled to say something, anything encouraging or somewhat sympathetic, but nothing came to mind. "Enma…" The brunette began, but he wasn't able to finish.
"What are you guys talking about?" A voice questioned from behind them.
Both boys turned to see one of the waitresses behind them. This particular girl made Tsuna straighten up and his palms began to sweat. To the brunette, she was the most beautiful girl he's ever seen. Kyoko had light orange hair that cascaded passed her shoulders, but he remembered when they went to high school it was at her shoulders. Her honey colored eyes had the same precious light and her perpetual smile always brightened up the room.
"K-kyoko-chan!" The protagonist stuttered.
"Good afternoon." She greeted the two dishwashers, "What were you saying about being attacked?"
Tsuna doesn't know what to say. Out of nervousness and not wanting to appear like a loser in front of Kyoko, Tsuna kept quiet and just stared at the waitress. However, the silence was not helping his case and so, Enma decided chime in. "Ghosts."
This enabled Tsuna to speak. "Y-yeah we were talking about ghosts. They're scary."
"Really? I think they're pretty cool." The waitress said excitedly.
Kyoko likes ghosts? Tsuna thought incredulously. He would never have pictured Kyoko liking ghosts. He thought she would be afraid of them, but it seemed that the girl he liked was much braver than he was.
"Did you see a ghost, Sawada-san?" Kyoko questioned as she looked to Tsuna. "Was it a human spirit or an animal one?"
Tsuna paused, not knowing what to say or do under the waitress's sunny gaze. The brunette had frozen up and his mind went totally blank. "Um…"
"It was both." Enma answered for the brunette.
Kyoko turned to Enma. "Both?"
His best friend explained mildly. "It turned from an animal to a person."
"I never heard of that." The waitress said her expression pensive.
"It was just a dream or something." Tsuna finally said with a nervous smile.
"Oh I see." Kyoko said with a bright smile. She then turned to leave. "I'll see you later, Sawada-san, Enma-san."
Tsuna watched the waitress leave and as soon as Kyoko was out of his sight, the brown haired dishwasher sighed deeply. Why couldn't he ever be comfortable around Kyoko? Why did he always freeze up like that? He always looked like a total idiot in front of her. It was no wonder the girl looked through him most of the time.
"Why didn't you tell Kyoko about the yokai?" Enma inquired, waking the brunette from his thoughts.
"She already thinks I'm pretty weird as it is." Tsuna sighed. "I didn't want her thinking I'm insane."
With that the brunette went back to the dishes and distracted himself by trying to scrub off a difficult remnant of food. Enma watched the other for a while, before he also returned to his work.
The water was just the right temperature, so comfortable that Byakuran didn't want to come from underneath it. He allowed the spray of water to wash over him as he stood in the shower. He didn't think of anything. His mind was completely clear. However, his meditation was invaded by sounds of a cellphone. Byakuran turned to the sound of the ringing, eying his white phone on the edge of the sink.
Byakuran turned off the water stepping out of the water. He quickly grabbed a towel, wrapped around his waist. He leaned over the mobile phone and read the number that flashed on the screen. Recognition gleamed in his lilac eyes and he answered the call. As soon as the kitsune placed the phone to his ear, the speaker already started his rant."You don't know how to pick up a damn phone!"
"Well if it isn't Mr. Dangerous." Byakuran greeted sweetly which angered the speaker even more. "And we wouldn't be talking right now if I didn't know how to pick up a phone?"
"Where have you been?" The other demanded, the kitsune could almost hear the grinding of the other's teeth through the receiver.
Byakuran did a dramatic pause as if he was thinking about it. Then he answered. "Japan, I last checked."
"Fuck you, Kuzunoha!" The speaker cursed, "Don't toy with me!"
Byakuran laughed. Though the person on the other line was enraged, he couldn't help but be amused by it. Byakuran decided to put the joking aside for a while, so that they could get down to business. "It's just that you are very fun to play with, but I apologize. I understand you are a very busy man and you had been anticipating the information I promised."
There was silence on the other side. The fox spirit figured that the person was calming down. Finally, the speaker replied in an even voice."Did you manage to get it?"
Unfortunately, the fox spirit couldn't resist teasing the other and his playful jabs continued. It was his nature after all."I wonder what Mr. Dangerous has to offer me if I did?"
"Stop calling me that! And we already agreed upon an offer."
Byakuran shrugged his shoulders as he looked down at his nails inattentively. "But I dug up something else of interest. I'm sure you would be interested, but we wouldn't know. I don't feel that motivated to share."
"Bastard." The speaker spat.
"So what do you say, Gokudera-kun?" Byakuran said, finally saying the other's true name.
"Fine! Double what we agreed upon. Anything more and you're damn greedy."
The vulpine yokai looked up from his nails with interest gleaming in his lilac irises. "Then it's a date. I'll swing by tomorrow morning."
"Stop playing around, Bastard." Gokudera remarked, "You better be there tomorrow."
"Don't worry, Mr. Dangerous. I'll keep our appointment. Bye now~."
Before Gokudera could protest, the fox had already hung up. Byakuran placed the phone down and he began to dry his hair as if he didn't sense the marine yokai standing close to the door, eavesdropping. He ignored her for awhile, to let her believe she got away with it. But at the last minute, where she started to inch away from the door, he called out to her. "Yes, Bluebell?"
The aqua haired mermaid entered the room, her face wasn't stricken with guilt. In fact she looked shameless. "Who was that?"
"An acquaintance of mine." The kitsune said vaguely.
"Was it the person who gave you those ugly clothes?"
Byakuran realized why she was eavesdropping and he smiled at that. "No."
"But you're going on a date with this person." The marine yokai said, her cheeks puffing out.
"It's not nice to eavesdrop, Bluebell. But I was only joking." The snowy haired yokai assured her as he exited the bathroom and went into the main room. He then settled on the bed, which was in disarray.
"Oh." The mermaid blushed, feeling silly and also embarrassed that Byakuran had to see her that way. But her embarrassment was short-lived as he went over to the kitsune, hopping on to the bed beside the fox spirit. Her towel, threatening to unravel any moment. She touched his arm lightly, gaining his attention. "Well, are you feeling better now?"
"Thanks to you, I am." Byakuran said with his usual smirk. Then his expression became thoughtful and his eyes weren't truly looking at Bluebell, but lost in memories. "It's been a long time since I had to use my powers like that."
The mermaid raised an eyebrow at this. "What were you doing?"
The Reynard was pulled out of his thoughts by Bluebell's question. He then laughed. "Let's just say I paid Kyo-chan a visit."
The blue haired yokai frowned at this."The leader of the crow tengu? Why would you pay him a visit? He's not a friend of yours?"
Here Byakuran decided to change the topic. If he explained it to her, then it would somehow lead to Tsuna's identity. And she didn't need to know about the human and Tsuna didn't need to know about her either. "I'm in the mood for something sweet. Let's go out for some cake."
Bluebell's eyes brightened and she was already leaping off the bed to snatch up her clothes. As he finished drying his hair, he wondered if Tsuna liked cakes and other sweet things. The brunette didn't seem like the type to eat sweet things, but he knew he wasn't the type of person to turn down something that another went out of their way to get. And maybe he could tease him by trying to spoon fed him some cake. That would be delightful. He could already imagine the human blushing madly and stuttering because the situation was so far out of his comfort zone. The simple thought placed a smile on the Kitsune's face. He definitely had to try it.
Coming off of work, the two boys headed for the convenience store, since they both couldn't cook. While Enma was browsing the snacks, the brunette went over to the refrigerated section to get a few essentials and a microwaveable meal. He picked up one for himself, but he lingered by the meals.
I wonder if he came back. Tsuna thought to himself. The human wondered if Byakuran ate while outside or was he waiting for him to come home. He then realized what he was thinking. He quickly disregarded his concern. Wait…Byakuran waiting at home? Yeah right. The kitsune was grown enough to feed himself and he probably wasn't coming back, anyway.
Although, he had resolved not to buy another bento, he still lingered by the area, a wandering brown eye looking to the stack of bento, enticing the human. Then the brunette surrendered, he picked up the second and headed for the cashier. If the kitsune didn't come back then at least he had something to eat for tomorrow. Yep, that was his story and he's sticking to it.
Of course, Enma noticed the second bento and questioned Tsuna about it when they left the store. "You brought two?"
"For tomorrow." Tsuna told his crimson haired friend. Then he quickly changed the subject. "What did you get?"
"Bread. Chips and some water." Enma told the brunette.
Tsuna raised an eyebrow at this. "That's it?"
But his companion seemed distracted. Enma suddenly stopped in his tracks, causing the brunette to stop a few steps ahead. The brunette watched as his best friend, silently peered into the night. They had gotten off pretty late, the streets were virtually deserted and the streetlights were scarce. Tsuna just now noticed how dark everything was. But he wasn't normally aware of this fact, mainly because Enma was here with him. Now he was very conscious of it. The human followed suit with his best friend and looked down the dark road. From Tsuna's view he saw nothing. However, it seemed as if Enma was seeing something else. Concerned, Tsuna called out to his friend. "Enma?"
"There's something there." Enma said quietly.
The brunette peered into the darkness and still saw nothing. He felt nervous not being able to see the thing that caught his friend's attention. "W-what is it?"
There was silence for a few minutes. The wind blew at them, causing the plastic bags they carried, to rattle. Finally Enma said. "A bike."
"Bike?" Tsuna said confused, but also relieved. He was happy it was nothing serious, but he still wondered why Enma was still peering into the darkness as if he was saw something not so comforting. It was rely starting to unnerve him.
Then the brunette human heard it. The squealing of a wheel that needed to be oiled. It was faint, but it's sound growing louder as it drew closer. Finally, Tsuna was able to see it for himself. A red bike rolled into the spotlight. Its front tire had holes in it and was patched with tape. The wheels wobbled as it drove. The chain dragged on the pavement. The handle bars were no longer there and all that was left was the rusty metal. The saddle of the bike was tore and ripped with the stuffing coming out. However, the worst part was yet to come. The bike had eyes! Glowing amber eyes rested on where the handle bars used to be. The peddles of the bike transformed into clawed hands. The front tire of the bike was split in half and was lifted to bare the bike's teeth, long, pointy and sharp.
Tsuna gulped loudly as he observed the demonic bike. But that seemed to beckon it, causing the bicycle's wheels to turn furiously as if it was preparing to speed off. The brunette just stood there in shock, his eyes unwavering from the sight of the bike. The demonic bike jolted forwards, racing toward them. Suddenly his shoulder was grabbed by Enma, urging him to move. The glued to floor effect his body undertook was broken and Tsuna ran with Enma.
From having to escape bullies in their youth, Enma and Tsuna were pretty good at running. They had so many years of running away from their harassers, that the both of them were even scouted for the track team in senior year. However, their running skills were placed to the test tonight. The boys didn't have to turn around to know that the bike was at their heels. They could feel it. The humans slammed their feet fast against the pavement to desperately get away, but of course, the increase of speed causing the brunette to lose his footing and fell to the ground. Enma noticed that Tsuna fell back and yelled out to him to get up. "Tsuna!"
But it was too late; the demonic bike was seconds away from getting him. The brunette looked at the bike in horror as he tried to enable his body to get up from the floor and start running again. The bike was inches away from colliding with the human, but just before it could it burst into flames. A loud shriek was heard from the bike as it backpedaled away from Tsuna and then turned around retreat.
"Finding more trouble, Tsunayoshi-kun?" The white haired kitsune called out to the human.
Tsuna looked up from his place and saw the Reynard emerge from out of nowhere. "Byakuran!"
The kitsune's human guise was wearing different clothes. Light colored jeans with a dark shirt and a light blazer. On his feet were white combat boots. Byakuran's attire seemed more stylish then the clothes that Tsuna gave him.
"It was only playing with you." Byakuran calmly assured the brunette.
Playing? Tsuna considered as he got to his feet. The relieved human looked off to where the bike retreated. The bike may have been 'playing', but the kitsune was a bit harsh by setting it on fire. "Was that bike possessed or something?"
The vulpine yokai shook his head. "It was a tsukumogami."
"Tsukumogami?" Tsuna repeated, looking back to his preternatural companion
Byakuran nodded. "When an object lives for a hundred years, it'll turn into a yokai. They're completely harmless, though."
It was pretty remarkable that even objects could become yokai. Tsuna believed he heard something like this from his grandfather and he also remembered that people would come to him with broken things in order to cleanse them. Perhaps, that was the reason he cleansed useless objects, so they wouldn't become tsukumogami. However, the brunette couldn't ignore the fact that one attempted to run him over. "It was trying to run us down!"
"Us?" Byakuran questioned with a raise of an eyebrow.
Tsuna looked around and just now realized that his friend was gone. They must have gotten separated during the chase. "Where did Enma go?" Tsuna said mostly to himself.
"Oh, the one with the bandages?" Byakuran mentioned, recalling such a boy running with Tsuna. He then pointed to the right of them. "I think he went that way."
"You probably scared him off." Tsuna accused, having a fire appear out of nowhere would scare anyone. Knowing Enma, who had lived his most life being chased by yokai, he wouldn't be sticking around.
The snowy haired yokai observed Tsuna's concern for the other and inquired. "Is he someone important to you?"
"He's my best friend." Tsuna said with a small smile. He then turned in the direction Enma had raced off in. "I'm sure he'll be okay since that demonic bicycle is gone."
Byakuran looked off in the same direction Enma disappeared. There was something about that boy. He felt something when he was near, but he couldn't make out what he was feeling. The kitsune let it go for now. If this was truly Tsuna's best friend, then they would probably meet again.
"What are you doing here?" Tsuna asked, bringing the fox spirit's attention back to him.
The fox spirit turned to the human and smirked. "Didn't you invite me to a sleepover?"
"No, I didn't." Tsuna denied, but it was hard to take him seriously when his cheeks reddened. He was very surprised the kitsune came back. He wondered if the other felt obligated because what he said earlier or he really came back because he wanted to.
"But who's going to tuck you in tonight?" Byakuran questioned looking very serious.
I'm old enough to do it myself! Tsuna thought arguably, blushing even more.
Then the vulpine kitsune said with a remorseful tone. "I promise I wouldn't leave you again."
Tsuna paused, hearing those words. He didn't know why it affected him the way it did. He knew the kitsune would hold up to his promise, since his life was on the line. But some how he felt as if the other was promising more than what he was saying. But Tsuna was being silly; he was just fulfilling his promise.
"And I brought cake~." Byakuran added, presently a cardboard carryout box.
The human sighed heavily holding up his plastic bag. "I have an extra bento if you want it."
A cunning smile appeared on the snowy kitsune's face. "Is it possible that Tsunayoshi-kun picked this up because he was thinking of me?"
"It was on sale, so I just brought an extra." Tsuna lied. It was bad enough, the yokai felt like he needed to babysit him. He didn't want him to think he was obsessing over him either.
Suddenly a small white piece a paper was in the Kitsune's hands. "Tsunayoshi-kun is such a liar, I can clearly see on this receipt-"
"Where did you get that-?" Tsuna said quickly as he moved to snatch the receipt from Byakuran, but the receipt had changed back into its original form, a fallen leaf. Then the brunette knew he had been tricked. He then said slowly. "I… didn't get a receipt back."
"You're so gullible, Tsunayoshi-kun." Byakuran joked, starting to walk in the direction of Tsuna's apartment. The human began to follow after the kitsune, put something hindered him. He felt as if he was being watched. Tsuna turned around and peered into the darkness, he saw nothing, but the feeling was still there. He ignored it and caught up with Byakuran.
Back at Tsuna's apartment
Byakuran and Tsuna were sitting at the table eating their meals. The brunette was still embarrassed by being tricked by the kitsune about the extra bentou. He hated how the fox could somehow see right through him. Was he so predictable? Or was he just too gullible for his own good? In any case, Tsuna still couldn't get over how he fell for such a trick.
As strong as the humiliation he felt, the brunette was a bit curious about the Kitsune's whereabouts while he was at work. He wasn't sure if he should ask, he didn't want to pry. But he was bested by his curiosity and he blurted out:
"Where did you go?" Tsuna inquired.
"I went to see a friend." The fox said simply, not at all bothered by Tsuna's interest.
"Another yokai?" The human further questioned, looking over to Byakuran.
Byakuran smiled softly to himself."Yep."
"To visit?" Tsuna asked as he took a drink from his glass.
Byakuran looked up from his food, a grin on his face, and the yokai said with ease. "We hooked up~."
Tsuna spat out his juice. He looked up to the kitsune, who was grinning at him. "E-excuse me?"
The kitsune simpered at the show. He watched Tsuna as he stared back at him in disbelief. "Did I say something wrong?"
The brunette calmed down as he wiped his mouth. Byakuran didn't say anything wrong, the execution of it was wrong, though. There were more subtle ways to announce his act or rather; did he have to tell him at all? But it went further than how it was said, but what was said. The human couldn't figure out what made him react the way he did. He's heard more vulgar things within the halls of his high school career. Still, he felt a bit unsettled by this news. Finally, he concluded it as none of his business, plus he just knew the fox only announced it to get a rise out of him.
"No, it's your own business. Not mine." The human replied as nonchalantly as he could, getting up to retrieve something to clean up the mess he made. There was juice all over the table now.
Byakuran watched Tsuna leave the table. He hadn't expected the human to react in such a way. It was amusing and also very intriguing to him.
Tsuna returned to wipe up the mess, when his eyes caught sight of the carryout box. "What kind of cake did you get?"
"Well, I didn't know what you would like, so I got a whole bunch." Byakuran opened the box and showed the brunette. There was strawberry shortcake, tiramisu, mont blanc, creampuffs, donuts, chocolate cake and small tarts.
Tsuna was astounded by how many things the fox brought, although they all looked delicious. "Who's going to eat all of that?"
"Me." The kitsune smiled.
The human raised an eyebrow. "You?"
"I like sweets." Byakuran said as he finished off his bento.
Somehow, Tsuna wasn't surprised. With Byakuran's features and floral name, it wouldn't be farfetched to believe the fox spirit had a sweet tooth. "I'll just take the donuts."
"That's it?" Byakuran said surprised. He had expected the human to eat more than that. In the long run, this meant more sweets for him.
Haven' you heard of moderation? Tsuna thought to himself. He liked sweets here and there, but he couldn't eat a bunch of them in one sitting. Although, the treats the kitsune brought tempted him to try. "That's fine for me."
Byakuran choose the tiramisu and shortcake for himself. Eating each treat, slowly. As Byakuran was in the middle of the tiramisu, he looked over to Tsuna. "Do you have to work tomorrow?"
Tsuna was in the middle of biting into one of the donuts. It was delicious, but he quickly chewed the pastry to answer the Kitsune's question. "No. Why?"
The vulpine yokai smiled, "Would you like to go on a field trip with me?"
The brunette had anticipated that he would need to help the Kitsune, but once they entered the local subway station, Tsuna was impressed by how easily Byakuran was able to blend in. The kitsune seemed like a regular commuter the way he was able to maneuver about the station. He was able to purchase his tickets so swiftly and with ease. The kitsune knew which side to stand on the escalator and even as the train arrived, he was able to avoid being trampled by the hurried passengers departing the compartment.
Actually, Tsuna seemed more like the novice than Byakuran did. He had some difficulty with the machine, which the fox had to come to his aid. He was nearly thrown off the escalator, by a bunch of businessmen rushing to get to the platform. And Byakuran had to rescue him, when he pushed by the throng of commuters exiting from the train.
"You don't take the trains often, do you Tsunayoshi-kun?" Byakuran commented as they boarded the train. Tsuna could hear the hint of laughter in the other's voice, which he didn't appreciate.
Be quiet. The brunette human hissed in his head, but he couldn't deny that Byakuran knew how to navigate the subway system. "But you seem pretty knowledgeable."
"Of course." I was around when they were starting to build the subway system."
No wonder. Tsuna thought to himself, slightly envious of the yokai. "So, you even rode on a Shinkansen?"
The yokai shrugged his shoulders. "Dozens of times."
Lucky. Tsuna considered. It was one of his dreams to ride on one. Though, he was a fearful person, who avoided anything that could crash, he always wanted to ride on the bullet train. Actually, he just wanted to be able to go somewhere other than his home town. He never even went to where his grandfather lived. But ultimately, he wasn't brave enough and that fear held him back. "I never rode on one. Maybe one day, when I save enough money. I could go somewhere."
"Where would you go?" The kitsune questioned.
The human hadn't thought about it. He gave Byakuran a blank look before, he shrugged and a small smiled appeared on his lips. "I don't know. I haven't thought of it. I just thought it would be nice to ride on one. I'll be willing to go anywhere."
The train pulled into a station and a throng of people boarded their compartment, pushing to get a spot in train. Of course, Tsuna was pushed forward by a surprisingly strong elderly woman, racing to get a free seat. Luckily, he was able to fall into a cushion. Unfortunately that cushion was Byakuran's chest. "Comfy, Tsunayoshi-kun?" Byakuran teased.
Tsuna looked up, staring confusedly into the taller male's face. He then realized the closeness of their bodies or even, how he managed to grab a hold of the front of Byakuran's shirt. But what really pieced things together was the growing wicked grin on the kitsune guise's face. The brunette relinquished all hold he had on the fox spirit. "T-that woman pushed me…and I-I fell…"
"No need to explain, Tsunayoshi-kun. It's okay." The snowy haired yokai assured the human.
"It is?" The human actually looked hopeful.
"Of course, it's hard for humans to keep their hands off of me." He then moved in close to Tsuna, their cheeks brushing for a second and he whispered close to his ear. His voice low enough that only the brunette could hear. "But how impatient Tsunayoshi-kun. We can continue when we get back to your place~."
And it was as if Byakuran flipped some sort of switch, the brunette was seething and suddenly he exploded. Tsuna opened his mouth, "I told you already! I'm not having sex with you!"
Byakuran was only snickered; surprised that Tsuna's response was so loud. "Yes, you have. But you also told the whole train, too."
Tsuna paused, realizing that he had said that out loud. He felt the stares of everyone on the train on his back. The brunette covered his mouth, his face a crimson red at this point. However, through his embarrassment, he was able send an icy look to Byakuran.
Of course, Byakuran was unfazed by the human's glare. He found it amusing. The people on the train were also looking at him, but their stares had no effect. Unlike Tsuna, he didn't care what they thought of him. He doubted they would meet again and if they did, he doubted they would remember him. Luckily for Tsuna, he wouldn't have to endure this humiliation any further. The train has entered the station of their destination.
The fox spirit announced, "Our stop~."
"Here we are~." Byakuran said excitedly.
Tsuna was still sore about Byakuran embarrassing him on the train, but he was very interested in where the kitsune was taking him. The street they were on looked ordinary and the building they stood in front of seemed like a normal apartment building. Was this their destination? "Where are we?"
Byakuran merely pointed to the building's direction. Apparently, there were a bunch of businesses located in this space. But one stood out to the brunette the most. The sign was white and written in English. There were even black skulls sitting on the words.
"Dangerous Paranormal Investigations?" Tsuna read the sign. What kind of name is that? The human thought.
As if reading Tsuna's mind, Byakuran answered. "The owner lost a bet to his secretary. She decided to name it this."
The human raised an eyebrow at this. It was an unusual method to name an organization. But Tsuna became curious of what kind of name the owner intended it to have. "What would the owner have called it?"
The vulpine yokai smirked."G Paranormal Investigations."
Dangerous is way better. Tsuna considered. Dangerous had a certain ring to it that "G" didn't. Then, Tsuna was wondering what the G would stand for anyway? The more the brunette thought of the naming, he was led to the bigger question. He became curious on why a preternatural being such as Byakuran would be interested in visiting a paranormal investigation agency. Wouldn't he be afraid that his identity would be found out?
The human turned to the snowy haired fox. "Why are we here?"
"Work. I have to discuss something with the owner, but I thought this would be a good experience for you. These people deal with Yokai and lesser beings on a daily basis." The snowy haired guise replied as he began walking inside of the building. As they reached the elevator, he turned to Tsuna and finished. "Perhaps, you can relate to them, make friends…but mainly, I don't want you to think I abandoned you."
"Thanks for the honesty." Tsuna said dryly, not sure the fox was truthful in his claim.
As the elevator arrived, Byakuran thought of something else to tell the human. "By the way, these people know me as Kuzunoha, not Byakuran."
"Kuzunoha?" Tsuna repeated.
"That's right." Byakuran said as he boarded the elevator. "Let's go. I have an appointment and he'll be very upset if I'm late."
The agency was located on the fifth floor and was only a few doors down from the elevator. The kitsune knocked first and then opened the door. "Hello? Is anyone here?"
The brunette followed after the other as he walked in. They stayed by the door, switching their shoes to slippers, before walking deeper into the agency.
Suddenly, a female's voice came into room. "Good morning. Welcome to Dangerous Paranormal Investigations. If it's dangerous, we're interested."
Apparently, this was said by someone crossing the room with a stack of books as tall as Tsuna was. From the waist up, the woman's face was covered by the books. But Tsuna was able to notice that the speaker was wearing a pencil skirt and pumps.
Byakuran chuckled at the display, amused. "No need for all that, Haru-chan~. It's just me."
"Kuzunoha?" The woman said with recollection. She then turned to the side revealing her profile. The woman had brown hair cut in a bob and her brown eyes were large like a child. She wore a white blouse and grey sweater for her top. Tsuna was quick to notice a weird looking pendant on her sweater. It looked like a mini umibouzo doll. She has a brilliant smile as she recognized Byakuran. "It's been awhile."
The fox replied cheerfully. "I know~. We never finished Monster Movie night."
Haru finally placed the pile of books on a desk. "That's right. Spanner-san got a few more movies for us to watch."
"I look forward to it." Byakuran smiled and then gestured to Tsuna. "Haru-chan, this is my associate, Tsunayoshi-kun."
The brunette young woman turned her gaze to Tsuna, she walked up to him and shook his hand. "I'm Haru, Tsuna-san. Are you a yokai?"
"No. I'm human." Tsuna murmured, surprised by the question. Wasn't it obvious that he was human?
"So am I! We have something in common!" Haru said excitedly.
What is with this girl? Tsuna wondered.
The front door opened revealing two men. One with red wild hair and glasses. He wore jeans, a black t-shirt and large headphones around his neck. The other had blonde hair with a lollipop stick in his mouth. He was also wearing normal clothes, but there were goggles around his neck and a belt of tools on his hip. Tsuna noticed the blond has a compass like tattoo on his neck.
"Shou-chan, Spanner." Byakuran greeted.
"Kuzunoha. You're back." The red headed man replied, looking a bit relieved. The blond only gave the fox a simple smile.
"I am. I'm here to see your fearless leader."
Shouichi ran his hands through his hair, showing some unease. "I hope so Gokudera is really angry with you."
Byakuran shrugged his shoulder, his grin widening. "Couldn't do anything about that."
Suddenly, an office door opened, revealing a man with silver hair. He had a cigarette in his mouth that wasn't lit, but was used to gnaw on, over and over. His piercing emerald eyes spotted Byakuran. When Tsuna looked closely it was obvious the other had dark circles under his eyes from lack of sleep. His red shirt was disheveled, hanging out of his dark pants and wrinkled, a white tie hung loosely around his neck.
"So you decided to show up." The other spat at Byakuran.
Although, Gokudera was less than pleasant, Byakuran's smile never wavered. In fact, it seemed to turn up at the ends. "I did say I would come. You didn't believe me?"
"No." Gokudera looked to Tsuna, sharing his bad mood with an innocent victim. "Who the hell are you?"
"S-sawada Tsunayoshi." Tsuna stuttered, intimidated by the moody man.
The silver haired man barked. "What do you want?"
Tsuna looked to Byakuran for help, after all, the fox brought him here. The kitsune answered for Tsuna. "I brought him along."
"This is a business, not a fucking tourist attraction, Kuzunoha." Gokudera sneered.
"Oh, but Tsunayoshi-kun is not some enthusiast. He knows his stuff. He's very knowledgeable about yokai."
Tsuna jumped as he felt the other's intensifying gaze on him again. "Is that so?"
The brunette talked really quickly. "M-my grandfather told me stories when I was young. I didn't think they were very credible. Until I met Bya-Kuzunoha-san."
"Who's your grandfather, Sawada-san?" This was from Shouichi. Which Tsuna was happy for, because Gokudera's look was getting to him.
The human answered simply. "Sawada Ieyasu."
"You mean Golden Ieyasu Sawada?" Haru exclaimed.
"Golden?" Tsuna repeated. He never heard anyone refer to his grandfather with such a title.
"He's only known by that name by paranormal enthusiasts, but for yokai he's known as the Boogieman~." Byakuran commented with a slight smirk.
"The Boogieman?" Tsuna repeated. That had to be lie. His grandfather was nothing like that. "My grandfather would never hurt a fly."
Gokudera concluded in a much calmer voice as of now his cigarette was lit. "Then maybe it's a different Ieyasu Sawada. Sawada is a very common surname."
"Maybe." But somehow, Tsuna was unsettled by this. Though his grandfather was a caring man to him, there were a few moments in his childhood that he had seen a different side. Plus, there was his grandfather's knowledge of yokai and those seals he would make. Could it simply be because he liked such things or that he was in the business of it? There was no way for Tsuna to know, unless he asked his grandfather himself.
Kuzunoha is one of Byakuran's favored aliases. However, the name Kuzunoha is actually the name of mother of Abe no Seimei, who was rumored to be a kitsune.
Golden Ieyasu Sawada – The nickname Golden for Tsuna's Grandfather is a reference to Kintoki Sakata. A famous folk figure in Japanese Folklore.
Kami- When Byakuran mentioned the Kami, he's referring to the god and goddesses responsible for the birth of Japan (land), Man, life and death and even the first emperor.
Author's Note: Sorry for taking so long to update. If it wasn't for the reviews, story alerts and favorites, I would not have pushed myself to finish. So thank you for that. So I'm taking a step further with this story, not only will this story be about Yokai but also human interactions with yokai. Hence, Gokudera's paranormal agency. I thought this would be fun to include, but it wouldn't be the main focus. Thank you for reading this chapter and I hope I'll be quicker with updates.